| “I never go to
the library.” These are six words guaranteed to make librarians
cringe. Yet, these days the words are spoken more and more often.
I even hear them from staunch library supporters. At first frustrating,
then puzzling, and finally accepted, the truth is that some faculty
and students never set foot in one of our four library buildings.
Nevertheless, the reality is they may, in fact, “go to the
library” every day. Granted, it is a virtual trip, but still
a trip to the library.
Because our collections and services are increasingly delivered
electronically, i.e., via a virtual environment, the “library” is
no longer building-bound. Instead, our library collections include
books, microforms, multimedia, digital objects, and other items
scattered across the world in our partner libraries and on remote
servers. They and many of our services are available to you and
your students without regard to whether you make the trip to
one of our four libraries.
With this in mind, it now seems only natural that we anoint
our Libraries Web Site (http://libraries.claremont.edu) as our “fifth
library.” It is from this web site that you can make connections
to the online services and resources that now comprise your library.
The following are just a few samples of “going to the library” without
leaving your office or home.
• Check the citation in one of our many periodical abstracting
and indexing databases for an article your colleague mentioned
in her last email.
Find the full text of the citation by clicking on the “get
this item” green icon.
Determine the status of an interlibrary loan request you made
via the web last week.
Keep current with research in your field by reading articles
of interest from the more than 12,000 journals we have available
Verify a specific fact from the many reference materials in our “virtual
Request a book from one of our Link+ partner libraries.
Have an article not in our collections delivered to your desktop
via interlibrary loan or Ingenta.
And, last but not least, click on “Ask a Librarian” to
send a question via email (usually answered within 24 hours)
or, when a reference librarian is on duty, have your question
answered in real time.
We know that many of you still make the trip to our physical
buildings. In fact, our building use statistics increased in
2003/04 over the previous year—an encouraging sign. Whether
you visit us in person or via the many electronic resources and
services accessed through our Web Site, we hope that you find “going
to the library” a rewarding and pleasant experience.
Director of Libraries