May 12, 2003

New reserves system a direct hit with faculty

By Nancy Books

Reserves Direct, a new system introduced by the General Libraries and tested this semester by the Goizueta Business School (GBS) faculty, will become available to all faculty in Emory College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for use this summer.

“The new process makes placing materials on reserve in the library for each class so much simpler,” said Chris Baldassari, reserves coordinator. “Now faculty members have the option not only of adding their own photocopies by fax, but also of sorting reserve items by author, title or syllabus, and they can easily carry over items repeated from earlier semesters. They can annotate items with comments or instructions right online or add URLs themselves, all of which becomes available to the user instantly.”

“The faculty have been asking for these enhancements for years,” said Frances Maloy, Woodruff’s access services division leader. “We are so pleased to finally be able to meet their needs.”

Reserves Direct also lets students set up their own personal class profiles and keep reserve items in one place, Baldassari said. After students finish viewing an item, they can hide it to help manage their workload and then bring the item back into view whenever they choose.

Steven Strange, chair of the University Senate’s Library Policy Committee, said, “I’m particularly pleased with the feature that will allow instructors to fax copies of articles to go immediately on electronic reserve.”

“The Goizueta faculty have noted having the readings in syllabus order and the ability to add instructor notes as key improvements,” said Marilyn Pahr, GBS manager of library faculty services.

This summer will provide another test of the new software before the much more extensive reserve item lists hit the library for fall semester, when placing an item on reserve can take as long as 14 days.

“By allowing faculty to add many items themselves, the process will be streamlined and instantaneous,” Baldassari said. “For those faculty who would like the library to continue to add their reserve items for them, we will of course continue that service.”

Reserves Direct was designed by Senior Application Developer Ross Singer as open software that will be made available free of charge to other libraries worldwide. Singer won a University Award of Distinction and the Library Creative Initiative Award for developing Reserves Direct.