Digital collections remain a priority for the library, especially with the move to online learning this past year. The majority of our purchasing power is now invested in electronic collections.
Although the Library was closed for the entirety of the 2020/21 fiscal year, Langara community members never lost access to the Library's physical collection. Over 1,700 items were accessed through contactless pick-up facilitated by the Library's Borrower Services team.
Online article downloads decreased slightly from recent years, but remained relatively stable compared to historical trends.
With total expenditures on Library collections now reaching half a million dollars, the library increasingly leverages the scalability of electronic resources, including online databases of journal articles, ebooks and streaming videos, to meet the needs of students where and when they are, be it in the Library on a break from class, or in the middle of the night at home while working to complete an assignment due the following day.
The Library’s collection is developed in consultation with the Langara community, with liaison librarians assigned to each of the college’s departments. Collections staff employ an evidence based approach to determine the needs of specific divisions, departments and courses, seeking to support Langara’s curriculum.
Last year the Library received almost $35,000 in additional funding from the College's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) to help address the booming demand for streaming media access in the rapid shift to online learning. Streaming media was already a growing part of the library collection and despite the difficulty in maintaining multiple access options, licensing terms, and platforms, it is also an increasingly important format for the Library. With a focus on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), instructors continue to seek auditory and visual alternatives for imparting information in their courses. Streaming media is a great tool for flexible and effective delivery to students, and in many cases include additional accessibility features such as captioning and transcripts that further the goals of UDL.
This past year, the Library was able to acquire several notable streaming resources, including Audio Cine, Theatre and Drama Premium, and videos for the ECE department to serve as a substitute for in-person observation practicums.
Overall, in the 2020-21 academic year, usage stats increased by almost 150% compared to 2019/20.
The Open Langara Advisory Committee (Open Langara) continues to cultivate in-house expertise, network with the open education community, and steer the College’s participation in the open education movement. The shift to online teaching and learning sparked new interest in the adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) and, specifically, open textbooks. Open textbooks were used in 192 course sections this past year, a 28% increase from 2019-20.
Other Open Langara highlights from the past year include:
The development of three $1,500 open education grants to instructors who are interested in developing OER or incorporating OER into their classes.
The Open Textbook Mapping Project, which seeks to identify available open textbooks that may work for certain courses using proprietary textbooks. Open Langara hopes to use this information in order to help facilitate the adoption of open textbooks in these courses.
Throughout the year, the Library developed a series of resources to keep instructors aware of new, interesting, and important resources in the Library collection. Every month, the Library publishes a list of "new arrivals" broken down by subject area, as well as a guide of Featured Collections. This year, the Library focused specifically on online resources.
The Library also developed a Special Topics for Instructors guide to highlight items in the collection that would be useful to faculty wishing to learn more about social justice topics in higher education and in the classroom.
Langara College Library builds and manages a collection to support teaching, learning, research, innovation and academic success at the College. The goal of collection management is to provide the best possible collection in a fiscally prudent manner. Some of the major collection additions from 2020/21 include:
Read more about the Library's approach to collection management and key collection changes from 2020/21 on the Library's Collections Changes site.