A lot of change in college and university libraries has been occurring for many years. One might think that there has been a decline in the use of libraries at universities, but that is not the case at all. University libraries have been and remain at the center of schools. As the growth of technology increases, so does the use of library materials.
However, one trend at college libraries is the decline in hard copy materials. For example, Stevenson University’s library is looking at how law books in the School of Business are used and is allowing them to be accessed digitally. Additionally, Due to the number of students using the Owings Mills library as opposed to the Greenspring campus library, more books that have been available on Greenspring are getting transferred to Owings Mills.
“We’re going to be removing a lot of the law books at the School of Business, and a lot of them are still available digitally. So, we are keeping some for people who are still interested in using print books,” said Sue Bonsteel, the director of library services. Books across the country are starting to become available digitally, and e-books have been on the rise.
The popularity of eBooks is increasing because they are generally more accessible. Thus, libraries are looking at ways to fill the needs of students who wish to access eBooks instead of using print copies.
“An e-book is easier to access because it can be pulled up from anywhere, as opposed to a print copy, where you would have to come to the library to use it,” said Bonsteel. Having e-books and research databases available digitally helps students who cannot physically spend time in a university library.
Libraries are being used for more than just checking out books. Another trend is that more students have been taking advantage of the computers, internet, quiet spaces, and other resources the library offers. According to EIFL, (Electronic Information for Libraries), librarians can help students and faculty understand and use new tools to manipulate information. Information overload has caused students and faculty to need help accessing information, and librarians have been a great source for people to better understand information that is not clear to them.
Libraries have made it a priority to identify student needs through providing eBooks, quiet spaces, plenty of computer and internet usage, and assistance for people who are in need of navigating new information pathways.