University librarian writes chapter for book on technical services | News, Sports, Jobs


The Librarian for Information Technology Initiatives at Pennsylvania College of Technology wrote one of 13 chapters accepted into the American Library Association’s “Technical services in the 21st century”, highlighting the substantial behind-the-scenes work that allows students to seamlessly access scholarly digital material.

Jessica Urick Oberlin wrote “Electronic Resource Data: Moving Forward with Assessment” for the 42nd volume of Emerald Publishing “Progress in the administration and organization of libraries” series.

“In college and university libraries, students sit down to finally begin their research work. After an unsuccessful Google search, they go to the library’s website in the hopes of seeing results that meet their expectations, ” its 20-page chapter begins. “Will it be a pleasant experience for them?” Or will they look elsewhere for the answers they seek? “

Oberlin answers these questions with a comprehensive overview of the data-driven decisions behind Penn College’s electronic resources for students, along with constant assessment and reassessment to ensure the library’s collection remains relevant in the landscape. of the program and the ever-changing real world. for the campus and beyond.

“From breastfeeding to brewing beer, we need to have the most streamlined and accurate processes to acquire the most different items for students.” she explained when the book was published. “In today’s online environment of unreliable information, it is important that we, as a university, lead them to the most reliable and accurate information for their future careers. “

Many of Madigan’s library resources are generally only available to industry, complicating the library’s mission of making them accessible to students.

The library added an online database of American Welding Society standards and codes, for example – information that was only available in paper form, being transported heavily from lab to lab on a trolley. books. It is one of 175 databases spanning the college’s range of academic majors, with faculty and students regularly encouraged to provide online feedback on the value of information to their teaching.

“Concrete science is another” Oberlin noted. “When this program was added to our construction majors, we had to ask ourselves, ‘Do we have something to cover this area of ​​expertise? and we had to make sure that it was available in a digital format that was accessible to everyone.

Campus audiences are informed about new online resources with eye-catching promotional material created by part-time library worker Heather L. Macpherson of Basom, New York, a graphic design major who is due to graduate in May. .

“Jessica’s chapter is a great example of ‘top level’ assessment,” said Tracey Amey, director of the Madigan library. “She looks beyond simple usage data to examine how well a resource fits into our unique applied technology programs. Is it intuitive for our students? Does it provide the real world information that our teachers seek to provide? Does this correspond to the work students will be doing in their chosen field? “

“Jessica is truly a 21st century librarian”, Amey added, “And his chapter demonstrates his skills. It integrates data-driven assessment, student needs, and program suitability into a complex yet effective method of resource management.

Oberlin holds an MA in Library Science from Clarion University and a BA in English Literature from Lycoming College.

Prior to joining Penn College faculty in the spring of 2016, she was an education librarian and access services coordinator at her alma mater Lycoming, where she taught classes and oversaw interlibrary loan and circulation services for the Snowden Library.

She began her career as a communications teacher at the Mifflinburg area high school and later served as a librarian at Warrior Run High School, holding Pennsylvania English Teacher Certifications (Grades 7 through Grade 12) and library media (K-12).

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