By Laura Roberts
For nearly 16 years, faculty, staff and students have come to rely on Jennifer Lutris in the HCC library. Her willingness to assist others, collaborate and create fresh programming helps to keep our library a vibrant part of the HCC community.
With an associate degree from Middlesex Community College as a stepping stone to earning a B.A. from Central Connecticut State University, and later a masters from Drexel University, Lutris cherishes community college setting.
“I love the community college environment. I like that community colleges offer a variety of people the chance to step up,” said Lutris. “I was a little bit older when I went to college and was super shy. Being able to take classes part-time reduced the pressure, allowing me to continue working while opening up this whole other world to me.”
While her main role in the library is cataloguing, recording materials the library receives, Lutris also creates slides to advertise new library offerings and programs on the TV monitors and does a lot of outreach. Four years ago she started the One Book One College initiative, and in 2015 she began Storytime for children in our lab school.
“I created the One Book One College initiative at HCC because I wanted students in all stages of their academic journey to have something in common–something to break the ice. By creating these connections, you’re more likely to stay in school; without them, it’s easy to fall off the rails,” she said.
In addition to being an academic resource, Lutris sees the library as a neutral meeting place–a space to use a conference room, a classroom or to just enjoy the environment. There, her willingness to help students has had lasting impacts.
“I love it when students come back and say that something you did made a huge difference. I once overheard a student saying he needed a calculator for a morning math final, so I offered to open up the library early. He came back in the spring and shook my hand, telling me that he got an A on the exam thanks, in part, to having that calculator. That’s a good feeling,” she said.
Outside of the library, Lutris trains three times a week on Historical European Martial Arts, better known as fencing, and on snow days, she can be found working on stop motion movies.
Library Hours during fall and spring semesters:
Monday-Thursday (8:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.)
Friday (8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Saturday (8:30 a.m. -2 :30 p.m.)