Reinhardt University SACSCOC Compliance Certification

3.8.1 Learning/Information Resources

The institution provides facilities and learning/information resources that are appropriate to support its teaching, research, and service mission. (Learning/information resources)

Judgment check box Compliance

Narrative

Reinhardt University provides facilities and learning/information resources that are appropriate to support its teaching, research, and service mission.

Reinhardt’s mission is to “educate the whole person by developing the intellectual, social, personal, vocational, spiritual, and physical dimensions of its students.” [1] The institution describes itself as a “comprehensive university firmly grounded in the liberal arts” and as such offers degree programs for traditional undergraduate students and adult learners, the latter through online and face-to-face degree-completion programs as well as a select number of graduate programs. [2]

The Library Mission Statement

The Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center ensures that it provides sufficient resources by adhering to its mission statement, which is to support “the intellectual development of Reinhardt University students by providing information-related resources and services and by teaching the information skills needed for academic success and life-long learning. Library services, collections, resources, and environment support the academic programs of the University and enrich the learning experience of the Reinhardt community.”

The library accomplishes its mission through its goals and objectives which are to:

  • Be the center of teaching and learning pursuits for students, faculty, and staff at Reinhardt University.
  • Select, acquire, process, maintain, and improve the collections and resources and the information services that create access to those materials.
  • Foster the lifelong love of learning, enabling students to grow in independence, confidence, and resourcefulness.
  • Provide resources and technology as a gateway for information, communication, research, and leisure pursuits.
  • Provide a facility that is inviting, well maintained, secure and both intellectually and culturally stimulating. [3]

Facilities

The Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center is a three story, 30,000 square foot facility located in the center of Reinhardt University. Originally dedicated in 1969, the library was expanded, renovated, and rededicated in 2003. The facility contains the print collection, computer workstations, printers, photocopier, scanners, individual and group study areas, the archives and special collections, and staff offices and workspace. [4] Electronic resources are accessible through the library web page. [5] During academic sessions, the library is open 82 hours per week: from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday; 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday; and 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Sunday. Each semester during final exams, the library provides extended hours. [6] The 5,000 square foot space added during the 2003 renovation is designated as an After Hours Library allowing current students, faculty, and staff access to computer workstations, a printer, and study space 24/7/365. [7] Wireless access is provided throughout the entire library facility. [8]

The main floor of the library includes the following: circulation, reference, and reserve services; 30 computer workstations; printing, scanning, and photocopying services; print reference resources; current print serials; group study rooms; archives and special collections; leisure reading collection; and staff offices. [4] Library staff is available at the service desk on the main floor during all hours that the library is open to assist with reference, circulation, reserves, and technology services. [9] Students have access to a full range of software and to the Internet and library electronic resources on the computer workstations. All computers connect to a black and white laser printer. [8] Color printing is available for a nominal fee with library staff assistance. [10] Three group study rooms on the main floor provide access to seating for small group or individual study, dry erase boards, and media viewing equipment. [4] A cart with computer, projector, and speakers is housed in one of the group study rooms but may be moved to other spaces when needed.

The archives and special collection room on the main floor houses the University Archives and the library’s collection of rare, fragile, and special resources. The archives contain documents, papers, photographs, publications, media, and memorabilia pertaining to the history of the University. An “archives finding aid” is available through the library’s web page. [11]  Special collections houses materials that pertain to the local region or are rare or fragile but hold historical significance. Records for resources in special collections are found in the library catalog which is available through the library web page. All resources in archives and special collections are non-circulating but may be accessed by users with assistance from library staff. [12]

The top floor of the library houses the circulating collection of print books and media, back issues of print serials, individual study spaces, and a large class/meeting/group study room. Space on the top floor is also used for art exhibitions, and the open middle area of the floor is used for programs. On the top floor, there are 36 individual study carrels and thirteen tables that can each accommodate up to four people. The large meeting room on the top floor is regularly used as a classroom but can also be reserved by the campus community for meetings. When not in use as a classroom or for a meeting, students may use the room for group study. This room comfortably accommodates up to 20 people and the tables and chairs can be configured in several ways to meet the user’s needs. The room contains a cart with computer, projector, and speakers and a dry erase board. The open middle area of the top floor is used occasionally for programs and presentations. Programming can be both library sponsored or sponsored by other campus groups for campus and community audiences. [4]

