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Library to provide new services this semester

This semester, the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library will present some new features to students and the community.

The main new feature is the Library Outpost available in the Offutt School of Business and the Knutson Campus Center.

The Outpost will be staffed by a reference librarian who is available from 2-4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Mondays and Tuesdays, the service is available in Offutt and Wednesdays and Thursdays in Knutson.

The Outpost grew from an idea suggested by a couple of faculty members on campus. To get a feel for the idea, Beth Willoughby struck up conversations with a few students to see what they thought.

Willoughby said the students thought it would be a good idea, and library outposts have been popping up in library literature for quite some time.

“Other libraries are trying it,” Willoughby said. “We decided to come up with our own version of it.”

According to Solveig Lund, an instruction and reference librarian, the idea was initially suggested for the Grant Center, but they thought about expanding it to another place on campus where students tend to gather; this led them to set up shop in Knutson as well.

At the Outpost, students are able to ask questions and get advice about most library services. The only thing students cannot do is physically check out books. Students can ask questions about citations, how to navigate databases and how to find sources.

Since the semester has started, the traffic to the Outpost has been slow, but the librarians are willing to stick it out.

“We’re committed for the semester,” Willoughby said.

Whether the service continues into next year depends on how well the idea is received and how much students use the services.

“It’s up to the students and the Concordia community to decide if we’re needed,” Lund said.

The second major new service that is available to students is the online digital library or the “ebrary.”

With the ebrary, students are able to check out and download e-books from the library. It allows multiple people to use the same thing at the same time. Additionally, students are able to create bookshelves that allow them to sort material, especially if they have multiple books for one class.

The ebrary app is currently available only on Apple and Android devices, and students must get the service authenticated through the library.

The new services allow students to access library material in a convenient way. However, this does not mean that the students’ use of the library will decline. Despite the new options, traffic to the library remains stable.

“The library will remain the main service point,” Lund said.

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