Jill Shoemaker, a librarian at Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts, where over 1,700 students have come to expect quick search results comparative to Google, but with relevancy and accuracy. Lasell Library uses Gale eBooks on GVRL as a “one-stop shop” to provide students “exactly what they’re looking for.” What they are looking for is easy to use access to digital research materials that meet academic standards. “I would definitely recommend GVRL,” says Shoemaker, “the books are excellent, the professors really like it, and it’s wonderful for the students—who love it!”
- Information literacy librarian struggles to ensure honors students have access to and use digital research materials that meet academic standards.
- Convince students who constantly compare digital learning tools to Google and the open web to use trusted reference sources.
GVRL, the Easy-to-Use eBook Platform, Provides Lasell Library with a One-Stop Shop
Technology is not only helping Shoemaker compete with Google, it’s helping her surpass their offerings. Lasell students, many of whom are business and fashion majors, now enjoy access to Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), a cloud-based platform featuring reference eBooks that support study within leading disciplines.In order to meet the evolving needs of today’s students, functionality and flexibility is critical. GVRL offers instant access to top research materials, optimized for search, and accessible to all users from any device. At the same time, GVRL offers integration with popular Google Apps for Education tools. “It’s a one-stop shop,” Shoemaker said in reference to a librarian’s ability to quickly find, easily order, and provide all of the resources students might need for a particular research project, including Gale imprints and publishing partners like ABC-CLIO, Charles Scribner’s Sons, and Elsevier. “It’s very easy to use and provides the students exactly what they’re looking for.” For instance, Shoemaker was tasked recently with helping students with a research project requiring them to evaluate movies based on historical events. Instead of tediously searching through and vetting individual sources, Shoemaker simply used GVRL’s LibGuide feature to pull an entire list of historical books relevant to the class project.
GVRL Empowers Honors Students to Meet and Exceed Challenging Academic Expectations
In today’s competitive academic landscape, students want faster access to reliable, citable information. “I am quite strict with my requirements,” Shoemaker said of the honors students she’s regularly tasked with instructing. “My students really like GVRL and did extremely well when using it.”
As GVRL helps librarians like Shoemaker guide students to scholarly research materials, GVRL’s intuitive, mobile-responsive design provides access from a tablet or mobile device. Along with integrated Google Apps for Education tools like Drive and Docs, students are able to
save, share, and download their highlights, notes, and citations, as well as full article content. “The fact that they can email articles to themselves is great,” Shoemaker said of GVRL’s tailored learning experience. Valid research results delivered quickly, a hallmark of GVRL’s user-friendly interface, are attributes that are also yielding greater student comprehension. Students can explore the library’s entire eBook collection in a single search. “In one class students were researching the Holocaust,” Shoemaker said. “The first thing that came up was an eBook on personal reflections, which really helped students relate the experience back to themselves.”
Valuable Multi-Publisher Connections Make GVRL a Cornerstone of the Campus Library
With nearly 13,000 academic titles available on GVRL, libraries can easily grow their customized collections of highly vetted sources that students may use with confidence. “The fact that Gale is a cross-publisher is fantastic,” Shoemaker said. “You can buy everything from Gale and the students just love it.” Despite those deep ties with multiple publishers that fuel collection growth, GVRL fosters a one-on-one learning experience between reference librarians and students, as they work collaboratively to easily find and curate titles needed for their research projects. When GVRL becomes the default search engine for students working on research projects, academic performance improves and librarians illustrate how they can outperform the online search giants students have grown up with. “Lasell College is proof,” says Shoemaker. “I would definitely recommend GVRL,” she said. “The books are excellent, the professors really like it, and it’s wonderful for the students—who love it!”
- Students find the one-stop-shop digital reference library easier and quicker to use than competing online resources that have not been vetted.
- The GVRL collection, powered by Gale’s deep multi-publisher relationships, results in higher quality student work and personalized learning experiences that include the use of Google Apps for Education tools.