Lois F. Szudy - Library Director
LSzudy@otterbein.edu | (614) 823-1414

The library collection and services are very different from what they were even five years ago. The rapid explosion of information and the development of electronic resources have forever changed the ways the library is used. Everyone employed at the Courtright Memorial Library looks forward to working with you and your students. Together we can navigate our way through this plethora of information.

The Mission of the Courtright Memorial Library is to actively engage in and contribute to the teaching, learning and research needs of the entire Otterbein community. As intellectual partners in the quest for knowledge, the library staff provides access to information, develops a diverse collection, and nurtures critical thinking skills to develop self sufficient, life-long learners.

The library staff members feel it is critical that Otterbein University faculty and staff:

  • Know who, when, why, and how to contact the appropriate person in the library, including who is their library liaison;
  • Value the library as a resource to be used and the library staff as a resource to be consulted and supported;
  • Have a willingness to cooperate with librarians to create better library assignments for students;
  • Feel they can rely on librarians to assist them in teaching students how to most effectively conduct research; and
  • Are willing to assist the library staff in building our collection through recommendations for both purchase and weeding.

This online guide is designed to provide you with a better understanding of the myriad of services we offer and assistance in meeting the five library staff expectations for faculty (mentioned above). Proceed through the guide by clicking on the various links and tabs. In addition, you can use the library's web site (http://library.otterbein.edu) to access a growing amount of information. However, don't forget that you can always call us, e-mail us, or visit us in the library (the list of staff and our contact information is located under the tab for Library Information).

The library staff members provide a wide variety of library services, including traditional ones such as circulation, reference, and interlibrary loan. In addition, we provide many newer electronic services including instant messaging, patron initiated circulation, and access to electronic databases, indexes, journals, and books. The services we provide are discussed in more detail throughout this guide.

Remember that we

  • Subscribe to periodicals in a variety of formats, including electronic, paper and microform.
  • Offer assistance in searching the Internet and evaluating the information found.
  • Assist with searching specialized research databases, electronic journals and electronic books to discover additional resources relating to a specific topic.
  • Obtain materials published by the U.S. Government through the Federal Document Depository program, including electronic resources, books, pamphlets, serials, videos, and microform .
  • Assist in searching the online catalogs of local libraries, including Westerville Public, Columbus Metropolitan, and the State Library of Ohio.
  • Provide access to OCLC's Worldcat, a database of materials available in libraries throughout the world.
  • Preserve the history of the University and the United Brethren Church and offer assistance in using this historical and valuable information. The Otterbein Room (University Archives) is an excellent resource for you and your students whenever you are looking for primary materials.

Personal assistance is available at the reference desk during the following hours:

9:00 am - 10:00 pm
9:00 am - 6:00 pm
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

You can obtain assistance during these hours in the following ways:

  • in person at the library reference desk
  • by phone (x1984)
  • by Instant Messenger (s/n: Otterbeinlibrary)
  • via e-mail library@otterbein.edu.

For more information, click on "Ask a Librarian" from the library homepage.

This assistance could include, for example:

  • Consultations on resources and search techniques relevant to your research areas,
  • Tips for searching the Internet and evaluating the information found, and
  • Assistance with searching electronic journals, electronic books, and over 170 specialized research databases.

For more information, contact Patti Rothermich, x1366.

New students at Otterbein participate in an introduction to library research during the Integrative Studies 100, 105 and 110 courses. Our instruction program also aims to assist you in incorporating research, critical thinking, problem solving and computer searching skills into your syllabus. Whatever your focus, the library will provide additional support to verify facts, help students obtain an overview of unfamiliar topics, and become information literate, lifelong learners.

Some possibilities are:

  • Basic instruction of new students to use of library resources,
  • Advanced level research strategies and practices with specialized reference sources in the major disciplines,
  • Electronic retrieval of information and the use of Boolean operators,
  • Government Documents, including how to access them,
  • Critical evaluation of library & Internet resources,
  • How to search for information on the Internet.

The library has developed a web-based research tutorial and a virtual tour of the library. The web-based tutorial has valuable information, including how to

  • narrow or broaden a topic
  • differentiate between scholarly and popular periodicals;
  • determine whether a source is primary or secondary;
  • cite resources (using MLA and APA);
  • understand plagiarism and how to avoid it; and
  • many other topics.

Please use them and encourage your students to do so as well. They are available on the library's home page (through the Seek Help/Get Information).

More information is available from the library's web pages about the Information Literacy program at the Courtright Memorial Library. Use these pages to find out how to design effective assignments, improve your syllabi, and retrieve additional information about developing information literate students.

For more information call your department's liaison or Rares Piloiu x1314.

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