Mari Bettineski Information 520 Grant Proposal November 18, 2009

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1 Mari Bettineski Information 520 Grant Proposal November 18, 2009 Distance Education Support Initiative of the John and Mary Mitchell Library at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Multnomah University is committed to helping seminary students grow into community leaders that will make a positive impact in the world through service and ministry. The university has recently expanded its campus to Reno, Nevada and Anchorage, Alaska, and is now providing more online learning opportunities. The John and Mary Mitchell Library proposes a new initiative to support Multnomah University s distance education students. The library is committed to offering equitable services to patrons regardless of location or format of learning. To achieve this level of service, the Mitchell Library needs to purchase five full- text databases and provide a greater level of reference support. The library seeks three years of funding in the amount of $97,320 from June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2014 for this project. THE SETTING Multnomah University is located in Portland, Oregon and was established in 1936 by the Reverend John G. Mitchell. The mission of the institution is to educate, equip and enrich Christians for leadership in their church, community and world. Throughout its seventy- one year history, Multnomah University has consistently committed to producing Biblically competent and culturally aware Christians, who will become transforming forces in the church and world. Students spend over 100,000 hours each semester ministering in the community, and multiple ministries and businesses have been established with the intent to create a positive impact in the world. In 1989, International Renewal Ministries (IRM) was created, which served as a catalyst for racial reconciliation and denominational unity within the church. THE LIBRARY The John & Mary Mitchell Library at Multnomah University has a rich and developing collection of conventional and electronic resources, and it is committed 1

2 to supporting the programs of study at Multnomah University and its Biblical seminary. The library has seven full time staff members, three being professional librarians: Library Director, Assistant Librarian, Reference Librarian, and three paraprofessional staff: Public Services Supervisor, Cataloging Assistant, Interlibrary Loan/Serials Clerk, Processing Assistant. THE PATRONS Multnomah Connect is the latest program available through Multnomah University. It offers two- thirds of a complete Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies through a blend of local and online courses. This allows students to earn a seminary degree without having to uproot their lives to relocate to a Bible college. Rather, students can attend the university while simultaneously ministering to the communities they already belong to. In addition to the new online courses, Multnomah University established extension sites in Reno, Nevada and Anchorage, Alaska. Connect students receive instruction from Multnomah University s faculty rather than adjunct professors or teachers aides. All Multnomah University students receive the same quality of education. STATEMENT OF NEED To ensure that all students receive the same quality of education, the library must provide equitable services to patrons regardless of location or format of learning. Drawing from Needham and Johnson s (2007) proposed standards, the Mitchell Library has committed to the following ethical guidelines for serving its distance learners: 1. Ensure that the originating institution takes responsibility for providing library support for its distance learners. 2. Provide distance learners with access to equivalent levels of library services, resources and support as students at the campus- based university. 3. Treat all information users equitably- all users to receive the highest quality service possible. 4. Promote awareness of distance library services and resources. Currently, the John and Mary Mitchell Library does not provide an electronic collection that can satisfy the variety and depth required by the Connect students, nor can the library s current staffing levels offer the support needed by all patrons. The lack of supplemental reading and support is preventing the library from fulfilling its goal of providing quality support to all Multnomah University students. It is crucial for the continued success of the Connect program that the library meets these standards of service. 2

3 PROPOSED INITIATIVE The John and Mary Mitchell Library proposes that the best way to support all university students is to provide a shared digital library among all the extension sites and to offer quality reference and resource assistance to all patrons. To achieve this, the library needs to purchase several full text databases, adjust reference services, hire new personnel and upgrade its website to provide better assistance to remote users. The initiative will begin in the summer of 2011 and will be evaluated over the following three academic years (2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014). The grant will support the initial rollout of resources and will provide assistance with supplemental costs during the three- year evaluation period. After which, the Connect programs should be successful, self- sustaining and drawing revenue to support the library s additional operation costs. To ensure that proper levels of support are being provided to all university patrons, the Mitchell Library will immediately establish the following task forces to address current and future needs: Collection Development Task Force Library directors, acquisition librarians and collection development librarians from each campus (Portland, Anchorage and Reno) will meet via web conference on June 1, 2011 to officially contract the online resources jointly. The first meeting will mark the beginning of the new library service program and purchases will be made within two months of the initial meeting. Correspondence will continue every semester to determine which supplemental materials are needed to fill gaps in the collection. Additional supplemental costs will come from the Multnomah s regular acquisitions budget. ereference Task Force Reference librarians from each campus will develop a plan for online reference service. They will select a live chat program, practice and become adept at online reference service and create a rotating schedule for live reference coverage. Laptops will be provided for reference librarians to allow for greater schedule and location flexibility. The new reference service will be available at the start of the 2011/2012 academic year. Web and Resource Task Force The Mitchell Library will hire a new full time staff member to serve as the electronic services/instruction librarian. The committee will consist of the new librarian, the university s webmaster, the head of Information Services and the public services supervisor. Because the Portland campus will host the library website, this 3

