A lot has been happening in the last few weeks at the UST libraries. We’ll be writing more about all of these innovations in the coming weeks, but for now, we’d like to summarize what we’ve been up to:

  • Coffee Shop:You’ve heard that we are building out a coffee shop in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library. It will be operated by Coffee Bene and will open for business on Wednesday, Feb. 10. We hope that this development will help make the libraries a community space, and one that is designed to support teaching and learning (with fresh coffee!).
  • Kindle book readers: The libraries have purchased five electronic Kindle book readers that will be available for checkout. Each one comes loaded with a dozen book titles. Note: There are some special rules, overdue fees and replacement costs for the Kindles. Read more about the Kindle here. We will be interested in you observations on the electronic readers.
  • Summon: The libraries are implementing a new system for the discovery of information called Summon, a Google-like search experience for UST library resources. Summon will search our journal content and CLICnet from one search box, unifying and ranking the results. The search results are sortable and refinable by content type (scholarly content, newspapers, books), by additional subjects, by content with full text available online, by format, date, etc. Searchers will be linked directly into available electronic content from the search screen. This new service provides easier discovery to nearly everything the library owns – print and electronic. We will be providing much more information about this groundbreaking new discovery system as we get closer to implementation, which we hope will be in time for midterms. For now, read more about Summon here.
  • Digital Commons: UST Libraries have long been interested in the development of an “institutional repository,” that is, an electronic repository of scholarly products generated by the faculty and students of UST. We’re in the process of setting up an application that will serve this purpose. Digital Commons has been implemented at many colleges and universities and typically is organized by the units that deposit content (publications, pre-publication research, working papers, case studies, theses, dissertations and more) in the system. You can read more about Digital Commons here, and we’ll be providing more information as we get closer to rollout (which we hope to be by the end of the spring semester).

All of these innovations relate to the redesign and rethinking of library structures: the building, the organizational structure of our content, the nature of the book itself. In each case, we are interested in providing the UST community with the best and the latest developments in the academic library – and making as graceful as possible the transition from a world of print to a world of digital content. You’ll be hearing more on all of these developments in the coming weeks – for now, welcome back to campus and best wishes for the spring semester!