Hammermill Library updates website, plans renovations


Photo by Trang Nguyen

Matt Shallenberger displays Hammermill Library’s new website.

Catherine Rainey, News editor

Accessing Mercyhurst’s Hammermill Library website just got easier for students, faculty and administrators.  Thanks to recent updates by members of library staff, the site has gone mobile-friendly.
Matthew Shallenberger, academic library computer support specialist, Aaron Williams, IT web programmer and Rebecca Crago, former systems and teaching librarian, revamped the website’s image to match existing university web pages, as well as reorganize content to create a more user-friendly experience.
“A lot of [the content] is the same in a new format,” said Shallenberger. “We simplified it into easy drop-down menus, where before it was just boxes all over the place with links. It’s pretty easy to navigate.”
“Before when you accessed on our old page it would just show the original page on your little, small phone and with the new one is scaled everything down to the format you’re using, say iPad or iPhone or Android, which is pretty awesome,” Shallenberger said.
The library catalog is now called Books and Media, and the HurstSearch, Mercyhurst’s comprehensive database search, was renamed to Find Everything.
“It makes more sense to say that. But then there’s always ways to limit that, you don’t always have to find everything,” said Darci Jones, director of university libraries and distance learning.
Andrea Nye, a senior Business Management major, has mixed feelings about the site.
“Aesthetically it looks nice, but as far as use, it took me off guard when I first saw it and will take a while to get used to,” Nye said.
Brett Swan, a junior Political Science and History double major, said it seems efficient and easy to navigate and will help with the extensive research he does for classes.
“I would encourage students to actually go on the new site and play around with it,” said Shallenberger. “There’s a lot of valuable information.”
This year, the library added an institutional subscription to The Chronicle of Higher Education, a resource for faculty, administrators and students.
“We had a lot of subscriptions to it on campus and it seemed it was more financially reasonable or financially sound to have access through the database,” Jones said.
Library staff replaced the ebrary Academic Complete with Ebsco’s eBook Academic Collection, which contains over 140,000 titles and allows users to download a full book to personal devices or book readers, such as Kindle, for two weeks.
The website and databases are not the only changes being made in the library this year. According to Jones, the university is seriously considering updating and making more collaborative study spaces, including a way to reserve them from a computer or personal device and adding more outlets and modern furniture.
A self-checkout station near the circulation desk is also in the works, Jones said. She also wants to work more closely with the Writing Center, a student service also located in the library.
“We would like to maybe bring them together and collaborate with them so that it’s more open, like over in that whole area you walk in and there’s service people to help you,” Jones said.
Jones attributes all of the upcoming changes to the president.
“President Victor is really the driving force behind this,” said Jones. “We who work in the building understand what we need to do to help the students. But he will be able to make it happen which, for me, is a huge homerun.”