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University Libraries 2009 Fall Report: Services

This report highlights current activity across University Libraries. This information is being shared in advance of the annual fall meeting with Chairs, Directors, and Departmental Library Representatives and will provide background for discussion at the meeting.

Access Services

Circulation reports an increased gate count for the second year in a row. 847,690 people visited the library during the last fiscal year. Shifting of the collection continues on the 6th floor, as additional rows of shelving were added over the summer to accommodate legal volumes.

Interlibrary Loan borrowing requests this past year decreased by 11% this year. However, the five-year change reflects a 4% increase in requests.

Reserves continues to promote online forms for faculty to submit reserve requests--information is available at

Branch Libraries

Architecture Library

The newly renovated Joseph F. Morbito Architecture Library has received praise for its upgraded facilities which includes a flat bed scanner and a color and black and white printer.  Faculty and students frequently meet to discuss team projects as well as to hold seminars. Taylor Hall's Communication Studies' students and faculty also find it convenient to make use of the library's services.  Space has been made in flat file drawers in order to accomodate newly acquired sets of working drawings representative of buildings by such famed architects as Louis Kahn. 

Chemistry/Physics Library

The past year saw the much needed sub-structure searching module (SSM) added to our subscription to the SciFinder Scholar 2007 database. Our 16 public workstations now have the ability to access the same software, allowing classes to complete lab reports and other assignments in a more timely manner. By shifting part of our collection and continuing our weeding project, we've been able to add a quiet study area, complemented by our recently installed access to FlashZone, the campus wireless network. We've continued instructional outreach to the NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduate program and new graduate students, as well as expanding to science-oriented First Year Experience classes and laboratory groups.

Fashion Library

The June F. Mohler Fashion Library continues to maintain close working relationships with the Kent State University Museum, as well as with the Rodgers/Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising.  Demand for the use of the library remains high, especially its forecasting materials and periodicals.  A small exhibition case allows for display of some of library's special collection materials, and the faculty have displayed in the library's windows some of their own projects as well those of classes.

Map Library

This year finding aids for previously hidden collections have been created and added both to the online catalog and to the website. These include the Nirenstein National Realty Map Collection, physical relief maps and the topographic map class sets. In addition, a practicum project has resulted in over 100 of our Ohio items being added to the online catalog. Efforts are underway to put even more of our collections online and to highlight other unique pieces. We hope that these new access points will make our collections more accessible for patrons and encourage their use.

Performing Arts Library

The Performing Arts Library closed during the summer of 2008 in conjunction with the construction begun to create the Roe Green Center facilities for the School of Theatre and Dance. The Performing Arts Library will remain closed during the 2009-2010 academic year, during which time the space will be expanded and renovated to become the Performing Arts Library. This new library facility will open in Fall 2010. All music collections remain available during construction and can be requested through the KentLINK library catalog. The Performing Arts Library also strongly promotes online reserves for print and recorded materials and will assist in making materials available for courses.

Instructional Services

Instructional Services highlights from the past year include:

  • Subject Liaison Librarians provided 426 instructional sessions to 8,351 students and faculty.
  • 118 faculty members and graduate students attended the 3rd annual Library Live Conference.
  • Approximately 900 students visited the Stress Free Zone in the library during finals week of Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 to have snacks and relax.

We further developed our online learning tools and capacity. We now have 13 skill modules covering topics like search strategy, searching for books and articles and plagiarism available from our web site. Many of these have accompanying quizzes that can be assigned through Vista8.

For more information, visit

For more information about library instructional services for faculty, visit


Media Services

Audio Visual Services has experienced an unusual increase in requests for the delivery of needed classroom equipment and media materials across campus and over the counter in the Main Library. Presently this includes the CD and DVD collection from the Performing Arts Library.  

Design Solutions offers graphics design and production, banners, posters, photography (studio and field), and engraving services. This department continues to work with the Architects Office overseeing "wayfinding" projects around campus.  

The Student Multimedia Studio (SMS) continues to upgrade its resources to meet expanding demands. To date this fall semester they have seen almost twice the number of students for the same time period last year. Faculty making multimedia assignments are advised to check with SMS staff first to insure adequate preparation and support of their students. 

Reference Services

Text a KSU Librarian!  KSU Libraries now offers a free text message reference service seven days a week (standard messaging rates apply). Text us at 66746 and start your question with the word kent. Example: kent how much does it cost to print in the library?

Assignment Calendar  The Libraries now offer an assignment calendar to help keep students on track when writing a research paper, completing an annotated bibliography assignment, or studying for exams. The assignment calendar will create a schedule for them to follow regardless of their timeline. Each schedule includes due dates for major steps, resources to use throughout the process, and links to services available to help them with their research, writing, and studying. They can even save the schedule on the UL site or have e-mail reminders sent at each step of the process! 

Schedule Research Appointments (PeRC) Online  Students can now schedule their Personalized Research Consultation (PeRC) appointments online. PeRCS are one-hour sessions with a librarian focused on each student's individual research need. Students register with their topic in advance, ensuring that the session will yield resources for their project and a personalized introduction to needed research skills. 

Special Collections and Archives

In addition to fulfilling its mission to provide access to rare and primary sources in a wide range of subject areas, Special Collections and Archives is playing a vital role in supporting the research needs of the University community during this historical Centennial year and when the 40th anniversary of the Kent State shootings is marked in spring 2010. The Department launched its Centennial Collection, providing access to over 800 digital images that document the history of Kent State. The Department is working with a number of student, faculty, and departmental groups engaged in projects related to the University's history.

The Department has mounted a number of exhibitions throughout the year, including crime fiction dust jackets, highlights from the Borowitz Crime Collection, the library and personal archive of eminent UK crime historian Jonathan Goodman, and the history of KSU athletics. In spring 2010, a major exhibition related to the Kent State shootings will be featured.

Statistical and Qualitative Software Consulting

Presently UL supports the following software packages: JMP, SPSS, SAS, SPSS Text Analysis for Surveys, EQS, LISREL, AMOS, and NVIVO. These are available for lease through Audio Visual Services. We are pleased to announce the addition of the statistical package JMP to our list. JMP is an innovative interactive statistical package ideal for both research and teaching. Some packages have a limited number of available seats. Contact Tina Ughrin for more information.

As a follow-up to the needs assessment conducted last year, an Advisory Panel representative of University stakeholders was created and has been dealing issues related to policy, software management and pricing. Given this input, we are embarking on an education campaign concerning the appropriate use of statistical and qualitative software. Please see our new Q & A handout on the Appropriate Use of Statistical and Qualitative Software.

Writing Commons

The Writing Commons saw over 3,400 students in its first year of operation in the Library, opened a 12-station computer lab, and hosted a campus-wide celebration of literacy. This year a new website launched, as well as a self-serve online appointment calendar. We are increasing our outreach and collaboration with other units on campus, such as the First-Year Experience program, Faculty Professional Development Center, and the Honors College. Faculty in the TESOL, Journalism and Mass Communication, First-Year Experience, and the Writing program take whole classes into the new Writing Commons space for group sessions with tutors. The Writing Commons is a service of the Department of English.