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Board 95 : Making All the Gears Drive the Machine: New Library Collections and Services for Starting a Mechanical Engineering Program

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Engineering Libraries Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

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Paper Authors


Kelly Peterson-Fairchild Dixie State University

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Kelly Peterson-Fairchild is the Dean of Library & Learning Services at Dixie State University. She was previously the director at the Oregon Institute of Technology Library and was the liaison librarian for the Mechanical Engineering department. At Oregon Tech, she served as the co-faculty advisor for ASME and SWE. She is a member of ASEE. In her spare time, she drives an NHRA super comp dragster.

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John Burns Dixie State University

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John Burns is the Reference and Electronic Resources Librarian at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. He has been a professional librarian for 7 years and enjoys helping students and faculty with research. His current work focuses on reference/research assistance to students, growing collections, developing resources, working with technology, and teaching.

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A new program proposal always brings challenges for a subject liaison librarian and for a small library. This is especially true when a new program, such as mechanical engineering, represents an entirely new discipline area for the university and for a liaison librarian. This article will discuss how the Dixie State University library was able to leverage the experience a new library dean brought as a former engineering librarian to mentor a new engineering librarian. We will discuss how the library performed a thorough collection assessment and had a frank discussion with the program faculty, provost and others to advocate for resource needs. We were also able to build relationships with new faculty hired to lead the department which will hopefully result in a strong information literacy component in the mechanical engineering curriculum. Ongoing challenges include defining a core collection in the face of sometimes competing demands such as accreditation, faculty needs, and limited funding. Other libraries would benefit from our experiences in establishing a new engineering collection and services from the ground-up.

Peterson-Fairchild, K., & Burns, J. (2018, June), Board 95 : Making All the Gears Drive the Machine: New Library Collections and Services for Starting a Mechanical Engineering Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30143

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