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2.9 Learning Resources and Services

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)

Judgment of Compliance

Sam Houston State University provides and supports student and faculty access and user privileges to adequate library collections and services as well as to other learning/information resources consistent with the degrees offered. Collections, resources, and services are sufficient to support all of its educational, research, and public service programs. The primary source of support is the Newton Gresham Library. Additional learning/information resources needed by faculty and students are provided by numerous entities to include: Computer Services, the Sam Center, the Math Lab, the Reading Center, and the Writing Center. Details regarding the staffing, physical plant and services of the learning/information centers are documented in Comprehensive Standards 3.8.1, 3.8.2, 3.8.3.

The Newton Gresham Library (NGL) supports the teaching, research and service mission by providing access to a comprehensive collection of information and learning resources to users both on and off campus. The Library provides access to teaching and research materials in print, electronic, and microform formats by direct ownership, licensing agreements, interlibrary loan, cooperative agreements, and shared resource agreements.

As part of its mission, the Library “endeavors to create physical and virtual environments that promote discovery of new knowledge and the transfer of existing knowledge. The Library fulfills this mission by providing organized access to a diverse array of quality print, electronic and other resources and by continuously improving the effectiveness of its bibliographic, instructional and reference services” [1]. Academic Policy Statement 840606 defines the Library Use Policy for students, faculty and staff [2].

The non-electronic services and collections of the Newton Gresham Library are available 100 hours per week. The hours are posted on the Library’s website and in the building with variations to regular hours posted on the website and in the building [3]. The Library is open Monday through Wednesday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

SIRSI, the Library’s integrated library system, and the Library’s website allow users to identify the resources owned or licensed by the Library. Twenty workstations in the Reference area and two computer labs containing 80 workstations provide users with access to resources within the Library with eight workstations dedicated to the online catalog. The Library circulates 40 wireless laptops for building use. Access to electronic resources is available to SHSU students and faculty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on campus and from remote locations after verifying affiliation. Borrowing privileges differ according to material type and user group; the circulation policy is published on the Library’s website [4]. The Library maintains a webpage for students and faculty involved in distance education courses [5].

Physical access to the building has been improved for users who have physical challenges, including a new entrance to the building on the north end of the first floor, electronic door openers and improved restroom facilities. The Library also provides a scanner, magnification equipment and a Braille printer, as well as adaptive technology workstations with Kurzweil, Jaws, and Zoom Text.

Reference Department
Reference Librarians are available to assist users. The Reference Desk is staffed every hour the Library is opened. The reference area contains over 28,000 reference books and access to 188 databases. Students, both on and off campus, are encouraged to contact Reference Librarians and other subject specialists for assistance in answering questions, developing search strategies, and identifying useful resources (see the Research Services and Instruction section on the Library’s website) [6]. A librarian from the appropriate subject area will respond to questions submitted electronically via the “Ask a Librarian” service accessed from the NGL homepage. From the University’s toll free number (1-866-232-7528, 1-866-BEARKAT) students are transferred to the Reference Desk between 8a.m. and 5 p.m.; the night message provides the telephone number for the Reference Desk. A toll free number (1-866-645-4636, 1-866-NGL-INFO) is available for students to call when they need help accessing databases, developing research strategies, or clarification of services.

The Library provides students with “Virtual Reference Desk,” a real-time-chat software [7], giving students real time access to a librarian who can demonstrate how to successfully search a database, develop a research strategy, or suggest appropriate resources on a given topic, and provide real-time instruction sessions for both individual and group sessions on the use of specific resources. Librarians are available by appointment to assist the student in conducting library research and to provide guidance in the use of various library services and resources, including the resources of other libraries.

Interlibrary Services
The Library is a member of Amigos Library Services and participates in TexShare [8], the State’s resource-sharing program. Interlibrary Services [9] uses these two library programs as well as reciprocal agreements to provide access to material not available on campus. Using Ariel software and ILLIAD, an interlibrary loan management system, most articles and chapters are delivered to the users’ desktop. Interlibrary Services manages the Library’s Distance Education Services; articles and chapters from books are digitized and books are circulated to Distance Education Services users by Interlibrary Services staff. The Library continues to loan more items than it borrows from other libraries. In 2007, the Library borrowed 4,229 items for users and loaned 8,446 items to other libraries.

Distance Education Services
The Newton Gresham Library's Distance Education Services provides reference and research assistance, instruction in the use of library resources, and delivery of books, electronic files/documents and photocopies to authenticated distance learners. The Distance Education Handbook is available online [10]. Registered valid users may request copies of journal articles and chapters of books and have them sent electronically.

Special Collections
Special Collections provide Sam Houston students access to over 12,000 books, fine bindings and manuscripts related to local and Texas history as well as special subject areas such as the Civil War, criminal justice and avant-garde poetry. Special author collections are also available, including Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein and H. G. Wells [11].

