Date of this version
off-campus library services, extended campus, off-campus students, extension library services, extension libraries, University of St. Thomas Libraries
In the fall of 1984, the College of St. Thomas began offering undergraduate and graduate courses in Chaska, Minnesota, and a part-time extension librarian was hired in December of that year. In early 1985, classes at the Gainey Conference Center in Owatonna requested library services, and in 1986 the college planned a third extension, to downtown Minneapolis.
While the majority of classes are largely business-related, there are also programs for software design and development, manufacturing systems engineering, and business communication. Many of the graduate students are employed by smaller companies, with little or no access to corporate libraries. The Chaska, Owatonna, and Minneapolis campuses have small, onsite collections of print materials (books, periodical titles, indexes, and company annual reports.) Each location has its own books and periodicals budget. In Chaska, the extension librarian is there two evenings a week, the nights that classes are held. Because of its distance from the Twin Cities, the Owatonna campus is seldom visited by the librarian, and the MBA program coordinator is responsible for the library onsite. In the spring of 1988, the extension librarian was given additional hours to cover the Minneapolis campus. Library services are promoted by the physical presence of the librarian, a monthly newsletter, new publications lists, and memos to faculty and students.
The challenges of the extension librarian position are many: scheduling trips to extension campuses, while working at the main campus; travel time; frequent moves of the Chaska library, each resulting in loss of floor space, shelf space, and study space; and issues of access versus security. However, having one person whose primary responsibility is off-campus library services means continuous, effective service. Onsite collections, an automated catalog, and the availability of interlibrary loan contribute to the effectiveness of library services.
The Off-campus Library Services Conference Proceedings (Charleston, South Carolina, October 20-21, 1988)
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