Each segment of the Florida National University contains the academic community of long-time tradition and local culture. Every campus culture includes elements of academic and nonacademic life. The FNU Library celebrates the National Library Month in April. This means that we are ready to celebrate the Library Worker Day. Every April we are evaluating the role of the FNU Library – looking upon the past successes and planning the future of our academic library. What will be the Library’s priorities in 2025? Are we ready for the technological challenges? How we are prepared for the growing trend in Online Education? What are the most effective Hours of Operation?
To answer on all of these questions, we turned to the effective services provided by the FNU Library in the beautiful Dr. Jose Regueiro Building. Now, for the full entire year, the Library staff come and work in the modern facility in comprehension within the dynamics of our local academic community at the Florida National University. What this means? That the FNU Library contributes to teaching and faculty teaching and research on a daily base; that the library role in instructional academic programs support is vital for freshmen student orientations every term, and in the librarian-faculty partnerships for information literacy webinars, library tours, and the establishments of faculty leadership role for the Library governance and input.
On the other side, the Library Staff’s participation in the outreach services positioning self toward the campus-community activities and happenings, following students with services and information. During this year, the Library staff can proudly say that it became a real place of study for our student-athletes and the continuing relationship between Library Staff and couches and Library Staff and student- sportsmen continue to grow in the effective constructive way. In addition, it was made a big effort to work and to communicate with ESL faculty and students on both campuses. The ESL students statistically represent 1/6 part of the school population. It looks that we are at the new beginning and new understanding of the Library’s future role in the ESL educational process. The Library Staff proved that the use of the Library in conjunction with the Reciprocal teaching benefits the student success of adult information literacy.
It was established a simple logical explanation that study-in-groups with mentors is effective and bringing on the results of improvement in academics and retention. The Saturday’s attendance success is logical. Who would not come to the Library on a free family day, at least for two-three hours?
And why we even open on the late nights, from 9 pm to 10 pm? When every student, after a long day, from 5 am on the feet, wants to go home. In the past, the Library Staff used to wait for the school equipment such as TV on the carts/and the VHS cassettes to be returned and check-in to the Library. Today, we have modern classrooms with LSD technology for projection from computers to the boards, etc. And the drift became obsolete.
It is important for the Library to serve the student community effectively and to bring on student success both as academic librarians and as citizens of the institution of higher education. Helping local vulnerable youth with disabilities during the hot summer days is a great example of beneficial community involvement. The book-talk events are a little shining sparkle on the Library’s schedule.
The future of the academic FNU Library is not autonomous – the successful Library development only possible in union with parented institution and have been affected by external forces such as social changes, economic variability, and information production and dissimilation. The future always will have new program development, accreditation of existing educational programs, adaptation to new operational hours, and other responses to the needs of our student-faculty body toward their success and fulfilling sensitive institutional curriculums with various resources in content and in delivery.
In the 21st century, Library inherent obligation to provide information services to support the educational, recreational, personal, and economic undertakings for the Library users in the digital age changed a lot: Wikipedia is everything, Google is awesome, social network is good for assignments, messaging better than e-mail [e-mail is so yesterday: it’s old people and teachers!] If information is not at the front page, it probably isn’t worthwhile anyway; “good enough” is good enough, and FREE is good, downloading is OK as long as you are not selling it and get caught.
Many students have difficulties to define a topic, majority of students never ask librarians for help, some freshmen students are avoiding or scared of academic libraries. We still have a lot of work to do in helping our Library users throughout the information-seeking process and continue to support them at their point of need both with printed and digital resources.
Perhaps in 2025 as education online is a growing tendency, students will be able to access their textbooks from their computer tablets, and some students go to the Library to barrow the tablet, which they should return by the end of the day. Online curriculum provides national requirements and standards, students able to download from online vendors directly.
For now, we need to continue to work with our library users of all programs and all levels by providing up-to-date traditional resources and eResources via LIRN electronic databases, to make library tours mandatory for each course’ students. It is important that faculty post and student use the Library holdings to encourage the life-long learning.