Campus libraries use tech to streamline student searches, staff work

Library technology will save one campus "five figures" annually, an official said.

A smart-phone application has ended the days of database searches at Boston College libraries, and staff members at Eastern Illinois University’s library can take inventory in two hours instead of two days, thanks to emerging technologies that are gaining traction as higher-education budgets are slashed.

Developing and maintaining these services comes with a price tag, campus library officials said, but the cost savings have been worth the investment as library operating budgets dwindle, along with those of most departments at colleges and universities struggling through the country’s economic downturn.

Some institutions have struggled through these budget cuts – California State University East Bay students protested a proposed 10-percent library cut last spring, for example – while others have searched for ways to maintain student and faculty services using popular technologies.…Read More

Why the library should affect students’ college choice

If you talk to a college admissions officer or a high school guidance counselor about things prospective students should do when visiting a college campus, one of the first things they say is to visit the libraries on campus, says U.S. News & World Report. “The library is the backbone of a college or university’s academic environment,” says Kelly Alice Robinson, career information services manager at the Career Center Library at Boston College. Not only is the library one of the main spots where college students go to get work done (and socialize), it’s also the hub for a wide range of information and services—as well as digital capabilities. U.S. News spoke to a handful of experienced librarians from colleges to find out what prospective students—and their parents—should look for when they check out a school’s library, and the publication put together a list of four key questions to consider: What is the staff like? How much does the library system interact with faculty? What’s the atmosphere like? And, what digital resources are available for students? Because many libraries close at a certain hour, it’s vital to see what they offer online when students are working on that term paper at 4 a.m…

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