Core Requirement 2.9

 

The institution through ownership or formal arrangements or agreements, provides and supports student and faculty access and user privileges to adequate library collections as well as to other learning/information resources consistent with the degrees offered. These collections and resources are sufficient to support all its educational, research, and public service programs. (Learning Resources and Services)

 

COMPLIANCE

 

Narrative:

 

The Vernon College Library System adheres to its mission by providing the information resources necessary to support, facilitate, and enhance learning. The Library System ensures that students and faculty have convenient access to information resources that are appropriate and sufficient to support all instructional programs. Quality and accessibility are maintained through:

 

1.            Off campus access to electronic resources.

2.                            User privileges to library collections.

3.                            Online reference assistance.

4.                            Formal arrangements and agreements.

 

Off Campus Access to Electronic Resources

 

The Library System maintains off campus access to a quality collection of full text databases. These resources are essential in supporting the informational needs of all Vernon College students regardless of the geographical location of the students or method of instructional delivery. Software from the library’s automation provider, The Library Corporation, provides a mechanism for authenticating registered library users. Once students are authenticated, access is granted via referring URL’s. A wide variety of subject specific databases as well as general research resources ensure student access to academic journals, reference materials, newspaper articles, and an entire library of over 27,000 e-books. The database collection includes 31 full text resources acquired through TexShare and purchased independently outside the statewide consortium. The TexShare core collection includes Ebsco’s Academic Search Complete, a popular, multidisciplinary database covering many areas of the arts, humanities, and sciences. As a TexShare participant, the Library System also receives access to subject specific databases such as Ebsco’s Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, Gale’s Literature Resource Center, and Ebsco’s Business Source Complete. These resources have proven invaluable in supporting student access to nursing journals, literary criticism, and scholarly journals in business and management. The Library System has supplemented the TexShare core collection with the purchase of database subscriptions supporting workforce programs. Resources include Proquest Nursing Journals and Ovid’s Nursing Collection II. General research databases purchased outside the consortium include CQ Researcher and Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Composition instructors have noted CQ Researcher’s rich content and coverage of current events and controversial topics. The Database Summary pairs instructional programs with database resources supporting the various curricula. The table also provides brief descriptions of the databases listed.

 

Off Campus Access Procedure: As noted in the documentation for Comprehensive Standard 3.8.1, the Library is working with IT to develop a more convenient and efficient system for authenticating remote users. The Library is interested in implementing a system that relies on IP recognition as opposed to referring URL’s. A primary goal is to ensure convenient access by eliminating technical problems associated with referring URL’s and personal firewalls. Library and IT staff are reviewing alternative solutions for authenticating users through either the new student portal or an updated proxy software installed on the library’s server.

 

Assessment of Database Resources: Survey results indicate that students and faculty are pleased with the quality of database resources. In surveys collected during the Spring Semester 2006, 100% of those instructors accessing electronic resources rated the overall quality of databases as average or above. During the same year, 93% of on-site students using the library’s databases indicated that they were able to locate the articles needed to support their research. Students in online courses are surveyed to evaluate the efficiency of the remote procedure. Of those students using database resources, 87% indicated that they were able to access databases remotely.

 

User Access and Privileges to Library Collections

 

Students and faculty are assured convenient and efficient access to print collections through inter-campus borrowing privileges and practical hours of operation maintained at all library and resource center locations.

 

Library Collections: The Vernon College Library System maintains print collections which support the curriculum offered at all instructional locations. Processes are in place to ensure materials are relevant, up-to-date, and sufficient to support student and faculty research in all subject areas. The integrity of collections is maintained through faculty involvement in the selection process, adherence to guidelines of the Texas Board of Nurse Examiners, and annual planning based on survey results and program/discipline evaluations. Collections at all locations include general circulating titles, subject specific dictionaries and encyclopedias, and other reference materials. Collections as of October 4, 2007 totaled 29,198 volumes housed in the main collection at the Wright Library in Vernon, 2,176 volumes at the Century City Center Library, 449 at the Sheppard Learning Center Resource Center, 468 at the Skills Training Center Resource Center, and 329 volumes maintained at the Seymour Nursing Program Resource Center. The Library System also subscribes to a total of 82 print periodicals which support the programs offered at each location. Instructional support is further enhanced with the maintenance of DVD’s, audio cassettes, and VHS tapes.

