Friday, January 25, 2008

Taking a Closer Look at Ball State University Libraries

by Arthur W. Hafner, Ph.D., M.B.A., Dean of Ball State University Libraries
The Alexander M. Bracken Library, the main library located in the heart of the campus, serves an average of 4,400 students per day.
Since early 2003, the focus of the University Libraries has been to develop and implement a strategic plan that transforms the Libraries into a 21st century, service-oriented, innovative and educationally involved organization.

A distinguishing characteristic of our growth strategies for the Libraries is to continually improve the Libraries’ programs, services, and collections in order to provide outstanding and uniformly gracious, friendly services to our students, faculty, staff, and other community members.

To accomplish these objectives, our professional and paraprofessional personnel are engaged in an ambitious effort to create, develop, adapt, and implement a wide range of innovative and creative technologies, original products, and highly personalized services that support our students and faculty who are committed to research, learning, and classroom instruction.

Actualization of our growth strategies have measurably fostered an undergraduate culture that promotes and facilitates learning and research. This reality has further supported Ball State University’s move toward national prominence in teaching, research and service.
In addition to providing a range of academic library and information services, the University Libraries are actively engaged in the management and organization of complex data sets, data mining, and the digitization of traditional analog resources in order to create Web accessible information systems that innovatively advance research and learning.

These newly created learning materials constitute a resource that facilitates new forms of rich contextual enquiry. To create these digital resources, data are aggregated from a broad array of information stores, contextualized, and presented in a manner that allows for new questions to be asked and for answers to be represented in fresh ways to provide a better understanding of the data.

Some of the University Libraries’ newest digital products that support the academic community are
· Cardinal Scholar, Ball State’s Institutional Repository providing storage and global access to faculty and student work-product, making it an integral element of the University’s research publishing distribution strategies
· Digital Commons, providing links to digital resources available locally, regionally, globally
· Digital content produced by the University Libraries from analog data
· Digital Media Repository, providing a centralized, coordinated, and user-focus for digital media resources owned or created by the University Libraries, Ball State University, and community partners
· Specialized Web pages for copyright and intellectual property information, digital video collections, distance learning support including online chat and blogging, images, wireless laptop printing solutions, and more

In addition to the digital products mentioned above, the Libraries have long been engaged in producing other important products to benefit students and faculty learning and research:
· Ball State University Virtual Press
· CardCat, the Libraries’ online catalogue
· Course reserves (acquiring and organizing for class-specific assignments)
· Databases (e.g., e-journals, CD/DVD/VHS’s)
· Library Insider, a monthly newsletter for enhanced communications
· Media Finders as interfaces to CardCat to help users find materials in specific formats or genres, such as music, movies, or novels)
· MySpace page
· Resource guides, pathfinders
· Software, such as a room scheduler, staff scheduler
· Student produced library videos
· Tutorials for library instruction
· Web pages with data and information as part of our mass communication outreach to students, faculty

The University Libraries’ primary directive is to support the University’s mission of teaching, scholarship, and public service, provide an intellectual environment for exploration and discovery, and to support academic learning and research through a range of proactive library and information services. Through our growth strategies, we confidently engage our tag line, “… a destination for research, learning, and friends.”
For more information, contact Arthur W. Hafner,, (765) 285-5277.



Post a Comment

<< Home