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Rumors of discontinuing online database unfounded, library assistant director says

The library is an important space to the entire Saint Vincent community. Small wonder, then, that the library renovations have been followed with great concern — such concern that a number of rumors regarding the project have sprung up.

Among them is the possibility that the library could discontinue support for EBSCOhost. EBSCOhost is one of number of services provided by parent company EBSCO, which runs the library’s search system as well as a network of databases and online academic resources.

Denise Hegemann, assistant library director, explained the benefits that EBSCOhost provides.

“We have a number of databases through EBSCO. The one that most people mean by EBSCOhost is the academic search which covers all the main subject areas. It provides a lot more full texts than we would ever have the funds to subscribe to in print, let alone to keep all those back issues. […] It’s a very good selection of core journals in every subject area,” she said.

The rumor is sufficiently widespread that even library work-studies have heard it, like junior Sarah Malone, a junior engineering and English double-major.

“I heard those rumors too,” she said. But they are in fact false, according to Hegemann.

“At this point, there’s no plan to change any of the subscriptions until after renovations, at which time what we hope to do is to get some faculty and maybe some students involved looking at what are the research needs of students and which databases will meet those needs the best,” she said.

But this does not mean that support will be dropped even after the renovations are complete. Instead, Hegemann suggested adding new, additional resources.

“I think the hope would be to be able to add, not to do away with things,” she said.

Other worries have cropped up as well. Students such as Benjamin Watt, junior mathematics major, have heard that the library renovations may extend into the school semester, cutting off access to vital resources during the academic year.

According to Hegemann, this, too, will not occur for the time being. The precise timeline for renovations will not be set until a contract is signed and thus remains open to change, Hegemann explained, but no library closures during the semester should be necessary.

“Our understanding is they will begin shortly after graduation this May, and they will start with the new addition,” she said. “Projection is, that sort of work is going to take probably a year or so. So it would be the following summer that they would start with some of the inside-the-building renovation, which would be probably when we need to close but their projection is they could get it done in a summer.”

Some works may be inaccessible for a time, such as the rare books collection, but the library itself should remain open.

Work on the new addition could cause unwanted disruption in the form of noise, Hegemann admitted, but even that will be set up in such a way as to prevent disturbances during peak study hours.

“It’s going to be noisy in here as they do construction, but our understanding is probably around three o’clock they’ll wrap up each day, which means when students really want the quiet study evening, weekends, that won’t really be happening either,” she said.

The library will see many changes indeed, but EBSCHOhost and semester closings will not be among them for the foreseeable future.


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