The Library at Oklahoma State University is both the literal and figurative center of the campus. The elegant structure has been the academic symbol of the University since it was built in 1953. Today the Library continues to be central to student research, study and learning. Our collections and services support faculty research and teaching. Throughout the day, students flow in and out of the Library taking advantage of time between classes to study, check class assignments online, read online news sources and email friends and family.
During the evening hours until closing at 2 a.m. nearly every available seat in the Library is filled and our librarians are kept busy guiding students as they search the library’s collections for needed books, journal articles or other information resources. Some questions are simple while others are more complicated; but, with each encounter, librarians constantly teach students how to locate, evaluate and manage information and knowledge.
Although the building remains important and students frequent it heavily, we have made it possible for faculty and students to conduct nearly all their library research without coming into the building. We purchase annual subscriptions to nearly 40,000 periodicals and research journals in electronic form so that OSU faculty and students can access, read and download complete texts of millions of articles from computers in their offices, dorm rooms or anywhere else in the world with Internet access.
Of these 40,000 titles, 95% are not available via Google because they are not free. One must pay for access. The OSU Library, on behalf of our faculty, staff and students, pays these annual subscriptions. Last year these totaled $2.5 million. In addition, we spend $773,000 annually on electronic databases that make it possible to search and locate pertinent articles on specific topics. By any standard, this is a costly undertaking; however, this past year our 22,000 plus students and 1,000 or so faculty, conducted 7,368,754 searches and downloaded 2,249,699 complete articles. All of which were not available on Google.
Academic librarians acknowledge that no one ever graduated from a library. We
contend, however, that no one
ever graduated without one either!
Sheila Grant Johnson, OSU Dean of Libraries