MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
With more than 10k books available at the library, it’s just one of the many benefits available to Airmen and families.
The Information Learning Center (ILC) serves as the central hub for all informational and educational growth for Airmen and their families here.
“The ILC is an essential tool in furthering my career, and a great place to start when I need [educational] resources,” said Airman 1st Class Kayla Boudreaux, 23d Logistics Readiness Squadron material management journeyman. “It often offers tutoring and a ton of books to help my kids with their school work as well as my own college courses. The team who operates the ILC is always available to answer questions and provide support. Without this team, I would be lost as a parent and struggling as a college student.”
The ILC is able to accommodate the needs of the Airmen through its two main components: the library and resource center as well as the education and training center.
“We’re one of the more fortunate bases in that both the education center and library are co-located in the same building,” said Jess Echord, 23d Force Support Squadron (FSS) library director. “What this allows us to do is have a more spontaneous exchange of ideas and circumstances than other centers who are geographically separated from each other. This gives us a dialogue that’s extremely effective. To even further facilitate that, we have the various schools here. We're a good lead-in to what happens next door as [Airmen] come through the main entrance.”
“[The ILC] is right here in the midst of operations,” Echord added. “We’re like a calm area in a storm; we try to keep a certain amount of calmness in here so that Airmen or families have an opportunity to come someplace where they can sit [and learn] in peace.”
Through the library, Airmen are able to utilize numerous resources to boost their career to become better leaders.
“[Good leaders] have to be informed and get into the resources of important leadership books and management skills, [which serve] as their foundation,” Echord said. “If you want to expand your knowledge, you need to expand your horizons. By having a more educated force, it helps Airmen think more critically, be more informed and educated, and that can only serve to benefit the Air Force.”
Echord also explained how the library provides a means of morale and caring for families.
“When Airmen are engaged in a lot of things both on the job or deployed, they may be away from family members,” he said. “Spouses and children need something. We're not just for the military; we're here for everybody. That's one thing that really makes us unique. [The ILC] has a military mission, but we also have a public mission, and that's what we try to foster and promote.”
On the other side of the ILC, the education center equips Airmen with the tools they need to further their education, be it finishing their Community College of the Air Force (CCAF) degree or continuing higher education.
“We're really lucky in the Air Force to have the great support we have for our education system,” said Darryl Gagne, 23d FSS education specialist. “The Air Force has always been historically focused on education. Having the education center where [Airmen] can come visit us anytime they want and have counseling and assistance is a huge benefit.”
Gagne emphasized the importance of Airmen pursuing some form of education, and how the education center is accessible to support their journey, from cradle to diploma.
“Having things like your CCAF degree shows you can start things and finish them, that you can stick to it,” Gagne said. “We can train you to be a great mechanic, but if you don't have the credentials on your résumé when you go to apply for a job on the outside, you're far less likely to even get interviewed. You need something to back up your experience; credentials is the way. That's why education is really that important.”
Boudreaux explained firsthand how the ILC is both an asset to not only herself, but her career.
“I often drop by the ILC and speak to the staff about current testing and CLEP updates as well as browse the latest book releases for my favorite authors,” Boudreaux said. “Last year, the ILC hosted a CLEP-a-Thon. This drove more Airmen into the education center for business as well as inspired esprit de corps. The ILC is a world of knowledge at my fingertips.”