Editorial: Commend librarians' contributions to the University
As the University’s librarians and their union continue to renegotiate their contract with the administration, this board would like to highlight the many essential services that the library offers students. According to the LTS website, the Brandeis Library “houses more than 2 million volumes, both electronic and physical, 45,000 journals and 4,000 films, with a growing collection in the sciences, creative arts, humanities, government documents, Judaica and social sciences — including rare and unique collections.”
In addition to these resources, the library provides invaluable personal services to the Brandeis student body. All of those services exist because the librarians are present and available for research assistance, tech help and more.
For example, the Interlibrary Loan system “offers free access to materials needed for coursework and scholarly research which are not currently available in the Brandeis Library.” This can be a vital tool for both graduate students and undergraduates who need specific materials not found on campus. Librarians are an integral part of this process; they are the intermediaries through which we use the ILL.
The Brandeis Library has more than 250 databases and 30,000 electronic journals “covering a wide range of subjects. Library databases search journals, newspapers, magazines, dissertations, government documents, and other digital content.” Free access to these academic journals and databases, as well as the ability to easily search through all of them through OneSearch, is a critical aspect of student research that allows students to conduct in-depth research with only their laptops from anywhere on- or off-campus.
Librarians teach undergraduates how to use these databases, and are available to all who need help using it for scholarly research. In addition, the library offers “workshops and sessions on citation management, research strategies, data analysis and management, presentation tools, quantitative and qualitative software, and discipline/subject-specific resources.” All of these workshops are taught by the librarians themselves.
Multiple voter registration events are held at the library on “major election years” and are staffed by librarians. As part of an institution that prides itself on the social awareness of its student body, we encourage participation in major elections and are grateful that the library helps students vote.
Our University librarians offer a great deal to the school, and this board hopes that the administration recognizes this during the contract negotiations.