By: Regina Planchet
Students know where the library is and have most likely gone there for one reason or another, but there is more to Franciscan University of Steubenville’s John Paul II Library than meets the eye.
“Students could use the library more,” said Donna Ross, who works in the library office. “We get our regular students that always come but there are still other students we don’t often see in the library.”
Ross spoke of the many services the library offers.
“We have inter-library loan, which is a consortium of three hundred libraries in the state of Ohio,” Ross said. “Students can borrow books that usually come in within three to five days.”
“Another service a lot of students might not be aware of is that you can order textbooks from the library,” Ross said. “Of course with that you run the risk of getting the book called back from the library you borrowed it from.”
Ross also said there are two research librarians to help with research as well as citation: Kathleen Donohue, who is in charge of research and reference and Lu Ann Boris, who is in charge of archives and journals.
The library also has a computer lab, three e-mail computers, and six research computers. The research computers do not have Microsoft Word so documents cannot be printed from these computers. They can be used to print articles and use the library card catalog.
William Jakub, library director, had a lot of information on various services students the library offers.
“We have a lot of different electronic databases for educational and personal use,” said Jakub. “We look at what students research and try to enhance our selection based on that information. I walk by the research computers and cringe when I see people on Google. There’s nothing wrong with Google—it’s a good starting point—but it would blow your socks off if you knew what was available in the databases.”
Jakub also drew attention to various collections students might not be aware of.
“We have a collection of VHS and DVD materials that we are always adding to,” he said. “We welcome suggestions of videos to add to the collection and you can do that by e-mail. We also have a great extensive musical collection, mostly classical music. The music circulates like any book.”
Jakub also said that most senior theses are shelved in the library.
“These don’t get used a lot because not a lot of people know about them,” he said. “They gather dust; we dust them off, move them, and dust them again. Often a student will come in wondering what a thesis looks like, what the format is, and if anyone has written on their topic. I show them the collection of theses. They can’t be circulated but they are a wonderful resource, especially if someone did a similar topic it can help your research process by looking at the references they used.”
Jakub says he welcomes input from students and has an open-door policy.
“I’m more than happy to meet with students if I’m not buried in work,” he said.