Due to COVID-19, the David O. McKay library has been closed to patrons since mid-March, but the services it offers continue to allow students to learn and grow wherever they may be.
With BYU-Idaho students spread across the world more than ever before, the library staff is working to educate the BYU-Idaho community about all of the online library resources it offers.
This semester, the library has launched a digital campaign outlining what those resources are through the library’s website.
University Librarian Laurie Francis says her team had wanted to emphasize the online resources before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the timing made the campaign essential.
“It started a while back, but with the online semester, it was a great opportunity to promote our online resources and services to the students to let them know that even if they are not physically in the building, they have access to a wide variety of resources,” Francis said.
The online library contains about 750,000 eBooks and over 100,000 electronic journals.
Associate University Librarian of Technical Services Chris Olsen oversees additional content currently being uploaded to the library’s web services. He expresses how hard his employees work to make sure the faculty and students can find what they need.
“What we want people to know about the undiscovered amount of content at the reach of students and employees. In the ‘A-Z Library database list’ on the home page, there are about two hundred resources that we pay for that anyone with an I-number can access. We want the community to understand there is a lot of material they might be looking for, and to find it, they simply have to ask a librarian,” Olsen said.
And asking a librarian has never been easier. You can ask questions online at any time of the day with their 24-hour chat feature available Monday through Saturday.
“One of the biggest features we have is our chat. We have a 24-hours a day, six days a week chat system staffed by professional librarians. If students have questions, we are able to provide reference help for them, and that is a big service we want people to know about,” Francis added.
Through this chat feature, students can ask any questions regarding how the library is providing services while maintaining social distancing. If students prefer more personal interaction, they can also schedule a Zoom meeting with a librarian.
If the books students are looking for are not found in the online library, they can always make a request for those titles to be found and added as an eBook to the library website through the “purchase request” found on the home page. The library staff will do their best at making it a part of the content available.
Students and employees can reserve books through the library catalog and selecting the “Pickup” option on the catalog page. Book pickup services are available every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. just inside the Manwaring Center southeast entrance. Books must be requested by 8:00 a.m. if the book is needed that same day. If not, the requested books will be available for the next pickup day (Tuesday or Thursday).
Additional resources such as The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are also available for free to BYU-Idaho employees and students thanks to a subscription the university provides.
Most librarians are what Laurie Francis called “subject specialists” for different topics, such as Holly Green, who is a specialist in the Department of Religious Education. Each specialist can provide all kinds of different information based on that specific subject if needed. Additionally, many of the subject specialist librarians have created research guides on the website with targeted information about the subjects they master.
Follow the library’s social media accounts for regular information on what services they can access. The library’s Instagram and Twitter account can be found as @mckaylibrary, and “McKay Library” on Facebook or simply visit library.byui.edu.