Jolanta Kaun is one of the longest-serving LCC International University staff members. Jolanta has been the Librarian at the LCC Library for more than 20 years now, providing endless help to the students, staff, and faculty. A true library veteran, one could say. Reminiscing over her years at LCC, she talks about what it is like to be a librarian at a university, about the evolution of the library, and what the students were like back in the 90s.
Jolanta Kaun graduated from Vilnius University in 1995 with a Masters Degree in Library and Information science. Jolanta has lived in Klaipeda for almost 25 years and was a working person since a very young age. Although she has tried different roles in the logistics business, IT field, and a pharmaceutical company, after working in a few libraries Jolanta felt that the library was the place she felt most fulfilled.
Back in the 90s, when Jolanta joined LCC International University, there were no job posting websites developed to find your dream job. She found the job by receiving a phone call from a previous employee at LCC. Soon after, Jolanta Kaun was offered to take on the position of Librarian. Initially, what was supposed to be a temporary two-year position, turned into a journey over two decades at LCC.
Reminiscing on how the library has changed and developed over the years, Jolanta mentions that she started working as the librarian before the move to the current location when the library was located in Karklu street. “It was a big process. We packed the whole library over the Christmas break, with two trucks and countless boxes, we managed to move to the current LCC Library. Though challenging, it was a great experience,” remembers Jolanta. According to Jolanta, over the years the size of the library has tripled. Libraries are usually measured by volume numbers and she remembers in the early days that the LCC library was around 12,000 volumes. As of today, it has grown to be close to 40,000 volumes. Another important change the library has successfully lived through was the change in the check-in/out system. Now, the library has an integrated library system (online library catalog) and uses student ID cards, this contributes to better workflow and assures maximum efficiency. “Thanks to the generosity of LCC supporters, we had funding provided to obtain new and needed resources like security systems and added innovation for the library,” says Jolanta.
Being a part of the library for such a long tenure has given Jolanta the ability to see the developments over the years and witness historical and important moments. Jolanta mentions that the LCC library holds a yearbook of the first LCC graduate generation, dating all the way back to 1996. Students’ defended final thesis projects are stored in the library as well, some dating back to 1998. Today, everything is digitized and saved on trustworthy systems. Jolanta believes that the LCC library's mission is simple - to support students in their studies and professors in their teaching or research, by providing relevant resources. It is home to many important journals for research, numerous books that can be accessed, and they also can offer a recommendation for a book, video material, or a journal.
Working in the library means constant contact with students. With the extensive working experience Jolanta has, she has witnessed many generations of students, and has noticed how the students have changed over the years. The older generations would choose a print book instead of the digital version. As the years have gone by, and the rising era of the digital world, more and more students chose digital books over print, especially for the past year due to the pandemic. When asked how she feels about the changes over the years in the LCC library, she said that these changes are good, and they make the daily routine and work more efficient and interesting. “The LCC library is a great environment for students to come and study, and be surrounded in the academic atmosphere,” commented Jolanta. Although these days the library is seemingly empty with just a few workers on-site, in the pre-pandemic world during the normal academic year, the LCC library used to get over a hundred visitors per day.
Apart from taking care of the books in the library, Jolanta is helping with students’ thesis submissions, dealing with correspondence, and caring for many administrative tasks during the day, like answering emails. “The pandemic modified many of our routines,” added Jolanta, “Instead of shelving books constantly, we only need to shelve them once a week now.” The library always welcomes students who are in need of help. The students are trained on how to use the databases, locate resources, how to use printers and scanners. Being surrounded by people most of the time is her favorite part of being a librarian. “I love meeting new, young people. It seems that they are getting even younger day by day,” Jolanta says jokingly.
Outside the workplace, Jolanta enjoys playing tennis and spends most of her time taking care of her beloved family and dog. Naturally, she loves to read books but finding time for it comes and goes. As Jolanta calls it, she has “reading seasons” and then a break for a little while.
Jolanta Kaun is hopeful for what the future can bring to the LCC library. Over the last year, LCC International University has become a member of the Lithuanian Academic Library Association and this opportunity allowed us to develop LCC’s virtual library and enter research publications of the faculty into the Lithuanian publication database. “It is a great chance to expand networks, cooperate with local researchers, and make LCC more visible in the academic world.” Jolanta is also looking forward to future projects for the library here at LCC. She believes the key aspects that make LCC International University unique are the academic atmosphere, its community, and positive developments.