Government Documents
The Newton Gresham Library is a selective depository for United States government documents [12]. The Library currently receives approximately 56% of the publications offered by the Superintendent of Documents in a variety of formats including print, electronic, and microform. The Library also participates in the Texas State Publications Depository Program, designed to collect, distribute and preserve publications of the state.

Music Listening Room
The Music Listening Room maintains a significant music collection, which includes approximately 14,000 books, 15,000 scores, and 12,000 audio and visual items [13]. SHSU houses the Newton Strandberg Collection, including the majority of his compositions. The music collection supports the teaching and research needs of the School of Music on multiple levels.

Library Collections
The Newton Gresham Library contains 1.25 million volumes, including books, journals, government documents, microforms, electronic resources, music scores, recordings, CDs, DVDs, and videos [14]. During fiscal year 2007, over 76,000 items were circulated to the Sam Houston State University community; approximately 8,500 items were provided to requestors from other libraries; and 7,250 items were borrowed for SHSU faculty, students and staff. The Library provides the campus with an expanding collection of electronic resources, such as databases, journals, books, and primary source materials. Since 2000, the Library’s budget has allowed for the addition of approximately 11,000 books per year. The largest share of collection development funds have been reserved for periodicals and electronic resources. Since 2002, funds for collection development have been provided, in part, by a library fee. Initially, the fee was $30 per semester and was increased to $35 per semester in fall 2007.

The Library has dramatically increased access to electronic databases over the past few years to increase informational resources for students and faculty [15]. Licensing full-text databases and acquiring direct access to journals has rapidly increased journal holdings and the electronic collection at Sam Houston State University. Journal holdings have also been increased by participating in TexShare [16] and working with members of The Texas State University System, Texas Independent Colleges and University Libraries, and Amigos. TexShare [17] is the resource sharing program funded by the Texas Legislature and managed by the Texas State Library and Archives; this program provides 50 full-text databases and over 27,000 e-books. The Library uses collaborative purchasing of materials, such as electronic books and journals. The Library participates with Amigos members to purchase e-books from netLibrary and to receive discounts on many of our databases [18] [19]. The Library currently has over 56,000 e-books including Safari Tech Books Online and reference resources from Gale, Oxford and CredoReference. The Library joined with the Texas Independent Colleges and Universities to acquire access to Wiley InterScience Online Journals and SpringerLINK. The Texas State University System libraries licensed Elsevier’s ScienceDirect and Sage electronic journals. A complete list of the Library’s databases and indexes and electronic journals is located on the Library’s webpage [20] [21]. Copies of licenses for all electronic databases, including Wiley InterScience, SpringerLINK, ScienceDirect and Sage, are maintained in Acquisitions and Serials and in the Director’s office.

Collection Evaluation
Collection development is a collaborative effort with subject librarians/bibliographers serving as liaisons to academic departments and working with faculty to achieve a balance between research and curriculum needs [22]. The subject librarians review proposed courses and new programs as part of the curriculum review process to determine the adequacy of the collection [23]. New books (books published within the past two years) requested by faculty through Interlibrary Loan are purchased. This service provides the faculty member with needed material faster than it can be borrowed from another library, and the Library acquires material needed to support research and the curriculum. Accreditation reviews also provide an opportunity for the subject bibliographers to review the information resources for specific disciplines. Recently the University has hosted accreditation visits from AACSB, NCATE, NASM and others. During these visits, the Library has successfully demonstrated that its collections are adequate. To encourage input from faculty and students in developing the collection, the Library provides online request forms, makes use of the Newton Gresham Library Committee and issues a newsletter, Books and Bytes [24] [25].

In order to provide information resources which support both the research and curricular needs of the University, the Library uses a variety of methods to identify and acquire the needed resources. In addition to faculty requests, subject librarians use standard selection tools, including scholarly journals and library review resources such as Choice, to identify the best information resources for the campus. The Library’s profile for the slip approval plan with YBP reflects the curricular and research interests of the University. The Library’s Collection Development Policy defines the characteristics of each subject area and the criteria for adding material to support undergraduate and graduate courses as well as research [26]. Both the Collection Development Policy and the YBP slip approval plan are scheduled for revision in 2008.

In the past, Librarians have evaluated the collection using OCLC’s Collection Analysis on CD and WLN’s Conspectus. Subject librarians used these tools to determine the collection’s strengths as well as gaps in the Library’s holdings. Recommendations for additions to the collection were made by the subject librarians. In 2007, the Library decided to participate in OCLC’s World Cat Analysis Online; librarians began using this tool in spring 2008 to compare the collection to those of peer institutions. In January 2008, the Library used Bowker’s new Resources for College Libraries (RCL) to compare the collection to the RCL core collection covering 58 curriculum-specific subject areas. The analysis matched approximately 48% (28,552 titles) in the core list of 59,274 in Resources for College Libraries. Librarians will use this resource to identify core titles in specific core areas that should be added to the collection.

The Library participated in the LibQual+™ Survey in spring 2003 [27]. Sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries, this instrument gives library users a chance to tell librarians which services need improvement. The results indicated that graduate students and faculty perceive getting less service than desired, with respect to access to information. Faculty responses indicated more concern for print resources. This response seems to be consistent with national results. Responses to the annual Faculty Senate survey indicate the faculty is satisfied with the information resources provided by the Library that support their research and their curriculum [28].

