Library Collection Now Exceeds a Half-Million Titles

November 16, 2015

The library and students celebrated with games, prizes, and dessert foods.

Staff and faculty of Saint Leo’s Daniel A. Cannon Memorial Library recently invited the university community to stop and celebrate the amassed knowledge now at everyone’s disposal. This fall the holdings of the university’s library reached a half-million titles, largely through the expanded access to electronic titles.

While print books are still popular for a variety of needs, the print format also presents challenges to libraries with limited physical footprints. So, much like the avid reader who has started using electronic tablets more and purchasing hardcovers and paperbacks less frequently, the library has found it can fulfill its academic mission more adeptly through significant electronic access—patrons can now read books even on mobile phones—especially as the Saint Leo student body grows.

The reference area of the library at University Campus.

Procuring ebooks for an academic library is somewhat different than purchases individuals make for their own enjoyment, explained Brent Short, library director. Academic libraries actually subscribe to services that keep up electronic collections, and the services add and drop titles over time. And yet, Short added, the amount of material available electronically has grown “exponentially over the last five or six years.”

That, in turn, allows students and faculty at all Saint Leo locations and online to research their topics more broadly, deeply, and more efficiently. SLU graduate Jessica Miller ’15 (pictured), noted that though she prefers printed books when reading for pleasure, ebooks from the library can be available to her more quickly, and she can have access to them for longer. Many learners also enjoy conveniences such as being able to search the entire text for a word or phrase electronically.

Miller, now a graduate student at Saint Leo, has come to prefer the electronic format for academic and career projects. “She explained it allows her to “quickly bring highlights, notes, research, and reading materials together in a quicker way…It is a lot easier to catalog multiple articles and books onto a computer or storage system, and to regain access to those materials later.” She ends up with more thoroughly researched, more logically compiled material that way.

She has also noted another benefit: “There is no doubt that ebooks have helped to create a more literacy-friendly option for people who struggle with lifting or reading a print book.”

So Miller finds it unfortunate when people claim a strict preference for one or another format: meaning they want to use only print texts or only electronic formats. “A lot of people who have been open to trying both mediums have discovered that they use a mixture of both in specific circumstances,” she said.

Note: Though the physical building housing the Daniel A. Cannon Library is at University Campus, all Saint Leo students, including those at education centers and those enrolled online, have access to many library resources online for their studies, as well as help from our library staff. Additionally, students at certain education centers have access to other physical libraries Saint Leo has made special arrangements with for the convenience of students.

The URL for the library website was updated. Patrons will be automatically forwarded from the old address, but http://slulibrary.saintleo.edu is the address to bookmark now.