The Ellender Memorial Library supports Nicholls State University’s mission to “commit itself to offering an excellent comprehensive education, including a majority of nationally accredited programs, that meets the needs of the communities it serves in south central Louisiana and beyond through teaching, research and service.” As part of that mission, the library aims to meet the needs of Distance Education students by meeting various Distance / Distributed Education support criteria defined by The Association of College and Research Libraries in 2008:
- Providing access to adequate library services and resources. Members of the distance learning community are entitled to library services and resources equivalent to those provided for students and faculty in traditional campus settings.
- Instilling lifelong learning skills through general bibliographic and information literacy instruction. The library attempts to meet this need through its web presence, e-mail contact, and phone contact.
- Providing highly personalized library services to offset the lack of daily contact that on-campus students receive.
- Providing funding for ready and equivalent library service and learning resources to all students, regardless of location.
- Acting as a liaison between the library and other complementary resource bases such as computing facilities, instructional media, and telecommunication centers.
- Assuring that distance learning library programs meet or exceed national and regional accreditation standards and professional association standards and guidelines, by conducting ongoing assessments and acting on those evaluations.
Information Delivery Services – from the Nicholls Library Collection to Online and Distant Learning Students and Faculty
The library accommodates the educational and research needs of current distance education (DE) students through access to databases, instructional videos, articles, and books as well as other services. These accommodations are available to students meeting all of the following requirements:
- Current enrollment in a distance learning course.
- Not concurrently enrolled in a course on the Nicholls campus.
In addition to these criteria, DE students must identify themselves as distance students when contacting the library. This requirement applies regardless of contact in person, by telephone, or via e-mail.
Students have remote access to the library’s databases with their username (typically the first portion of the university e-mail address) and their N number, including the “N”. Anyone can access the library catalog remotely. However, the user must create an account to download e-books. If a DE student wants an article which is unavailable in the library’s electronic databases, he or she can submit an interlibrary loan (ILL) request through ILLiad. When DE students create their ILLiad accounts, they must indicate their distance education status.
In order to obtain print books as a DE student, there are various means of obtaining the text. If the DE student lives in-state, a LALINC card may be the best option. The student must come to the library, and the library can issue a LALINC card which allows borrowing privileges at participating academic libraries across Louisiana. See the LALINC policy for more details.
For DE students who do not live near a Louisiana academic library or who cannot obtain a LALINC card in-person, the library’s ILL service can supply physical books. First, the DE student should request the item through the local public library’s ILL service, assuming that the library has such a service. If this is not feasible or impractical, the students can directly request the book through the library’s ILLiad system. While the library pays for postage from the library to the DE student’s address, the student is responsible for return postage.