Waubonsee's Libraries Offer More Than Just Books

Located in Collins Hall on the Sugar Grove Campus, the Todd Library is the intellectual nerve center for Waubonsee’s campus network. It’s now home to more than 51,000 books, more than 500 periodical titles and a large collection of electronic consortiums and databases. According to Mary Edith Butler, Dean for Communications and Library Services, “There’s really no end to how much information is available.”

While the Todd is the nerve center of Waubonsee’s library system, access to all services reaches across the entire campus network. The new Aurora Campus has a full-service library that features a circulation desk, research assistance and great views of the city through its walls of windows. Plano and Copley both have full research libraries, with computer database and Web access – plus, librarians are on duty several days a week. Through online communication and interlibrary loans, both libraries stay connected to the Todd and all its resources. There’s also a phone kiosk at Plano that has a direct line to the reference desk at Todd.

“Providing all available library services across all campuses is our number one priority.” -- Mary Edith Butler, Dean for Communications and Library Services

In addition to the students, the Todd Library system also serves community residents. According to Butler, everyone’s welcome to come in, use the databases, check out books and get research help. She said that Waubonsee’s libraries get hundreds of calls every month from community residents asking about books, loans and research and that her staff works well with the public libraries in the area. “We certainly are here for this community,” she said. 

If you’re wondering about multimedia resources, the Todd has it all. In addition to their growing collection of e-books, educational DVDs and CDs, they also keep up with several social networking sites. Students can link with the library through Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. They can even check out select audio-visual equipment like a pocket-sized digital video camera for school projects. The interlibrary loan system is international, so almost any title can be acquired. “We sometimes have books coming in from England, and we send books out to academic libraries all over the world,” Mary Edith says. “If it’s in the system, we can get it.”

The Todd Library also offers a number of convenient, high-tech options for those in need of a little extra help. For instance, there’s a live chat feature that allows students, regardless of location, to connect with the reference librarians on duty. Students can also access course-related tutorial videos. There’s even a smartphone app available, which allows students to scan a book in a bookstore to see if it’s available at Todd, check the status of interlibrary loans and reference the website.

According to Mary Edith, the Todd Library is always evolving. As the collection and resources grow, the community and students react. “We’re seeing more people coming in these days,” she says. “We’ve always had a large number of students who use the library to study – a comfortable, quiet place away from distractions where they can use the wireless Web access and get their work done.” Her staff tries to make students feel extra welcome during exam weeks, offering hot chocolate in the fall and lemonade for spring. But regardless of the season, the Todd Library remains the heart of intellectual growth and information at Waubonsee.