The After Hours Library encompasses three floors. The first or lowest level houses the coffee shop operated by Metz food service; however, this space also includes soft seating where library users may sit to study or use their own devices connected through the wireless network. The second or middle level house nine computers, a black and white laser printer, a scanner, and soft seating. The third or top level houses a table with chairs and study carrels for individual or very small group study. The top level also allows access to an open air terrace with high-top tables and chairs. During regular library hours, the second and third floors of the After Hours Library open into the main and top floors. When the main library is closed, locked fire doors prevent access to the library collections and service areas. To enter the After Hours Library, students, faculty, and staff use their Reinhardt identification card on a card swipe which unlocks the outside door to allow entry. The After Hours Library also houses the library’s elevator. [7]

Learning Information Resources

Collections

The collections of the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center include 73,265 print volumes, 3511 media items, 152,292 e-books, 158 databases, access to 38,880 streaming videos, access to 12,830,597 streaming musical audio tracks, and access to over 33,000 full text journals. The circulating collection includes the music library, the children’s book collection, and the Triplett Memorial Military History Collection. [13] The music library contains 9200 volumes including musical scores and research resources to aid students in the School of Performing Arts. [14] The children’s book collection consists of almost 2200 volumes from easy readers to young adult fiction including both Spanish language and Spanish/English language books. While the collection is used primarily by students in the Price School of Education, students, faculty, and staff with children use the collection as well as the Waleska United Methodist Church pre-school. [15] The Triplett Memorial Military History Collection consists of over 7000 volumes pertaining to all wars fought by the United States with particular emphasis on the Civil War. This collection also contains numerous volumes on general American history and politics. [16]

The catalog, databases, and electronic resources are accessible through the library’s web page. Access to databases, full text journals, e-books, and streaming media is controlled through a proxy server. Students, faculty, and staff have access to these resources through their personal devices anywhere that they have Internet access. When outside the campus wired network, users must enter their last name and Reinhardt identification number for access to these resources. [17]

Teaching and Research Services

The library provides a wide range of services for all students, faculty, and staff. The library’s web site serves as a portal for users not only to access resources but also to access descriptions of services and collections. Specific web pages to assist off-campus and graduate students have been created to instruct and to enhance their information resources needs. [17][18] Reference services are provided in person, through telephone conversations, and through e-mail. [9] Research guides and tips are provided through the web page. [19] Interlibrary Loan provides access to resources from other libraries and is available to all students, faculty, and staff. [20]

Off Campus Access to Resources and Services

Reinhardt University ensures that all distance education students, regardless of where they are located, have access to library/learning resources appropriate and adequate to support the courses they are taking. The catalog, databases, and electronic resources are accessible through the library’s web page. Access to databases, full text journals, e-books, and streaming media is controlled through a proxy server. Students, faculty, and staff have access to these resources through their personal devices wherever they have Internet access. When outside the campus wired network, users must enter their last name and Reinhardt identification number for access to these resources. [17]

Assistance for off campus and online users is available through the library’s web page.  Instructions for off campus access to library resources are provided on the web site. [17] Guides and tips on the web site assist users in formulating successful research strategies. [9] Graduate students are directed to databases that will provide the best resources for their program of study. [18] Online and off campus students may contact the library by telephone or e-mail to receive assistance with library resources or with research strategies. [9]

Assessments of facilities and learning information resources

Assessment of the appropriateness of library facilities and resources is accomplished in several ways. Determining that the library provides appropriate resources is a multifaceted process. The library’s collection development policy outlines objectives, selection criteria, and evaluation for library resources. [21] Usage statistics are evaluated annually. Library staff works with faculty to determine what resources are currently available and what resources will be needed when a new program is proposed. Users are surveyed for their opinions. [22]

