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Director's Column
Been to the Library Lately?

[image]“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 electronically.
• Verify a specific fact from the many reference materials in our “virtual reference collection.”
• 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.

Bonnie Clemens
Director of Libraries

Connections is published by The Libraries of The Claremont Colleges and distributed during Fall & Spring semesters.
Edited by
Gale Burrow. Last updated March 8, 2004 by Julie Shen.