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BG’s most popular library is Web-based

While more students every year are going to the library at Ohio University and Harvard, fewer students at BGSU are going on campus to the library – but they are using the University’s online resources more than ever.

Chas Shramek, senior, said he never uses the library since everything for the most part is online.

“Why would I waste my time going all the way to the library to get information that I can get online in minutes?” he asks.

Access to online resources such as Electronic Reserves or Lexis Nexis has increased significantly over the last five years, said Lorraine Haricombe, dean of the Jerome Library.

From 2001 to 2005 there was a 773 percent increase of online resource usage. People visited online resources 67,782 times in 2001, compared to a drastic increase of 592,264 times in 2005.

Haricombe said the growing use of online resources has had an inverse relationship to the number of students who attend the library.

But Harvard and Ohio have experienced different results. Both universities have seen an increase in both online usage and university library usage over the past several years.

Beth Brainard, director of communications for the Harvard College Library, said that while some universities try and figure out how to get students to use the library and not just online sources, Harvard doesn’t have this problem. She even credits the online sources to help students use the library even more.

“I don’t have a crystal ball but, I expect the online resources to enhance the library’s usage in the future,” she said. “For example, students are able to come to the library with the call numbers of the books they need.”

Ohio has also seen increased usage of both online resources and library use. John Lamborn, assistant dean for public services at Ohio, said just because students might not be looking up research and checking out books as much at the library, there is still the need for a physical space to study.

When a new study area in the library was opened at Ohio, there was a 28.1 percent increase of people who came to the library, Lamborn said.

“Give them a place to study and they will use it, especially on a residential campus,” he said.

Rachel Smith, junior, said she mostly uses Jerome Library as a place to study but occasionally uses it for research.

“If the library wasn’t there I wouldn’t have anywhere to study in peace,” Smith said. “There are too many distractions everywhere else.”

Tommy Yankle, junior, said he is content studying at home. He doesn’t use the library because it’s overwhelming, and will only use it as his last resort.

“The library scares me, it’s too big,” Yankle said. “I don’t really know what I would use the library for.”

It seems that many students at the University feel the same way as Yankle when it comes to using the library – because as it has shown fewer people are entering the library each year.

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