VIVA Featured Member Library: James Madison University
An interview with Adam Murray, Dean of Libraries and Educational Technologies, on April 25, 2017
What are three points of pride in your library?
JMU Libraries are among the busiest buildings on campus. With combined gate counts that exceed 1.6 million visits per year, our libraries are well used and well loved.
Cutting-edge technologies in our "makeries," our maker spaces in both libraries include 3D printers, virtual reality equipment, vinyl cutters, a 3-D carving machine, high-end video recording and editing equipment, Arduino software and hardware, and animation software, along with highly skilled staff that support all of these technologies.
Among the many treasures in JMU Special Collections is one of the largest collections of pulp magazines in the United States. Our collection includes extremely rare pieces like The Black Mask as well as lengthy runs of titles like Weird Tales and Amazing Stories. These items document a unique facet of the history of publishing in the US and provide a wealth of fascinating imagery for study by scholars from many disciplines. The Humanities librarian and Special Collections librarian are actively building the collection. With grant funding from the university, they are working to identify and acquire comics, collections, and graphic novels featuring African American characters and content or created by African American comic writers and artists.
What is the most popular spot in the library for users?
We try to provide a variety of study habitats to meet student needs and preferences. Between Carrier and Rose Libraries, we have 50 group study rooms that are usually full. In Carrier Library, our recently refurbished quiet reading room is generally full by 9:00 am, while the more social 2nd floor hums like a beehive all day long. Finding preferred study and workspaces gets increasingly challenging as the day-- and the semester-- progresses.
Which VIVA resource or service do we value the most, and why?
JMU was founded as a teachers college in 1908. True to its roots, several of the most popular VIVA sponsored resources directly support the study of education. EBSCO's Academic Search Complete tops the list with universal appeal to almost all scholars. ERIC, MLA International Bibliography, Education Research Complete and Teachers Reference Center are all among the top ten most used VIVA sponsored resources at JMU. PsycInfo, Communication & Mass Media Complete, WorldCat, Mergent Online and Business Source Complete round out the list.