Missouri State University–West Plains has been a Films On Demand customer since 2012. We recently talked with Sylvia Kuhlmeier, Director of Library Services at Missouri State University–West Plains’ Garnett Library, about how her library makes the most of its budget, handles technophobes, and encourages usage among patrons, students, and researchers.
Tell us one way you’re helping users who may be hesitant to embrace technology to take advantage of your library’s online resources.
We believe that library users should select information based on content, not format. Our first-year orientation program provides students with a hands-on exercise for locating print books, eBooks, full-text articles, and streaming videos. Recently, we have been working with faculty to help them switch from DVD format to streaming videos in the classrooms.
What have you done that has most impacted usage at your university?
Created an open study area furnished with comfortable, tech-friendly furnishings. Our library was limited in study areas, and students were not finding the library as a place to come and study. In the first phase of this project, we installed compact shelving, which opened up a large portion of a room. The second phase was to add modern furnishings to accommodate the technology needs of our students. Now faculty are bringing their classes to the library for active work sessions. Our gate traffic and interaction with librarians has increased.
How do you alert faculty to the new resources your library acquires?
We publish a monthly listing of Materials Added, which includes both new and donated items, in Take Note!, our campus newsletter. This is emailed to all of our faculty and staff. We also send out a monthly listing of new Films On Demand titles. Our students are emailed the same information through their student newsletter. At the beginning of each semester, I give a library update to our faculty where I focus on what’s new at the library.
Tell us how are you making the most out of your library budget in these uncertain economic times.
Our library has an active Friends group that provides both financial and promotional support. This group of community members, faculty, and staff hold fundraisers such as chili suppers, fashion shows, etc., to raise funding for special projects in the library. The Friends of the Garnett Library were responsible for raising the majority of the funds to purchase compact shelving, new carpeting, and most recently, new furnishings. The library could not afford these upgrades without the support of the Friends. The Friends are an integral part of the library and make a positive impact on the services we can provide for our students.
What is your favorite part of being a librarian?
Offering help and hope. It is a joy to see a student’s eyes light up as they see their way through the information maze. I love being able to seek out new resources for our campus and to provide our students with an environment for study that is welcoming and comfortable.
What do you think is the library’s most important responsibility at your institution?
Garnett Library is a campus-wide resource and supports the university’s curriculum, providing vital resources for student success and retention. It is a place where students can come and take control of their learning. By developing skills in locating, evaluating, and applying information, our students can develop into responsible, knowledgeable citizens, able to make wise and informed decisions as they interact in their local communities.
Tell us about your favorite YouTube video, libguide, etc., your library has created to promote a resource.
We promoted our remodeled library space with a time-lapse video of the project after students had been displaced from the area for a couple of months. Everyone enjoyed watching it, and it was a fun way to allow students an inside view of the process. Now this space is our new normal, and we are so grateful to have a place to provide more study options for our students.
You can watch the time-lapse video below. (Having trouble viewing the video? Click here.)
About Films On Demand:
Films On Demand is widely regarded as a frontrunner in the educational streaming video field. Its extensive amount of video content in a wide array of subjects comes from more than 800 of the best producers around the world.