Sporting more than just a newer, cleaner look, the AU Library has recently updated many of its resources to feature a cleaner, easier to navigate format (view it here: http://library.athabascau.ca/).
One of the newest tools added to the site is a Digital Thesis & Project Room (DTPR), which has been designed to “provide researchers access to scholarly works, and to increase the availability of AU student research.”
The Digital Reading Room and Digital Reference Centre both provide online research resources of all types, including maps, journals, course supplementary materials, and more.
The Library has also provided a subject-sorted list of pointers to other online research and information sources, which includes access to other university and college libraries all over Canada. Special cards can be obtained from the Library that will give you in-person borrowing access to many of Canada’s university websites. You can contact the Library itself to find out which cards are appropriate for your area.
The Library has also provided a “What’s New” section on their site, which not only keeps you informed on Library happenings, but also has pointers to newly acquired materials, including books, CDs, videos, and more.
Did you know that as an AU student you are entitled to borrow non-course specific materials of all types from the AU Library at no shipping cost to yourself if you live within Canada? You can order your materials directly from the AU Library website itself, which will be shipped to you at no cost. When you’re finished with your materials, you simply pack them up and affix the provided postage card to the outside of the package. It’s one of the most convenient privileges provided by AU and the Library, and has made my life a lot easier when it comes to researching essays and other projects.
The only potentially contentious issue still remaining with the new site is the double login required when you wish to access your Library account information. Hopefully they’ll work on a new login system that will put that double login problem to bed. However, the plus of the online account is that you can keep track of due dates of borrowed materials, and even renew them without having to contact the Library directly.
Despite the minor annoyance of the double login, I have to give the AU Library two thumbs-up (or two mouseclicks up) for the resources they provide, their ease of use, and the cleaner site design.