Hunter J. François Library – on the cutting edge of technology.
Faculty, researchers and students of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College will soon benefit from having access to thousands of electronic books online.
The Hunter J. François library; the academic library serving SALCC continues to integrate technology with its information resources to provide its patrons with quality information services.
In 2001, the Hunter J. François library became the first academic Library in the OECS to become fully automated. Five years later in 2006 the library supplemented its print journal holdings with electronic journals, providing patrons with access to thousands of academic journals online. Further efforts to enhance its services also included a digitization project which commenced in 2013.
Today, the Hunter J. François Library is pleased to announce that faculty, staff and students of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College can now borrow from thousands of electronic books in addition to its print collection. Formerly known as NetLibrary, E-Books at EBSCOhost is an eBook platform, providing access to high quality E-Books from a range of leading publishers, covering a wide range of subjects, guaranteeing valuable, trusted content with every search.
The EBSCO eBook Collection comprises over 140,000 titles of reference E-Books and other academic books on a wide range of subjects that have been converted into digital format. SALCC students will be able to access the full text of these E-Books wherever and whenever needed; at home, from the library’s computers, their laptops, tablets or other portable devices. More so, HJFL staff will be on hand to provide support and research assistance so that all patrons can maximize and effectively utilize this valuable information resource.
It is important to note however, that transitioning to e-resources is no easy feat. libraries like HJFL are not immune to global economic challenges and very often the budgets of libraries are the first to cut. However, over the years HJFL has found creative and innovative solutions to ensure that it remains relevant in a constantly changing environment. The success of E-Books in other academic institutions worldwide is well documented. Moreover, the acquisition of a subscription database of E-Books in comparison to its print counterparts was the most cost effective means of adding a significant number of titles to the Library’s collection that would not otherwise have been possible to do in print format.
In general, E-Books offer an ideal opportunity for libraries to increase their existing collections while enhancing users’ research experiences. More specifically, students of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College will benefit from significant advantages afforded by the acquisition of a subscription based electronic books database through EBSCO. These benefits include 24/7 access, simultaneous user access, and the elimination of issues related to lack of storage space, risk of damage or theft, increased maintenance costs, and physical handling and processing of print books.
To ensure that faculty and students maximize the full potential of this e-book collection – HJFL will be embarking on a series of initiatives. One initiative includes the integration of E-Books into the library’s online public access catalogue (OPAC). In doing so, patrons who search the OPAC for books will also gain instant access to E-Books as well as the library’s print holdings. Another important initiative includes sourcing funding for the equipment that will enable students to access these e-resources with ease at the library, such as the readers, tablets, modern computer terminals and furniture.
It is important to note that the printed book will never cease to exist, but in order to remain relevant libraries must transition and continuously adapt to a constantly changing environment. At Hunter J. François Library, patrons can continue to enjoy its print holdings; but can look forward to an enhanced search experience in the new academic year commencing August 2015 – where they will be able to gain access to quality information resources regardless of time and location.