 

Library Catalog: The online catalog offers a variety of search options to help users identify titles housed at all library and resource center locations. Collections may be searched individually by campus or simultaneously for identifying system-wide availability. The Library System is also improving information access and delivery by integrating e-book records into the online catalog. This initiative ensures a single access point for locating print as well as electronic titles. Books are loaned for a period of two weeks. Students may conveniently renew online via the Account Status link on the catalog page. From the catalog page, patrons may also access the database collection remotely from any Internet connection. 

 

Assessment of Library Collections: Developing a quality collection of print materials remains a priority of the Vernon College Library System. Quality is maintained through 1) careful analysis of survey results, 2) adherence to professional guidelines, 3) faculty involvement in the selection and evaluation of library collections, 4) review of Program/Discipline Evaluations, and 5) annual planning and evaluation of goals and objectives.

 

1.    Careful Analysis of Survey Results: Student and faculty surveys ask respondents to rate the quality of book collections. Space is also provided for soliciting recommended titles and/or subject areas to address. Of those on-site students needing print materials during the 2006-2007 academic year, 93% indicated that they were able to locate the books needed to support their research. When instructors were asked to rate the quality of print collections in their disciplines, 88% of respondents rated print materials as fair or above.  The Library System has implemented a more systematic procedure and schedule for working with faculty in the selection and evaluation of materials. As prioritized in planning for 2007-2008, the Library will coordinate with the Evaluation Task Force and faculty involved in program/discipline evaluations. Faculty will be asked to review title lists of library holdings for relevancy and currency and to submit recommendations for subject areas that may require supplemental resources.

2.    Adherence to Professional Guidelines: The Library works with the Associate Degree Nursing and Licensed Vocational Nursing Programs to evaluate titles according to guidelines published by the Board of Nursing Examiners of the State of Texas. As per the Board’s requirements, titles are evaluated for timeliness with dated materials older than 5 years either discarded or kept for historical significance. Titles retained for historical reference are shelved separately and labeled according to the selection criteria.

3.    Faculty Involvement in the Selection and Evaluation of Library Collections: The Library seeks the expertise and insight of the College faculty in developing quality, relevant collections to support all instructional programs. The Library recently posted an online form to assist faculty in submitting recommendations for the purchase of library materials. Located under the Quick Links column on the Library Homepage, the Purchase Recommendation form has proven a convenient and efficient means for processing patron requests. Instructors were notified via email correspondence when the form went online in March 2007. Recommendations are also solicited via the list of faculty services posted on the Library Homepage. The Library has noted an increase in materials requests since the posting of the online form. Collection Tool: RCLweb: The database, RCLweb, was purchased in March 2007 as a resource for evaluating the current collection and for assisting faculty and librarians in the selection of library materials. Published by Bowker in cooperation with the Association of College and Research Libraries, RCLweb (the online version of Resources for College Libraries) features bibliographic information for over 60,000 core titles selected by librarians, faculty, and other subject matter experts in 58 curriculum specific subject areas. The database also offers an analysis tool for comparing individual collections against the core list of titles. The tool has been useful in identifying collection deficiencies and recommended titles in most subject areas.

a.    Review of Program/Discipline Evaluations: All programs and disciplines are evaluated on a five year cycle and reviewed by the Evaluation Task Force.  During the evaluation process, faculty are asked to rate the quality of library resources by identifying collection strengths/weaknesses, efforts to correct any deficiencies, and the extent of faculty involvement in the selection and weeding of library collections. A review of the documentation collected during the 2006-2007 academic year indicates that 11 of the 12 evaluations rated library resources as adequate to support the various programs or disciplines. The program/discipline evaluations have been used constructively to improve library resources. For example, suggestions noted by the Child Development Department resulted in faculty/librarian collaboration and the purchase of notable children’s books to support the curriculum.  Evaluations have also noted the library’s cooperation and reception in addressing faculty recommendations. The following statement was documented by the English Department in the 2006-2007 discipline evaluation:

 

     Wright Library support continues to improve. The librarian and her staff continue to adjust the Wright Library's operations and services to meet the needs of today's researchers. Off campus access to the College's database subscriptions revolutionizes the flexibility of student research.

 

4.    Annual Planning and Evaluation of Goals and Objectives: The quality of resources and services is also maintained through annual planning and evaluation of goals and objectives. Results are then analyzed and used to improve services and to guide future decision-making. For example, in an effort to improve student access to library instruction and research support, the following objective has been prioritized and placed in the Library’s Unit Plan for the 2007-2008 academic year.

