A strong and responsive library system is at the center of a university's academic environment. Probably no single feature of Kent State shows more clearly the university’s commitment to excellence in teaching and research. Kent State University Libraries constitute the largest state-assisted university library system in Northeastern Ohio. They also rank 91st in size of collections among all major academic libraries in the United States.
The Kent State library system comprises a 12-story main library building on the Kent Campus and six specialized branch libraries (architecture, map, music, fashion, chemistry/physics and mathematics and computer science). Each of the seven Regional Campuses has its own library with a professional library director and a collection backed up by access to system-wide resources. Collections total more than 2.9 million volumes, and almost all book stack areas are open to students and other users. Kent State students also have quick access to the collections of 88 Ohio academic libraries through the university’s membership in OhioLINK. The combined collections offered through OhioLINK total more than 46 million library items. In the Kent Campus Library, study seating for 1,100 is available at small tables and carrels adjacent to or amid the book stacks. Study facilities also include nine study rooms and 58 private studies for faculty and doctoral students. A presentation practice room is also available for students.The library is open approximately 100 hours per week while classes are in session.
The Kent and Regional Campus libraries are united by the library system’s online public catalog, KentLINK, which allows users at any campus to view holdings and initiate online requests for books throughout the campus system. Nearly 300,000 items per year are circulated on the KentLINK system. It also serves as a gateway to the OhioLINK Central Catalog. Among the special features offered is the capability to request an item from another Kent State or OhioLINK library. Remote access to library services and resources, including over 140 research databases, is available through the library’s website. To guide students in the use of the extensive collections, reference librarians are available on a schedule exceeding 70 hours per week, as well as by appointment, e-mail or instant messaging. All Regional Campus students have full user privileges at the Kent Campus libraries. Both Kent and Regional Campus libraries offer special orientation programs intended to help students learn effective use of the library as an informational and intellectual resource. Reference and instructional services include point-of-need assistance via in-person, instance messaging, telephone and e-mail services; orientation sessions; discipline-specific instruction; tutorials on the use of information resources, including research databases; advice for developing search strategies; assistance in identifying previous research relevant to a specific topic; and referrals to other services or collections when appropriate. In-depth research needs can be met through appointments with subject librarians. The University Libraries also provide select course offerings on information literacy.
The University Libraries are members of the Association of Research Libraries, the Center for Research Libraries and OhioLINK. OhioLINK members include 84 Ohio academic libraries, the State Library of Ohio, and several public libraries. The collections and resources of these libraries are available to students and faculty from across the state. Kent State users obtain 60,000 items per year through the direct, user-initiated OhioLINK borrowing. OhioLINK also offers research databases in most subject areas, as well as electronic full text. Additional information resources are available via the Internet. Remote access to KentLINK, OhioLINK and other resources is available.
Kent State maintains strong programs for the development of its library collections, adding approximately 50,000 volumes annually, in addition to extensive acquisitions of microforms and other media. Of particular importance for graduate work are the more than 12,000 periodical and serial titles currently received, many of which are available online. There are also continuing comprehensive depository arrangements that annually bring into the University Libraries’ collections documents from the U.S. federal and Ohio state governments, including almost 5,000 document serials. The documents of several major international agencies are acquired comprehensively while more selective programs cover the publications of other state and foreign governments.
The University Libraries possess a strong Department of Special Collections and Archives, which provides access to rich holdings of true crime, contemporary American poetry, the theatre and other performing arts and the history of printing and publishing. Among the archival collections are papers and publications that document Kent State University’s history, the May 4 collection of letters, flyers, photographs, court records, artifacts and other primary resources that document the shootings at Kent State on May 4, 1970, and valuable materials relating to the history of Northeast Ohio. The Institute for Bibliography and Editing, a closely related research facility, is located in the main library.
In order to provide strong support for the needs of the students and faculty, the University Libraries have also established a number of other special resource arrangements to create a diversified international network of academic research services.
University Libraries continues to support students in the use of different kinds of media. Kent State University students will likely use one or more of these services during their years here. All of the following services are located in the Main Library on the Kent Campus.
Audio Visual Services, located on the third floor, provides students with audio visual equipment and materials that can be checked out at no cost to them (must be for class related activity). This includes video cameras/tripods, projectors and other audio visual equipment, as well as videos in DVD or VHS format and music compact discs. A preview room provides students with viewing equipment that can be used to watch assigned programming. Audio Visual Services also provides access to modern language lessons stored locally on computers in the preview room.
Campus Copy Connection, located on the third floor, is a third-party provider offering printing, copying and other services. Color and black-and-white copies can be printed to specification at reasonable prices. The Campus Copy Connection also sells course packets for specific courses (not all course packets are sold at the Campus Copy Connection).
Design Solutions, located on the third floor, provides high-quality graphic design and production services. These include graphic design, studio photography (ideal for 3-D projects such as architecture models), print layout and production, picture and poster production, graphic mounting and lamination and other related services.
Photocopy Services ensures that students have access to high-quality and cost-efficient copiers and printers. Public copiers are located on the first, second and third floors. Select copiers provide the option to scan material to save as a computer file or e-mail attachment.
Statistical and Qualitative Software Support Services offers one-on-one consulting services for the use of Kent State licensed statistical and qualitative software packages and databases.The service is available to individual Kent State faculty, and both undergraduate and graduate students needing to use these resources in their coursework. These sessions include assisting students and faculty with choosing software, data manipulation, choosing and running statistical analysis within software packages, and assisting in interpreting output.
Student Multimedia Studio, located on the first floor, is the university's primary multimedia lab, containing the equipment and expertise to help students complete any type of multimedia project. The Student Multimedia Studio helps thousands of students each year with projects such as digital video, web pages, PowerPoint, and computer animations. The staff is trained in the use of many different types of software and is able to help students with almost any type of project. The studio supports both PC and Mac computers.