New library director brings vision to increase online resources, availability

Students Ashleigh Koopmans and Matthew Lawrence work on their laptops in A.M. Hills. An increase in online library resources will make studying anywhere and any time easier. (Photo by Jasmine Misner)

By Baker Pitts

To some, running a library might like a cushy job: lots of sitting around punctuated by brief moments of putting books back on shelves.

But Katie King, SNU’s new library director, knows that it is much more than organizing books. She has big plans in store to help students succeed in their studies.

When Katie King stepped into the library on July 1 to fill her new position as the library director, she already had a vision for what she wanted SNU’s study central to become. Katie is a 2008 graduate of SNU who holds a masters of Library Information Studies. As library director, Ms. King is responsible for handling any problems that come up on a day-to-day basis, making sure that library employees are doing what they need to and are getting along, managing the library budget and figuring out the vision and future of the library.

“So if there isn’t a library in ten years, you can blame me,” King said, joking.

And when it comes to the future of the library, she has big plans in store. Ms. King dreams of bringing the library more into the modern electronic age by making more online resources available to students, both by bringing in new resources and creating new ways to make the existing resources easier to use.

One plan she has is to create short tutorial videos on how to use things like Ebscohost, an online research tool that is currently available to SNU students. This way those students who have never used it for research can figure out how it works if they are not able to ask a professor for help. The point isn’t to make it easier for students to procrastinate and get papers done the night before they are due, but rather to make the library and the resources it contains more easily accessible to those who may not be able to be on campus in the library every night to study.

Also in the works are plans to make books that already exist in the library available to buy or rent as Ebooks, which would work by the library purchasing access to said books and giving students the ability to buy the access to the book from the library. This process allows the library to ‘have’ the book, but not have to use space on school servers to keep the books on them.

In addition to making the library easier to use without physically being in the library, King also plans to have events in the library to bring some fun to a place that some students may dread to go. A Halloween costume party was just one of the things that she expressed interest in doing this year.
Some were disappointed in the first weeks of the semester when trying to go to the library to do some homework, only to find that it had closed at 9 p.m., but King assured that it will be open for normal hours the rest of the semester. At the end of last year, the previous library director and the school’s provost got together and planned out a library schedule for when the library would be open, and for most of the summer, the library closed at 9 p.m. This year was something of an anomaly. Normally there are only two days of school before Labor Day, but this year there were ten days before the three day weekend, and the schedule had the library closing at 9 p.m. until after Labor Day.

What do you think?