USA Library as a Federal Depository Library
Serving Mobile for 40 Years
A LOT HAS happened over the last 40 years. A president was impeached and another came close. The Challenger exploded. The Twin Towers fell. Katrina hit. Americans have experienced a wide range of events and the documentation of these events, in one form or another, can be found in the University Library Government Documents collection.
Appointed in 1968 as a Federal Depository Library for the 1st Congressional District, the Government Documents Department today receives 70% of all the material the Government Printing Office sends out to members of the Federal Depository Library Program.
Our 40th Anniversary will be celebrated during the week of September 15th through September 19th, 2008. The event will kick-off with two contests. The first contest will be to recite the Preamble to the Constitution or list the Bill of Rights. Those who can successfully recall this information will get a free copy of the United States Constitution. The second contest will test your knowledge of events from the year 1968 or the Constitution. If you answer all ten questions correctly, your name will be placed in a drawing for one of five prizes.
In addition to the contests, we will have speakers and workshops for everyone to enjoy. Paula Webb and Beverly Rossini will have workshops on Services for Senior Citizens(9/15) and College Students(9/19). Vicki Tate will offer two workshops: Statistical Resources for Student Research(9/16) and Drug Education(9/18). Special speakers for the event include Commissioner Nodine who will talk about “Citizenship and the Constitution” (9/15) and Dr. Brannon Denning of Samford University who will speak on “Alabama and American Constitutional Law.”(9/17)
Finally, in honor of our 40th Anniversary with the Federal Depository Library Program, there will be a Reception in the Map Area of the Government Documents Department.((9/17) The public is invited to come, eat cake and enjoy the festivities. Dr. Richard Wood, Dean of Library Services, will present the 40th Anniversary Certificate issued by the Government Printing Office to Vicki Tate, USA’s Government Documents Librarian. Check the Events Calendar for more info.
Access to Backfiles for 69 Wiley Journals
The University Library is pleased to announce that we are now providing access to the Wiley Biotechnology, BiochemistryIncluded are journals on chemical engineering, cell biochemistry, biospectroscopy, finance, human resource management, marketing, cognitive psychology, child abuse, social psychology, and much more. The Library has been providing access to the Earth and Environmental Sciences Backfiles since last Fall.
, and Biophysics Backfiles, Business and Management Backfiles, and Psychology Backfiles. The Biotechnology, Biochemistry, and Biophysics collection includes the backfiles of 16 journals, the Business and Management collection includes the backfiles of 33 journals, and the Psychology collection includes the backfiles of 20 journals.Usually access is from year of first issue, some beginning as far back as the 1950s. This is a significant increase as for most of the Wiley journals we only had access back to 1997.
Sage Deep Backfiles
The University Library recently subscribed to the Sage Deep Backfiles package. We had earlier subscribed to Sage Premier which provided access from 1999 to the most current issues of over 400 journals in the areas of business, sociology, criminology, psychology and education, among others. With the purchase of the Deep Backfiles, we've extended electronic access to the full-text of these journals back to volume 1, issue 1 of each title.
Communicating with your Librarians
We always welcome your suggestions and questions. On our homepage there are several links available that you can use to contact us.
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Change & the Relevancy of Academic Libraries Today
Library futurists as far back as the 1970s predicted that technological advances would not only displace more and more print resources (particularly in scientific, technical, and medical fields), but also devalue the role of academic librarians and libraries. Such predictions have not held true.
New scholarly titles are still being published in the tens of thousands every year in all disciplines as demonstrated by ongoing faculty book requests for library collections. However, the importance of print journal subscriptions has been declining as publishers and other vendors over the years have steadily increased the number of general and specialized databases they license to libraries. USA currently lists 172 databases on the University Library's webpage. While it is true that USA students and faculty are borrowing fewer and fewer library books, and using bound journals or microfilm even less, our libraries have flourished in terms of construction, renovation, and other activities and programs.
Why? Some analysts might argue that it is because the definitions of “library use” and “the library” have been modified to include off-site. Only in the narrowest of views, are academic libraries physical buildings. "Library use” is no longer reflected by the number physical objects borrowed from the library or taken off the shelves. Broader but valid definitions must also be based on counts such as the number of database searches, instructional sessions, and reference questions answered through email and chat.
The role of the academic library and librarian is perhaps even more vital today than ever before, but the job descriptions of librarians and library staff have changed dramatically since the 1970s. For example, USA Libraries employ a variety of specialists to ensure that our automated cataloging, circulation, serials management, and copying/printing systems operate smoothly and transparently. Hiring criteria have never been so different in terms of the skills, knowledge, flexibility, and problem-solving abilities needed by library personnel at all levels of library operations from cataloging and circulation to reference, systems, and management.
An overwhelming array of information resources available to students, for instance, makes library instruction by professional librarians more vital than ever before. Many of the Libraries’ instructional efforts are devoted to developing online tours, tutorials, and instruction modules because it would be a mistake to believe that freshmen arrive with the information literacy skills needed to be successful in their library research, or that the students learn how to conduct effective database searches on their own. Ellen Wilson, for instance, devotes many hours to developing appropriate tools for the Freshmen Seminar program. Many students seem surprised to learn that most information they find through the Internet will not be accepted as authoritative sources in research papers. Academic librarians here are often the bearers of such bad news, but they help students at the reference desk locate the scholarly articles and the data they need, as well as cite it properly.
Thus, as technology, budgets, policies, procedures—even the definition of the library—have changed over the decades, the need for highly competent, flexible, problem-solving, and dedicated librarians and library staff has become even more essential. At the USA Libraries, we are passionate about providing quality information services and resources and have, at the same time, tried to maintain a state of-the art computer and telecommunications infrastructure because network speed and capacity are critical to the success of students and faculty. The overall mission of the libraries and the role of librarians and library staff at USA, nonetheless, has not fundamentally changed over the decades. Our efforts have always focused on providing the information resources and the library services needed by USA students and faculty.
Email Overdue--and Courtesy--Notices
Starting this summer the Circulation Department has been sending overdue notices through the University email system. One benefit of this system is our ability to send an alert to the borrower a week before the book is due. Click here for a pdf flyer with more information about this change.
FYI, WorldCat (or an article needed to better balance the columns)
So many websites, so very little time. Websites that save you time and effort are gold.
If the USA Libraries do not have the book you need and you don't have time for InterLibrary Loan, what to do? Want to see if Mobile Public or another nearby library has it? Use WorldCat. WorldCat is the web version of the biggest co-operative catalog in the world, 100 million records or so, submitted by libraries all over the world. Search for the item you want. Select the record. Enter your zipcode and find out how far to the nearest library that owns it. Link directly to that library's catalog to get a call # and to see if it is checked out. Aren't libraries grand!