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3.8.1 Learning Resources and Services PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 September 2009 13:28

3.8.1 Learning Resources and Services

The institution provides facilities and learning/information resources that are appropriate to support its teaching, research, and service mission.

Responsible Unit: Library Services

Compliance Judgment



Facilities: F. D. Bluford Library is the intellectual heart of the campus providing a place for interaction, collaboration, study, and reflection. The mission is to support discovery, engagement, and use of knowledge by providing timely access to quality information and learner-centered services. [1] The library's mission embraces the university's vision of becoming a premier interdisciplinary-centered university with a commitment to support research and knowledge. [2] Located near the center of the south campus, the four floor structure encompasses 153,000 gross square feet of space. There is 144,000 square feet of assignable space with 13,000 square feet utilized for stacks. General stack access to the collection, a highly qualified staff, an online catalog, electronic indexes and full-text databases, and ample study facilities make it easy for students and faculty to use the library's extensive resources.

Occupied in 1991, the building no longer served the needs of the millennium students. To address current user needs, during the 2008 academic year new computer furniture was acquired that allows for greater interaction and engagement; technology enhanced rooms were established to encourage collaboration and support group projects; and new furnishings were purchased to create a more inviting atmosphere for learner-centered activities.

The library has a seating capacity of 1200, with a variety of seating options. Results from the 2006 LibQUAL+TM survey indicated the need for more group study opportunities. The facility's traditional design and abundant use of study carrels hampered the openness needed by students. In response, the library reduced the number of carrels and added more lounge type seating as well as movable seating. The study environment was improved further by reducing the noise level. Graduate students rated the library as needing improvement in providing a quiet space for individual activities. Based on previous surveys and supported by the LibQUAL+TM survey, "too loud" was a frequent comment. A "Quiet Floor" (3rd floor) was implemented in the fall semester of 2007 and proved to be a popular addition to Bluford's services. [3]

As the library continues its movement toward a more virtual presence, the need for additional shelving space has diminished. However, student-use space has seen a decline since other non-library services are now housed in Bluford. Students continue to express a desire for more group space as indicated in comments made on library surveys. [4] Other premium spaces in the library are the Seminar Room and Faculty Studies. The Seminar Room is popular because of its seating capacity (100 without tables). In addition to conferences and programs, it also doubles as the classroom for information literacy sessions. Laptops are used to allow hands-on instruction during these sessions. The Faculty Studies were initially used by faculty involved in extended research projects, but now serve a variety of purposes. These rooms are coveted by graduate students. A classroom with 39 desks is also available for smaller instructional sessions and video viewing.

Location and Arrangement of Materials: The library facility lends itself to a logical arrangement of resources by format. Monographs are housed on the upper two levels of the four-level building. Bound journals, current serials and microforms are located on the lower level; the government documents collection is also housed on the lower level and reference sources are located on the main level of the library. Adhering to national bibliographic standards, materials are cataloged and arranged according to the Library of Congress (LC) classification system with the exception of the government documents collection, which is arranged according to the Superintendent of Documents (SuDOCS) classification system. The Learning Resources Center located on the lower level, houses all non-print resources and the materials to support the Teacher Education Program. [5] Floor plans, directories and guides are used to help users locate materials housed in the stacks.

Access: The library has undertaken several redesigns of its website to be more database driven and to promote user-friendly navigation. In 2008, a federated search portal was launched to allow simultaneous searching of databases resulting in more relevant searches. To provide physical access to the library's website, as of July 2008, the library provided 270 desktops scattered throughout the building, 70 laptops used for library information literacy training and four servers maintained by library staff in the Systems Department. The library's Systems staff is also responsible for troubleshooting, Internet security, system updates, and technology training for the library staff. The 100 laptops provided for in-house patron use and the 25 laptops for home circulation are maintained by the Division of Information Technology (DoIT). Laptop use is supported by a wireless environment.

Services: The library provides an array of services to support the curriculum and research interest of its students, faculty and staff. The website offers 24/7 access to the majority of the services. [6] A brief description of the more popular services follows:

Course Reserves: The reserve collection consists of high usage items intended to meet the needs of specific students who have been assigned readings and/or special projects. Printed as well as electronic documents are placed on reserve by faculty to provide supplemental course materials.

Disability Services: The Adaptive Technology Room houses specialized hardware and software for the visually impaired. Software includes the Kurzweil 1000 Version 9 software application, which allows printed or electronic text to be readily available, creates audio files, contains optical character recognition (OCR) and interfaces with MP3 players such as iPOD, Rio, etc. The library in consultation with the Director of Veteran and Disability Support, implemented a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), which greatly magnifies the text in books, journals, and newspapers. A TTY communication system is readily available on the first floor for the hearing impaired. Since virtual access has been a major priority of the library, electronic resources are acquired with special attention given to meeting Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards to ensure appropriate accessibility for all users.[7]

Interlibrary Loan: When materials are unavailable at the library, every attempt is made to research and borrow requested materials such as books, articles, conference papers, technical reports and dissertations, from other libraries. Materials are generally requested through the Online Computer Library Center database (OCLC), an international network of thousands of participating libraries including the Library of Congress, the British Library, the National Agricultural Library, and the Center for Research Libraries. Requests are submitted using online forms, and the borrowed items can be delivered to the user's desktop or the library for easy pickup.

