Mabee Library provides accessibility

Mabee Library might be enforcing social distancing inside the building because of Covid-19, but the changes have resulted in more accessibility for students, whether they are on or off campus at Washburn University.

Some of the biggest differences in how the library functions is that students can now pick up books through curbside services and students have the option to have resources mailed to them. Students also have to be spread out physically when inside the building and cannot meet with others to maintain a safe distance.

Junior Sophia Frick said that the library now has a very different feel inside. She said she believes the changes made to the library offers insight on how the typical Washburn student is adapting.

“It is weird not being able to print my own things, but I understand why,” Frick said. “When I need to focus, it is still a great place to go.”

One great resource that the library is using now more than ever is the Chat with a Librarian tool, located under the “About Us” tab on the Mabee Library website. Using the chat allows students to communicate virtually with librarians via Zoom and instant messaging.

“Librarians are the greatest resource for research,” said Amanda Luke, the open access librarian at Mabee.

The chat tool gives students the opportunity to retrieve information from librarians while off campus. Students also have the ability to process sources and locate articles specific to their projects.

Students can still benefit from library resources such as access to databases, catalogs, and library guides while off campus, too. The only restriction is the Washburn ID authentication for the databases, which is required when logging in to the system.

If the library does not have a resource a student needs, Mabee Library has a way to work around that.

Sean Bird, the associate dean of libraries, said that the library is not limited by what is in the actual building or the databases.

“Mabee can get resources outside of the library [such as through interlibrary loan],” Bird said.

Although Covid-19 has changed the way students can access library resources, Mabee has been proactive in making sure students still have everything they need from research access to librarian help to complete their course work successfully.