New library resources

The Millar Library staff hopes that new high-tech equipment and staff will draw students to older, underutilized resources.

The Millar Library staff hopes that new high-tech equipment and staff will draw students to older, underutilized resources.

“Millar Library has many unique resources and the WorldCat catalog introduced this winter is one of the newest of the library resources,” said university librarian Helen Spalding.  

WorldCat is an itemized catalogue of resources from 71,000 libraries in 112 countries, participating in the Online Computer Library Center global cooperative.

WorldCat provides easier access to books, selected articles and other materials housed in the library, available from the Summit Regional Catalog and from libraries around the world. Previously, students had to search in several places for these materials—now they can search from a single interface, Spalding said.

The library plans to improve its electrical outlets and make it easier for students to find a place for plugging in laptops. The administration has scheduled most of the noisy work to take place when the library is closed to avoid disturbing students, Spalding said.

The library is also improving services to students through 24 hours per day, seven days per week online chat assistance, increasing the number of online tutorials and other self-help materials as well as hiring a new distance education librarian to coordinate distance-learning efforts.

“The library has experts in each subject who can guide students on the best available resources for their subjects. These librarians can be reached through phone, e-mail or chat,” Spalding said.
ScanPro 2000 is a new microform reader and printer on the second floor of the library. It reads and prints microfiche and microfilm, and can also read and print microcards. Microform formats include PDF, JPEG, TIFF, TIFF G4 and multipage, Spalding said.

Students can scan a document automatically, instead of manually scrolling page after page. Printed and online documents will appear much clearer due to the new manual and automatic adjustment features such as enhancement, brightness, contrast, straightening and cropping.

The Naxos Music Library contains over 35,000 albums and 503,000 tracks of music reflecting a standard repertoire, as well as some specialized material—music is available from leading independent labels and more are regularly added. The database includes opera synopses and libretti, in addition to composer and artist biographies and other essential information.

The library has a huge collection of maps, many of which were collected as a result of the library’s longstanding participation in the Government Printing Office’s Federal Depository Library Program.  The maps cover various parts of the United States, particularly the Pacific Northwest.

The topographic map collection from the U.S. Geological Survey is one of the library’s most significant map collections, showing the shape and elevation of the terrain. The maps are identified by state and by quadrangle name. Index maps are available in the library to help students find the appropriate quadrangle, Spalding said.

New student computers were installed in the Library Research Center on the second floor this term. Sarah Beasley, education and social science librarian, feels that though the library’s resources are increasing, some students underutilize these new resources.

“We constantly check the usage of the library materials to find the least used materials,” Beasley said. “The Dark Horse collection of all comics is one of the least used resources.”

Also underutilized is the Artstor, a digital library consisting of around 700,000 images of art, architecture, humanities and social sciences material with a set of tools to view, present and manage images for research and teaching.

“Another underutilized resource is SimplyMap which is an Internet-based mapping application that enables students to develop interactive maps and reports using thousands of demographic, business and marketing data variables,” Beasley said.

The library also has a collection of early English books dating back to the 18th century, available online, which can be useful for historians but are also rarely used, Beasley said.