The Monsignor William Barry Memorial Library at Barry University in Miami Shores, FL, is a Films On Demand subscriber. We recently talked with Merlene Nembhard, Barry University’s Electronic Resources Coordinator, about how her library handles technophobes, makes the most of its budget, 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 have users at several remote sites, so using online resources is their primary access to the library resources. Some of these students are not comfortable using the online resources, so several video tutorials were created to help make the process more user-friendly. During bibliographic instructions, both face-to-face and online, all students are encouraged to contact a reference librarian for additional help accessing online resources.
What have you done that has most impacted usage at your college?
The reference collection was reduced to provide space for a sitting area where students meet to collaborate on projects or just to socialize. A laptop and school supplies kiosks were placed in the library, and they are very popular with users. Additional desktop computers were placed on the quiet floor, and students who need peace and quiet really appreciate this service. As offices and rooms become available, they are converted into smart study rooms, which are very popular with users and top circulation statistics at 45%.
How do you alert faculty to the new resources your library acquires?
All subject librarians inform their faculty via email, or in person, of the new electronic resources, even during the trial period. When faculty bring their students for bibliographic instruction, they are also made aware of the new resources.
Tell us how you are making the most out of your library budget in these uncertain economic times.
We check our single-journal subscriptions to avoid duplications in the databases and use interlibrary loan service for twelve-months-or-less embargoes. We participate in the Better World Books program and use the credits received from the sale of donated books to purchase DVDs and graphic novels to maintain our recreational collection. Participation in this program is free, as shipping supplies and cost are paid for by Better World Books. There is also no cost for shipping the items purchased.
What is your favorite part of being a librarian?
Introducing students to reliable resources, seeing that look of amazement on their faces, and the satisfaction of having students come back to say, “Thank you for helping with the research,” and “I got an ‘A’ for my assignment.” I love seeking and keeping abreast of new products and services available to make using the library a seamless process for users.
What do you think is the library’s most important responsibility at your institution?
Monsignor William Memorial Library is considered the heart of the campus that provides essential resources to support the curriculum, which is crucial to the academic success of students, and support faculty research. The library also provides support to help students with locating, evaluating, applying, and citing information to produce the required outcome for their assignments.