Online Resources: The library subscribes to over 300 databases and numerous electronic resources, accessible via the Internet through the library's website. [8] Many of these databases include links to full-text articles in thousands of journals. Electronic resources are also browse able by discipline.[9] Most of the library databases and electronic resources are accessible from off-campus by connecting through the library's website via a proxy server.

The Learning Resources Center: The center houses all non-print resources and materials to support the Teacher Education program. [10]

Reference and Research Services: Reference assistance is provided 95 hours per week. In addition to one-on-one assistance at the service desk, consultation services are available by appointment.

Other University Services: Also housed in the library is the DoIT Aggie Technical Support (Help Desk) and DoIT Telephone & Telecommunication Services.

Division of InformationTechnical Aggie Technical Support: The Aggie Technical Support team or Help Desk and the Academic / Residence Lab teams provide problem technical resolutions by troubleshooting, analyzing and advising students, faculty, and staff when they experienced hardware and software problems. They provide Tier 1 and in some cases Tier 2 support for the campus. An automated ticketing system from Computer Associates called Service Desk is used to track and monitor requests and problems. Although housed in Bluford Library, responsibility for the Laptop Checkout Program is a collaborative program between the library & DoIT. This innovative program allows students to check out a computer for use in the library or take it out of the library for up to 3 days just as they would check out a book. Students love the concept since many cannot afford their own unit.

Learning Resources: Learning/information resources are appropriate to support the teaching, research and service mission of the University. Bluford Library's collection consists of over 700,000 volumes of print and audiovisual materials, over 150,000 electronic books, and more than 127,000 print and electronic journals and serials. [11] Interlibrary loan and other reciprocal collection sharing partnerships extend access to other resources and collections. [12]

Evaluation of the collection to determine its appropriateness is an ongoing activity. Collection analysis tools used in this process include Bowker's Book Analysis System, UNC Sophomore Survey 2000-2006, and WorldCat Collection Analysis. Bowker's Book Analysis System has been used to evaluate Bluford's collection against core titles listed in Resources for College Libraries. Student assessment of the adequacy of library resources as reflected in the 2000-2006 UNC Sophomore Survey indicated that satisfaction of access to database collections increased from the previous year from 89.9% to 91.3%.[13] [14] [15]

The university's library collection is compared with collections from designated peer institution collection via OCLC's WorldCat Collection Analysis software. The analysis provides librarians with a list of resources shared among institutions and those that are unique to each university. Bluford Library's collection compares favorable with peer institutions such as Jackson State and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, particularly in the areas of education, engineering, business, and agriculture. [16].

Evaluation of the adequacy of the collection is also performed in conjunction with the Library Liaison Program, a collaborative association of library bibliographers and classroom faculty representing respective academic departments. Bibliographers provide a review of the holdings for each academic department per request.[17] In preparation for establishing new programs and courses, faculty must attest to the adequacy of library holdings. An instrument to document this review has been established. [18]

Bluford Library has been designated a partial depository for federal and state documents, receiving over 66% of documents published by the U.S. Government Printing Office. Federal documents are distributed in all formats - paper, microform, CD, DVD, and electronic. Government resources are accessible via the online catalog and strengthen the core collection in all subject areas. [19]

The library continues to add print resources to the collection but emphasis has been placed on the acquisition of electronic books, databases, and full-text journals to address the needs of an ever increasing distance education program and to respond to user requests. These resources are acquired via a variety of methods, including collaborative purchasing. Partnerships such as that with the Carolina Consortium have increased the number of journals available to students and faculty of A&T to well over 127,000. [20]

In keeping with the service mission of the university and in an effort to address the rising cost of textbooks for students, the library began purchasing textbooks and placing them on reserve for use by students.

Strategic assessments of the adequacy of the library's facilities, services, and resources to meet the needs of the University community are an ongoing commitment.

Supporting documents

[1] Library, Mission Statement, Vision, & Core Values

[2] Library, Futures Vision

[3] Library, Quiet Floor Policy

[4] Library, Survey

[5] Library, Learning Resources Center

[6] Library, Services

[7] Library, Disability Services

[8] Library, Database Search Results

[9] Library, Databases by Subject

[10] Library, Learning Resources Center

[11] Library, SACS Journals Arranged Academic Programs

[12] Library, Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery

[13] Library, Bowker Book Analysis

[14] Library, FirstSearch: WorldCat Collection Analysis: Analysis Results

[15] Library, Sophomore Survey 2000-2006

[16] Library, Comparison: Jackson State

[17] Library, Bibliographer Liaison List

[18] Library, New Course and Program Review Form

[19] Library, Government Documents

[20] Library, Carolina Consortium WebPage

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Last Updated ( Monday, 15 February 2010 09:12 )

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