 

Objective: Increase student access to research assistance as evidenced by the development of research guides customized to support all disciplines and programs:


Inter-Campus Borrowing: Students and faculty may request titles housed at any library or resource center location. Requests may be filed electronically via the Interlibrary Loan link prominently displayed on the Library Homepage. Students attending instructional locations in Wichita Falls are encouraged to request materials from the main collection in Vernon.  Distance learners are also served by the Interlibrary Loan link. Students in online courses as well as those participating at ITV receiving sites located in service area high schools may submit interlibrary loan requests to obtain books, articles, or other materials housed within the College Library System. As per the student’s preference, books are either mailed to a residence or sent to any library or resource center location for collection. Students are notified of interlibrary loan services via library information brochures mailed to all new students at the start of each semester. Instructors are notified via the Faculty & Staff Summary of Library Services posted on the Library Homepage. An orientation video and summary of library services are also posted on the Developmental Faculty website.

 

Assessment of Inter-Campus Borrowing: Students and faculty are surveyed to determine user satisfaction with inter-campus borrowing services. In surveys collected during the 2006-2007 academic year, students in online classes and those attending Wichita Falls instructional locations were asked to rate the efficiency of the inter-campus borrowing procedure. Of those students requesting materials from the main collection at the Wright Library in Vernon, 97% of Wichita Falls students and 87% of Internet students indicated that they received information within a reasonable time period. However, an analysis of survey data also revealed that a significant number of students attending Wichita Falls instructional locations were unaware that materials could be requested from the Vernon campus. In response, the Library has implemented strategies to increase awareness of library services at all locations. Objectives prioritized in the Library’s 2007-2008 Unit Plan include the installation of multimedia message boards at the Vernon and Century City libraries and at the Sheppard Learning Center Resource Center. Surveys have indicated that faculty based in Wichita Falls are not only aware of inter-campus borrowing, but also pleased with the service provided. Of those instructors requesting materials from the Wright Library in Vernon in 2005 and 2006, 100% have indicated that materials were received within a reasonable time period.

 

Hours of Operation: Students are also assured convenient access to print collections through practical hours of operation maintained at all locations. Students are notified of the following schedule via information brochures and the library website:

 

Vernon Campus Wright Library: Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m.; Friday: 7:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon; Sunday: 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

 

Century City Library: Monday through Thursday: 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.; Friday: 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon; Saturday: 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

 

Sheppard Learning Center Resource Center: Monday through Thursday: 3:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

 

Skills Training Center Resource Center: Library resources and reference assistance are available from 8:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. A dedicated web cam terminal ensures student and faculty access to Wright Library staff throughout the instructional day. A part time assistant provides additional support from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday.

 

Seymour Nursing Program: A dedicated web cam terminal connects Seymour students to Wright Library staff whenever classes are in session.

 

Assessment of Library Hours: Student Survey of Library Services results have indicated that students are satisfied with hours of operation. Of those students using on-site services during the 2006-2007 academic year, 89% indicated that libraries and resources centers were open sufficient hours to meet their informational needs.

 

Online Reference Assistance

 

Distance learners and on-site students are ensured convenient access to library assistance and research support through online reference services. Students may request assistance by email (librarian@vernoncollege.edu) or by means of the library’s online chat service. Both services are accessible via the Ask the Librarian link prominently displayed on the Library Homepage. Students are notified of online assistance via information brochures mailed to all new students at the start of each semester. Currently, the chat room is open 29 hours per week. Hours are scheduled during the morning, afternoon, and evening as illustrated in Table 1. Through participation in a virtual reference cooperative, the Vernon College Library System has been able to expand student access to real time assistance on weekends and weeknights after hours from 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Monday through Thursday. The cooperative also ensures weekend support on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Organized by Liz Barksdale of Western Texas College in Snyder, Texas, the cooperative is staffed by volunteer graduate students from ALA-accredited library programs at the University of Texas, Texas Woman’s University, and the University of North Texas.

 

Table 1.          Vernon College Library Chat Room Hours
Morning Schedule Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Afternoon Schedule Monday-Thursday 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Evening Schedule Monday-Thursday 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Weekend Schedule Sunday 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

                         

Assessment of Online Reference Assistance: Of those students seeking online reference assistance during the 2006-2007 academic year, 97% of on-site students and 91% of students in online classes indicated that they received prompt and professional responses to questions submitted online. In the Faculty Survey of Library Services, faculty are also pleased with online reference services. Of those instructors requesting online assistance, 100% of those instructors surveyed in 2006 indicated that they received prompt and professional assistance with inquiries emailed to librarian@vernoncollege.edu.

