"Happy Days" are here! The oft complained about restrooms in the library have been upgraded with new counters, hardware, paint and artwork. The pink and blue color scheme (dating to the 1980's) that we heard so many students complaining about over the last few years - well, they are now a thing of the past! Coupled with the work prior to the library at the start of Fall 2010 and the library is physically in better shape than it has been in twenty years.
Two highest circulation months: November and March-April (reflecting the pre-finals rush for papers and tests)
Two lowest circulation months: July (we are closed that month) and August (yet this summer saw new students coming in early to check out books for reading pleasure prior to the start of classes)
Two largest renewal periods for items checked out: September and January (Adult education (UG and Grad) comprise the largest group renewing materials by mail, phone, or in person.
Overall circulation: For the last five years there has been a steady increase in circulation - with only one major hiccup and that being the year the computers gave us so much problems. There is a direct correlation between condition of the collection (in terms of currency and scope) and the circulation stats. New materials generate new interest and greater student use.
*Interpretation: Most or many classes assign papers due around the end of each semester. There is a direct correlation between classroom assignments and library use.
Reference Interviews: The reference interview is conducted whenever someone has an information need and sees the staff about how best to fill that need. We are seeing an increase in these, but many are still tied to 'point of need' searching or last minute use. Not as much advance planning as might be wished but a movement in that direction is being detected.
Applications: Library applications are up – thus the customer base is enlarged - especially since putting the application on the website. Several "Guest" cards have been issued to area ministers or researchers. This expands awareness of the school and the library and some donations of books for the Pentecostal Research Collection have come in as a result.
Consultations: Consultations are when a student seeks out advice and professional assistance from the Library director. We are seeing an increase in these as well, especially via the email@example.com and email (still a few graduates and Able students who will call). I have assisted more students- at all levels- this year with research projects than previously.
Gatecounts: This is a count of people using the library in a week. Random samplings are taken periodically through the year to arrive at a general figure. The gate count in the fall was much better with student athletes coming in regularly several afternoons a week but this has dwindled with the spring semester. Workstudy are reporting increases in evening and Sat. afternoon users (esp. among the adult students). We have peak periods at 10 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., and 2 pm. Space use has increased as well with more students coming into use the tables, to meet and study in the library proper and the class S101.
Lab: Lab use is consistently high, with some peak periods seeing standing room only.
Hours: We have added this school year evening hours on Wed. and are planning to provide, at least, campus residents with Sunday afternoon access. This will be a definite increase in library hours of operation.
The library and information center has hours of 8:30 to 10:00 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; 8:30 to 4:00 on Fridays; Noon to 5:00 on Saturdays. Soon, hopefully, we will be open on Sundays from 3:00 to 6:00 or something similar.
Collaborations: Teachers have increased use of the facility, with many bringing their classes to the library 3-4 times a semester. Teacher-Librarian collaborations have declined (introductions to EbscoHost, etc.) due to lack of adequate teaching space with appropriate technology or a lack of staffing. Even so, the library has collaborated successfully with several instructors to provide specialized instruction to their subject areas or orientations to the library.
Information Literacy: Beginning in 2008 the faculty adopted a statement on ‘Information Literacy’ and in 2008 added a class on the subject. Information Literacy seeks to move students from the high school level of using specific tools (i.e., bibliographic instruction) to learning to locate and use efficiently and ethically information from diverse sources and to critically evaluate sources of information for accuracy, bias, and usefulness. This is foundational to a life of learning and the library professional is the campus expert on this subject.
Staffing: The library is staffed by one professional and six work study students during the traditional semesters. Special considerations will have to be made to provide access and service to support the evening adult programs in the summer, but plans are being worked on. The last two semesters were a challenge because of an almost total new library work study staff came on board in Fall 2010. With so many students graduating at the same time, it was a challenge to train so many new students to maintain quality service to the customer base.
Collection Development: The library has been busy evaluating the collection in light of various curricular demands, de-selecting materials of inferior, outdated, and irrelevant nature. Emphasis is on developing the reference area, the general core, the behavioral sciences, and providing resources to best suit the searching needs of contemporary students as they do various projects.
Plans: The library and information center, along with its library committee, have discussed adding a viewing-listening center with LCD flatscreens (2), earphone groups, and DVD/VHS players to allow students or small groups to view non-print resources. We are awaiting approval of this plan. Also planned is a faster computer to be a standalone unit with scanner and special software programs added to it which cannot be loaded to a network due to licensing or copyright issues (the IPHC Advocates CD, special CD-rom encyclopedias, and other useful learning programs).
Outreach/Development: The library has a blog and is on Facebook connecting with students, alums, and potential friends. The Library webpage contains links and resources for every discipline. Library policies, hours, and other housekeeping data are available there as well as a library application. Faculty can access a form to place items on “Course Reserves”, suggest a book to be added to the collection, and make arrangements for a collaborative time with the library. A user friendly email firstname.lastname@example.org enhances connections between the public and the library.
The library professional is a member of the Oklahoma Council of Academic Library Directors (out of the State Regents Offices); an ad-hoc sub-group of private school library directors; the Association of Christian Librarians; the Oklahoma Library Association; American Library Association/Assoc. of Colleges and Research Libraries; Classics Society of the Middle South; National Storytelling Network; Oklahoma Federation of Writers; The Organization of American Historians; and the Society of Biblical Literature.
So there you have it! As always, if the library can do anything for you - please do not hesitate to contact me. The Library on campus is 'charting the course to excellence' and remains 'the hub of learning on campus.'
Marilyn A. Hudson
Director of Library Services
Southwestern Christian University
405-789-7661 x 3451
Tue, February 15, 2011
by Marilyn Hudson filed under