Connected Campus

3.8.1 Learning/Information Resources

 

The institution provides facilities and learning/information resources that are appropriate to support its teaching, research, and service mission.

 

_X_  Compliance           ___  Partial Compliance          ___  Non-Compliance

 

Narrative

 

Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary (MABTS) facilities are configured to meet the needs of its programs in all modes of delivery. The provision of institutional facilities and learning/information resources are directly related to the mission of the school and are determined by appropriate personnel.

 

Library

 

The Ora Byram Allison Memorial Library provides facilities and other learning/information resources that are appropriate to support its teaching, research, and service mission [1]. The Library supports the mission [2of MABTS through the maintenance, updating, and expansion of its physical plant and attendant technology. Library personnel are involved in ongoing development and organization of collections and services so that each member of the seminary community has the resources to advance his/her studies and research in the various degree programs and in ministry.

 

Space. The 15,048 square foot library wing of the seminary houses physical book and journal collections, containing space for an additional 35,000 volumes, as well the Roy O. Beaman Reference Room, seminary archives, circulation desk/browse area, conservation room, staff offices, the reading room, copier room, two large study rooms, four smaller study areas, and closed storage spaces. Seating in the library, not counting the browse area, includes 29 tables, 135 individual seats, accommodating almost half the on-campus student body [3]. For convenience and access, the PhD study carrels room with its 39 desks stands adjacent to the Library.

 

Access. Library hours accommodate research and reading needs for the seminary. During the academic year the library opens for 76 hours [4] and reduces that number to 42.5 in summer, unless a professor conducting a summer course requests additional hours for students [5].

 

Technology. The seminary offers a high-speed wireless network for students, faculty, staff, and visitors in the library [6]. In the reading room, 24 Dell/10Zig Technology computers, all wired and connected to a RDS server for office applications, stand conveniently available for a full array of services, ranging from the OPAC and internet searching to the production of papers and export copying to the nearby copier room. Students, staff, and faculty have complete access to these computers via personal ID and printing accounts established in the Business Office. Students print to the Konica Minolta copier and authenticate through Active Directory with printing managed through the application PaperCut. Students may select to print using the thin clients or through a web printing feature of PaperCut [7].

 

Improvement. Survey data from various levels and programs reflect a high regard and improvement for the library’s facilities with the exception of computer performance which the library will alter and rectify in the 2015-16 academic year. These survey questions, both in the Annual Survey for students and faculty in 2013-14 [8] and in 2014-15 [9] and the Library Exit Surveys (LES) in 2013-14 [10] and in 2014-15 [11] provide the basis for such claims:

 

Student Survey Questions, 2013-14:

General

·      #72 – Library hours are sufficient for my needs.

·      #75 – The library has adequate study space for my needs.

PhD

·      #63 – The library hours are sufficient for my needs.

·      #65 – The copy facilities in the library are adequate and helpful.

DMin

·      #41 – The copy facilities in the library are adequate and helpful.

 

Faculty Survey Questions, 2013-14:

·      #56 – I encourage my students to use the library.

 

LES Questions, 2013-14:

·      #2 – I found the library overall to be effective.

·      #6 – I found the internet/computer services in the library to be useful/effective.

·      #8 – As an online/distance learning student, I found the library was able to supply me with the resources I needed, be them in traditional book format or through on-line resources.

 

Student Survey Questions, 2014-15:

      General

·      #78 – Library hours are sufficient for my needs.

·      #81 – The Library has adequate study space for my needs.

       PhD

·      #63 – Library hours are sufficient for my needs.

·      #65 – Copy facilities in the library are adequate and helpful.

        DMin

·      #42 – The copy facilities in the Library are adequate and helpful.

 

Faculty Survey Questions, 2014-15:

·      #56 – I encourage my students to use the library.

 

LES Questions, 2014-15:

·      #2 – I found the Library overall to be effective.

·      #6 – I found the Internet/computer services in the Library to be useful.

·      #8 – As an online/distance learning student, I found the library was able to supply me with the resources I needed, be them in traditional book format or through on-line resources.

 

Table 1. Survey Instruments and Results concerning the Library’s Facilities

 

The Library Exit Survey (LES). Moreover, students’ comments in the annual surveys and the two LES provide overwhelmingly positive results for resources and facilities. Again, exceptions to the high ratings come in some criticism of computer services. However, the library in conjunction with Information Services, upgraded and improved computers in the library’s reading room, as reflected in table 1 above. Overall, student comments demonstrate strong support for the mission of the Library in the annual student surveys in 2013-14 [12] and 2014-15 [13] and in LES documents for 2013-14 [14] and for 2014-15 [15].

