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WVU Libraries Hit Milepost with Book Borrowing Service

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
January 26th, 2009

Throw some confetti and drop the balloons. The WVU Libraries have recently delivered the one-millionth book to be requested through the popular E-ZBorrow service.

“I was really excited when I learned we hit the milestone,” said Hilary Fredette, Head of Access Services for the Downtown Campus Library. “I knew that the one-millionth request was due at any time, but I didn't think that WVU would be the library to get the request.”

The book, The City and the Pillar and Seven Early Stories by Gore Vidal, was requested by a University of Pittsburgh student.

E-ZBorrow is similar to Interlibrary Loan but offers some advantages. The service enables users to log onto a Web site themselves and simultaneously search the library holdings of more than 50 colleges and universities. After finding the desired title, users can then request the book be sent to a library on their campus.

The service was created by the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium Inc., or PALCI, a group of academic libraries with a reciprocal lending and borrowing agreement. WVU joined PALCI in 2004 and is among a handful of members outside of the Keystone State.

Talk about hitting the one-million mark began in August 2008 when the 900,000th request arrived, said Randy Jenkins, Manager of the Libraries’ Depository. It took just 20 weeks for the libraries in PALCI to fill 100,000 requests, which translates to 5,000 transactions a week.

The WVU Libraries contribute significantly to E-ZBorrow operations, receiving and filling about 300 requests a week.

WVU students and faculty also benefit greatly from this service. While the WVU Libraries have 1.6 million books, the agreement gives students access to combine collections totaling near 30 million. Last year, students and faculty here used E-ZBorrow to obtain about 15,000 books.

“The service is another user choice,” Libraries Dean Frances O’Brien said. “You could try to find the complete text of an out-of-copyright book online, you could purchase the book from Amazon or Alibris, you could plan a trip to Philadelphia to visit Penn’s Van Pelt Library, or you can try E-ZBorrow.”


Downtown Library Tutoring Hours Expanded

Posted by ppugh@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
January 13th, 2009

Students can get free help with chemistry, biology, math, physics, and statistics in the Downtown Campus Library Reference Department. Peer tutors from the Academic Resource Centers will be on hand from 7 pm until 11 pm every evening from Sunday through Thursday. You'll find them in Room 1020 on the first floor.

The service is free and no appointments are necessary.

Tutors from the WVU Writing Center will be joining the schedule soon. Watch for the announcement of their hours.

Stay ahead of the game this semester. Take advantage of this free service.


Libraries Announce Upgrade to MountainLynx Online Catalog

Posted by btoren@wvu-ad.wvu.edu.
January 13th, 2009

The Libraries are pleased to announce an upgrade to the MountainLynx Library Catalog coming this spring. Users will find many enhancements and new features that will improve using the catalog of the Libraries’ holdings. Library catalog users can find out what books, journals, newspapers, microforms, and audiovisual materials the WVU Libraries own. MountainLynx contains holdings for all the WVU Libraries including the Downtown Campus, Evansdale, Health Sciences, and Law Libraries, and the West Virginia and Regional History Collection.

The coming redesigned user interface is clean, intuitive, and easy to navigate. Other features to look for include individual record displays that are more readable and distinct. The action buttons (Print, Export, and Add to List) are visually connected to the records they affect. Users can apply one or multiple filters to narrow the results by date, location, medium, or any of the other standard limiting options. With a default link to Google Book Search, users can view results with the enhanced features such as full text, book previews, cover thumbnails, etc. The easy-to-use “My Account” display offers a more complete picture of transactions and account information. It is now supported on the Firefox 2.0 Web browser.

MountainLynx will still be on the same platform and retain all the features of the old system, so experienced users should not have any trouble finding their way around. One change that users may need to take note of is that the choice named “Assisted Search” in the old system will be called “Advanced” in the new one. When the new system comes up, users will be able to try it out or use the old system until after Spring Break (March 16th) when the classic version will be taken down.