Library and IT: An Integral Part of Student Services

LIBRARY AND IT: AN INTEGRAL PART OF STUDENT SERVICES

by Ben Hoover, Evening Library Services Specialist

As a former student affairs practitioner recently converted to the Library and Information Technology field, I was surprised by the interconnection and similarity in support provided to students between L&IT and the Student Affairs Division on campus.  The traditional role of L&IT – to support the curriculum, and teaching and learning of faculty and students – is still the main role of the organization, but L&IT also has a large effect on the type of learning that leads to holistic development (i.e. the kind of learning that comes from the cocurricular and extracurricular).

L&IT provides the technological infrastructure that allows for the day to day functioning of almost all aspects of the cocurricular and extracurricular experiences on campus.  Technology is the springboard for clubs, organizations, events, campaigns, and learning as well as the foundation for almost all academic affairs and student affairs offices.  Thus, L&IT not only supports student learning but also holistic student development at a structural level.  With so much blending into student life, it makes sense that L&IT projects, initiatives, and decisions should be informed by theory and best practices in the Student Affairs field.  To this end, L&IT regularly seeks student and professional input via our Student Advisory Group and ad-hoc project focus groups.

In addition to the ubiquity of L&IT through technology on campus, the library side of L&IT offers services similar in nature to those in the student life realm.  Library Services provides many personalized and small group interactions with students in the form of reference consultations, information literacy instruction, workshops, and front line services through the library services desk and research help area.  Similarly, as one of the largest employers of student workers on campus, many L&IT staff members have the potential to be mentors. The frequent interactions we have with student employees give us the opportunity to make their work experiences be as much about personal and professional development as about getting the job done.

Given the level of integration L&IT has into student life, how do we further embrace the student affairs mindset and practice to facilitate holistic development?  The first step is to continue building relationships with our student affairs partners.  It is important that we keep touch with the pulse of student life on campus in order to realize how we can continue to support students in both their academic and personal lives.  Communication is the key to knowing our student population and their needs.  Additionally, student affairs offices offer fantastic trainings, seminars, and events that provide us opportunities to learn the skills we need to be intentional about our relationships with students and in our projects and initiatives.

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Multifactor Authentication: Thwarting Cybercriminals

Many of us rely on passwords to protect the privacy and security of our online accounts, but passwords alone are no longer enough.  Cyber criminals have access to sophisticated password cracking tools, algorithms, and dictionaries that represent a significant risk to our personal and institutional data.  In order to counter this threat, Bucknell University is rolling out a technology called “Multi-Factor Authentication”, or MFA.  MFA is based on requiring at least two identifiers — typically something you know, such as a password, and something you have, such as a smartphone — to be authenticated to a particular information system.

Our Multi-Factor Authenticated virtual private network will be used to access sensitive and confidential university data from remote locations, enabling our users to enjoy a work-anywhere environment while ensuring that our critical data and systems are protected.  For more information, contact Eric Smith at ejsmith@bucknell.edu.

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Bucknell students design e-book display!

Innovation and creativity are central to a library’s mission.  Without those tenets, we’d still be using a card catalog and stamping books to circulate them. The staff at the Bertrand Library is always eager to find ways for improving our service and anticipating needs that may not yet exist. In academic year 2012-13, the Bertrand Library purchased more ebooks than print books. While these books are as discoverable in our catalog as their print counterparts, we did not have a good mechanism for making our patrons aware of their existence, whereas print books were prominently displayed on the Library’s first floor. Staff brainstormed a possible solution: an interactive ebook display where we could curate a digital new book shelf. Coincidentally, one of Felipe Perrone’s computer science engineering classes was soliciting proposals for senior design projects.

Then-seniors Daniel Eshleman, Davis Gallinghouse, and Chris Cook elected to pursue the ebook display as their final project. They developed several potential models, such as an array of e-readers preloaded with content, but ultimately chose to use an all-in-one touchscreen computer for which they would write an application that would help library staff quickly and easily add content. The library had few but demanding requirements: the device needed to be as visually appealing to patrons as a traditional book display, and the process of adding and deleting books from the display needed to be extremely straightforward. Daniel, Davis, and Chris investigated various APIs and were able to create an interactive display consisting of a grid of book covers, each of which, when touched, will pull up information about that ebook and can email the patron a link to the ebook. Library staff only need to maintain a simple WorldCat list, and the application does the rest of the work.

Next time you’re in the library, make sure you check out this great new addition, which is located adjacent to the self-checkout machine on the main level.

 

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Bertrand Library Hours for Thanksgiving Break

Here are the library hours for Thanksgiving Break:

Tuesday November 25:  7am-7pm
Wednesday November 26 – Saturday November 29: Closed
Sunday November 30: Noon – 2am
Monday: Regular hours resume

For complete hours, see: http://www.bucknell.edu/LibraryHours

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Students: Where to Study in the Library?

The library is a place to find books, get research and tutoring help, eat, caffeinate, and most importantly, study!  Bertrand offers a wide range of spaces for both group and individual studying.  So which ones are the best?  As we approach the end of the semester and finals, this list will help you find the perfect place to study in the library.

  1. The Library Lab (L1).  This is by far the best group study space for collaborative projects.  There is ample seating, white boards, and each table in the room is outfitted with a screen that can connect to six laptops (adapters are available at the Equipment Desk).
  2. Third floor quiet area (L3).  For those needing a quiet space for some serious thinking, look no further.  The individual desks in this closed room are perfect for those long study sessions.
  3. Group study rooms(LL2, LL1 and L2).  The library’s 10 group study rooms on lower levels 1 and 2, and level 2 are ideal for small group projects and studying.  Connectors for hooking laptops up to the TVs are available at the Equipment Desk.
  4. Traditional reading room (L2).  In here, you can feel the history of Bucknell.  The Traditional Reading Room is open from 7:00am-10:00pm for some inspired studying.
  5. The Maps and Atlases Room (LL1).  Looking for a different kind of study space?  The map room offers both tables for group work and individual computers as well as a nice change of scenery.
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How to Schedule Appointment Slots on Your Google Calendar

Do you need to schedule appointments with several people in a short period of time?  Use Appointment Slots in your calendar!  Check out the step by step instructions here:

http://ask.bucknell.edu/?p=1163

Contact the Tech Desk (techdesk@bucknell.edu, 570-577-7777) for assistance.

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Barcode scanners available

The Equipment Desk now has barcode scanners available for loan.  So if you need to scan IDs for an event, a contest, or other activity, be sure to contact the Equipment Desk.  It’ll make your life easier, guaranteed.

The Equipment Desk is located on the first floor of the Library and can be reached at (570) 577-7733 or reserve on line here:   https://www.bucknell.edu/EquipmentServices

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