“Operation Mission Possible” was finally put into action July 2013 when the Federal Library Services and Technology Act awarded the library of Lewis and Clark Community College a much hoped for grant to fund a military related project. Liz Burns, Assistant Director for Instructional Services, and Greg Cash, Assistant Director for Reference Services, were the two leaders of the mission and both Burns and Cash were extremely pleased with the successful results.
The Federal Library Services and Technology Act awards grants to state libraries annually through the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. The types of grants available however vary from year to year. According to Burns, it has been a several years since the grant’s allowed the purchase of items such as books and videos.
The road to receiving the grant was purely through an application process. Each library could apply for a grant ranging up to $5,000. When applying, it was necessary for the applicants for the grants to be extremely specific about how they intended to spend the awarded funding.
Recently, Lewis and Clark has seen an influx of veteran students. Burns and Cash considered the college’s military friendly atmosphere, and decided that they wanted to use the grant to fund “Operation Mission Possible”. The mission involved the purchase of military related books and videos that could be used to help veteran student or other students interested in the military.
Though Burns and Cash were the primary leaders of the project, there was another important figure who should not be left unnamed. Terry Lane, Director for Veteran Services on our campus, also helped to make “Operation Mission Possible” a go. Throughout the process of “Operation Mission Possible”, Burns and Cash had the opportunity to work closely with Terry Lane.
Cash said, “The work that Terry Lane does is incomparable. Veteran students know that they have the resources and the support needed, whether it’s for classroom accommodations, financial assistance, or help with daily living.”
Burns and Cash were happy to announce that our library received the entire amount for which they applied, the a total of $5,000. The money from the grant has been totally spent on purely military focused materials. The materials are intended specifically to help veteran students of the college who may be suffering setbacks such as PTSD, injury, or family conflicts but it is also hoped that they will be an asset to any student of Lewis and Clark Community College.
Burns stated, “Everything that we’ve purchased is available for check-out. It’s available to faculty, staff, students, and the general community.”
Already, Burns and Cash have received positive feedback as students have begun checking out and other libraries have started requesting the recently purchased items. The circulation of these items serves as tribute to the fact that the grant was well-spent. It seems that “Operation Mission Possible” was the perfect title for the project.