Library utilizes online resources

Written By Jessica Dillon

Textbooks, editing software, and tutoring are just a few of the resources students lost when they were forced off campus late last month due to the coronavirus outbreak. The university library has been working to provide all of those resources for students at home.

Elizabeth Evans, Director of the Library, has been sending multiple emails a week to students, reminding them to visit the library website to access resources. Evans finds this communication to be an important reminder to students who may be struggling to keep up with work.

“The constant communication helps remind the students that we are here for them virtually, even when the library isn’t open,” Evans said.

On the library’s website, you will find access to a plethora of websites, designed to make online learning a little bit easier.

“We have 126 online databases that provide 24/7 access to scholarly journals, ebooks, streaming videos, plays, news sources and more,” Librarian Lauren Irvin said.

Among these links is a database where students can access all the books offered in the library online for free. Evans also emailed students a link to RedShelf, a website offering free textbooks to college students.

Julia Stewart is a junior English major. Stewart, 20, of Homer City, Pa., has been relying heavily on these online textbooks.

“I got my Spanish and religions textbook that I was originally using the physical copies of at the library on RedShelf. It saved me $300 that I do not have because I’m now unemployed. The library’s consistent communication has been a lifesaver,” Stewart said.

Similar to Stewart, junior political science and legal studies major Brittany Arp has also been heavily relying on the library’s resources.

“Previously I had been scanning pages from the textbooks on reserve at the library, so finding a new alternative to that resource was one of my first concerns when we all found out school was closing for the semester. Thankfully, the library’s online textbook resource RedShelf was made available and carries the textbooks I need for my current classes,” Arp, 21, of Russell, Pa., said.

Many of these features are not new to the library website, but have been adapted to fit students’ current needs.

“Many of the resources we have were already available online, so most of what we had to change was the information on our website regarding these resources,” Evans said. This helped the library get these resources to students quickly after campus shut down.

Access to Digital Theater+ will expire on April 20, and access to Drama Online will end May 31. All other resources are available for students year-round.