Each year the Library hosts a bean bash. This event has been going on much longer than I have worked at the college, let alone been part of the library. The library staff makes various crock pots of beans, bean salads, slaws, cornbreads, and even desserts for the campus.
When it started NSCC was actually a technical institute with probably less than a 100 people. Now we’re a community college with five campuses. So it’s a pretty big undertaking, but one that we consider well worth our time.
As colleges grow, there are almost no times that faculty and staff have a chance to get together to socialize. When I first came to work here, it didn’t take long to get to know most people. Now, I’ll see an email saying that a person is leaving, and I’ve never gotten a chance to meet him or her. For faculty/staff who have been hired in the past few years, it seems normal. They’ve never known a smaller campus. But for old-timers, there’s often a nostalgia for those more intimate times.
The Bean Bash is our way of pointing out that community matters. Sure, meetings get us together, and common goals and objectives are important. But sometimes it’s nice to meet up with no other agenda than to talk, laugh, and listen.
But, as library director, I do have another goal. I want everyone (staff and faculty) on every campus to know who we are and feel welcome in contacting us. We are one of the few departments with a mission to serve every single NSCC person (student, staff, or faculty). Whether you teach in a classroom next door or in Cookeville, I want to you reach out if you need a book or film. Whether you’re the VP or the evening department secretary, I want you to feel comfortable in asking a research question.
We hope that when you have a research need, you’ll remember your buddies who served beans and slaw or got sprayed by a crazed Dr. Pepper two-liter (that actually happened to me today). And that you won’t hesitate to ask us. We’re here for all of you.