Modern research methods means big changes for the library

Nicole Delsanter

With the library upgrades set for completion in the fall, the library staff has big plans for the new space and how to serve students’ changing needs.

“We think it’s important for students to know what new types of services we offer here at the library,” said Diane Sperko, communications director at University Library. “It is also important for faculty to know because it helps the students learn.”

E-books are a growing trend and more titles are now available in KentLINK, the University Libraries collection, and through OhioLINK.

According to the University Libraries newsletter, Footnotes, OhioLINK has increased its number of e-book holdings to almost 69,000 — a 281 percent increase since 2006.

OhioLINK usage has also grown 18 percent among college students since 2009, with over 4.7 million more e-book downloads in 2010.

“Things have changed so much just in the ten years that I have been out of school,” said Mike Gemberling, a 2000 graduate of Kent State. “I remember having to check books out from the library. I think we had OhioLINK, but there weren’t very many books available.”

New e-book collections available include Early English Books Online, Electronic Book Center, Humanities E-Book, Oxford Reference Online, Oxford Scholarship Online and Safari Tech Books Online. All of these are available free to students through the University Library.

While e-book usage has increased, the circulation of books has decreased.

“E-books are just more convenient, and I can get them to my laptop whenever I need them,” said junior English major Jaqui Gemberling, who uses the same library as her older brother Mike, but in a different way.

Students are increasingly using the library for online resources. There is less need for reference books because information is more easily accessible through the research databases available through the library’s website.

“I use the Internet to write all of my papers and to get all of my information,” said Rachel Millick, senior fashion merchandising major. “I can’t even remember the last time I used a book to do research.”

In September, the library will host an event called “Pizza For Your Thoughts.” Students will have the opportunity to write down what they like and don’t like about the changes to the library. They will also be able to give suggestions for new changes and share which research methods and collections they find most useful.

Contact Summer Kent Stater reporter Nicole Delsanter at [email protected].