Moberly Area Community College (MACC) in Moberly, MO, is a Films On Demand subscriber. We recently talked with Valerie Darst, director of library services at MACC, about how her library handles technophobes, encourages usage among researchers and faculty, and makes the most out of the library budget.
Tell us one way you’re helping users who may be hesitant to embrace technology to take advantage of your library’s online resources.
Each degree-seeking student at MACC must take a course called College Orientation to acquaint the student with resources that will aid them in their education. Within the College Orientation curriculum is a 25-points assignment whereby the student must work within library resources to complete the assignment. College Orientation students come to the LARC (Library and Academic Resource Center) to hear an hour presentation on library resources. If the student is taking the course online, there are videos they can watch to learn about library resources. Students also receive one-on-one help in the LARC to help each one utilize the resources better.
What have you done that has most impacted usage at your college?
We added a discovery service about two years ago. Students can now search for books, articles, and videos in one search. The discovery service makes it much easier for students to find resources in Films On Demand because it includes Films On Demand results in a general or specific search of all of our collections.
How do you alert faculty to the new resources your library acquires?
A technology conference planned by Instructional Technology is held each summer. Information about library resources is shared in a presentation by LARC staff. The LARC also publishes a newsletter called LARCing Around that highlights LARC activities, resources, and special events. Professional development workshops are done once a semester to acquaint faculty with library resources. The LARC also publishes “how to” documents as needed for resources, an example of which is the “How to Download an eBook” brochure.
Tell us how are you making the most out of your library budget in these uncertain economic times.
Moberly Area Community College belongs to a statewide library consortium called MOBIUS. MOBIUS provides us with deep discounts that it leverages for electronic resources for its members. The library management system is also provided through MOBIUS membership, saving thousands of dollars to MACC each year. The library discovery service will be changed this year, which will save us several thousand dollars per year.
What role does social media play in your relationship with your patrons?
The MACC Marketing Department manages the social media accounts for the institution. Information about library services and resources are posted on Facebook and on Twitter.
What do you think is the library’s most important responsibility at your institution?
Providing students, faculty, and staff with the informational resources needed for not only college coursework but also for life skills is important for the institution. Working with instructors to make sure we have information available to support the college curriculum is also important.