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AMBS Library Resource Access Policy

AMBS serves a growing number of students (online, hybrid, and regional commuters) who rarely come to the library building in Elkhart. Through an expanding array of Church Leadership Center programs, AMBS provides continuing education to ministry practitioners across North America, many of whom also benefit from remote access to AMBS library resources. The library supports faculty initiatives to provide thought leadership for the church with focused attention on themes such as creation in travail, migration, and conflict/oppression. As more high quality online resources become available, both faculty and students work productively with only occasional visits to the physical library for print materials.

(These observations were made by Director of Library Services Eileen Saner in 2016, following in-depth conversations with faculty and students.)

Faculty practices

  • Faculty stay current in their disciplines primarily through connections with colleagues and internet-based communication (email alerts, listservs, and social media), not by routinely browsing print periodicals in the library.
  • When exploring a new topic or preparing to teach a new course, faculty search the library catalog and databases to identify resources. They also browse print books in the library by subject.
  • They are willing to wait several days for delivery of books from other libraries. They request purchase for the AMBS Library collection when appropriate. 
  • They use online journal articles when time is short or request articles for email delivery. They come to the library for items available only in print. 

Student Practices

  • Students rarely use library resources other than to complete class assignments.
  • With required course readings posted in Moodle, the library reserve shelf is used primarily for sharing textbooks and only occasionally for other required readings.
  • Students search the library catalog and databases to locate specific items and to research topics for class assignments.
  • They are willing to wait several days for delivery of books from other libraries. Library staff send items from other libraries to students living out of the area. 
  • They use online journal articles when time is short or request articles for email delivery. They rarely use print journal articles in the library collection.