Mercyhurst University’s Hammermill Library is making changes this year to keep up with the fast growing world of research technology.
Using just computers for research, Darci Jones, director of University Libraries and Online Learning, said that knowledge, such as looking at how many times a source has been cited, is lost.
“Everyone has to use information. How you research makes the difference in the level of quality,” Jones said.
To bring back this interaction, the library is trying to implement a new course that teaches students how to effectively research.
They are hoping to create a 100-level course that would teach students what databases are and how to cite sources, among other research tools.
“We understand that students are frustrated when a librarian comes in for the fifth time in class,” she said.
After taking the freshman research course, a J-Term 400-level course would be offered for upperclassmen to provide them with tools that they could use after graduation.
However, faculty support for these courses, according to Jones, is sparse.
A tutorial video is also an idea the library is looking to implement. The video would focus on “a basic introduction to the library and leave classroom instruction for more detailed research,” Jones said.
Regarding structural changes, this year the library removed the magazine shelves that once lined the walls of the library’s Weber Hall.
Jones said that the library would also like to have group study rooms integrated with technology in them and charging stations placed around campus.
The library is a public service, according to Jones, and its purpose is to “provide the best service for students.”