As a nigh-infinite vault of information and one of New College’s last bastions of studious solitude, the Jane Bancroft Cook Library is held in high regard by Novocollegians, particularly those mired in the thesis crunch, as an irreplaceably valuable resource. Soon, the library’s services are likely to expand, offering more efficient assistance to students in need of study material and a quiet spot in which to peruse it.
First and foremost, the library has recently implemented the UBorrow system, an unmediated inter-library loan service allowing New College students to request materials from other Florida state university libraries. Previously, students were able to obtain items not available in the library through the University of South Florida (USF) with the ILLiad service; UBorrow, however, offers New College students a far more streamlined, convenient process. Students can skip the hassle of navigating through an ILLiad account and simply sign in to the UBorrow service using their library ID number. After that, one can simultaneously search through all 10+ million holdings for all 11 participating Florida state university libraries and receive a list of results, categorized by relevance and accessibility, instantaneously. Books and other items are checked out via UBorrow and delivered to the Cook Library, where students may pick them up or return them. Students can even renew their UBorrow materials online, which can’t be done for most ILLiad check-outs.
The UBorrow service is currently available to New College students for use, though it has yet to be formally advertised. “Right now it is in ‘soft launch’ where people are discovering it,” said Caroline Reed, Interim Director of Public Services. “We plan to really market this service in the fall.” Reed, who has been serving as the New College representative to the Statewide UBorrow Implementation Team and will be serving on the Statewide Marketing Team, intends to give demonstrations of the service to interested students as part of this marketing approach.
In light of the studying frenzy sure to be whipped up as the end of the term looms ever closer, the library is also considering extending their hours during final exam week. According to Reed, Cook Library Dean Brian Doherty is still working on trying to get staffing for the extended hours and the official numbers and confirmation are yet to come, so workload-beleaguered night owls may have to wait before they have reason to rejoice.