Scott Cohen, Library Director at Jackson State Community College, has received an appointment to the Tennessee Advisory Council on Libraries from Secretary of State Tre Hargett. With this appointment, Mr. Cohen will work in evaluating and developing library programs and services for the Tennessee State Library and Archives.
The advice of this council will ultimately shape the direction for Tennessee’s public libraries and the way that they serve their communities. According to Cohen, ‘by helping public libraries, were helping everyone in the state.’
The library at Jackson State is open to the public and many people of the community use this resource. Cohen made this comment: ‘While the first priority of the Jackson State Library is to serve the students, the public may check out books and use its facilities and services. The lines are being blurred between public and academic libraries.’
Over the years, Mr. Cohen has been involved in various initiatives to develop library services that ensure personnel are equipped to provide quality services to the communities they serve. One such initiative was the Public Library Certification Program that was offered online to library support staff throughout the state. Through this program, educational opportunities were offered that would better equip library staff members in Tennessee to reach out to their communities and offer more meaningful services. The Public Library Certification Program was active from 2006-2011.
‘With todays technological advances, public libraries are very dynamic places,’ Cohen says. ‘It is important for us to look to the future and try to determine how it affects us.’
To say the very least, the role of libraries has undergone a lot of change since 1972. That is when Scott Cohen first began his tenure as librarian at Jackson State Community College. Any Jackson State student from the last 41 years probably has their own story of how Scott has gone above and beyond to help them while going to school there. The days of card catalogs and microfiche are long gone. Scott has the determination to make sure the library evolves and remains relevant going into the future.