In May, the AU Library laid out its ambitious summer plans. We have delivered on the many exciting new services projected at that time and hope all in the AU community will take advantage of the efforts of library staff to offer a high level of research support that will enhance the success of all students and faculty.
The Graduate Research Center
The new Graduate Research Center (GRC) is open and staffed. This first expansion of the Bender building since 1979 offers four different types of spaces with different purposes:
- Several rooms provide individual and group study spaces.
- Office space for the Graduate Leadership Council, in combination with the other GRC facilities, gives all graduate students a campus focal point or center.
- Comfortable, casual seating and lockers in the open area—recently named the Graduate Research Commons—enhance the AU graduate experience.
- A flexible state-of-the-art classroom is equipped with the latest instructional technology, including projection for multiple electronic displays on multiple walls.
Librarians will use this space for an expansive instructional program that focuses on teaching research skills and promoting information literacy at all levels.
Entrance to the GRC is from the lower level of the library and the School of International Service parking garage.
An open house on Sept. 22, held in conjunction with other celebrations of the new SIS building, will welcome all on campus to the GRC.
Copy Center and Reserves Desks Merger
The center of the library’s lower level also has a new look.
The Reserves and Copy Center services now have a single counter for more efficient use. The services offered by the two units are unchanged:
- Reserves houses both print materials and makes an ever-growing number of electronic journal articles available for courses through Blackboard.
- The Copy Center is a photocopy service and the library location where users can borrow e-readers (Kindles and nooks), laptops, and laptops locks.
New Library Web site
The library’s Web pages—which are visited almost as frequently as all other university pages combined—were migrated to AU’s american.edu Web design (launched in March 2009). This high profile project took hundreds of person-hours to implement. Visit www.american.edu/library to view the results.
A link on that home page, “Subject Guides,” takes researchers to a new “LibGuides” series for all subjects taught in the AU curriculum, including many specialized pages prepared by librarians. The LibGuides direct users to subject-specific databases, Internet resources, and print resources.
SearchBox Is Here
At www.american.edu/library, users will find a radically new search service called SearchBox. This service, enables researchers to conduct Google-style searches that can simultaneously search the entire ALADIN catalog and approximately 90 percent (yes, 90 percent) of the library’s electronic resources, including journal, magazine, and newspaper articles in databases.
This service is faster and can, more easily than ever before, mine the library’s vast collection of paid subscriptions. Those subscription-only databases hold extremely rich, in-depth sources unavailable through garden variety Google searches.
The only resources that the SearchBox engine cannot currently search are some statistical and financial databases, which can still be searched individually—as can all other databases. Individual database searches are important to researchers who want to execute more sophisticated or complex searches that take advantage of specific database features.
For more information about any of these resources or services, contact the library or a reference librarian.