Formal Arrangements and Agreements

 

The Library System also ensures student and faculty access to adequate learning/information resources through membership in the statewide consortium, TexShare, and through a Memorandum of Understanding between Vernon College and the Sheppard Air Force Base Library.

 

TexShare Membership: TexShare, a program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, is a statewide consortium and resource sharing cooperative among participating academic and public libraries throughout Texas. As a TexShare member, the Vernon College Library System participates in the database initiative, TexShare Card Program, and Interlibrary Loan services.

 

TexShare Database Initiative: Through affiliation with TexShare, the Vernon College Library System receives access to a core collection of 23 full text databases and an e-book library of over 27,000 titles supporting College academic and workforce programs at a nominal fee of $2,500 per year. With exceptional bargaining power, TexShare has also secured discounted pricing on select databases available at an extra cost to interested organizations. The discounted rates have been particularly helpful in supporting the College Nursing Departments with yearly subscriptions to CINAHL and the Nursing II Collection produced by Ovid Technologies. As noted in Section 2: Assessment of Database Resources, survey results indicate that students and faculty are pleased with the quality of the database collection. Surveys also show that patrons are able to access the databases efficiently off campus from any Internet connection.

 

TexShare Card Program: The Vernon College Library System also participates in the TexShare Card Program, a reciprocal borrowing program giving cardholders full borrowing privileges and access to the resources and services offered by participating libraries throughout Texas. TexShare cards are issued to Vernon College students, faculty, and staff interested in accessing the informational resources housed at the Midwestern State University Library in Wichita Falls. During the 2004-2005 academic year, a total of 181 cards were issued to registered library patrons.

 

TexShare Interlibrary Loan Services: The TexShare Interlibrary Loan Program has proven to be an efficient and effective system for obtaining books, articles, and other materials unavailable within the Vernon College Library System. Patrons may submit requests electronically via the Interlibrary Loan form conveniently accessible via the Library Homepage. Distance learners and students attending Wichita Falls instructional locations may request materials be mailed to a specified residence or collected at any instructional location. The Library System has worked to promote an awareness of interlibrary loan services in informational materials mailed to all new Vernon College students at the start of each semester.

 

Assessment of Interlibrary Loan Services: The Library surveys users to determine the efficiency of interlibrary loan services. Of those patrons submitting interlibrary loan requests in 2006-2007, 96% of students and 100% of faculty indicated that information was received within a reasonable time period. The Library also noted, however, that a significant number of students were unaware that requests could be filed to obtain books, articles, or other materials which are unavailable within the Vernon College Library System. In response, the Library has identified strategies to increase awareness of library services at all campuses. Strategies prioritized in planning for 2007-2008 include the installation of multimedia message boards at library locations in Vernon and Century City.

 

Memorandum of Understanding between Vernon College and Sheppard Air Force Base Library: With current Department of Defense identification, Sheppard Learning Center faculty and students have full borrowing privileges and access to the electronic and print resources housed  on the Base Library. The Sheppard AFB Library maintains weekly hours on Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Collection strengths includes an expanded reference collection and business materials with a focus on leadership and management titles. Students may secure a library account to search the online catalog off base from any Internet connection. The Base Library also offers access to numerous full text general research and subject specific databases. General research resources include Thomson Gale’s multidisciplinary database, Expanded Academic ASAP, the Gale Virtual Reference Library, and Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Students also have access to nation-wide newspapers and news magazines through the NewsBank database. Subject specific databases include Thomson Gale’s Info Trac Custom Vocational Technical Careers, Business and Company ASAP, and the Info Trac Custom Literature Database with online access to 250 literary journals.

 

Documentation

 

1.      Vernon College Library Mission Statement

2.      Vernon College Library Database Summary

3.      Vernon College Online Library Catalog

4.      Online Library Purchase Recommendation Form

5.      Vernon College Library Unit Plan 07-08

6.      Online Interlibrary Loan Request Form

7.      Vernon College Library Homepage

8.      Faculty & Staff Summary of Library Services

9.      Developmental Faculty website

10.   Ask the Librarian link, Vernon College Library Homepage

11.   Student Survey of Library Services

12.   Faculty Survey of Library Services

13.   Library Survey of Internet Students

14.   TexShare Membership

15.   TexShare Database Initiative

16.   TexShare Card Program

17.   TexShare Interlibrary Loan Services

18.   Memorandum of Understanding between Vernon College and Sheppard Air Force Base Library