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Simply put, librarians have many goals and limited available resources to meet them.
One of these many goals: stretching budgets that remain flat to provide access to content that most benefits their campus, including for teaching and learning needs.
Others: maintaining seamless resource access during their print to “e” migration, freeing physical space for pedagogical trends like learning commons, being part of creative and fast-moving initiatives in online learning—all the while supporting faculty and students within campus copyright policies and guidelines.
What’s admirable is that, though stretched thin, these information professionals believe that their responsibilities reach beyond just meeting the institution’s ever-growing and changing needs, to supporting short and long term success of students too.
According to a recent ProQuest survey of library leadership, 89% believe it is a library’s responsibility to help increase retention and similarly, 91% believe a library is responsible for helping improve graduation rates.
90% believe it is a library’s responsibility to help improve students’ workforce success.
The cost of education is a key element in achieving these goals, and even with limited resources there is significant value that libraries can bring to bear. Because college costs have risen more than 400% over the last 25 years, many students who do not have family support have to drop out before degree completion (1) or find ways to cut down costs by sacrificing requirements like textbooks or course materials, which diminishes the quality of their educational experience.
These students are at risk of high debt, and potentially no degree – and serious impact on their earning ability in the future. According to the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, the pay gap between college graduates and non-degree holders reached a record high in 2013, as Americans with four-year college degrees made 98% more per hour on average than non-degree holders (2).
Reducing students’ costs is a driver to decreasing attrition, giving students a better shot at high quality education, degree completion and preparing them for the future. ProQuest is here to help, and our recent acquisition of SIPX www.sipx.com, an innovative technology that provides the most complete course materials solution in higher education, is one of many steps we’re taking to help libraries be leaders in these cross-institutional goals.
Originally developed from a Stanford University research project, ProQuest SIPX is a proven cost-saving and scalable technology solution that draws together open access/OER materials, comprehensive publisher content and library holdings into a web interface that allows faculty or support staff to set up and share course readings with students easily and efficiently. Beyond seamless integration with Canvas, Blackboard and other LMSs, SIPX offers institutions an average savings of 20-35% for students on course materials and over 50% savings for library reserves permissions budgets, as emphasized by pilot SIPX user John Wang, Associate University Librarian at Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries: “Not only does ProQuest SIPX create significant efficiencies in our e-reserves workflow, in one semester the service saved our library more than the annual cost to use the tool.” (3)
Other benefits of the solution include support for global MOOCs through companies like Coursera, copyright-compliance for the university, and the flexibility to support a wide range of faculty’s preferred teaching platforms. The granular analytics provided by SIPX offer insights for the instructor, school and library on course material selection and student engagement, as well as revenue-generating sustainability opportunities for school- and instructor-owned copyrights.
On its own, SIPX is an impressive course materials solution. Combined with other ProQuest and third-party products and services, it becomes even more powerful and easily blends into existing campus workflows and platforms. Libraries that subscribe to or purchase content will see SIPX add value to their collections, as the solution makes library holdings and open content more visible and easier to use in the classroom, through seamless single sign-on experiences for faculty and students. This coming year holds many new and exciting connections and enhancements in store, all designed to benefit our customers and users by producing cost-savings and making education better.
As libraries continue to work even harder with less, ProQuest is here to help, making the tools they need for success accessible and affordable.
(1) Public Agenda. (2015 Report for the Gates Foundation). With their whole lives ahead of them. Retrieved from http://www.publicagenda.org/pages/with-their-whole-lives-ahead-of-them-reality-2
(2) Leonhardt, D. (2014). Is college worth it? Clearly, new data say. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/27/upshot/is-college-worth-it-clearly-new-data-say.html
(3) SIPX. (2015). Case study: University of Notre Dame library course reserves. Retrieved from http://sipx.com/sipx-case-study-notre-dame-e-reserves/