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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 of Compliance

The facilities for library resources and the other learning resources centers at Sam Houston State University are appropriate and support the teaching, research and service mission of the University. Please refer to Core Requirements 2.9 and Comprehensive Standards 3.8.2, and 3.8.3 for more supplemental information to include information on the Library holdings.

Newton Gresham Library
Opened in 1968, the Newton Gresham Library is a contemporary structure with a large open plan (an acre on each of its four floors for a total of 125,513 net assignable square feet) that provides a functional environment supporting the needs of Sam Houston State University community [1]. Since 2000, two renovations have increased the space for the collection and made the building more accessible to individuals with disabilities. A third renovation (with an anticipated 2008 completion date) will update the fire alarm system, the ceiling, HVAC ductwork and lighting. Seating for users is provided in a variety of configurations, including tables, individual carrels and lounge furniture. There are large open study areas, two large group study rooms, two small group study rooms, and 42 enclosed carrels for graduate students and faculty. The carrels provide a quiet place for research and study. A combination group study room and computer lab, with eight workstations, is located on the fourth floor. An online tour of the building is available on the Library’s website [2].

In addition to general access throughout the campus, users in the library can connect to the University’s network through the wireless network, which covers the entire building, including over 100 computers located in labs [3] and the Reference area [4]. These workstations provide access to University-supported software, e-mail and Internet access. Users are able print to networked laser printers at no charge. Adaptive technologies [5] are provided in the Reference area of the library.

The library has a multimedia classroom and an instructional lab, with 21 workstations, for scheduled library instruction [6]. These rooms may also be scheduled by faculty members for special presentations related to both their teaching and research. The rooms have been used by faculty to present lectures on research topics and to introduce research techniques.

Microforms and Copy Services are housed on the first floor of the Newton Gresham Library. The Microforms area houses an extensive collection of microfilm, microfiche and microprint. Readers are provided for all these formats, including two attached to laser printers and one computer compatible reader attached to a network printer, allowing faculty to print primary and secondary documents needed for their research. The Copy Room contains four copiers, with one copier located in the Music Listening Room. The Copy Room staff helps users with the copiers, the microform equipment, faxing and other special services.

The Music Listening Room is located on the first floor of the library [7]. This area houses the music monographs and serials as well as the CD/DVD and phonograph collection. The library’s audio-visual collection is housed in the Music Listening Room and serves as an aid for classroom instruction and student research. Seven listening stations and a study area are also available. The materials in this area support the teaching and research needs of students and faculty in the School of Music and other SHSU community members interested in Music.

State and federal government documents are housed on the first floor of the library, in an area of approximately 6000 square feet [8]. The Government Documents Room is opened to the public and is available 100 hours per week. This collection provides information from both state and federal agencies that support the research needs of the SHSU community and the citizens of the 8th Congressional District of Texas. Three public workstations are available allowing users to download and manage the data available on CD’s and DVD’s. Study tables are located throughout the room.

The library’s special collections are housed in the John W. Thomason Room, a walnut-paneled room of over 6,000 square feet on the Newton Gresham Library's fourth floor [9]. Special Collections contains primarily printed books (ca. 12,000 titles), and manuscript collections. In addition, the Thomason Room houses biographical research on thousands of Texans, and display cases which feature examples of manuscript items, original art work, and ephemera e.g. broadsheets, newspapers, and pamphlets. The library’s special collections are used for instructional purposes and as a resource for scholars, both on and off campus. The University’s Archives, an area of approximately 2200 square feet, is located on the fourth floor adjacent to the Thomason Room. The collection contains materials related to the University’s history. Both areas have a separate heating/cooling system designed to help maintain a proper environment for these materials.

In Spring 2003 the library participated in the LibQual+™ Survey sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries [10]. The responses to the section “The Library as Place” indicate that all groups responding to the survey found the building to meet their expectations. The faculty indicated the building exceeded their expectations. Two group study areas were opened. Additionally, new furniture for the group study/computer lab, the foyer, and the center of the 2nd floor was purchased to provide more usable and comfortable study areas.

