Library Initiative Puts Access Front and Center

by Michelle Bonja '12

Changes are afoot as the Azusa Pacific University Libraries move forward with a broad goal of expanding access through innovation.

Several new services are being implemented as part of a plan called Library 2022, which aims to extend the mission and academic reputation of APU through the libraries, according to Paul Gray, Ed.D., dean of the libraries.

Students are already taking advantage of the services, including a new policy that permits food in both Marshburn Memorial and Darling libraries.

“This practice reflects our desire to improve student outcomes, avoid hassling students unnecessarily, and reinforce our role as learning advocates,” said Gray in his announcement to the APU community.

Commuter student Reyna Lopez ’14, an international business and Spanish major, said she especially appreciates being able to bring food with her into the library.

“When I would get hungry, I used to have to go out and get food, but now I like to have something with me and just keep on working,” she said, pointing out the lunch bag she brought to East Campus.

“Food and study—especially group study—go hand-in-hand,” said Gray. “Many students find their schedules so full that being able to eat and study at the library at the same time helps with their time management.”

Jared Rodgers ’13, a history major, agreed. “When you have those long days spent in the library, it’s better to get food and get right back into studying and not lose your place,” he said.

And students who have trouble focusing with food odor or noise will still find a comfortable place of study available to them on campus. “The James L. Stamps Theological Library is a quiet study library which as yet does not permit food,” noted Gray.

Also part of the effort to increase access to the library’s wealth of resources, the Ahmanson Information Center (AIC) now has extended Friday hours. The computer lab and study area on West Campus will remain open until 7 p.m., so patrons no longer have to pack up their bags early on Fridays.

The following new library services are also available to the APU community:

  • LibGuides—The site offers research assistance, subject guides, and other useful resources compiled into digestible formats by APU librarians and expert faculty.
  • ArticleReach—This service is the equivalent of a Link+ for journal articles. Users can request articles that are not owned by the library or accessible electronically. Requested articles arrive via email within two days.