University launches Article DELivery Service
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
The university launched a new article delivery system on Feb. 4 for staff, faculty and graduate students, meant to streamline the lengthy process of hunting for research articles, Megan Gaffney, the coordinator of Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Services, said.
The new Article DELivery Service allows users to request specific articles or portions of print material at any of the university’s libraries to be scanned and sent to them electronically, she said.
The university introduced the service after several other universities successfully created similar programs, Gaffney said. She said she hopes the service will take the hassle out of traveling to the library and searching for materials.
Research itself should be the top priority, not hunting through the library for articles and textbooks, she said.
“A lot of other universities and their patrons are finding that this is a very popular service,” Gaffney said. “I think a lot of librarians are developing a philosophy that students and faculty need to focus more on research and intellectual output as opposed to the mechanics of what they need for the research.”
Gaffney said students often spend hours at the library searching through collections and scanning the necessary material for their research. The service aims to eliminate some time spent looking for materials by having graduate students and faculty spend more time on actual research, she said.
Eligible users first have to create an account with the interlibrary loan service, Gaffney said. They can then request a specific article from a journal or chapter of a book, which is scanned by one of the librarians and sent to the users account, she said. She said the electronic document is available to only the user who requested it and is valid for 30 days, she said.
Gaffney said most print media at any of the libraries is available for scanning through the service, excluding the library’s Special Collections, Gaffney said. Strict copyright laws govern what materials can and cannot be redistributed from the library’s collection, meaning the library can only offer one chapter or article at a time, she said.
She said the service will eventually be available to all university patrons if all goes according to plan.
“We want to offer the service to undergraduates as well,” Gaffney said. “But we weren’t prepared to open the service up to everyone at once without knowing what the demand was going to look like and what the work flow was going to look like. Other universities have unveiled the service this way and it seems to be a pretty successful model.”
M.B.A. student Luke Dominica, 26, said he was unaware the service existed but thinks it is helpful for those who frequently use the library’s services.
Dominica also said he thinks the service should be available to undergraduates as well.
“It makes sense to me that they would need to start off just offering it to some people,” Dominica said. “But I think undergrads should have this tool available to them too. They’d probably benefit more from using one chapter at a time than someone who is doing deeper research.”
The service would be convenient for some, but Dominica said he is unsure if he would use it. However, research often requires more than one chapter of a book at a time, he said.
Senior Ryan DeBenedictis said he would be more interested in the service if it were possible to receive more than a single article or chapter at a time. If the library staff finds the right clientele, the service could be a big hit, DeBenedictis said.
DeBenedictis said he has never found the process of using the library resources to be a hassle. Although he said he sees the appeal for some students to use this service, he does not see it as beneficial.
“I see why people would want to have the material just sent to them, but I haven’t really come across a situation in my four years at college where I think I would need something like that,” DeBenedictis said. “I’ve never really found going to the library and gathering materials and everything like that to be that big of an issue.”