Thursday, December 3, 2020

Library staff hopes for better resource use from students

Feinberg library proves to provide students with more assets than just free textbooks.

Feinberg library offers a lot of tools and support for Plattsburgh State students to utilize during tasks that require research. 

Feinberg possesses hundreds of high-quality information databases like Nexus Uni. These databases provide students with information that would be beyond a simple google search. A lot of PSUC students are not aware of the library’s full potential, so it is required they take the LIB 200 course for graduation. 

The class is worth one credit and lasts only five weeks, but Feinberg Instruction Librarian Michelle Toth insists the course is completely necessary for students. Toth also acts as the library liaison for the Journalism and Public relations department at PSUC. Her job is to hold library sessions for the professors of said department. During the sessions, Toth teaches the students how to use a particular database that mostly pertains to the subject of interest. There are different databases for each department.

“The official name of the course is critical research skills,” Toth said. “Students have a variety of research needs while they are in college. We offer an overview of the basic things students need to know and understand about doing college-level research.”

Toth said students who wish to skip the class must score at least a 74 on the proficiency exam which has a reputation of being difficult. Toth said instructors of the library course have reported positive feedback from students who were glad they took the course and wished they had taken it sooner in their college career.

Dean of library Holly Heller-Ross said the budget for Feinberg’s various databases provided to PSUC students is $402,616. These databases are obtained through SUNY consortium. This is where different SUNY schools meet and purchase databases at lower prices.

“These [databases] can be pricey,” Toth said. “We want to make sure the students have the best resources.”

Feinberg Library’s resources go beyond providing research tools. 

Feinberg Library Service desk Coordinator Carol Bleaux takes notes while students are working in the library.

“Every hour, I’ll have one of the workers do a population count of the library,” Bleaux said. “In addition, they will note what kind of tools the students are working with.”

The workers at Feinberg note if the students are using a Library computer, book or any other tool Feinberg Library provides. With that information, Feinberg shapes the services to better support the students.

Feinberg Library’s resources goes beyond booms and open computers. Feinberg ’s librarians work to make studying a little easier on PSUC students. 

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