4 committee will determine what level of support is needed for the servers, the software and the upgrades to computers. They will work on authentication systems for remote access to ensure that all users can access the same information from licensed resources regardless of location. This committee will also determine the guides and documentation that should be included on the website to help support distance learners. Technical support for the website and databases will be established within three months of the database purchases. Databases NEEDED SUPPORT To allow distance students access to the same level of supplementary readings and research capabilities, the Mitchell Library must provide a sufficient amount of ebooks and online journals to support the curriculum. Students will need direct access to the materials through the website, and support of the electronic materials must be maintained to allow the continuous success of the Connect program. For the Connect program, it is important to provide access to resources that cover general education topics, but must also offer a strong emphasis on religious studies. Multnomah s distance students will need access to various journals and books that cover a broad range of topics within each discipline. Subscriptions to databases that provide the most variety of titles will help fill this need. To help support Multnomah University s curriculum, the John and Mary Mitchell Library needs to purchase the following databases: JSTOR Arts and Sciences I Collection: Includes core journals in the following disciplines: ecology, economics, history, humanities, mathematics, political science, social sciences, sociology and statistics. Total there are 119 titles in twenty- one disciplines. JSTOR Arts and Sciences III Collection: Offers journals in the following disciplines: film studies, folklore, languages, literature, music, performing arts, religion, and the history and study of art and architecture. Total there are 151 titles in this collection. JSTOR Arts and Sciences V Collection: Builds on Collections I & III and adds important literary reviews and state historical journals. It also widens the scope of core disciplines in the arts and humanities: philosophy, history, classics, religion, art and art history, and language and literature. Total are over 120 titles in this collection. Oxford Biblical Studies Online: 4

5 Provides access to six essential Oxford editions of the Bible and valuable reference books, texts and commentaries. The database contains maps, illustrations, timelines, bibliographies and nearly 5,000 articles. Oxford Scholarship Online: Religion: Provides 517 ebook titles that cover church history and the world s religions. This database includes recently published titles as well as classic works of enduring influence. Personnel Electronic Services/Instruction Librarian This new position will ensure the continued success of the Mitchell Library s initiative. The librarian will oversee the creation of guides and documentation for the website and monitor web pages for content. They will stay current on new developments in distance learning services and make recommendations for improvement opportunities. The librarian will develop information literacy and online instruction tools, and they will collaborate with faculty to help promote library services and resources. The new personnel will create web pages for each course to allow ease of access to related resources. Regular communication of new services will be presented to students in the form of , newsletters and RSS feeds. This position will also implement the method of evaluation of the initiative. Hard Copy Delivery The Mitchell Library is committed to offering the same free interlibrary loan services to distance students that it provides to campus students. This will require an increased budget for ILL expenses (lending and shipping fees). The electronic services/instruction librarian will analyze ILL borrowing statistics every semester to determine gaps in the online collection. Recommendations for materials based on the statistics will be directed to the Collection Development Task Force for purchase consideration Evaluation The electronic services/instruction librarian will oversee the evaluation process over the course of the three- year initiative plan. The following areas will be assessed at the conclusion of each semester: Database Usage: Statistics will be gathered on full text articles and ebooks. Through the promotional efforts of faculty and the instruction librarian, usage statistics should increase in direct proportion to FTE numbers, but with an annual aim of a 12% increase in overall usage. 5

6 Website Usage: Statistics will be gathered on the number of hits each web page receives. Again, through the promotional efforts of faculty and the instruction librarian, website hits should increase in direct proportion to FTE numbers, but with an annual aim of a 12% increase in overall usage. Student Satisfaction: Students will receive a survey at the end of each semester and overall ratings are expected to increase by 10% each year. Students will rate their satisfaction in the following areas: Website: Is the presentation conducive to their learning? How would they rate the usability and ease of navigation? Is it user friendly? Is the information provided on the website useful? What is not useful? What is missing? How do students find out about the library s services? Databases: How accessible are they? How would students rate the quality of materials retrieved? How would they rate the quantity of useful resources? Do they go anywhere else for their information? Where? How often? Reference Assistance: How accessible are the reference librarians? How would students rate the level satisfaction with librarian interaction? Did they receive the help they needed? Ethical Guidelines: Do the Connect students feel like members of the institution? Do they feel supported by the larger institution? What can be improved? Do they feel that they receive equitable levels of service? PROPOSED BUDGET Following is the proposed budget for the start of the initiative and the three- year plan. This covers the start up costs (database purchase fees) and some maintenance fees. Everything else proposed in the initiative will come from Multnomah University s budget. Start Up & Academic Year 2011/2012 Academic Year 2012/2013 Academic Year 2013/2014 JSTOR I 1,000 1,300 1,300 JSTOR III 2,000 1,300 1,300 JSTOR V 1,000 1,300 1,300 Biblical Studies 8, Oxford Scholarship 47, Live Chat Software 2,000 2,000 2,000 Reference training 600 6

7 Laptops and 3, upgrades Servers and 10,000 1,000 1,000 upgrades ILL Budget 2,000 2,000 2,000 TOTAL $77,820 $9,750 $9,750 The total grant amount required for this initiative is $97,320. CONCLUSION Multnomah is preparing students to make a difference in the world and the university is committed to reaching out to the students who cannot come to Portland. The Mitchell Library is likewise committed to providing equitable service to all Multnomah University students. All students deserve the same level of education and support, regardless of their location or learning format. Allowing the library to improve its online services will help Multnomah develop quality leaders in a variety of communities. Anyone who wishes to receive an education in ministry or missions will finally be allowed the opportunity regardless of their location. 7

8 REFERENCES Bancroft, D. & Lowe, S. (2006). Helping users help themselves: evaluating the off- campus library services web site [electronic version]. Journal of Library Administration, 45, Ferguson, J., Fowler, J., Hanley, M., Schafer, J. (2002). Building a digital library in support of distance learning [electronic version]. Journal of Library Administration, 37, Kaifi, B. A., Mujtaba, B. G., Williams, A. A. (2009). Online college education for computer- savvy students: s study of perceptions and needs [electronic version]. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 6, Kurilovas, E. & Dagiene, V. (2009). Learning objects and virtual learning environments technical evaluation criteria [electronic version]. Electronic Journal of e-learning, 7, Needham, G. & Johnson, K. (2007). Ethical issues in providing library services to distance learners [electronic version]. Open Learning, 22,

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