EAC’s Alumni Library undergoing updates under new library director

Photo By Lori Dugan: Eastern Arizona College welcomed new director of library services, Kristen Becker, to campus last month.

By Lori Dugan

THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College welcomed new director of library services, Kristen Becker, to campus last month and she has been making some exciting changes in several areas of the library and media center, including the creation of a new collection, updating the nonfiction collection, a new library catalog and LibGuides—a collection of online research guides.

Becker is an accomplished executive library director in both public and academic libraries. At Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas, she worked as the director of library and information management and has experience as a webmaster and as a faculty member of instructional technology. She has an understanding of multiple library software solutions and emerging technologies, from working with library vendors such as QLess, ProQuest, and others.

Becker and the Library staff are creating an “Arizona Collection” that will be in a special section of the library and hold books about Arizona or by Arizonans. She encourages community members to provide family histories and other regional stories for inclusion in the Arizona Collection.  

“We hope to grow this collection to include archival documents and photos which can be scanned and indexed in the catalog, as well as providing printed resources,” Becker said.

The library is also in the process of updating the non-fiction section with new books to replace outdated items recently withdrawn from the collection.  Criteria for updating included items published prior to 2000, had less than five lifetime check-outs and no check-outs in at least four years. Additionally, many of the items withdrawn were duplicate copies of the same title or were in poor physical condition.

“The updated editions will provide EAC students with the most up-to-date information for research, while the current collection will provide historical context,” Becker said.

The library’s Integrated Library System (ILS) will be migrating from the Polaris system to Koha, an open-source catalog system, by the end of March.  

“ILS is a resource planning system used by libraries to track items, orders, bills, and patrons who have borrowed,” Becker said. “Koha is web-based on the Amazon Cloud and will provide features not currently available in the Polaris system at EAC, such as the ability to include photographs and original local documents in EACy Search, automatic listing of all new books in the library and the ability to receive notices by email of upcoming renewals and overdue items.”

Becker has also introduced LibGuides to campus, which can be found at eac.libguides.com or from the library’s home page at http://www.eac.edu/Academics/Library/.  LibGuides are research guides that provide assistance to students with finding high-quality resources for research.  

“So far, we have created LibGuides for nursing and healthcare, American constitution, research strategies and others,” Becker said. “The goal is to have a LibGuide for each academic department prior to the Fall 2017 semester.”

Library patrons do not need to be EAC students to use the library or check out materials. Any Graham County resident age 16 or over is eligible to receive a library card and use all of the resources available. For more information about EAC’s Ruby I. Stinson Alumni Library visit www.eac.edu or call the library at (928) 428-8304.