SAM Center
Opened in 2002, the Student Advising and Mentoring Center (SAM Center) [11] is housed in Academic Building IV with over 3,000 usable square feet [12]. The SAM Center is dedicated to helping students adjust to academic life at Sam Houston State University. Services available include career testing, aid with time management, and study skills. The current space was initially adequate to help academically at-risk students, but the demand created by faculty and students has resulted in the need to expand the facilities. The SAM Center will occupy twice as much space in Humanities and Social Sciences Building when it is completed in the 2008-2009 academic year.

Academic Support Centers
To provide an array of academic support services in the key foundation areas, the University has created three academic support centers: the Mathematics Lab, Reading Center, and Writing Center. All three support centers are located in close proximity to each other in the Farrington Building.

The Mathematics Lab provides free personal tutoring services to all students enrolled in freshman or sophomore mathematics and statistics courses, excluding the calculus sequence [13]. Students enrolled in the calculus sequence or higher level courses are encouraged to seek assistance from their instructors. The Lab is staffed by graduate students from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and select undergraduates majoring in mathematics. The Lab, a 964 square foot facility, is housed on the first floor of the Farrington building [14].

The Reading Center was created to assist students, faculty, and staff with professional and academic endeavors [15]. The primary goal of the instructors is to empower all students with effective reading strategies and the confidence to excel in their expository reading [16]. The Reading Center tutors provide students with one-on-one and small group reading instruction. To support faculty members' instructional efforts, Reading Center staff make reading strategy presentations in the classroom. In addition to helping undergraduates develop reading strategies and/or prepare for the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) exam, 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 Reading Center, encompassing 1400 square feet of space, is located on the first floor of the Farrington Building [17]. The Reading Center houses 15 desktop and six notebook computers. The computers are utilized by students in the Developmental Reading program who are required to complete computerized tutorials that compliment their coursework. Ten of the computers are equipped with Kurzweil 3000 Reading software, which is used by students with reading disabilities. Seven of the computers have Teacher Certify software, which is used by teacher candidates to prepare for the TExES certification exam.

The Writing Center at Sam Houston State University is available to help all University students, staff, and faculty and community members [18]. 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 [19]. 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. Like the Math Lab and the Reading Center, the Writing Center (3,789 square feet of space) is located on the first floor of the Farrington Building [20]. The Writing Center contains 20 workstations, three scanners, and two printers for use by the students for writing and revising their papers.

Computer Labs
Computer Services has 14 computer labs with more than 600 computers across campus, staffed by more than 70 lab assistants [21]. These labs are equipped with CD-ROM's, CD-burners, scanners, printers, USB ports for access with flash/pin drives, and other peripheral items. These computer labs are available to enrolled students, faculty, and staff. Times for the labs, lab schedules, and live web cams, are posted online and outside each lab.

Supporting Documentation
Documentation Reference
Document Title
[1] Newton Gresham Library (NGL) - Net Assignable Square Feet, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
[2] Library - Virtual Tour, Online
[3] Library - Computer Labs
[4] Library - Reference Computers
[5] Library - Adaptive Technologies
[6] Library - Instruction Lab
[7] Library - Music Listening Room Department
[8] Library - Government Documents Department
[9] Library - Special Collections Department
[10] LibQual+™ Summary, 2003
[11] Student Advising and Mentoring (SAM) Center
[12] Student Advising and Mentoring (SAM) Center  - Net Assignable Square Feet, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
[13] Mathematics Lab, Webpage
[14] Mathematics Lab - Net Assignable Square Feet, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
[15] Reading Center, Webpage
[16] Reading Center - Primary Goal
[17] Reading Center - Net Assignable Square Feet, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
[18] Writing Center, Webpage
[19] Writing Center - Tutoring
[20] Writing Center - Net Assignable Square Feet, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
[21] Computer Services - Computer Labs

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