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2. Core requirements

Core Requirement:

2.9 The institution, through ownership or formal arrangements or agreements, provides and supports student and faculty access and user privileges to adequate library collections and services and to other learning/information resources consistent with the degrees offered. Collections, resources, and services are sufficient to support all its educational, research, and public service programs. (Learning Resources and Services)

Statement of Compliance:   In Compliance.

Narrative:

The University of West Georgia learning resources are mainly concentrated in Ingram Library. The report for Comprehensive Standard 3.8.1 provides a thorough description of this facility.

The overall number of books and electronic resources that are offered at Ingram Library are comparable and proportional to the university’s peers within the University System of Georgia.  The University of West Georgia is a member of the GALILEO initiative [1], an initiative of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia that serves as an online library portal to authoritative, subscription-only information that isn’t available through free search engines or Web directories.  The purpose of GALILEO is to provide all educational institutions in the state of Georgia with reliable, quality information resources in order to pursue and further research, scholarship and information literacy [2].    

Four peer institutions that are similar to the University of West Georgia are Kennesaw State University, Valdosta State University, Georgia Regents University and Georgia Southern University.

 

Kennesaw State University

237,929 monographs

Valdosta State University

348,177 monographs

Georgia Regents University

277,753 monographs

Georgia Southern University

453,014 monographs

TOTAL

1,316,873

Avg total among peer institutions

329,218 monographs

*These monograph counts were pulled from the OCLC WorldCat database [3] showing bibliographic holdings in real time on March 29, 2013.

The current number of available monograph titles at Ingram Library (as of August 2012) is 378,618, which is higher than the average among in-state peer institutions.  An additional ~78,000 titles are available electronically. These are eBook titles that Ingram Library has purchased with their own allocated funds to satisfy a number of departments and programs across campus, especially those that are adding distance-learning components to their program.  Titles that are purchased for Ingram Library by GALILEO are not included in that number; the number of eBooks provided separately by GALILEO is ~32,000 (as of August 2012) [4].

The number of unique serial and journal titles, according to figures from the 2011 ACRL Report, is 73,435 [5].  This number is comprised of individual subscriptions that specifically address a need in the collection as well as the number of titles that are available through multiple online databases and are found through digital citation finding aids.  Ingram Library takes advantage of several local and state-wide consortium opportunities in order to keep the costs associated with access to important resources low and sustainable for future growth [4].

Ingram Library currently has access to over 400 databases; ~175 of these are paid for with funds from the University of West Georgia’s annual budget.  The remaining number of electronic resources are provided by GALILEO [6]. Ingram Library also has a Special Collections archive [7] and has been a Federal Depository library since 1969 [8].  With the exception of just a handful of electronic resources, all of the databases are accessible from a location off campus via GALILEO as long as there is internet access available; students and faculty are required to provide an ID number and a personal PIN in order to gain access [9], which is in accordance with licensing agreements with various vendor partners.  The number of monographs, the number of unique serial and journal selections, and the number of databases provided allows Ingram Library to offer a wide variety of scholarly content in print and electronic format that allows for interdisciplinary research that supports both graduate and undergraduate programs. 

Ingram Library is an OCLC member library; OCLC is a worldwide network of libraries based on resource sharing [10]. Thus, cataloging and InterLibrary Loans are streamlined, providing access to materials that the University does not own.  The GALILEO Interconnected Libraries (GIL) system can usually provide the materials that students and faculty are requesting [11], but if a Georgia institution doesn’t have an item, Ingram Library can request it from institutions outside of the state and OCLC membership helps facilitate this process.  

As participants in the GILExpresssystem [11], UWG students and faculty are able to utilize at no charge all of the circulating materials owned by any of the 35 libraries in the University System of Georgia [12]. Also, the UWG Library Interlibrary Loan department [13] has the opportunity to borrow materials from libraries throughout the world.  Furthermore, as members of the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education [14],  students and faculty are granted borrowing privileges at all the major research libraries in the Atlanta metro area [15]

The UWG collection is strong, as reflected in the fact that Ingram Library is a net lender (meaning that the library lends to other libraries more than it borrows from outside institutions).  Statistics on Borrowing and Lending are available at the library’s website [16].

Furthermore, Ingram Library supports online and off-campus students in accordance with the requirements in the “Distance and Correspondence Education” SACS policy [17]. Thus, materials owned by the UWG Library that can be copied are sent electronically upon request to off-campus students via UWG Library’s Distance learning Library Services [18], and materials that cannot be copied are mailed as needed.  However, Ingram Library’s emphasis on acquiring as many online resources as possible provides students and faculty access via GALILEO to most of the resources even if they are not on campus (the databases marked with the UWG flame logo have been purchased for the exclusive use of University of West Georgia students and faculty) [6]. In addition, Ingram Library has executed cooperative agreements for provision of services to UWG students with academic libraries at the sites of the university’s largest off-campus programs [19].

In 2010, Ingram Library became a member of the OCLC QuestionPoint cooperative [20].  QuestionPoint is an instant messaging reference service that allows University of West Georgia students access to live help 24 hours a day [21].  Faculty librarians have QuestionPoint shifts throughout the week; if someone from UWG is not available, questions or issues from UWG will be directed to the other members of the QuestionPoint cooperative who can give assistance with student research. 

Every faculty librarian has departmental liaison duties [22].  These responsibilities include doing one-shot library instruction sessions, collection building with a designated book budget, as well as research assistance that can be requested via phone, email, or by an electronic submission form [23].  For collection building, each department is assigned a librarian liaison to help address gaps and needs in the collection.  Liaisons are matched with departments for which they share collection building experience and/or a second Master’s Degree.  UWG Faculty have several ways in which they can provide feedback about their library needs: they can communicate with their assigned liaisons, fill out an online request form, or send an email to the email address created specifically for the acquisitions department (acqdept@westga.edu) [24].

De-selection of materials is also a part of the collection development process.  Sometimes materials are purchased to support esoteric areas of expertise. However, when the professors in these areas leave, the library has an opportunity to deselect those materials and shift resources in a more productive way.  Ingram Library conducted a thorough journal review process in 2007-2008 and is in the process of conducting another one in the Spring 2012 semester [4]. This will allow the library to deselect materials with the goal of reducing redundancies and spending the subscriptions budget in a more efficient manner. 

Over the past few years, the university has invested heavily in scholarly resources that the library now owns in perpetuity.  These collections include scholarly journal content, as well as historic newspaper collections and historic books with broadsides and ephemera.  Major collections are purchased with the intent of them being interdisciplinary and fully-accessible to all students [6].

In an effort to evaluate ongoing departmental purchases, the Technical Services Department has recently licensed the Selection Support service from SwetsWise [25]. This is a program that allows Ingram Library to aggregate and consolidate all of the usage statistics for UWG library electronic resources across all platforms.

Additionally, there has been a major push to convert the library’s reference collection from a traditional print collection to an electronic collection. This allows the library to provide resources in a format that students are comfortable with.  It also provides more resources for distance education students, an area in which the university continues to grow. The Library’s materials budget provides allocations to individual departments and programs for purchasing requested books, audiovisual items, or any other materials needed in support of the curriculum. The Acquisitions Department has an approval plan with a book distributor, which enhances the print book collection by helping identify titles that otherwise might have been overlooked.  Liaison librarians participate in this process by browsing books on the approval shelves and making selection decisions [26].

The report for Comprehensive Standard 3.3.1.3 discusses the assessment of the library services.


 

Supporting Documentation: