Du Quoin library mulls help for college-bound locals
Mar 15, 2017 5:00 AM -
Betty Eastman, chairman of the library's promotion and publicity committee, had something important to say when it was her turn to give a committee report Monday night at the Du Quoin Public Library Board of Trustees meeting. "I have been giving this a lot of thought, and I believe the library needs to provide more services, more help to our local college-bound high school students," she told the board. "I've been to the high school and talked to Principal (Matthew) Hickam about this. I asked how we could help, how we could supplement what assistance the high school provides," she said. "He asked that I bring back all of our ideas about just how we can help." Almost every board member and Library Director Kristina Benson had suggestions that included encouraging students to apply to more universities, exploring the financial aid available at each one and getting a job on campus because it comes with "preferential registration" at most universities. "Of course we can offer extra time on computer to study," Benson said. "I've asked Mr. Hickam if obtaining and offering preparation manuals and/or specific software would help," Eastman said. "He's going to check with the guidance counselors." Eastman mentioned the online Khan Academy as a good source for lessons and practice tests. Benson reminded board members that there is no charge to use anything on the website at khanacademy.org. What followed were a few board members' stories as college freshmen, followed by a brainstorming session. Benson said she could put together a program or "crash course" on how to get the most out of a college library. "I will talk to some academic librarians that I know," she said. Larry Underwood mentioned a vocational interest test that helped him hone his focus when he started college. Eastman talked about a course she took on reading for comprehension, lessons that "I still use to this day," she said. Underwood said students considering careers should check the 10-year job projections on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Benson said just knowing how and where to buy books can save college freshmen a lot of money. Other ideas included a program on study skills, inviting local college students to answer high school students' questions, and helping students with their cover letters and personal statements. Eastman reiterated her commitment to the proposal, promising to make more trips to the high school to gather information and to talk to college-bound students. "I want this to stay on our agenda," she told the board. "This is important."