Hepzibah Onyeje Obekpa, University of Agriculture Makurdi and NAPP Scholar (2019)
On January 11 2019, I walked through the Michigan State University (MSU) Library section on Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics. The library is well resourced; it is spacious, has functional internet access, adequate human resources (everyone appears very enthusiastic about their roles), an obvious wide array of literature – print and electronic, and commendable use of technology. The library has its ambience and a café for refreshment for students who get hungry while studying. The first stop was an introductory class in the computer room on how to access materials in the library. Each scholar has a Unique ID – Net ID and password. This introductory class is compulsory for all students at MSU. This model is a one takeaway for me, and it forms part of lessons learned for my primary institution.
The MSU library covers the cost of access for MSU students and Faculty to access journal articles, books, documents etc. from reputable journals in the world to help their research work. The library has computers for students to use, it is also divided to the East and Westside connected by the central area. Solitary readings are done more in the east side while group readings are done in the west side with rooms for group work. The library has electronic book shelves that are well labelled for easy identification of books, and a help desk where library patrons could seek help. The MSU library has online tutorials to aid students do their literature reviews and a couple of events arranged for students like workshops on Mendley a citation management programme to help students with their citation in research and articles which is always a herculean task when compiled manually. Students can access the library resources online by just logging to the library website, there is also an online help desk accessible 24 hours, seven days a week, this makes studying less burdensome for students outside the physical library building. The MSU library provides the platform for students to request for materials not available in the library through the inter library loan from other libraries she collaborates with via the Michigan Electronic Library Consortium. MSU library opens every Sunday by 10 am and runs for 24 hours every day until when they close on Friday by 9pm giving students the leeway to access the physical library anytime during the week.
It is also worthy to note that the MSU library expanded over the years from the one roomed library to the big library it is today. Thus, all hope is not lost. There are Librarians for different departments who are well vast in the different field in the department thereby making them valuable resources to Faculty and students in the department. The MSU library provides a relaxed environment that induces learning along with activities for relaxation when students need a break. I am amazed at the level of organization, availability of resources (human and material).