Burns Library is saying farewell to paper–paper forms, that is!
Researchers who visit John J. Burns Library and other special collections libraries are accustomed to filling out forms by hand to request rare books and archival materials they would like to use in the reading room. However, this summer is the last time Burns Library researchers are being given paper forms alongside the reference staff’s smiles and offers to help. Starting Wednesday, August 15th, we will be launching a new Burns Library Account system through which students, faculty, and other researchers will register, request materials, and schedule reading room appointments online, and even on the go.
Now researchers will be able to curate their Burns Library research experience — on campus or off, at any time of the day or night — through the links that will be added to the BC Libraries’ online catalog that allow researchers to request items through their Burns Library Account. By providing a date for a research visit as they request items, Burns Library staff will have the materials ready and waiting for researchers when they arrive in our reading room. Researchers will be able to schedule visits for the next day or far in advance, enabling them to build a series of lists for future research. The new system will also allow researchers to create a convenient record of previous requests, making it easier to remember what material readers have worked with and when, export citations, and even request the same materials again. Long-distance researchers will even be able to submit copy requests through their account.
When it comes to our instruction program, the Burns Library Account will also facilitate selecting and reserving materials for Burns Library class visits and assignments. Faculty will be able to work collaboratively with the Burns instruction staff to compile lists of materials most suited to class needs, and review and update those lists when a class returns in future semesters. The Burns Library Account system can also facilitate course assignments using special collections materials. Faculty will be able to provide a simple link to catalog records for the materials they’d like students to use. They will then be able to register, request the materials, and schedule their appointments in the reading room to complete their assignments.
The Burns Library Account is powered by Aeon, whom researchers may have used in other special collections institutions. Created and supported by Atlas Systems, Aeon is based on the architecture of ILLiad, the interlibrary loan request system that BC Libraries users are already familiar with.
The Burns Library Account is made possible by the generous support of Golden Eagle Phil Mooney ‘66 and his wife, Kathy. Phil decided to direct his fiftieth reunion gift to advancing the use of technology in Burns Library. It was a natural choice. As director of archives for the Coca-Cola Company for more than 35 years, Phil dreamed up the idea for the original World of Coke museum in Atlanta and helped make it a reality. At Phil’s request, Coca-Cola kicked in a matching gift to help make our new account system a reality.
- Kathleen Monahan, Reference, Instruction & Digital Services Librarian, John J. Burns Library