Textbooks in the Library

Every year, at the beginning of every semester, it happens: students approach the Ross Pendergraft Library service desks asking if we have their textbooks.  And every year, it’s usually the same response:

This year, it will be different.  At the request of the Arkansas Tech administration, the library purchased 27 general education textbooks for a new initiative to provide textbook access for general education courses.  The purpose of this program is to help students in dire financial straits or those students whose textbooks are late in arriving for the start of classes.

They are available at the Circulation desk for 2 hour check-out within the library ONLY–they cannot leave the building.

To see our current selection, search our online catalog Find It and select the drop-down “Course Reserves”

screenshot of find it course reserves

Then type “Textbooks”.

screenshot of textbooks list available for checkout.

This will display textbooks available in the course reserves available for checkout.  You can also limit selections by course information using the left filter “Course Information”

screenshot of textbooks filters

If a professor has arranged for a specific book to be placed on course reserve at the library, you can also search by instructor’s name, course code, or course name.

Book checked out?  No worries.  Sign-in to Find It and use your your Tech ID and password, and place a Request:

gif of signing in to find it

Once signed in, use the Request feature to place a hold request on items checked out.  When the item returns, you will get an email to let you know the book is available at the circulation desk.

screenshot of request

If you are a professor and wish to place an extra faculty copy on course reserve for the benefit of students who may be strapped for cash or unable to acquire the book in time for class, consider lending it to the library.  Faculty personal copies are always returned at the end of the semester, and it is a great way to guarantee student access to required course materials.  Learn more about this program by visiting our website http://libguides.atu.edu/services/faculty#course or contact us for more questions about the program and how you can help us.

Remember–not every class will have a textbook available at the library!  However, this new initiative will help make obtaining a college degree slightly more affordable and easier.  If the program is a success, we will purchase more.  So if you need a textbook, come check us out!



A Change Is Gonna Come

Twas the two weeks before Christmas, and all through the library, not a creature was stirring…except for the half a dozen library and physical plant staff working hard to get a brand new study space ready for next semester.

The Technology Learning Center (TLC), set to open sometime in January, represents the latest effort to create comfortable, useful spaces to study, collaborate, and learn.  The new space, located on the first floor in the microforms room, will feature whiteboards, couches, comfortable chairs, stools, ottomans, desks, and group tables.  During certain hours, this space will also host a satellite version of the Doc Bryan Tutoring Center.

Projected look at the new TLC space featuring chairs and couches and whiteboards

Projected view of new TLC with stools, ottomans, couches, and whiteboards

The library hinted at the new space during finals when we asked for student input on the new name for the center.  While the name suggested by student Collin Honeycutt, “Technology Learning Center” won out, a few noteable runner-ups included the North Commons, the Thinkatorium, Club Pendy, Spacey McSpace Space, and—of course—Study McStudyface.

Projected view of new space with couches and a chair

Projected view of the new study space with two green couches, an ottoman, and a whiteboard

To make room for the new student space, however, sacrifices had to be made.  Room 129 has held the library’s collection of microfilm and microfiche since the building was opened.  The format was considered ground-breaking in the last century for libraries trying to free up space by photographing large swaths of print journals, newspapers, and books and reducing their size to thumbprint sized images on film—requiring only light and magnification to read.  In recent years, resource databases like American Periodical Series, JSTOR, GreenFile, and ERIC have rendered much of this collection redundant.  Why fumble around with microfiche when you can easily access the same content from home with a computer?

To make room for the TLC, a massive weeding project occurred to remove selected titles and collections so that the remaining microfilm and microfiche collection can be consolidated in the adjacent room.  Many microfilmed titles and historical newspapers like the Arka Tech, the Courier, and the Arkansas Gazette remain available, but large sets duplicated by our online resources have been sent to a recycling facility.  If you stretched the recycled fiche end to end, it would total 67 miles—almost enough to reach Little Rock.

Box of fiche

rows and rows of microfiche cabinets

None of this would be possible without the hard and back-breaking work of ATU’s Physical Plant staff who shifted and schlepped heavy cabinets out of and all around the library.  Library staff, too, worked tirelessly throughout the interim period to create lists, estimate space, count withdrawn fiche and film, and empty cabinets.

Marcus McCormick, Mason Sims, Slade Dupuy, and Brent Etzel share the task of emptying ERIC cabinets of over 509,000 sheets of microfiche.

Marcus McCormick, Mason Sims, Slade Dupuy, and Brent Etzel share the task of emptying ERIC cabinets of over 509,000 sheets of microfiche.

Frances Hager, Acquisitions, Serials, and Government Documents librarian, holds up microfilm being consolidated into fewer cabinets.

Frances Hager, project lead, holds up microfilm being consolidated into fewer cabinets.


Have questions about the new study space?  Want to learn more about the project?  Want to bemoan the loss of physical media to increasingly online-based platforms?  Cry with us through one of our online platforms at Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Remember, the Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology will be closed from December 22nd until January 1st.  We will re-open on January 2nd for interim hours, M-F, 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. only until regular hours resume on January 16th.  For full list of hours, see our website.

Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and enjoy the well-deserved break.

An empty room 129 where the library's collection of microfilm and microfiche used to be.

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