The library had already started to review the way in which it served its patrons and had decided to invest in electronic resources. “One of the purchases we made was for a relatively new database called ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (PQDT). It changed the way students conducted research.”
Donna Bentley joined University of La Verne as librarian over 20 years ago. It was a time of exciting change for the institution, having just embarked on a large project to renovate its library. As part of the project, the library had money to purchase an integrated library system and electronic databases.
"At that point we were still using card catalogs," said Donna. "Digital was still in its infancy and we were using OCLC’s interlibrary loan to access materials we didn’t have on campus. When a student needed to access a piece of literature, they had to fill out a paper form and I had to try and find the information they wanted. It was really time-consuming!"
La Verne serves more than 8,000 students, with a good proportion based off the main campus. The institution’s three doctoral programs are attended mostly by working adults who conduct their study during evenings and weekends.
"Given the disparate locations of our students, particularly our doctoral students, it’s very important that we can provide ongoing access to resources. We chose to purchase the full text version of ProQuest Dissertations and Theses from day one (the resource is also available as an abstracts and index-only subscription) and it’s been used heavily by both doctoral and masters students ever since," said Donna.
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