In an effort to further offer more “normal” services to faculty and students during this time of remote instruction, Auburn University Libraries (AUL) made a successful appeal to declare an emergency under HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service. And now Auburn students, faculty, and staff will have access online to almost 48 percent of AUL’s collection. AUL continues to offer the majority of its services with some limitations and continues to search for new ways to bring all services to its users.
“We’ve been trying very hard to continue all the services we can during this transition time and we’re doing our best to add more services as solutions are found,” said Dr. Shali Zhang, Dean of Libraries, Auburn University Libraries. “The HathiTrust temporary emergency access is a huge step forward in being able to offer a large percentage of the most significant thing we lose when the Libraries are closed – the physical collections.”
AUL became a member of the HathiTrust in 2015. Without that membership, the emergency declaration and resulting access to electronic versions of library holdings would not have been possible. HathiTrust is a large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries. It includes content digitized as part of the Google Books project and Internet Archive digitization initiatives, as well as content digitized locally by member libraries.
“While the HathiTrust emergency declaration is a major addition to our offerings, we won’t be stopping there,” said Dr. Zhang. “As the crisis continues, we’re finding solutions to make remote learning, teaching and research easier and more productive.”
Nearing fruition is a project to allow students remote access to the needed software in 78 computers of the Libraries’ newly implemented Innovation and Research Commons. These computers are high-end machines with all manner of powerful software installed. Students will be able tap that power from their home computers without the need to upgrade their computers or purchase new software.
AUL also continues to offer many of the services users have come to expect. In the three weeks since building closure, more than 5,000 users have successful logged in to access e-resources from the Libraries.
Interlibrary Loans (ILL) is busily operating, getting items not held by AUL from other member libraries for our users and providing materials not held by peer libraries to their users so they may continue their research. ILL is also scanning pages and chapters from AUL print holdings and providing them to our users digitally, negating the need for in-person transfers. ILL is currently investigating ways to share e-books between multiple users.
Workshops for both research-enhancing software and Adobe users are being offered remotely via Zoom and recorded video, with 109 users taking advantage of these workshop opportunities so far.
Subject librarians are offering research consultations via Zoom so work momentum is not lost. Reference questions are also being responded to, with 176 such questions already fielded.
And sometimes the library services you might never have thought of become very important as students try to complete all the requirements for their courses.
“It has recently been brought to my attention that 350 students are fulfilling their concert attendance requirement in music appreciation classes by using the Naxos Video Library, a streaming service provided through the library, to watch and listen to masterworks such as the Mahler 1st symphony and Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland,” said Dr. Zhang. “We’ll be working hard to provide innovative solutions for the duration of this crisis – whether it is an appreciation of the beauty of music or the latest scientific journal entry.”
All Auburn University Libraries online services may be accessed at https://www.lib.auburn.edu/ Specific help on remote learning, teaching and research may be found at aub.ie/libraryhelp To access the HathiTrust assets, start at: http://libguides.auburn.edu/hathitrust