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Goucher College

Help students specialize their studies

Student at Goucher College using the library's WorldCat Discovery service

"We simply do not have the space nor the money to be able to house a collection for every country that our students visit. For that, WorldCat Discovery is extremely important."

Pamela Flinton
Associate Librarian for Research and User Services, Goucher College

Goucher College makes sure that all students get a chance to see the world. "In general, many schools send students abroad, but it seemed that something we, our faculty, felt so committed to that we were willing to make it a requirement," said Barbara Snead, Associate Librarian for Collection Services. "That means that every student goes abroad."

The library supports students both when they're overseas and when they return home. The library collection is strongly influenced by students' interest in the countries and cultures they've experienced. "They often start research projects dealing with the areas that they went to visit," explained Pamela Flinton, Associate Librarian for Research and User Services. The library can't support a large collection for every single location, but WorldCat® Discovery help.

"The number of e-books that we provide access to nearly exceeds the number of physical books we have in our collections," Barbara explained. Because of the students' topics of interest, Pamela added, "We're a fairly unique school in the number of smaller databases that we have that are not part of the large packages." WorldCat Discovery's central index helps the library connect students to important e-collections that they might never have access to.

"Some of the faculty have told me that the WorldCat Discovery interface is intuitive."

Pamela Flinton
Associate Librarian for Research and User Services, Goucher College

To let students and faculty know about the recent switch to WorldCat Discovery, Pamela used some of the marketing materials that OCLC provides and customized them for Goucher College. "They are good looking, and they were easy to customize," Pamela said. She also developed robust LibGuides and added information about the service to the library's website. Both students and faculty have seen these promotions and started using WorldCat Discovery to search the library's catalog. "The students seem to have slid into it quite well from using just the regular WorldCat as a catalog that we had," Pamela added.

Students abroad also use WorldCat Discovery to search the catalog, which gives them access to library items in many different languages. "We also implemented EZproxy®," Barbara said, "which has really made a difference in providing off-site access to our resources." With this combination of services, the library now provides more and better access to international resources than ever before.

Map showing locaation of Goucher College

Library at a glance

  • Supports the first college in the nation to make study abroad an undergraduate degree requirement
  • Library staff includes 15 librarians and staff members and more than 40 student workers
  • Collections include the world-class Jane Austen and Regency Era Collection

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