Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kent State University Library & Media Services

Service Philosophy of the Kent State University Libraries & Media Services Commitment to Users:

Reliability: We will provide service that is thorough, dependable, and accurate.
Responsiveness: We will consistently provide prompt, courteous assistance. When we are unable to help, we will direct users to the party who can.
Respect: We will give individualized attention to each user's need without bias and with full use of available resources.
Accessibility: We will endeavor to provide equitable access to services and resources for both in-person and off site users.
Environment: We will strive to provide a learning environment conducive to study and research.
Staff Quality: We will support our staff to ensure that they are knowledgeable and prepared to offer service that inspires trust and confidence.

Approved by Libraries and Media Service Council
November 6, 2002

I have to be completely honest, I have not been inside Kent State University's library since 2003. It has been quite a long time since I journeyed into the refuge of references. Upon entering all of my memories flooded me. The library has changed a lot in 5 years, for the better of course. I was not aware of the multitude of services that are offered by the library outside of books. There is a student multimedia center, design studio, presentation room and a audio visual center to name a few.

Collaboration: Teachers frequently bring their students to the library for various workshops or instructional sessions. The most common sessions are research methodologies, finding resources, citing properly and how to use the catalogs/databases. Teachers are able to reserve rooms for class meetings that require library usage. The rooms can be reserved in 90 minute blocks and a lecturer can be brought in to assist the teacher with finding materials on a specific topic if need be. Over 444 classes or instructional sessions have been taught since the 07-08 academic year.

Technology: The library has an array of technologies on site. Students have access to DVD players, CD players, laptops, Audio equipment, editing equipment, practice presentation rooms, camcorders, digital cameras and PA systems. There is also many copy machines on a few of the floors as well as a Copying & Design Services Center on the 3rd floor. Community members are able to borrow books and utilize the Teleproductions department for media and full length video productions. The computer labs on the 1st floor are equipped with the usual programs (Microsoft package, Internet capabilities, Adobe, Windows Media Player, etc).

Program Planning: Programs are designed around course assignments. Instructors/Professors will submit request to the library about certain topics and that request is assigned to the appropriate librarian (practitioner) for that specific topic. That librarian will then conduct a instructional session for the class and provide suggestions for resources, how to properly cite the sources and interpreting sources. These request must be made two weeks in advance and will only be honored twice per academic year, per professor/instructor (so the professor/instructor does not attempt to host their classes their for the whole semester).
Collections: Floors 4-9 of the library house literary collections. Collections consist of Special collections and archives, government documents, periodicals, juvenile and reference documents. There is a Collection Management department that is responsible for maintaining and ensuring the quality of the collections. Within that department is a Collection Development unit that manages the continuous development of the libraries' collection. Librarians act as liaisons to the departments and follow collection development guidelines in order to ensure the requested materials are necessary and aligned with the universities instructional needs.
Policies: The policies are very thorough yet standard. There are policies available for food & drink in the library, Internet usage, borrowing privileges, copyright, renewals, library classroom usage, acceptable use of library facilities or workstations, etc. Each policy is explained in its entirety leaving one armed with the knowledge of what is right or wrong. There is a Copyright Clearance Service department that is available to help you obtain permission to use copyrighted materials. There are separate polices for borrowing electronic equipment and library books. They even have policies about the confidentiality of library records. This is meant to be a protective barrier for patrons personal information. There is a process for responding to request of that information in place that I think is wonderful; they are truly practicing being proactive.

Facilities: Quite a few floors or area of the library has been renovated. The lighting is bright and the environment is quite yet very welcoming. The circulation area on the first floor is centrally located and properly labeled. The first floor of the library consisted of a reference desk, student multimedia studio, computers and the May 4th room. The library has learning classrooms in the basement as well on the 3rd and 4th floors. There are various locations available for small group activities as well as whole class instruction. There are floors that are designated as quiet floors as well as a cafe', poetry center and practice presentation room.

A room that I found to be of interest for me was the video room for ASL (American Sign Language) students. Prior to the establishment of this room, students would need another person to tape them as they signed for exams or assignments. Due to some eventful minds of the library staff a room was specifically staged that will tape the student signing on a camcorder that is already positioned AND once finished will burn to a CD-R. I thought was absolutely brilliant, no longer will I couldn't find someone to tape be an excuse for missing a signing exam :)

Personnel: According to the person that I interviewed the library is currently fully staffed at the present time. Some people have moved around to different departments but for the most part the turnover rate is very low. There is a total of 29 full time staff members and 1 part timer in the Media Services department. Each department head reports to Dean Weber; followed by assistant and associates deans (Admin Services-Hermon, Public Services-Scholman, Technical Services-Klinger and Media Services-Pike). Each librarian must have a Master's in Library Information Science and they each have specific concentrations that they deal with. New this academic year, the teleproductions department moved from under the umbrella of the library. They are now house in Moulton Hall on Kent's main campus.

Budget: The budget for the library is close to ten million dollars, it actually totals $9,814,384 for the 2009 fiscal year. Of that $4,831,958 is wages and salaries, that sum does not include benefits because that comes from a different pool of monies. Expenditures totaled $559,064 for things such as the travel, supplies, maintenance, telephone, entertainment etc. The library collection development allotment is $4,423,362.

Evaluation: Focus groups are formed to evaluate specific areas or functionalities of the library. There is currently a Focus group working together this semester with the hopes of the results being available towards the end of December. There are also surveys e-mailed to students after they attend instructional sessions as well as to the professors or instructors. This tool is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the sessions and if the needs were met.

Informed Transitions: What I found to be of great interest was on the 3rd floor. Room #334 is reserved for a high school outreach program hosted by Kent State's library. A high school teacher/administrator can reserve the room for their classes and allow the students to utilize the resources of the library for an assignment or class project. I think that this is a great opportunity for high school to become acclimated with college libraries, learn the importance of citations and examining materials for their usefulness. These are great topics for students to learn before entering colleges and universities.

No comments: