Comprehensive Standard 3.8.1

 

The institution provides facilities and learning/information resources that are appropriate to support its teaching, research, and service mission. (Learning/Information Resources)

 

COMPLIANCE

 

Narrative:

 

The Vernon College Library System maintains an integral role in the educational process and provides the facilities, resources, and services necessary to support all instructional programs regardless of the method for instructional delivery or geographical location of the students.

 

Vernon College Library System Facilities:

 

The following information summarizes the physical facilities at all Vernon College libraries and resource centers.

 

1.      Wright Library (Vernon College’s main library in Vernon) – The Wright Library on the Vernon campus measures 7,413 square feet with total seating capacity to accommodate 98 library users. Accommodations include 33 student workstations, 1 ADA accessible computer, 2 study carrels, 3 VCR viewing stations, and 11 study tables with seating for 45 students.  There are also leisurely seating areas with couches, loveseats and chairs to accommodate 14 patrons.

 

2.      Century City Library at Century City Center in Wichita Falls – The Century City Library measures 1,400 square feet and accommodates 1 public access computer, 1 TV/VCR unit equipped with headphones, and seating for 21 library users. A computer lab measuring 840 square feet provides access to 21 student workstations including 1 ADA accessible computer.

 

3.      Sheppard Learning Center Resource Center at Sheppard Air Force Base – The resource center at Sheppard Learning Center measures 1,755 square feet with study tables and chairs to accommodate 20 students. The facility also houses 10 student workstations.

 

4.      Skills Training Center Resource Center- The Skills Training Center Resource Center measures 294 square feet with seating to accommodate 12 students. Four student workstations provide access to Microsoft Word applications and the Library System’s database collection.

 

5.      Vocational Nursing Program at Seymour, Texas The Vernon College Library System maintains a reading room totaling 205 square feet with a dedicated webcam terminal and seating capacity to accommodate 8 students. The webcam terminal ensures student access to library assistance and research support from Wright Library staff. Video conferences include co-browsing technologies to facilitate library instruction and the demonstration of database search strategies and techniques. A computer lab maintained by the LVN Department includes 14 student workstations, high speed Internet connections, and access to the entire collection of library databases.

 

Assessment of Vernon College Library and Resource Center Facilities:

 

The Library monitors survey results to determine user satisfaction with library and resource center facilities and hours of operation.

 

1.  Facilities: An analysis of survey data indicates that students have consistently responded favorably when evaluating library and resource center facilities. Of those students using libraries or resource centers during the 2006-2007 academic year, 94% agreed that the facilities offered a comfortable, quite environment for research and study.

 

2.  Hours of Operation: The Library System has worked to ensure that hours are sufficient to meet the informational needs of all of the College’s students. Weekend hours have recently been extended on Sunday in Vernon and on Saturday at the Century City campus. Of those students utilizing on-site library or resource center services during the 2006-2007 academic year, 89% agreed that the facilities are open sufficient hours to meet the students’ informational needs. Surveys collected during the 2005-2006 and 2004-2005 academic years reflected similar results with 88% approving of hours of operation.

 

Learning/Information Resources:

 

The Vernon College Library System maintains adequate information/learning resources through:

 

1.   Off-campus access to reference assistance and databases.

2.   Resource sharing and membership in the statewide consortium, TexShare.

3.   Inter-campus access to print collections maintained at all library and resource center locations.

4.   Adherence to its mission and public service responsibility.

 

·         Off-Campus Access to Reference Assistance and Databases: Remote research options are essential in supporting the informational needs of all students. The Library System maintains off-campus access to reference assistance and informational resources including full-text databases, e-books, and reference materials.

 

·         Off-Campus Access to Reference Assistance: The Library System has enhanced distance learning services to include a live (chat) reference service. The instant messaging system powered by the online communications tool, LivePerson, offers the convenience of a browser based technology with no plug-ins or other applications to download or maintain. The system also allows patrons to rate the quality of reference assistance and to request email transcripts of the sessions. The live (chat) support is accessible via the Interlibrary Loan link prominently displayed on the Library Homepage. Live support hours have been extended from 10.5 hours offered in the fall 2006 to 29 hours currently available during the 2007-2008 academic year. The Library System has also joined a virtual reference cooperative to further increase student access to reference assistance on weekends and after hours from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on weeknights. The cooperative of West Texas colleges is staffed by volunteer graduate students enrolled in library programs at the University of Texas, University of North Texas, and Texas Woman’s University. The Vernon College Library System also promises prompt assistance with inquiries emailed to librarian@vernoncollege.edu.

 

·         Evaluation 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.

 

·         Off Campus Access to Database Resources:  In support of the Mission Statement, the Library System works to maintain a readily accessible collection of informational resources which support the educational mission and purpose of the College. Accessibility is enhanced by providing off campus access to a comprehensive collection of databases acquired through TexShare as well as purchased independently outside the TexShare consortium. Students may logon using their Vernon College student ID numbers to search the databases off campus from any Internet connection. Funding for electronic subscriptions has increased substantially from a budget of $6,000 in 2001 to a total of $32,250 budgeted for database resources for the 2007-2008 academic year. The funding has proven invaluable in supplementing the TexShare core collection with full-text periodical databases supporting all workforce, developmental, and academic programs. Subscriptions purchased independently outside the TexShare consortium include the following: Proquest Nursing Journals, Nursing II Collection by Ovid, Proquest Agriculture Journals, Proquest’s Career and Technical Education, CQ Researcher, Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center, and reference materials including Texas Almanac and Encyclopedia Americana. The Library System also subscribes to the database, Learning Express Library, offering online access to practice exams based on current licensing tests in the fields of nursing, electronics, and automotive technology. As noted in the TexShare narrative, the Library System receives access to an e-book library of over 27,000 titles as well as a core collection of 23 full text databases. The core collection supports student research in the areas of health, history/government, business, literature, and general studies. TexShare also provides access to TDNet, a journal locator tool, which assists patrons in accessing specific journals. The resource indicates online availability and then links patrons directly to the publications of choice.

 

·         Off-Campus Access Procedure: The Library System has worked to improve the efficiency and convenience of accessing the databases off campus from any Internet connection. The primary goal is to provide access with minimal technical difficulties or interruptions. In October 2003, the library’s automation provider, The Library Corporation (TLC), began authenticating students through individual logins. Prior to this time, a cumbersome browser configuration was required to access the databases through the College’s proxy server. While the logon procedure is certainly preferable to the browser configuration, the Library System has noted minor technical difficulties associated with the procedure. As prioritized in the Library’s Unit Plan for the 2007-2008 academic year, the Library is working with the Information Technology Department to ensure seamless access through either the Vernon College portal or an updated proxy server. Since the logon procedure was introduced in 2003, database usage has almost doubled. Statistical data indicates that database sessions increased from 11,467 during the 2003-2004 academic year to 22,751 sessions in 2006-2007. A session is defined as an individual logon to a database. Students may log on remotely via the “Off Campus Access to Databases” link prominently displayed on the Library Homepage.  At the authentication screen, students are asked to log on with the student ID number and PIN (last four digits of the SSN). Email and telephone contacts are listed to assist students in requesting or verifying the patron ID.

 

2.   TexShare Participation: TexShare, a program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, is a statewide consortium and information 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, Interlibrary Loan services, and continuing education opportunities.

 

·         TexShare Database Initiative: Through affiliation with TexShare, the Library System receives access to a core collection of 23 full text databases and an e-book library of over 27,000 titles supporting the College’s 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’s Nursing Departments with yearly subscriptions to CINAHL and the Nursing II Collection produced by Ovid Technologies.

 

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

 

·         TexShare Continuing Education Opportunities: TexShare also sponsors continuing education opportunities at no cost to participating academic and public libraries. Workshops are scheduled on site or broadcast via distance learning technologies including web conferencing. The library staff has benefited from TexShare training to improve reference services and database search strategies/techniques.

 

3.   Inter-campus access to print collections: Students have access to print materials housed at all library or resource center locations including the main collection on the Vernon campus.  Interlibrary loan requests may be filed in person or electronically to obtain books within the College’s Library System. An analysis of data collected on September 25, 2007 indicates that print collections total 29,198 volumes at the Wright Library in Vernon, 2,176 volumes at the Century City Library, and 449 volumes at Sheppard Learning Center. In addition, the Library System supports workforce programs with 468 titles at the Skills Training Center and 329 volumes maintained at the Seymour Nursing Program.

 

      Vernon College Library Catalog: In January 2002, the Library System replaced its integrated library software by migrating from Winnebago Spectrum to Library Solution produced by The Library Corporation. Library staff are impressed with the product’s reliability and features. As noted in the goals established for the 2007-2008 academic year, the Library System plans to purchase TLC’s catalog enrichment software. The software will improve accessibility to catalog records through a more user-friendly interface and enhanced content including reviews, tables of contents, and images of books jackets for many of the records displayed.

 

4.   Adherence to the Mission Statement and public service responsibility: The College Library adheres to its Mission and supports the cultural, recreational, and intellectual development of the community it serves. The Library System supports the community through:

 

·         Community Memberships: The community is invited to utilize the resources available. A $10 refundable deposit entitles cardholders to borrowing privileges and on-site access to subscription databases. Database resources include Spanish language content and genealogical information.

 

·         Complimentary Memberships for Educational Organizations: Complimentary library cards are distributed to instructional staff of local and surrounding school districts. At the beginning of each school year, area superintendents are notified of the service and asked to submit lists of teachers, counselors, and other instructional staff interested in library cards.

 

·         Meeting Facilities: Community organizations may reserve the Wright Library’s Chaparral Room for training purposes or conferences. The meeting room measures 535 square feet with seating to accommodate 26 attendees.

 

Promotion of Library Services: 

 

Effective marketing of library services is essential to ensuring that all constituencies are aware of the resources and services offered.

 

Students: In an effort to promote an awareness of services offered, the Library mails informational materials to all new students at the start of each semester. Packets include a summary of services, a welcome letter, and a business card with contact information and instructions for accessing the electronic resources off campus from any Internet connection. The library staff also capitalizes on opportunities to speak during Freshman Orientations and LVN and Associate Degree Nursing Orientations scheduled annually in the fall. Library information is also distributed during new student group advisory sessions.

 

Faculty: The Library System maintains close communication with both full-time and adjunct faculty through email correspondence on new and updated library services.  Correspondence includes annual updates in the fall as well as email notifications of new programs sent throughout the year. Library services are also promoted during new/adjunct faculty orientations and division meetings scheduled during staff development in the fall. The Library has recently worked with the College’s Title III Program to produce a library orientation video to post online via the developmental faculty orientation page. The video offers a brief introduction to the services listed on the site. Faculty services are posted online as well as the Library Homepage.  Library formation is also located in the Catalog, Student Handbook, Faculty Handbook, and Employee Handbook. 

 

Library Homepage Design: The Library Homepage was redesigned to offer convenient access to library services including the online catalog, electronic reference assistance, and the database collection. A primary goal in the website design was to develop an information gateway with services prominently displayed and easily navigated. A marquee tag or scrolling text has also been posted on the Homepage to advertise and notify patrons of new services. Surveys have shown that students are consistently pleased with the organization and function of the Library Homepage. Of those students who accessed the Homepage during the 2006-2007 academic year, 93% of students in online classes and 97% of on-site students indicated that the Homepage was well organized and offered convenient access to library resources and services.

 

Evaluation of Library Resources:

 

Developing a quality collection of informational resources 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 library and resource center collections.

4.    Review of Program/Discipline Evaluations.

5.    Annual planning and evaluation of goals and objectives.

 

1.   Survey Results: The Library System surveys students and faculty to determine user satisfaction with the book collection, database resources, and overall quality of library services. Surveys are used not only to measure satisfaction, but also to collect recommendations and to determine user awareness of the resources available.

 

·         Database Collection: Survey data indicates that the database collection is adequate to support student research. Of those on-site students accessing the databases during the 2006-2007 academic year, 93% indicated that they were able to locate the articles needed. Faculty responses were also favorable. When asked to rate the quality of electronic resources in 2006-2007, 100% of faculty rated the database collection as average or above.

