The academic library was, is, and always will be an integral part of learning. Even in this digital age, the library has a lot to offer by managing online data, weaving and sorting electronic sources, and providing support to users who are constantly bombarded by electronic information. While it is true that students live, breath, socialize and interact in the digital environment they still need the library’s support to help them organize, structure and prioritize electronic information. For this to be achieved, the library needs to be up-to-date with technology in order to support users at any time they request the information and from any place.
A library must be “working” 24/7. While the library can still function under its traditional setting it is evident that there has to be a shift of the library’s priorities from investing in physical and analogue items to electronics ones.
The Library of European University Cyprus for over 25 years has strived to maintain not only a level of academic excellence but also of flexibility in order to be among the first to adopt to the changes that take place in regards to traditional teaching and teaching methodology. It is due to this flexibility why the library of European University Cyprus (as Cyprus College) first offered online access to a Library webpage in Cyprus and through the webpage to thousands of other sites. Additionally, the library added its first electronic journals database in 1996 (Gale’s SearchBank/Infotrac) and was one of the first to offer in Cyprus access to Proquest’s ABI/Inform and Emerald’s Management Insight through its internet facilities.
The Library is located on the 2nd floor of the South Block Building. It occupies three quarters of the floor and has a total area of 1300 square meters. The Library is designed to provide a seating capacity of approximately 160 persons. The Library is fully computerized in order to assist librarians and students in a variety of ways. Computer terminals are available for the users providing access to the Internet. There are 17 public workstations supporting the needs of users, 3 stations for searching the Library’s cataloguing system and 1 station used by the librarians in assisting users and providing training courses. In addition, the library has a computer lab with twenty stations, 2 study/presentation rooms with a sitting capacity of 10 users for each room, and a photocopy room with two machines. Wireless network access is also available to all students.
The Library is open 6 days a week for a total of seventy-four hours. The Library schedule is Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00p.m. In addition, the Library is open 6 days during the Christmas break and 6 days during the Easter break, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In order to encourage students to use the Library, new students are invited to visit the Library during the orientation period. The librarians offer a tour of the library and speak about services and operation. In addition, faculty members are encouraged to bring their students to the Library and give them additional information on using specific sources and also on effective search strategy methods. Library users are offered assistance in locating books, periodicals and searching the Internet. In addition to the central reference/reception desk, an information desk is placed in a highly visible area in the middle of the Library, to assist students and faculty.
Library collections are organized by internationally approved conventions and are arranged for efficient retrieval at the time of need based on the Library of Congress Classification System (LCCS). The University’s Library uses the LCCS since 1986. The Library provides its users easy access to books, periodicals, journals and other reference material. For the search of a book the Library is fully computerized. A user can track down a book by simply entering the author, a keyword or title of a book. The user can also search the database by subject so he/she can look at all books in the Library on a specific topic.
The Library purchased the KOHA Open-Source Integrated Library and is currently in the process of re-cataloguing all of its book collection in order to meet international standards and to be part of the Cyprus Libraries Union Catalogue. To assist research, the Library subscribes to a number of databases such as Academic Onefile- Infotrac, Proquest Central, PsycArticles, ACM Digital Library, Emerald Insight 200, EBSCO’S Academic Complete and Business Source Complete, Sage, Medline Complete, CINAHL Plus fulltext, Health and Wellness Resource Center-Infotrac, Science Direct’s Health and Life Sciences, Health and Medical Complete-Proquest, IEEE, Springer, LexisNexis and many more through its internet facilities. The databases provide users with access to full-text magazines, journals, newspapers, conference proceedings, company reports and many more. Currently users have access to over 69,000 unique e-journal titles and over 230,000 e-books.
A library user can borrow up to seven books at a time, for a period of three weeks. A user, wishing to keep the books for longer period, can do so by renewing the books at the Library. Students cannot borrow books marked with a red sticker. Such books are used as reference or are put on reserve for certain classes. When books are overdue, students are notified through the mail or by email and have to pay a fine of 50 cents a day. Money from fines goes toward buying books for the library. The photocopy center located within the University premises provides services to students such as typing, color printing and selling of school materials and supplies. Users can purchase from the center magnetic cards for usage with the self-service photocopy machines. The blank magnetic cards cost 1 euro plus 10 euro for 200 copies. There are restrictions on what users can photocopy (see legislation). Copyrights in Cyprus are regulated by the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Law of 1976 to 2006 (Law No. 59/1976, as amended by Laws 63/77, 18/93, 54(I)/99, 12(I)/2001, 128(I)/2002 and 128(I)/2004 and 123(I)/2006) and in all cases the responsibility for complying with legislation rests with the user making the copies.