By Len La Rocca
As of July 1, The R. Barbara Gitenstein Library has made searching for research materials easier with a new single-search system.
The upgrade, which includes the use of cloud technology, has rendered searching for articles in databases, physical resources in the library and information pertinent to faculty members simpler due to the move toward modern technology in lieu of the dated system previously used.
The library’s dean, Taras Pavlovsky, broke down some of the benefits of the update to library procedures.
“…The system that we just retired … we acquired that system in 1998,” Pavlovsky said. “If you’re a senior or junior (now), you would’ve been 1 or 2. It was very good for 20 years ago, but it’s (a) very mature technology at this point.”
The new system alleviates many time-consuming duties of the faculty, according to Pavlovsky. He explained that the once-rigorous work will now be sorted out by the cloud.
“It makes much, much of our jobs a whole lot easier,” he said. “Our acquisitions budget is a little bit north of $2 million a year. It’s a lot of stuff. We type in all those orders. We type in all the payment information. The treasurer’s staff re-types all information just to get the bills paid. All of that happens seamlessly now.”
Discovery, the new system running alongside the cloud, will change the preliminary researching process dramatically for students at the College as well.
“It’s a front end that runs both on your library catalog and on your database searches and allows … the single-search,” Pavlovsky said.
Students will now have access to the vast selection of the College’s database content with a single, Google-like search — unlike any search engine the College has seen before.
“We have 140 different databases,” Pavlovsky said. “You can do that all in one search now, so it’s a lot more efficient time-wise.”
Although the update is a step forward for the College, minor tweaks may have to be made, as this will be the first semester that the system is being implemented. Pavlovsky estimated that approximately 95 percent of the information is currently in the system, noting that the College will be attentive of any issues and will fix them as they arise.
“We just don’t know what we don’t know,” he said. “But we’ll find out soon enough what we need to fix.”
The College was not alone in implementing this new system for the fall.
“We went into it at the same time with (New Jersey Institute of Technology), Rowan University, William Patterson University and Stockton University,” Pavlovsky said. “We hope other New Jersey schools will join in the network as well.”
Both librarians and students are looking forward to the simplified process.
“I think the biggest benefit is actually something that our students aren’t gonna see, but it’s for us (librarians) behind-the-scenes — being able to tag materials so that they are more easily accessible. It makes our work a whole lot easier,” said education librarian Rebecca Bushby.
Junior history major Jack Bednar felt that the new system will help students who do not have the same knowledge and experience as professors.
“I think it’d make it simpler than making all students learn complicated research knowledge that people more familiar with academics like librarians and professors might not have as many issues with,” he said.
Pavlovsky is optimistic about the new system and feels that the College is moving into the future with the appropriate technology.
“It’s tremendous,” he said. “It’s 21st century technology. This is the way things work now. Systems talk to each other. They’re not siloed.”