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Child Welfare Resource Library Evolves with the Times and Technology

Almost all acquisitions were written materials. Videotape was standard for visual media. Curriculum projects were disseminated in 3-ring binders. Biannually, the library mailed a hard-copy catalog of holdings to patrons, who faxed in their orders.

This is what Resource Specialist Cheryl Fujii of the California Child Welfare Resource Library recollects of how the library functioned during the years following its opening on April 25, 1995.

Eighteen years later, she notes, advances in technology have brought the library a long way from how it originally operated:

  • Now, almost all new acquisitions are DVDs, videotapes, or CD-ROMs.
  • Videotapes in many cases have been supplanted by DVDs, which are being replaced by online video content.  
  • All new projects are now posted on the library’s website at no cost, and patrons can access the holdings catalog online 24/7and place their orders online.

Today, the library’s holdings include:

  • 360 DVDs
  • 625 videotapes
  • 30 multimedia kits
  • 2,700 books and booklets

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The California Child Welfare Resource Library offers a brochure, available in bulk to schools and agencies, explaining how using the library is “as easy as 1-2-3.”

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Personalized Customer Service
Even in the age of rapidly advancing technology, the library continues its personalized, human outreach efforts. Says Ms. Fujii, “We work with you to locate resources to fit your classroom or in-service training needs by looking over your syllabus or training outline, then suggesting potential matches. We take requests for items patrons would like to see added to the library. And we provide telephone consultation to patrons who have questions about using the online system or who are having difficulty refining their searches.”

CalSWEC Distance Education Specialist Tim Wohltmann is working with the library to identify new platforms to make its resources more readily available online in the future to a wider audience, Ms. Fujii reports.

“To expand on the concept of the popular African proverb, while it may take a village to raise a child, it first takes a library to raise a village,” says Ms. Fujii. She invites everyone to “join us on this voyage of discovery as we all work together to improve the lives of California’s children.”

More Information
For assistance or information, or to order the brochure on how to use the library, please contact Resource Specialist Cheryl Fujii: cheryl.fujii@csulb.edu, 562-985-4570 (phone), or  562-985-5630 (fax). She can also be reached via the library website, http://www.csulb.edu/projects/ccwrl.