Monday Morning Update
January 10, 2011
Library Report Card: Before Christmas, our students packed the MacPháidín Library day and night as they prepared for their finals. No doubt some end-of-semester nerves accounted for the surge in students searching for a quiet spot to edit a paper or review course material. However, according to Librarian Ed Hynes, the Library is a hive of activity not just at pressure times but all semester long.
Here to Stay: Despite the fears of some commentators that, in an age of computers, libraries might be outmoded or unnecessary, our experience suggests otherwise as the MacPháidín Library remains at the heart of our academic mission. Opened in 1998, the Library seats 450 and covers 60,000 square feet. Below, we share facts and figures that demonstrate how it serves and supports our community.
More Patrons: Excluding prospective students and their families, nearly 7,000 people use the library each week of the academic year. Librarian Hynes reports that "there has been a steady increase in the number of users in the past decade." While most of our patrons are students and faculty, we also serve off-campus visitors, neighbors, Easton students, and area alumni.
Collection Selection: The MacPháidín Library has over 660,000 items, up from 250,000 a decade ago. Patrons can access 243,000 books, journals and government documents, 5,300 videos (VHS/DVD), 4,200 music recordings, 150,000 microforms, 12,000 serials, and 246,000 e-books.
Special Collections: Whether it is an online collection of 125,000 Early English language books and pamphlets, an archive of Irish Government Documents, or a microfilm collection of Nazi newspapers, the library's special collections support in-depth research and scholarship.
Book Borrowing: In 2010, students borrowed more than 21,000 books and accessed 17,637 items on electronic reserves. As Librarian Hynes notes, "it doesn't look like the book is dead yet."
Study Rooms: Student demand for study rooms continues to grow. Librarian Hynes notes how the football and women's volleyball teams hold scheduled study sessions in the library several evenings per week in reserved areas where they are accompanied by a coach.
Change: "Like all libraries, we are adapting. Books remain essential but we have invested significantly in electronic options and special collections. We configure and use our space in new ways. And, use of the library as a building has been growing because it offers a good combination of social and study space, rich resources and professional staff who assist you," Librarian Hynes explains.
Photos: Catch the flavor of everyday library activities by visiting our MacPháidín Library Snapshot.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.