Writing college papers, working on a major class project and carrying out heavy duty research are just a few big tasks college students deal with on a weekly basis. Newman University’s Dugan Library offers a variety of resources to handle those assignments— and some of those resources students may not even know about.
Print materials and databases (LibGuides)
Jeanette Parker, reference and instruction librarian, said the library has a wide variety of print and electronic materials, including “over 500,000 books in the collection to check out.”
The library also has a wide variety of databases that are available on and off campus 24/7. Some of these are specialty databases that are intended for specific subject areas like psychology, communication, English and the health sciences.
Parker said the best way to access all of these articles is through a tool known as LibGuides.
“Our LibGuides are the foundation of all the services we offer because those really connect everybody to all the different resources that we have,” she said.
LibGuides help organize databases into manageable groups based on topics.
Parker’s primary role is to be the main resource for reference services. Students and faculty can ask her for help with their research.
Parker said she is flexible with how she can help students, either by appointment, with drop-ins, or by phone, email or Zoom. Parker also hosts class sessions for faculty who invite her into their classroom to talk about specific research papers or specific topics.
Library student worker Dyana Baca said she was surprised at the number of library resources at Newman.
“A lot of the students are scared to go to Jeanette or Emily [Simon] and ask for help,” she said. “They’re a bit more shy about that, which I used to be, and now I can just go up to Jeannette and tell her I’m struggling and she’ll help me thoroughly — and I know she would do this for everyone.”
“When we don’t have a resource that a student needs, whether that’s a book or an article,” Simon said, “we have a free service in which we will request that from a different library and get students a copy of it.”
Simon said students and faculty are always grateful when using interlibrary loan.
“It’s a very rewarding process for those instances where you get to go above and beyond for a student or faculty member and you find that really difficult book that they’re looking for; that’s always a fun interaction,” she said.
College Resource Literacy class
The library staff also teaches an eight-week College Resources Literacy class five times a year, which students have said was helpful when doing research in their other classes.
Parker said being able to analyze data is essential for students today.
“I think it is essential for students in what everybody is calling the ‘information age’ to really understand how to access, evaluate and ethically and efficiently use information. I think it makes them much more appealing to future employers,” she said. “It has taken over our world and being able to do something beyond a basic Google search is essential for a well-rounded, educated individual.”
The library now houses the recently purchased 3D printer, which was funded by the STEM club, the Student Government Association, the chemistry and biology departments and library staff.
Simon said the library plays an integral role in the relationship between research, students and faculty.
“I think that relationship is really important,” said Simon. “Faculty have pretty high expectations as far as what research students should be producing, so it’s nice to have a go-between area where if you don’t know what that means, we know what kind of research they’re expecting and we can help you meet that level.”
During her time at Newman, Parker’s goal has been to form a notable information literacy program that can be used to help all students.
“My goal has been to form an information literacy program. I think we have made a noticeable difference in the perception of people on campus,” Parker said. “We have really increased our presence and we have worked really hard to make a difference for students to help them to succeed and to do better.”
Parker said the students are always the library staff’s top priority.
“At the heart of everything we do is student success,” she said. “We want them to succeed academically and to really be able to say that they can find needed information.”