Library staff members follow guidelines set forth in the collection development policy to ensure that resources support the academic programs and mission of the University. Not only is the selection of new resources important but the deselection of resources allows the collection to remain current and vibrant. Library staff follow the guidelines set forth in the collection development policy to deselect (remove) resources from the collection that are inaccurate, outdated, and damaged. [21] A recent project removed over 2500 items from the collection that met the deselection criteria. [23]

While circulation of physical materials has dropped significantly in recent years (down from 3742 items in 2012-2013 to 2501 items in 2016-2017), attendance in the library and usage of electronic resources has increased significantly. Hourly headcount increased from 43,832 in 2012-2013 to 58,800 in 2016-2017. Access to full text articles increased from 20,975 in 2012-2013 to 132,956 in 2016-2017. These statistics are used to help determine how funds will be allocated for resources. [25]

In the fall semester 2016 library user survey, 90% of student participants indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the library. The same survey found that 89% of the students rated the library staff as helpful or very helpful. 71% of student respondents indicated that they used the library facilities and/or resources multiple times per week. Another 18% responded that they use the facilities and/or resources once per week on average. [26]

Among faculty and staff responding to the fall semester 2016 library user survey, 93% indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the library. 95% of the faculty and staff respondents rated the library staff as helpful or very helpful. Only 27% of faculty and staff responded that they use the library facilities or resources multiple times per week while another 23% used the library an average of once per week. [27]

In spring semester 2016, a survey was administered to graduate students and faculty concerning the recently developed Graduate Student Resources page on the library’s website. While a majority of students were not yet aware of the web page, those that had used it were overwhelmingly satisfied. Graduate faculty surveyed were pleased with the web page and responded that they would encourage students to use the web page. [28] As a result of comments, the library continues to improve the site and add new guides and tutorials to assist students in their research. In fall semester 2016, the University Graduate Council asked if the Reference and User Services Librarian could develop a web-based tutorial for graduate students that they might use and reuse as they prepare research projects. [30]  This tutorial is in process for 2017-2018.

When a new degree program is proposed, the proposal includes an analysis of library resources. The library staff works with faculty to ensure that adequate and appropriate resources are acquired to support new programming and degrees. [29]

Conclusion

The library is undergoing renovation during summer 2017. New features and services will include collaborative study rooms, tutorial rooms, a conference room, an upgraded classroom, a technology lab, and a large meeting room/programming space. New spaces for existing computers and for the children’s book collection are being created. Library staff will be available at service desks on multiple levels of the library to assist users. The renovated space will modernize the library’s facilities to provide an aesthetically pleasing and technologically relevant space for research, study, and learning.

The Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center provides the collections, resources, facilities, and services needed to support all academic and service programs of the University at all locations and online. Through its physical and electronic collections, its facilities, and its services, the library ensures that all students, faculty, and staff have access to adequate resources.

 

Supporting Documents

[1] Reinhardt University Mission Statement, Reinhardt Undergraduate Academic
Catalog 2016-2017
, p. 8

[2] Reinhardt University History, Reinhardt University Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017, p. 7-8

[3] Library Mission Statement

[4] Library Specifications

[5] Research Resources

[6] Library Hours

[7] After Hours Library

[8] Library Computers

[9] Library Reference Services

[10] Library Frequently Asked Questions

[11] Archives Finding Aid

[12] Archives and Special Collections

[13] Library Collections

[14] Music Library

[15] Children’s Collection

[16] Triplett Collection

[17] Off Campus Library Users

[18] Resources for Graduate Students

[19] Library Research Help Services

[20] Interlibrary Loan Services

[21] Collection Development Policy

[22] Fall 2016 Library Survey

[23] 2015-2016 Library AES Annual Assessment

[25] 2016-2017 Library AES Annual Assessment

[26] Fall 2016 Library Survey Student Responses

[27] Fall 2016 Library Survey Faculty/Staff Responses

[28] Spring 2016 Graduate Library Survey Responses

[29] New Program Proposal Form, 2017

[30] University Graduate Council minutes, October 2016