Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN, is a Films On Demand subscriber. We recently talked with Ron Kurpiers, Collection Management Librarian at Augsburg’s Lindell Library, about his favorite part of being a librarian as well as how his library encourages usage and accommodates disabled students and faculty:
Fall 2017 produced a number of celebratory events at the Augsburg campus. September 1 brought the official change from Augsburg College to Augsburg University. The semester began with heightened anticipation as construction nears completion for a large new building on campus: The Center for Science, Business and Religion.
For staff in Lindell Library, we are celebrating our current building turning 20 years old with commemorations and activities for students, alumni, faculty, and staff.
What have you done that has most impacted usage at your college?
Lindell Library was an early adopter of the Films On Demand streaming database. Historically, most of our films in our holdings were purchased from the Films for Humanities and Sciences collections. Films from that company composed the major portion of the films in Films On Demand. Our film collection format went from VHS cassettes to DVD. Instructional offerings available were limited to showing the film during class time or placing it on course reserves or a combination of both. Streaming presented a dramatic pedagogical departure. With streaming, the student is now empowered. Students have the option of viewing a film at a time and place that best suits their own needs, outside of the regularly scheduled class time. This change took some time for faculty to fully embrace.
We began promotion of Films On Demand and encouraged usage by sending copies of Films On Demand’s print subject catalogs as a reminder of the quality, nature, and producer of the content. The data shows that our most dramatic increase in usage occurred when the college created a significant number of hybrid courses. Augsburg’s definition of a hybrid course is a combination of face-to-face sessions and online sessions on alternating weeks. Streaming films became an important curricular component by reinforcing course themes, concepts, and objectives in an audio/visual modality. Students have become consumers of commercial streaming film services and expect streaming access in their coursework as well.
How do you alert faculty to the new resources your library acquires?
Films On Demand is promoted to new faculty at individual sessions conducted by information technology staff when they speak about the course management system, and then librarians follow up with one-on-one meetings with faculty as well. Librarians frequently prepare lists of films that match the objectives of the courses taught by the new faculty member as a welcoming usage incentive.
How do you make sure students and faculty with disabilities or language barriers can easily access your library’s resources?
When demonstrating Films On Demand, librarians highlight the closed-captioning feature and the transcript option to assist users for whom those features would be helpful. Presenting options for using multiple sense modalities can be helpful to many of our users. Augsburg has an intentional commitment to diversity of the student population—not only racial and cultural diversity but also in academic preparedness, and learning differences.
What is your favorite part of being a librarian?
As Augsburg is an institution of higher learning committed to diversity, the challenge and the reward for the library staff is to create learning opportunities that meet the needs of a diverse student body in a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs. We meet those needs by instruction sessions, research appointments, helpful LibGuides, and matching resources such as Films On Demand with research needs.