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Texas Tech Libraries "Making it Possible ..." – Meeting Your Research Needs

April 2010

Marina Oliver
Associate Librarian

The mission of the Texas Tech University Libraries is to connect users with resources that advance intellectual inquiry and discovery. We believe that providing effective user service is our utmost priority. One facet of this service is the ability to deliver scholarly resources to researchers’ desktops 24/7. While the libraries have an impressive print collection, more than 2.5 million volumes, it may surprise some to know that the TTU Libraries has a robust electronic collection as well. The e-collection is available to our students, faculty, and staff from anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection. The e-collection includes roughly 300 databases, more than 30,000 e-journals and more than 19,000 e-books. What's more, the libraries are in the process of transitioning many of our print resources to electronic format further expanding the online collection. We also provide chat and online reference as well. As a result, users no longer have to go to a physical building because we are also a virtual library.

The library has more than 250 computer workstations, two laser printers, five desktop scanners and 10 high-capacity laser printers available for use by patrons.

The library has more than 250 computer workstations, two laser printers, five desktop scanners and 10 high-capacity laser printers available for use by patrons.

In recent years there has been an increasing amount of medical and biomedical research conducted on the TTU campus. In response, the libraries are actively expanding our electronic collections to meet these research needs. We significantly increased the number of e-journals available to TTU from Elsevier B.V. and Springer Verlag LLC, two of the most prestigious science, technology, and medical (STM) publishers in the world. Both are known for their high impact, peer reviewed STM books and journals.

In 2008, the libraries added almost every e-journal in Elsevier’s ScienceDirect database. ScienceDirect is a leading full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 peer-reviewed journals and more than 11,000 books. TTU researchers’ response to this improvement was so overwhelming that in January the libraries added ScienceDirect’s e-book collections as well. On the heels of the ScienceDirect success we increased our Springer e-journal collection to include virtually all journals and e-books published in SpringerLink. SpringerLink is one of the leading databases for high-quality STM journals, book series, and books as well. By expanding the collection, TTU researchers gained access to an additional 400 medical journals.

What's more, two new medical databases were recently incorporated into the libraries’ growing list of full text resources, MEDLINE® with Full Text and CINAHL® Plus with Full Text. MEDLINE® with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive source of full text from medical journals, supplying articles from more than 1,450 journals indexed in MEDLINE. Created by the National Library of Medicine, Medline provides authoritative information on medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and pre-clinical sciences. MEDLINE® with Full Text uses MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) indexing to search citations from more than 4,800 current biomedical journals and contains articles for many of the most used journals in the MEDLINE index dating back to 1965. MEDLINE® with Full Text is considered one of the best research tools for medical literature.

CINAHL® Plus with Full Text is the world's most complete nursing and allied health research database, providing full text for more than 750 journals indexed in CINAHL. This resource offers complete coverage of English-language nursing journals and publications from the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses' Association. CINAHL covers nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health, and 17 allied health disciplines. In addition, CINAHL® Plus with Full Text provides access to health care books, nursing dissertations, selected conference proceedings, standards of practice, educational software, audiovisuals, and book chapters. Searchable cited references for more than 1,300 journals are also included. Furthermore, CINAHL® Plus with Full Text offers full text for more than 240 books/monographs with coverage dating back to 1937, making this database the ultimate research tool for all areas of nursing and allied health literature.

While the library has more than 2.5 million books, the electronic collection includes more than 30,000 e-journals, and more than 19,000 e-books.

While the library has more than 2.5 million books, the electronic collection includes more than 30,000 e-journals, and more than 19,000 e-books.

The addition of these databases provides researchers article-level access for more than 2,100 journals in the areas of medicine and health care. Library users can access these databases and any other TTU Libraries electronic resources from our homepage. Access to electronic journals is also available via Google Scholar.

Of course, no library will have every book, journal, or database published. To complement our print and electronic collections, the libraries provide Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services at no charge for TTU faculty, students, and staff. That is, if we do not own the material needed by one of our patrons, the libraries will borrow it from another library at no cost to the requester. Requests can be submitted 24/7. We make every effort to fill our patrons’ information needs in the most timely and efficient manner. Our patrons can expect to have their article requests filled, on average, within three days and book requests within nine days.

Still not all research needs can be met by articles and books. For those needs the libraries provides the largest information commons on campus. We have 250 computer workstations, two laser printers, five desktop scanners and 10 high-capacity laser printers available for patron use. The libraries also provides access to AutoCAD, Adobe CS4 Master Collection, MS Office, SPSS, SAS and a site license to Lynda.com which contains more than 37,500 online technology tutorials. The library is leveraging social networking and Web 2.0 tools to connect with users as well; this includes profiles on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and using videos on iTunes University for instruction. In the near future we hope to have an online catalog compatible with mobile devices. In a nutshell, the TTU Libraries are "Making it Possible ..."


Marina Oliver is Associate Librarian and Head of Electronic Resources & Assessment, Texas Tech University Libraries; she can be reached at marina.oliver@ttu.edu.