Easing library searches

Forget printing fees. Students now can scan and
download documents at the library – at no cost.
The scanner is just one of a series of improvements
the Consortium Library is working on after receiving the
results of the LibQual Survey that was administered by the
library last November.
The scanner is a two-part system composed of a highquality
scanner and computer touch screen located in the
downstairs copy room of the Consortium Library. Students
can scan documents and then send them to their e-mails or
save them directly to a jump drive.
Results have been pretty positive according to Robin
Hansen, head of Access Services for the library. Hansen said
that last spring a librarian mentioned seeing a scanner at a
library in Kansas and suggested that that the Consortium
Library look into getting one as well.
Systems librarian Mike Robinson said that the cost for the
scanner was $24,000 and included
the two-system components:
shipping and licensing for the
operating program.
Robinson said that the library
has two other scanners that are
used for document delivery, but
that they are currently not for
public use.
Hansen said that the scanner
has had very few operating
problems. If a student types in
their e-mail incorrectly or their
inbox is full, the message may be
bounced back. Hansen noted that
saving the document to a jump
drive, which the scanner also can
do, easily solves this problem.
Occasionally the touch screen
will “freeze-up,” but that can be
easily corrected if a librarian is
notifi ed. The scanner itself has
had no technical issues.
“It can take a really good
picture,” Robinson said.
Dean of Consortium Library
Steve Rollins said that he would
consider purchasing more scanners
if the need arose.
“We would buy more if we see
lines at the one we have,” Rollins
said.Other improvement the library
is looking into includes a new,
more inclusive search engine
within the library’s current search
capabilities.
Right now the MetaSearch
Beta database is still in trial mode.
Currently students can search
for articles through individual
databases within the library’s
Web site. The new search engines
will provide more comprehensive
searches of these databases
by grouping similar databases
together. For example, nursing
students have 20 article databases
to choose from. The new search
engines will merge the databases
together so students will only
have to do one search instead of
going in and out of the different
databases.
It will also help expose students
to resources they may not have
thought of before.
“[Students] might not have
known you would have a certain
database,” Rollins said. “It exposes
you to other things.”
Rollins said that the library
plans to have the search engine
up by March 1. Librarians are
currently in the process of linking
all the databases to the correct
subject searches. It is no small
task – the library has over 190
databases it has to link to the
search engine.
MetaSearch is part of the
Library’s goal of improving library
resources based on the results
of the LibQual Survey. Rollins
said that based on the results of
the survey the library is looking
into adding more tables and
adding library hours – including
extending Saturday hours.