New changes enhance Parks Library

Aimee Burch

ISU students may see some changes when they visit Parks Library Online.

These changes were designed with students in mind and will allow them to enjoy a more pleasant research experience.

The most prominent change comes to the eLibrary Quick Search, which allows students to find research materials in everything from books to journals to multimedia-like videos.

“You can do everything you used to and more,” said David Gregory, associate professor and associate dean of research and access.

Christine King, associate professor and associate dean of reference and instruction, echoed her colleague’s statements, saying that the enhancements will make materials easier to find.

“Everything you want to do you can from one box,” King said. “It’s very similar to standard search engines and even online shopping, in that there are dropdown menus to use.”

These dropdown menus allow students to pick and choose what materials they would like to browse, with options just like books and “everything but journals.” ISU students also have unique access to full-text dissertations and theses from all over the U.S.

Students are able to see the status of the materials and even renew books, view copyright information and check their accounts via this feature.

King said the library is reaching out to students via the “Ask a Librarian” feature. This feature gives students various methods of contacting library staff, with instant messaging, email links and phone numbers. It also provides students with the name and picture of the subject librarian so students have a name to reference.

“We added the link all over the website,” King said. “We have seen an increase in chat questions because students seem to notice it more.”

Parks Library is also looking to expand their presence in social media with a revamped Facebook page and posts to Flickr and YouTube.

“This gives us a way to push information on events and open dialogue with students,” Gregory said. “It gives us a media presence.”

Library staff continues to make its presence known to students. Their most recent effort included a booth at WelcomeFest. Students who took pictures of themselves pretending to be at the library will soon see them posted to Facebook and Flickr.

Gregory and King both hope these new changes will make searching for materials easier and instill a better sense of satisfaction in ISU students experiences with Parks Library.