 

·         Print Collection: An analysis of survey results indicates that students are pleased with the quality of print collections. Of those students needing print materials during the 2006-2007 academic year, 93% of on-site students indicated that they were able to locate the books needed to support their research. Of those instructors responding to the survey during the same year, 87% rated the print collection as fair or above.    As prioritized in the Unit Plan for 2007-2008, the Library will work with faculty in the selection and evaluation of collections.

 

 

·         Distance Learning Library Services: The Library System is committed to supporting distance learners with efficient access to informational resources. Students are surveyed to determine the efficiency of the off campus access procedure and interlibrary loan services. Surveys collected in 2006-2007 indicated that 92% of students in online classes were able to access databases and e-books needed for their research. If interlibrary loan requests were filed, 87% of online students indicated that books and/or articles were received in a reasonable amount of time.

 

·         Overall Quality of Library Services: When asked to rate the overall quality of library services during the 2006-2007 academic year, 98% of those students using library services rated the overall quality as average or above with 44% rating services as excellent and 46% as good. During the same year, 40% of the faculty rated the overall quality as excellent and 60% as good.

 

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 five 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’s 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 (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.

 

4.   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 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.

 

5.   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. The Library System monitors survey results, program/discipline evaluations, library committee recommendations, and individual suggestions in developing annual goals. Tables 1, 2, and 3 illustrate library planning and prioritizing during the 2005-2006, 2006-2007, and 2007-2008 academic years:

 

Table 1: Example of Library Planning 2005-2006
Goal 1. Increase the availability of library information, instruction, and research support.

Objective #1: Extend library hours to support student research at Vernon and Century City campuses.

·         Strategy 1A: Provide library hours at Century City on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

·         Strategy 1B: Extend library hours in Vernon on Friday afternoons to remain open from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.

·         Strategy 1C: Extend Sunday hours of operation in Vernon to remain open until 8:00 p.m.

Results:       X            Achieved
Assessment: Weekend hours have been extended to offer library support on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Century City and from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sundays in Vernon.
Use of Results for Improvement: The Library will continue to monitor survey results to determine student satisfaction with library hours. The Library is currently analyzing data to determine student interest in utilizing library services in Vernon on Friday afternoons throughout the year and on Sunday evenings during the summer.
Table 2: Example of Library Planning 2006-2007
Goal 1. Improve student access to informational resources.

Objective #3: Support current technologies and ensure efficient/reliable access to electronic informational resources by upgrading student workstations by August 2007.

·         Strategy 3A: Request IT’s assistance in evaluating computer resources at all Vernon College library locations.

·         Strategy 3B: Work with IT in establishing evaluation criteria, i.e., age, warranty, etc.

·         Strategy 3C: Submit recommendations in Technology Plan and Vernon College Annual Plan.

Results:           x    Achieved
Assessment: The library worked with IT in evaluating student workstations at all library locations. Recommendations were documented and 14 student’s workstations were replaced with upgraded technologies from a Vernon College lab. 
Use of Results for Improvement: The library will maintain annual evaluations to establish replacement/rotation schedules for student computers. Evaluations will ensure computers remain up to date with sufficient processing speed and memory to support current technologies and software applications.
 
Table 3: Example of Library Planning 2007-2008
Goal 1: Improve student access to informational resources.
Objective #1: Improve the efficiency and convenience of accessing electronic resources off campus from any Internet connection.
  •  Strategy 1A: Work with IT in identifying alternate technologies for authenticating students.

  •  Strategy 1B: Secure technologies needed for authenticating patrons through either the Vernon College portal or an improved proxy server.  Portal access would ensure seamless access by eliminating the need for multiple logons while improved proxy software would authenticate using IP recognition as opposed to referring URL’s.

 

 

Documentation

 

1.    Vernon College Library Mission Statement

2.    Vernon College Library Homepage

3.    Vernon College Library Unit Plan

4.    Interlibrary Loan

5.    Student Survey of Library Services

6.    Faculty Survey of Library Services

7.    Library Survey of Internet Students