As the start of the new academic year fast approaches, let me take this opportunity to suggest a few points to pass along to your incoming student. The librarians and staff at the W.L. Lyons Brown Library are here to support student learning and promote student success. The library provides resources and services to support all of our academic programs. While students often think of Google or the internet as appropriate resources for their information needs, the library’s resources are collected in collaboration with the faculty to specifically support Bellarmine’s curriculum. When students need information for their coursework the library or library website is the place to start! We have more than 100 online databases and over 100,000 ebooks in addition to the over 110,000 books, journals and media materials available in the library’s physical collection. As you can see, many of our resources are available online and can be accessed on or off campus. Students do not need to come to the library to use the library.
Fortunately, students don’t need to figure all these resources out on their own. Encourage them to stop by the reference desk when they are starting projects and papers for help on selecting the best resources available. Our research librarians, Martha Lundgren, John Boyd, Kevin Peers, and Dan Bays are happy to work with students as they work on projects and papers. It is why we are here! Most weekdays the reference desk is open from 8:00am until 10:00pm, with additional hours on the weekends. The library building stays open till midnight and the circulation desk is staffed whenever we are open. Only campus security is open more than the library.
In addition to our information resources, the library is also home to a wealth of technology resources. Students don’t need to cart their laptop all over campus if they don’t need them for class. The library has 95 public workstations, 20 laptops (only for use in the library, they can be checked out at the circulation desk with a Bellarmine ID.), as well as printers, scanners and even photocopiers for students to use. A new project this year, the library and Student Government Association will be providing a limited number of iPads with selected academic applications and texts. There is both a Mac lab and a media lab available. If students have issues using these resources the Technology Support Center is located in the library.
The beginning of their first year of college is a time when students often form new habits as they are out on their own for the first time. Making time and finding a place to study is an important first step to student success. The library’s environment is intended to encourage students to focus on their studies. I think that being able to study alongside someone, even if they aren’t actually studying together, often helps students maintain their focus. Seeing others studying encourages them to do so too. I have done research which indicates that first year students using the library to study alone have a better GPA. (Checking out and using books also has a positive influence.) There are study areas on all 4 floors of the library. Our top floor is a quiet study floor.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the writing and tutoring centers of the ARC (and the host of this blog). These are great resources, located in the library, that are intended to support all students, just as the library does. I hope you will encourage and remind your student as the semester progresses that the library and the units located in the library are here to help them succeed. Take advantage of us!
John Stemmer, Ph.D.
Director of Library Services