Improved Access: Montana College Libraries Asking Legislature For $1.79 Million
Librarians aren’t usually pushy, but Montana’s university librarians are planning to push the 2015 Legislature for $1.79 million so that college students statewide can access much more information by the click of a mouse.
Kenning Arlitsch, the soft-spoken dean of libraries at Montana State University, said the money would be used to create a statewide system of electronic library collections that would benefit Montana’s 45,000 college students.
To cope with rising costs, most states’ libraries have formed buying co-ops, or consortiums. In the past year, 14 Montana libraries joined forces to create a “discovery service” – “Think of it as a Google for Montana academic libraries,” Arlitsch said. It means students for the first time can search for information across all state libraries.
The only problem is, the search may tell them only the titles of useful articles, while the full articles may be hundreds of miles away at the MSU [Montana St. University] or UM [University of Montana] libraries.
The current system doesn’t let students just click to read the full article.
That’s one big problem the $1.79 million would solve – buying the software system that would make statewide access possible.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.