Staff members of the Elizabeth Sturm Library have announced the launch of a set of user-friendly LibGuides: 24 sites featuring research sources for multiple subjects. One of the unique guides is an online historical archive illustrating the history of Truckee Meadows Community College.
Before the LibGuides, students were confronted with a long list of databases, loosely categorized by topic or type of content.
“That extensive list was intimidating,” said John Fitzsimmons, Reference Librarian. “I’ve seen the guides make a difference in classes. Now we can say ‘here are the resources you need in one package, a book or a specific article that is geared toward your topic.’”
For example, if a student is writing a research paper about anthropology, the anthropology LibGuide will list books on the library shelves, digitized book databases, and peer-reviewed journal articles directed to anthropology. Book covers are also pictured, making them easy to spot on the shelves.
Cameron Carr, Library Technician, agrees that the guides are a much more efficient tool.
“With LibGuides, we can easily organize a wealth of information and research resources that will provide students the tools they need to succeed,” he said. “Journal articles, books, e-books, websites and databases are just some of the resources that can be featured.”
LibGuides can be found at libguides.tmcc.edu. Professors are also able to embed the guides into their Canvas-based courses.
“What makes these guides truly incredible is they can be tailored specifically to an instructor’s needs for their particular class, no matter what subject is being taught,” Carr said.
The guides are also adaptable to smaller screens on mobile devices. They include multiple subjects:
- Art History
- Core Humanities
- Constitution of the United States
- Educational, Career and Personal Development (EPY)
- Geology of Nevada
- Library Services
- Natural Disasters
- Political Science
- Research Methods
- World Religions
Sub-menu tabs link to writing style guides, related websites and videos, in addition to the book and journal article sources.
“The guides bring to the front all that we have access to, highlighting all of the resources we have for students,” Fitzsimmons said.
There are about 80,000 printed books in the Elizabeth Sturm Library, and more than 170,000 digitized books available as digital PDF files.
Fitzsimmons and Carr credit the library staff working together to create the straightforward and comprehensive resources, and especially would like to thank Maureen Leshendok, Reference Librarian and Izumi Shibasaki, Library Technician.
TMCC’s Historical Archives first opened in the spring of 2014 on the second floor of the library. During this time, materials were also being scanned in order to be effectively uploaded to an online database that is now live.
The archives website can be found on the LibGuides home page or at libguides.tmcc.edu/archives.
“The main purpose of this guide is to create an easily accessible resource that highlights and documents the entire history of our College, beginning with the inception of Nevada Community Colleges in the early 1970s,” Carr said. “I feel it is important to make this information available to anyone who may be interested, including current and retired faculty and staff, current students and alumni.”
Archives Guide lists the library’s hours and librarian contact information. It also offers menu tabs to College history, gallery of presidents’ photos, student publications scans, athletics history, photographs and links to other archives including the University of Nevada, Reno, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records.
Among the many items in the collection are publications, videos and memorabilia including:
- Construction photos on the Dandini campus, 1980s and 1990s
- Accreditation reports
- Academic recruitment fliers and enrollment reports
- Commencement program covers, 1970s-1990s
- Information about and pictures of TMCC Presidents
- Sets of student publications, newspapers
- “History of the Community College Movement in Nevada" by Dr. John Caserta
- Athletic team photos, coaches, and schedules
“From our very humble beginnings out at the Stead campus to the most recent addition of the new William N. Pennington Health Science Center, this College has come a very long way,” Carr said. “Additionally, being able to look back through old student newspapers, self-studies, and correspondence documents that detail the College’s inception is incredible. It really drives home the idea that all of us should never forget our roots and where we come from.”
Carr said that the most challenging part of building the new online archives site was judging which files, memorabilia and images would be the most intriguing to viewers.
“The archives guide will only continue to grow,” he said. “Documents, photographs and issues of archived student newspapers will be continually added throughout the year, so chances are that those interested will always find something new that catches their attention.”