Five under-used library resources

When Mary Aagard walks into the Albertsons Library every weekday morning, she sees a building with massive amounts of information, resources and space students at Boise State deserve to utilize.

“It’s a place of exploration, of freedom of thought, a place of privacy and a place of engagement,” said Mary Aagard, head of access services at the Albertsons Library. “We want it to be a place of thoughtful, busy study and we want to meet all of the students’ needs.”

A typical day for Aagard includes helping students find study spaces, check out technology and  get started researching for papers and projects.

Aagard sat down with The Arbiter to discuss her top five favorite resources that the library has to offer students.

1. eBooks:

Students who don’t live on campus or who want to use a digital device to read books can do so by accessing the large volume of electronic books available on the Albertsons Library website.

“We have now over 200,000 eBook records inside our catalog so as soon as a student tries to access them, they are readily available,” Aagard said.

According to Aagard, students who access eBooks through the library website can access digital publications for 7-14 days but can always renew access with the click of a mouse.

“It just takes a few steps and students have access to these books that they can download to their laptops and mobile devices,”
Aagard said.

2. Access to Technology:

If students are not able to afford a personal laptop or need to charge a dying cell phone, the library allows students to check out the technology they need to get school work done.

“Students can check out all kinds of technology from Macs to PCs, phone chargers, headphones and portable disk drives,” Aagard said.

If a certain technology isn’t available to check out through library staff, the university can take steps to purchase it.

“We try to be really responsive to students. So if they are like ‘Man I really want this,’ we will try and get it for them,”
Aagard said.

3. Library Personnel:

In any stage of a term paper or project Aagard’s best advice for those who seek help or knowledge on a certain topic is to ask the experts in the library.

“We have great people in the library,” Aagard said.

According to Aagard, library personnel can help students get started on projects both large and small with their knowledge of library resources and tools.

Aagard said librarians and staff can help students navigate through resources available on the library website, saving students valuable time and preventing frustration.

“One thing we want students to know is that we want our online presence to be just as helpful our in-person presence,” Aagard said.

4. Subject Guides:

Students who are taking a course subject they are unfamiliar with or want to brush up on already learned content can utilize the subject guides available on the Albertsons Library website.

“There is a guides tab on the main page of the library website,” Aagard said.

Library personnel contribute material and information to the guides in order to give students a well -rounded approach to any subject.

“All the staff and librarians have created these guides where they have put together the top databases, books in the area, links to data sets and it’s all in one place,” Aagard said.

5. Library Space:

As semester-long group collaborations begin to wrap up, students can use library space to add finishing touches and access  software for free such as Adobe Photoshop and Acrobat.

“We have something called the collaboration lab on the first floor that almost nobody knows about,” Aagard said.

According to Aagard, the collaboration lab is  under-used  and students may not know about the resources available to them.

“It has four workstation areas. There are four tables with a dual monitor station and scanners,” Aagard said. “It’s made for group projects.”

About the author  ⁄ Ryan Thorne

Ryan Thorne

Ryan Thorne was born and raised in the beautiful city of Twin Falls, Idaho. He now lives in Boise where he enjoys being a student at Boise State University. As the Investigative News editor, Thorne is always hot on the trail of the next big story. In his free time, he can be found playing the guitar, reading, or exploring scenic outdoor Idaho. Follow him on Twitter @ryanthorne86 or friend him on Facebook.