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January 6, 2005

Regional Libraries Offer Best of Both Worlds as Part of ULS

Small with a large reach best describes the regional campus libraries – all part of the University’s Library System.

While offering poetry readings and community socials, these libraries with a small-town vibe have instant access to almost all of Pitt’s library holdings. And in the library business these days, location doesn’t matter as much as it used to: Journals, books and other media from the Pittsburgh campus move closer and faster as more materials are digitized and available on line.

“We have the best of both worlds here,” said Pat Duck, director of the Millstein library at Pitt’s Greensburg campus and coordinator of regional University Library System libraries. “We have a small personal campus with all the library resources of a major university at our disposal.”

The regional campus libraries became part of ULS in fiscal year 2002. “We have access to most electronic items, by and large, and have access to most everything in the digital library,” Duck said. Each campus library has its own web site and can also be reached via the ULS web site. The regional libraries have links to PITTCat and ULS’s Digital Research Library.

“Because we have a smaller groups of patrons, faculty and students, you get much more familiar with everybody and a little closer than you would be in Oakland,” Duck said.

For example, the regional libraries don’t have the ULS Libraries to Go program, which scans, copies and delivers journal articles electronically or books in hard copy to faculty. But, because of the campuses’ intimate size, some regional campus faculty already receive similar services.

“Some of the regionals do give faculty the option of delivery by e-mail, pickup or delivery on their interlibrary loan forms,” Duck said. “Greensburg will deliver books to faculty if they can’t get to the library and need something in a hurry.”

Some of the newer library services available at the regional campuses, according to Duck, include:

-All of the regionals have an Ask a Librarian form on their respective web sites. Turnaround time is 24 hours to answer students’ questions.

-The Ask a Librarian Live Chat at the Pittsburgh campus will be marketed to the regionals during the spring term.

-Bradford and Johnstown have been using the Ariel document delivery system (electronic delivery of journal articles) for some time. Greensburg just started the program this year and Titusville is expected to launch the live chat program within a year.

-Mary Ann Thomas

Filed under: Feature,Volume 37 Issue 9

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