To those returning students I say “Welcome back to Wittenberg University for a Fall semester unlike any other before”. To the class of 2024 I welcome you to your new home for the next four years. While we made it through the summer in the midst of a pandemic, work continued in Thomas Library and many changes have taken place. You will immediately notice that seating is configured differently to account for social distancing at tables and chairs. We do ask that you do not move the furniture, including chairs. We have set the furniture with social distancing in mind, so please leave it how you find it.
One of the major changes you will notice is that the Math Workshop and Writing Center have been relocated from their previous locations to the first (lower) floor of Thomas Library. In order to make this happen Library staff had to weed nearly half of the bound journal collection and about 90% of the microfilm collection. I want to thank all of the Library staff who worked so hard to make this happen.
The microfilm collection has been relocated to the second (main) floor of Thomas Library. You can find it on the Chapel-side. Go past the restrooms and the CD collection and just to the left of the elevator you will find a small room with the microfilm cabinets and a the microfilm reader/printer/scanner.
Another rather significant, but mainly behind the scenes, change came when Wittenberg University became a member of OPAL (Ohio Private Academic Libraries) at the beginning of 2020. As a result of this membership we were able to migrate to the latest version of the library computer system. This resulted in a changed look to the Library online catalog.
While the library main web page still looks the same, if you do a search in the catalog search box the next screen will look very different. A different color scheme is the major difference, along with branding from OPAL, but you will see that you are still searching the Wittenberg University catalog first. From here you can still expand your search to OhioLINK or SearchOhio. Please note that both of those searches will take you to a screen that may look different than what you are used to seeing.
Speaking of OhioLINK, as a result of the migration and the impact of COVID-19, Wittenberg will not begin participating in the OhioLINK borrowing/lending process until at least August 24. We expect it will begin during that week. Again, we expected this to be completed during the summer, but with OhioLINK stopping the courier service there were complications that we could not anticipate. We will be working as diligently as we can to make this available to you.
There were a number of database changes during the summer. We evaluated a number of our databases and made some changes. You can find links to these sources on our “Databases A-Z” page. We added the following resources:
- Films on Demand – a documentary video streaming service providing unlimited access to a wide range of films in all fields
- Global Newsstream – provides access to new archives back to 1980 and current issues of a wide range of newspapers, newswires, blogs and news sites from around the globe
- Hein Online Academic – provides access to legal and governmental information, including Ohio Attorney General opinions, session laws, state reports, state statutes and political and legal history
- Cochrane Library – a key resource in the field of Nursing, the Cochrane Library provides access to Cochrane Reviews, Trials, and Clinical Answers
In order to add these resources the library faculty evaluated other resources and it was determined to no longer provide access to:
- Nexis Uni
- International Index of Black Periodicals
- International Newsstream
- ProQuest Congressional
Finally, the other change is that this was my last summer and this is my last blog entry. I am retiring from Wittenberg University on August 31, 2020. It has been a privilege to serve as the Director of Thomas Library for nearly sixteen years. We have seen some changes to the library and there were some changes that we had hoped to see that never came to fruition. My main memories will be of the people: students, faculty and staff, and especially the Thomas Library staff. Although we kept shrinking in number we took pride in trying to provide the best service we could to you and to maintain a high level of professionalism and collegiality. I hope we succeeded.
I wish you all the best during this times. They are certainly interesting.