Computer Services
The University provides each faculty, staff, and student member with a personalized computing environment, including network storage, software applications, and e-mail. Thin client remote access is provided to each faculty, staff and students’ computer environment via any computer connected to the Internet that is capable of connecting to a Microsoft windows terminal services server. Computer Services’ webpage provides users with an overview of the network, software and support available to students, faculty and staff [29]. Computer Services provides and maintains approximately 100 software applications that are available to all faculty, staff and students while using their SHSU computer environment. Computer Services provides a 24x7x365 helpdesk to assist faculty, staff, and students with technology questions. A wireless network provides access to networked resources from academic buildings and in popular outdoor locations. The institution provides the Blackboard course management system to assist faculty with teaching and to provide students flexibility for learning. In addition, eight distance learning video conferencing rooms are provided to support academic instruction and research programs.

SAM Center
Serving as the University’s advising and mentoring center, the SAM Center has grown significantly since its inception. As part of its mission, the SAM Center provides “incentives for realizing educational success” achieved through a variety of programs and services [30]. Academic programs for students are designed to accommodate the needs of the students. Support programs such as Study Skills, Bearkat Learning Community, First Alert, Help Choosing a Major, GRE/GMAT Prep, Graduate School Program, The McNair Program, and Grassroots, Conversations on Leadership in a Diverse Community are described on the SAM Center webpage [31]. Comprehensive Standard 3.4.9 provides more details on these support services.

Math Lab
The University provides free personal tutoring services to all students enrolled in freshman or sophomore mathematics and statistics courses, excluding the calculus sequence, in the Mathematics Lab. Students enrolled in the calculus sequence or higher level courses are encouraged to seek assistance from their instructors. The Mathematics Lab is staffed by graduate students from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and select undergraduates majoring in mathematics. Hours of operation and availability of tutors are posted on a semester to semester basis [32].

The Reading Center
The Reading Center was created to assist students, faculty, and staff with professional and academic endeavors [33]. The primary goal of the instructors is to empower all students with effective reading strategies and the confidence to excel in their expository reading [34]. The Reading Center tutors provide students with one-on-one and small group reading instruction. To facilitate faculty members, instructors can make reading strategy presentations in the classroom. In addition to serving undergraduates to develop reading strategies and/or prepare for the THEA, the Reading Center can also be used by those whose first language is not English, in order to prepare for the TOEFL. Also, students preparing for post baccalaureate educational endeavors can use computer-assisted tutorials for the reading/verbal sections of the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, PCAT, or MCAT.

The Writing Center
The Writing Center at Sam Houston State University is available to help all University students, staff, and faculty and community members [35]. The Writing Center was created to help individuals become better writers and develop more confidence in their writing abilities. The Writing Center tutors provide one-on-one and small group writing instruction. The Writing Center provides tutoring services to students attending off-campus classes; papers are e-mailed to the Center, and students receive responses with comments inserted in the text [36]. Workshops on various topics relating to writing are offered throughout the school year. Students may seek assistance for any type of writing needs ranging from English composition essays to science lab reports, resumes, scholarship and job application letters, theses and dissertations. Writing Center tutors do not merely correct a student’s writing; they help students learn prewriting, revising, and editing skills.

Supporting Documentation
Documentation Reference
Document Title
[1] Library, Newton Gresham, Mission
[2] Academic Policy Statement 840606 - Library Use Policy
[3] Library Webpage
[4] Library - Circulation Policy
[5] Library - Distance Education Services Webpage
[6] Library - Research Services and Instruction Department
[7] Library - “Ask A Librarian” Service
[8] Texshare
[9] Library - Interlibrary Services Department
[10] Library - Distance Education Services Handbook
[11] Library - Special Collections Department
[12] Library - Government Documents Department
[13] Library - Music Listening Room Department
[14] Library - End of Year Report - Excerpt - Charts and Tables
[15] Library - Collaborative Purchasing
[16] TexShare Participants
[17] TexShare Mission
[18] Amigos Library Services
[19] Amigos Members
[20] Library - Databases and Indexes
[21] Library - Journals
[22] Library - Subject Bibliographers
[23] Library Collection Review for Proposed Course - Example
[24] Newton Gresham Library Committee, SHSU
[25] Books and Bytes Newsletter - November 12, 2007
[26] Library Collection Development Policy
[27] LibQual+™ Summary
[28] University Faculty Senate Survey Results - Library Results Over Time
[29] Computer Services’ Webpage
[30] Student Advising and Mentoring (SAM) Center, Mission
[31] Student Advising and Mentoring (SAM) Center, Support Programs
[32] Mathematics Tutoring Center, Webpage
[33] Reading Center, Webpage
[34] Reading Center Mission
[35] Writing Center Goal
[36] Writing Center Distance Tutoring

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Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77341
(936) 294-1111