Thursday, March 21, 2013
Unlike other treasures that increase in value under lock and key, a library's treasures are worth more when they are more accessible. The Learning Resource Center at National University is taking steps to increase access to its electronic resources, extensive holdings and its facility.
For example, the LRC recently implemented a new system allowing students online access to 66,466 unique electronic resources (e-books, databases and journals) 24-hours a day from anywhere in the world. "Previously, to access our databases, students needed to be on campus or keep an updated list of multiple passwords with them wherever they went," says Russ Iwami, reference librarian. "With our new system, they just need their student ID bar code and a pin. This means they can have instant access even when they study off campus."
Additionally, the LRC has now added "Shoutbomb" to its list of student services. Shoutbomb will text and email you when your materials are nearing their due date, when they're overdue, or when books on hold are available. Shoutbomb also allows you to renew items via text messaging.
Access to National University's LRC continues to expand even beyond campus and into the wider community of library patrons. National University's LRC is one of the region's largest health science libraries, attracting students from other institutions, as well as physicians and science educators.
"Last trimester alone we found we had 449 people coming to use our library who had no affiliation with NUHS," says Pat Genardo. "In the future we hope to survey outside patrons to get a better picture of the resources they use here and the reasons they visit us." The NUHS LRC also makes robust use of the interlibrary loan network both in Illinois with libraries nationwide. "We have physical materials moving to and from other libraries virtually every day."
Here on campus, students are most interested in the LRC's expanded hours. Pat Genardo says that this is the second trimester the LRC has been operating under extended hours. "We added nine additional hours per week in fall of 2012. Students will be glad to know that we will also continue to offer extended hours during finals week.
As one of the largest health science libraries in Illinois, the LRC at National University continues to look for ways to meet patrons' needs. Pat Genardo says, "We're very happy that these new steps have increased access to our facility and materials, and are working to find more ways to bring our resources to the campus and surrounding communities."