New Vista Veterans Library Opens at NVC

May 27, 2022

Photo of Vista Veterans Library

Returning to school can be difficult for anyone, but it can be especially daunting for veterans, who not only have to transition to civilian life, but may also be recovering from physical and mental injuries.

In mid-March, the Northwest Vista College (NVC) Library opened the Vista Veterans Library providing veterans with a quiet place within the library to study and collaborate with other veterans and will house a collection of materials appropriate to veteran topics.

The Vista Veterans Library is where multigenerational veterans can come together to find the camaraderie and fellowship that they were accustomed to while serving in the military, said NVC Librarian Rosemarie Rodriguez.

The ideas for the project started as NVC Public Service Librarians Rodriguez and Camille Fiorillo attended the online Libraries and Veterans National Forum in fall 2021 to learn innovative ways to support veteran and military communities.

One such support will come from the Veterans Writing Program which will use a zine format. Zines are self-published magazines with small circulations, often housed on the web. The student veterans will share stories about their experiences before, during, and post-military.

“Putting pen to paper can be a very spiritual experience,” said Rodriguez. “Sharing your story can really impact someone’s life who may be going through the same thing.”

Rodriguez was also selected as a member of the National Libraries Toolkit Committee where she will help develop and share ideas, lesson plans, library collections development, and events.

The Vista Veterans Library was awarded $1,000 from an Alamo Colleges Foundation Innovation Grant to purchase furniture for the space and includes money for a guest speaker or book discussion.

Along with the new Vista Veterans Library, NVC supports veterans through other areas of the college:

Veterans Services provides academic advising and mentoring to new and continuing students. However, advising veteran students is not only about what courses to take—it’s also about making sure the student has everything in place to transition to college.

The Vet 2 Vet Program offers a network of mentoring, engagement, membership and resources. NVC’s Veterans Lounge and Resource Center gives veterans a chance to enjoy a cup of coffee, watch TV, eat a snack, use the computers, or engage with other student veterans. Activities can include fun runs, breakfasts, family game nights, celebrations, and employment workshops.

The SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society is the only national honor society that recognizes and honors the service and the scholastic achievements of veteran students with benefits including a SALUTE certificate, a challenge coin, resume development, eligibility for SALUTE scholarships, authorization to wear the distinguishable cords and stole at graduation, letters of recommendation, federal hiring preference with honors, and more.

About Northwest Vista College:  

Northwest Vista College - Alamo Colleges District opened in 1995 with 12 students and is now one of the largest college institutions in San Antonio. Students pursue associate degrees and certificates, as well as transfer to four-year institutions. Located in Westover Hills, Northwest Vista College’s expanding agreements with business and higher education partnerships provide a wealth of opportunities for students and the community.