 

New Resources. The Library provides materials for teaching and research for each of the seminary’s degree programs (see Core Requirement 2.9), as demonstrated by the Library’s acquisitions in 2013-14 [16] and its overall holdings in 2013-14 [17] and further acquisitions in 2014-15 [18] and its overall holdings in 2014-15 [19]. Additionaly, Library personnel understand the necessity for having physical accommodations such as space and furnishings for reading, studying, researching, and writing. The Library takes into consideration suggestions from students, faculty, and staff as evidenced by the acquisition of resources in 2013-14 [20] and in 2014-15 [21] in order to build the collections in the different degree fields with utmost priority in accordance with the Library’s Collection Development Policy [22].

 

Service to Constituents. In the area of service, the Library staff meets needs through personal assistance for the various seminary constituencies via circulation, reference queries, Internet searches, and instruction in the databases and photocopying. (See Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2). The Library assists faculty by making copies for them and underscoring their purchase requests as high priority, as evidenced by purchases in 2013-14 [23] and in 2014-15 [24]. Additionally, the Library’s Conservation Department, as demonstrated by total projects in 2013-14 [25] and in 2014-15 [26] repairs materials from the Library’s collections. This service also extends to faculty, students, and staff, when requested, including the re-covering of Bibles, all at no cost. Lastly, users of the Library have access to the Library’s website. The following questions and table graph, based on the annual surveys of students and faculty, demonstrate the overall approval of Library users in areas of suggestions, acquisitions, and interlibrary loan (ILL):

 

Student Survey Questions, 2013-14:

             General

·      #71 – Student suggestions are welcome and taken seriously by the library staff.

PhD

·      #68 – The library staff takes seriously my requests for material purchases.

·      #69 – The library staff takes seriously my Interlibrary Loan requests.

DMin

·      #44 – The library staff takes seriously my requests for material purchases.

·      #45 – The library staff takes seriously my Interlibrary Loan requests.

 

Faculty Survey Questions, 2013-14:

·      #55 – I am satisfied with the library’s acquisition procedures, especially with items I recommend.

 

Student Survey Questions, 2014-15:

  General

·      #77 – Student suggestions are welcome and taken seriously by the library staff.

PhD

·      #68 – The library staff takes seriously my requests for material purchases.

·      #69 – The library staff takes seriously my Interlibrary Loan requests.

DMin

·      #45 – The library staff takes seriously my requests for material purchases.

·      #46 – The library staff takes seriously my Interlibrary Loan requests.

 

Faculty Survey Questions, 2013-14:

·      #55 – I am satisfied with the library’s acquisition procedures, especially with items I recommend.

 

Table 2. Survey Instruments and Results concerning Purchase Requests/Suggestions

 

Reciprocal Agreements. The Library provides other learning/information resources by sharing its resources in formal, reciprocal agreements with other libraries and resource centers in the area (MALC—Memphis Area Library Council) which users may view on the Library's website [27]. These resources include two theological seminary libraries, one county library, and seven college/university libraries. The seminary’s students, faculty, and staff have access and privileges to these huge resources, which are not only academic but also include general materials. Finally, the Library provides interlibrary loan service through membership in OCLC for students, faculty, and staff. This service meets needs and demands for students in undergraduate, masters, and doctoral research levels, as well as faculty; however, in most request circumstances, the Library purchases materials, or occasionally obtains items on ILL, as part of its service mission to the seminary, as demonstrated by purchases and borrowing in 2013-14 [20] and in 2014-15 [21].

 

Beyond maintaining and expanding the physical facilities, as needed or assessed for upgrades, especially in the technological areas of computers and supporting E-collections, the Library, as evidenced in tables 1-2 above, at all times in each circumstance, attempts to acquire requested and appropriate—to the degree program—materials based on the Collection Development Policy. One can observe such examples of the CDP in play in the acquisition of the serials database as a root for the undergraduate degree (Academic Search Elite), the aggressive expansion of support for the new biblical counseling section, and the growth of E-books within the EBSCO Religion E-Book Collection, as evidenced in the Library’s unit goals in 2013-14 [28] and in 2014-15 [29].

 

Documentation

 

1. MABTS Website - History of the Library

2. MABTS Website - Library Purpose Statement

3. 2014-15 MABTS Library Handbook, p. 10

4. MABTS Website - Library Hours

5. MABTS Website - OPAC Library Hours

6. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 62-63

7. MABTS Website – Library Printing Policy

8. 2013-14 Annual Student Survey

9. 2014-15 Annual Student Survey

10. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 48-56

11. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 86-94

12. 2013-14 Annual Student Survey

13. 2014-15 Annual Student Survey

14. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 48-56

15. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 86-94

16. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 28

17. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 33-34

18. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 66-67

19. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 71-72

20. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 36 and 34

21. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 74 and 72

22. MABTS Website – Collection Development Policy

23. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 37

24. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 75-76

25. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 37

26. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 75

27. MABTS Website – MALC Area Library Links

28. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 39-47

29. 2014-15 MABTS Fact Book, p. 78-85

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