Information Update - Fall 2004

Distance and Virtual Library Service

Virtual Reference
Since last September, the Weinberg Memorial Library Reference Librarians have been available online for chat reference between the hours of 9 -11 PM, Monday through Thursday, and from 3 - 5 PM, Sundays. The links for virtual reference services is on the library website, following the path, Library >> Help >> Ask a Librarian. Users can select the chat option during scheduled times, getting real-time help, or choose the e-mail reference option. Email reference has seen incremental growth since its inception in the fall of 2000 with a general response time to questions of 24 hours.

As of fall 2004 the chat virtual reference service provided through the Weinberg Memorial Library will be available 24/7 as part of a collaborative project by the American Jesuit Colleges and University (AJCU) Libraries. The 24/7 chat service is being developed by the Virtual Reference Task Force (VRTF) of the AJCU Library Deans Conference and an implementation team of librarians from participating institutions. Tudor.com will be the interface for the collaborative virtual reference project. The virtual reference desk will be staffed by librarians from participating AJCU institutions from coast to coast. The difference in time zones between the AJCU libraries will extend the availability of service hours by participating university librarians. Remaining hours for 24/7 service will be provided by Tudor.com. Communal AJCU websites will facilitate questions from faculty and students from partner institutions. The new interface will have co-browsing and file sharing capabilities.
 
Distance Learning
A collaborative team that includes reference, circulation, interlibrary loan, technical services, and library administration in the Weinberg Memorial Library will be working to meet the needs of University of Scranton’s students and faculty in the distance learning environment, outside the confines of the library building, virtually and off-campus. Our world is expanding; technology has brought the world of information to our computer screens with the click of a mouse. It seems the next step is reciprocal; bringing the University of Scranton and the services of the Weinberg Memorial Library to the world. In the advent of expanded offerings for distance and online courses and academic programs, the Weinberg Memorial Library will provide information, services, and programs to meet the current and anticipated educational, research, and public service needs of the University's students and faculty, regardless of their geographic location.
  • Distance learning students eligible for special services are defined as those who are enrolled in University of Scranton credit courses offered as online distance courses and who are living off-campus and not taking courses on campus, or,
  • Enrolled in University of Scranton credit courses offered at off-campus locations and not taking courses on campus, or,
  • Completing University of Scranton coursework either via the Internet or through guided independent study or internship and who are living off-campus and not taking courses on campus.
  • Distance learning faculty are eligible for special services if they are teaching all of their University of Scranton credit courses at off-campus locations and who do not have office hours on campus.
  • The purpose of the service is to support library users in their University of Scranton distance courses.
Services available only to distance library users:
  • Delivery of articles from the Weinberg Memorial Library via Document Delivery for articles. Articles from newspapers, magazines, or journals to which the Library subscribes and which are unavailable online will be faxed, mailed or delivered electronically. There will be a $1.50 fee per article, which will be billed to the distance student’s library account.
  • Articles from periodicals, which the Library does not own, may be requested through Inter-Library Loan. These articles will be either faxed or mailed at a fee of $1.50 per article.
  • Delivery of books from the Weinberg Memorial Library via Document Delivery for books service. Books owned by the Library are shipped via UPS. The borrower will be responsible for returning books to the Weinberg Memorial Library at their own expense.
If a book is unavailable from the Weinberg Library:
  • PALCI or Interlibrary Loan may be used; this will take approximately 2 to 4 weeks. Since the Weinberg Library is the intermediary for material delivery, processing times may be increased. Books will be shipped to the Weinberg Memorial Library and then to the student. Books must be returned at the borrowers' expense to the Weinberg Memorial Library, NOT the original lending institution.
  • It is highly recommended to check local libraries to see whether another library owns an item for direct borrowing. This can be accomplished by searching the links on the library website for: Other Libraries Catalogs >> WorldCat or NPLN, or libraryspot.com for lists of local libraries by type and geographically.
A Distance Learning Library Services account must be established by completing an online Registration Form prior to receiving distance library services. Distance students and faculty may begin using available services usually within 24 hours of completing the Registration Form.

For questions on document delivery and all distance learning library services contact the Distance Learning Library Services Coordinator, and Evening Public Services Librarian, Clara Hudson, at 941-4000 or (hudsonc2@scranton.edu).
 
Clara Hudson
Pride, Passion, Promise: Experience Our Jesuit Tradition