Bluford Library increase in resources and activities with $8 million cost avoidance

Jamille Whitlow, TheYard Editor

Since September of 2020, Bluford Library has received a cost avoidance of $8 million annually from Carolina Consortium, an association that allows academic libraries in N.C. and S.C. to have purchasing power in high priced electronic/scholarly material. 

Due to the library’s participation in the consortium, it is ranked 13th out of 190 member libraries. As a result, N.C. A&T’s library has access to the most current content in all disciplines and provides new resources for students and faculty. 

Forrest Foster, Assistant Dean of Library Services, explained how the library’s cost avoidance impacts students and major departments. “With that avoidance, we are reallocating funds back into resources for all of our departments, specifically databases,” said Foster.  

In providing resources for all disciplines, the pandemic has restricted students and faculty from using course reserves. Until state guidelines have changed in social distancing, course reserves and study rooms will remain closed. The library continues to limit face-to face contact by requiring appointments and online chat services for access services in their laptop loan program, university archives and borrowing books. 

This semester, Foster wants more students to participate in the library’s resources. Starting his tenure May 2020, he has created an engagement committee to have more students be active in the library’s resources.

We created this committee to create more initiatives, being more hands-on on our campus. This is a kick-starter event of our student engagement,” said Foster. 

Bluford Library begins their student engagement activities with their “Thursday Tea with La-Donia Alford-Jefferies”, a ‘10 alumna, educator, and author of the children’s book ‘Homecoming.’  

Jefferies’ book, ‘Homecoming’, illustrates N.C. A&T’s homecoming and its impact on the Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A Q&A session will be moderated by the library staff to talk about her book and the information workshops the library provides.  

Recently, the library has created information literacy instruction classes to help students learn how to access correct information and deliver ethical information in a paper or study. Students interested in information literacy classes can fill out their online form and schedule an appointment. 

Foster believes the library can serve students and faculty more with better communication. 

“There’s a lot of things we can do moving forward to communicate better with faculty and the university community about our services,” said Foster. “We have plenty of workshops about scholarly communication, research intensive studies, data management, research impact, copyright workshops, e-portfolio workshops.” 

Thursday Tea with La-Donia Alford-Jefferies will take place via Zoom on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. Students interested in attending can register here

For more information about Bluford Library access services during COVID-19, students can visit http://www.library.ncat.edu/covid19libinfo.