SC State Community Gains Access to Library Resources through Remote Authentication

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SC State faculty, staff and students can now access library databases 24 hours a day thanks to a collaborative effort between the Miller F. Whittaker Library and University Computing and Information Technology Systems (UCITS). 


Implemented in July 2011, in preparation for the fall semester, the new easy proxy server gives users electronic access to hundreds of databases which provides historical data, a plethora of research and statistical information, archives and much more.


Prior to the implementation of this software application, users could only access databases at the University library or select computer labs throughout campus.  Now, individuals can access the databases at any time, on or off campus where internet access is available, by using their own authenticated user id and password.


“This initiative opens a window of opportunity to information that has been closed, but we saw the opportunity to jump on this technology, implement it, test it and make it available to the campus community,” says Adrienne Webber, dean of the Miller F. Whittaker Library.


Monica Johnson, library information resource consultant, took the lead on the project and concurs with Webber, stating that the technological benefits are inclusive to all users, which takes information literacy to another level.  


“Once I had an opportunity to utilize the system myself, I realized how wonderful this could be for the University and the library,” she shares. “This is the information age, and we want to ensure we are graduating lifelong learners.  One of the ways to do that is to put the information out there.  The library databases are now 24-7 accessible.  If you wake up at three or four in the morning and need to conduct research, you can as long as you are employed here or enrolled as a student.”


Johnson, who gave complete dedication to the success of the project for more than three months, adds that the planning and implementation would not have been successful without the collaboration of UCITS and the library staff.  Additionally, she noted that utilizing their expertise created cost effective measures for the University, an added value during these economic times.


“We had to look and make sure the University had the necessary platform.  That was very important,”                says Johnson.  “We were able to save the University a lot of money by not having to outsource the project.  Once I brought the idea, everyone was on board and ready to go with it.  That collaboration, along with having relationships with other institutions within and out of the state, has been the driving force of making sure we come to where we are now.”


Further contributing to the success of providing around-the-clock access to pertinent information includes Anthony Caldwell, interim director of UCITS; L’Maro Bell, information resource consultant; Jason Barr, University webmaster and Debbie Gramling, reference information specialist. “We are happy that we can now allow faculty members access to databases for statistics, dissertation information for graduate students and information to assist students with assignments and individual or group research projects,” says Gramling. “These databases have operations through Academic One File, the premier source for peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world's leading journals and reference sources, and Pascal, which allows users to gain access to books and periodicals from other resource entities, to name a few.”


According to the library staff, the system has already proven beneficial. Responses have been overwhelmingly positive and students from SC State’s Greenville Center have already jumped on board with the use of this system. 


“Once everything was in place, we went through the proper testing to ensure it was truly validated,” notes Johnson.  “Our test list was comprised of students, vice presidents, librarians, faculty and staff.   It was awesome and the amount of positive comments we received were great. They all agreed that it was something needed.”


To access the Miller F. Whittaker Library databases, log on to: http://library.scsu.edu/ and click on the electronic resources link.  Choose a database by subject or title.  If accessing through an off-campus computer, a prompt to enter a user name and password will appear. Once logged in, full access will be granted to all databases within the session.


For more information, contact Monica Johnson at 803-536-8641, or via email at mkjohnson@scsu.edu.