CLARC’s Continued Evolution Adds an Assistant Director


Ty Alleman

The CLARC library continues its evolution to better serve the needs of students.

There is no doubt that in the last academic year, the Jesuit high school library has undergone drastic changes. The most noticeable of which has been a complete renaming, from simply The Clark Library to the new Clark Library and Academic Resource Center, or CLARC for short. There have also been changes in staffing, hours of operation, and academic resources availability to students.

Even amidst this change, the director of the CLARC, Mrs. Colleen O’Mahony, believes that the vision for the CLARC remains the same: to provide an Academic Resource Center that is open from 7-5 every day where students can come to get help with anything they need: access to tutoring and learning assistance, printing and project supplies, as well as research tools.

Mrs. O’Mahony added that the library staff is working to more accurately accommodate the needs of students by noticing and listening to what they need. While traditionally students might think of libraries full of books, O’Mahony noted that physical texts were being utilized very little.

“I think seven years going back, you know, books here of all kinds have had about an 8% circulation rate, which means 8% of the collection is being used outside the library. This doesn’t mean books are not good. We all like them, but it means that kids are getting information in different ways. And so we need to be able to change to meet those needs. I think we need to be nimble and we need to pay attention to what students need for going to college.”

As research becomes more digitally based, the CLARC seeks to support students in their quests for information that is practical and applicable, as well as give students research and learning tools to assist them later in life.

In order to meet these new research needs, current long-term sub in the English department Dr. Jason Price is joining the library staff as the new Assistant Director of the CLARC.

Having undergone the PhD process at UCLA, and taught freshman writing classes for both UCLA and PSU, Dr. Price will further expand the research resources available to Jesuit students while continuing to assist with the day-to-day development of the CLARC.

“Students can expect to find a lot more resources that are focused on helping them in those projects that are research based,” Dr. Price said. “There are so many teachers that are managing hundreds of student projects which makes it difficult to continuously give meaningful feedback throughout the process, so having someone who can be a support in this process will be really helpful.”

With the departure of Mr. Kelley in the winter, the library currently doesn’t have a full-time librarian. Ms. O’Mahony doesn’t foresee that changing in the near future.

“If we saw a huge uptick in the way we’re using resources here, we would respond to that huge uptick. But I think students are showing us what they need with their usage habits, and we’re responding to what we’re seeing. So in the immediate future, this is probably all the staff that we have.”

Adding Dr. Price to the library staff helps fill the position that was previously held by a full-time librarian. Additionally, his new role serves as another important step in transforming the CLARC into the effective, student-centered resource envisioned by the library staff.