National Louis University (NLU) is a Films On Demand subscriber. We recently talked with Amy LeFager, Instruction & Electronic Resources Librarian at NLU’s Wheeling, IL, campus, about how her library makes the most of its budget, accommodates disabled students and faculty, 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.
I have created instructional video tutorials and LibGuides that provide instructions on how to use various e-resources that patrons can access at the point of need. The step-by-step instructions and annotated screenshots help patrons feel more comfortable using the resources on their own.
What have you done that has most impacted usage at your college?
Our faculty has the ability to embed Films On Demand videos directly into their D2L courses. This has made it easier for faculty to incorporate quality multimedia resources into online courses.
How do you make sure students and faculty with disabilities or language barriers can easily access your library’s resources?
Library & Learning Support at NLU has a dedicated Learning Support Specialist that works with students requiring accommodations. This helps us be mindful of the resources we choose to ensure that screen readers can be used, or that there are options where a database will read content to the patron. We have book reader scanners at our Chicago-area locations, and librarians and Learning Support Specialists are available to work one-on-one with students requiring assistance using our resources.
Tell us how you are making the most out of your library budget in these uncertain economic times.
We do in-depth cost-per-use analysis of our e-resources to ensure that our budget is being spent on resources that are the most relevant to our patrons. We also consider requests from students and faculty regarding resources that are important to their field or program. We try to do Demand-Driven Acquisition whenever possible to make sure the resources we do purchase are actually used by our patrons and encourage faculty to send us lists of books students have to purchase so we can use institutional resources to help students with financial resources.
What is your favorite part of being a librarian?
I love the variety in my day-to-day work. I am able to work with students from undergraduate to doctoral level, and it is challenging and fun to help them navigate our resources to find sources for a variety of topics. I often encounter students who are feeling frustrated, and I am able to make them feel more confident in their ability to research effectively by offering suggestions for research strategies and directing them to the best resources available to find information.
What do you think is the library’s most important responsibility at your institution?
We provide support to both students and faculty in their research needs. We also provide support for students in writing, math, and science in order to help students succeed. We work with students at all levels from all programs and provide support tailored to the individual.