11 months until SACSCOC visits the Plains: The impact our libraries have on campus

Published: March 01, 2022

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With only 11 months until our accrediting body, the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges, or SACSCOC, visits campus for our on-site review, we want to highlight Section 11 of our reaffirmation report which focuses entirely on our libraries. The Principles of Accreditation manual requires us to report on three aspects of our library system: resources, staff and accessibility. The purpose of this Core Requirement is to ensure that Auburn University offers adequate and appropriate library collections, services and other related learning resources to support the mission of our university.

Auburn is fortunate to have multiple libraries and locations on campus, which includes the Ralph Brown Draughon Library and Mell Classroom Building; the Architecture, Design, and Construction Library; the Charles Cary Veterinary Medical Library; the Innovation & Research Commons and the Special Collections & Archives. Maintaining robust, cutting-edge collections from a wide variety of disciplines is an important part of supporting Auburn’s research mission and our R1 status.

In terms of resources, Auburn University Libraries offer a variety of both traditional and modern collections. Fun fact: The libraries combined contain over 3.2 million volumes of books as well as millions of government documents, microforms, maps, and periodicals. In 2017, the Mell Classroom Building was built to combine easy library access with an active student learning environment. The high-tech design of these classrooms allows for effortless collaboration amongst students and a more hands-on learning experience. The Innovation and Research Commons on the first floor of RBD is our newest game-changing facility, giving students access to high-end technologies, equipment and software for educational and personal purposes. This includes access to technology like 3D printers, sewing machines, cameras, virtual reality headsets and Python.

Auburn University also boasts many nationally and internationally renowned scholars who oversee our libraries. Did you know there are librarians with expertise in over 40 different subject areas who are available to consult with faculty and students? The library’s website makes it easy to find their contact information and even make an appointment to meet one-on-one for specialized research support. These scholars not only enrich the quality of our libraries, but also provide multiple educational programs like Savvy Researcher Boot Camp to help graduate students take their research to the next level.

Many of our library’s top-tier resources and opportunities are also made easily accessible via their website, which offers multiple ways to access materials such as book delivery both on and off campus, online access to 227 electronic databases and online tutorials to help students brush up on their research and writing skills. They even have partnerships with other libraries to gain access to resources beyond our library’s walls through Interlibrary Loan, or Illiad.

Our libraries work hard to provide exceptional resources, staff and access that align with both our accreditation requirements and the Auburn University Mission. A special thanks to all library faculty and staff for their continued efforts, and we look forward to highlighting our libraries during our on-site visit in less than a year!

Submitted by: Mark DeGoti