Cal U's Manderino Library offers services to help students in virtual education environment.
Manderino Library is prepared to “flex our technology muscles” as Cal U prepares to take face-to-face classes online beginning March 30, said Dr. Douglas Hoover, dean of Library Services.
Library staff are now working remotely, but plenty of options are available to keep students’ education on track.
“First and foremost, if students have research questions, they can use our online chat function,” Hoover said. “They can reach out from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with questions, and they can also make research appointments.”
The appointments — where the library’s faculty collaborate with students who are working on papers and projects to identify and gather appropriate research materials — can be done via email, by phone, or with virtual communication tools such as Zoom.
“We switched models of reference a few years ago to take a more ‘concierge’ approach,” Hoover said.
“Students get more out of working one-on-one with our research librarians. If they make an appointment and let faculty know what projects they’re working on, (the librarians) can pull resources. All of this can still be accomplished.”
Document delivery is another important service, Hoover said.
“Students should be aware that if they need something from our collection, we can scan it and send them a PDF. This includes articles and chapters from books on reserve.”
The library is also lending a hand to faculty.
“We’ve created online teaching guides on our website, and we have list of which publishers have offered free textbooks and resources online,” Hoover said. “We’ve reached out to faculty members who have textbooks on reserve. If they need a part of that textbook scanned, we can do that and put it into the D2L shells. We are allowed to scan chapters and indices, and we have been doing that.
“Copyright laws prevent scanning entire texts, but you can do pieces and parts. Instead of sending it to each student, we’re sending it to professors to put online” through D2L, Cal U’s online learning management system.
It’s all part of a “do what we can to help” approach.
“We expect an uptick in virtual reference and instructional needs as our face-to-face classes come back as online instruction,” Hoover said.
“We are trying to ease the burden on students. We recognize that this may be challenging for them, and we are trying to ease the process.”