Part 3 - Comprehensive Standards

3.8.1  The institution provides facilities and learning/information resources that are appropriate to support its teaching, research, and service mission. (Learning/information resources)

Partial Compliance


The University of New Orleans, as a comprehensive urban research university provides educational excellence to a diverse undergraduate and graduate student body by providing appropriate and adequate library facilities and resources to support its teaching, research, and service mission. The Earl K. Long Library supports the University’s mission through its physical and electronic collections as well as by providing users access to resources through its interlibrary loan service and through its membership in the Louisiana Academic Library Information Network Consortium (LALINC), and LOUIS a consortium of academic libraries. The Library provides access to information resources through sufficient computers and other appropriate equipment needed to access information in all formats. The Library facilities and resources described below demonstrate the Library’s mission as “an essential partner in the learning, research, and service mission of the University...unites knowledgeable staff, scholarly information, welcoming spaces, and leading-edge technology to inspire learning and enable information literacy and research.” The Library maintains awareness of campus needs through surveys and librarian involvement on campus.


The Earl K. Long Library building is centrally located on the campus of the University of New Orleans on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain. The Library is open to students, faculty, staff, and the public.  In 2009 the Library renovated space on the first floor of the building to create a Learning Commons for students. This combined the resources of the University Computing and Communications computer lab and the Library reference computer lab, enabling the University to increase the level of research and technical assistance provided to students and faculty researchers. In 2012 a major construction project was completed to do asbestos abatement and renovation on the first two floors of the building following wind damage from Hurricane Gustav.  The Library used the removal of materials from the affected floors for the construction project as an opportunity to more efficiently and logically organize the library collections to make the collection easier to use by students, faculty, and all researchers. As a result of this major reorganization, the print format Federal Documents are now on the 1st floor, journals are on the 2nd floor, and books are on the 3rd floor. The Library’s Louisiana and Special Collections did not require reconfiguration and is located on the 4th floor (See floor maps). The front doors of the library have recently been replaced as part of the current HVAC project in conjunction with replacing heating and cooling units on the first three floors of the library. These most recent renovations contribute to creating a stable environment for the long-term preservation of research materials.

The Library provides many options for students to find study and research spaces most conducive to their needs. Library facilities include the following:

  • 232,000 square feet of floor space (the building has 266,211 sq. ft. of gross useable area)
  • 11,250 square feet for individual and collaborative group work.
  • 3,300 square feet silent study room for individual study
  • 130 computer stations for accessing library resources
  • 20 space reserved use graduate study suite
  • 80 individual study carrels
  • 23 large-group study rooms
  • 2 electronic classrooms
  • 1,500 square foot multimedia room with audio visual equipment

The Library’s Learning Commons was created in response to student need for collaborative/active learning spaces for course work and research which was identified in a 2007 student focus group on the Library. The Learning Commons provides students with computer workstations, color and black & white printers, scanners, photocopying, group and individual study spaces, as well as lounge areas for laptop use and reading. It is the largest space in the Library equipped with computers for students to work in groups as well as individually. The five group study rooms in this space are equipped with computers and whiteboards and can be reserved.

Other offices housed in the Library include the Honors Program Office and the Women’s Center. In the summer of 2013 Enrollment Services relocated its services to the Library as a recruiting and retention tool which put most of the enrollment functions in one location on campus for the convenience of current and future students. The presence of these important student services and resources in the Library fosters collaboration between the Library and these units. The Library works with the Honors program by providing specialized instruction and support for the students writing honors theses. The Library staff also work with the Women’s Center in managing information important to women and gender studies. Librarians work with the First Year Experience counselors to provide instruction for University Success classes and to participate in orientation events and activities.

The Library is open to users on average 81 hours per week and extended hours during examination periods for the spring, summer, and fall semesters.  The Library hours of operation are available online. The Library’s, “Chat!” reference service provides virtual reference assistance that is available on average 81 hours per week via real time chat. Students are able to get the assistance they need regardless of whether they are in the Library building or located anywhere in the world. Library users may also email our Reference Librarians and contact them through the social media sites Facebook and Twitter. The Library also has both online and print comment cards for users to give feedback to the Library. Comment card holders are located on every floor of the building near the elevators and online on every page of the Library’s website.

The Library provides services that reflect its mission to support the University’s instructional and research programs.  These data are included in the Academic College Research Libraries (ACRL) annual survey as well as the biennial Academic Library Survey (ALS) survey. Statistics provided are from the 2012-13 ACRL survey and the 2012 ALS survey which are the most current survey data available. The statistics listed below demonstrate that the appropriate resources and assistance are provided to library users.

  • Circulation FY2012-2013:  34,836 books
  • Reserves FY2012-2013: 2,479 items
  • Interlibrary Loan FY2012-2013: 1,896 items borrowed; 4,325 items loaned
  • Reference questions FY2012-2013: 3,804
  • Web pages (FY2012-2013): 314,391 visits (On- and off-campus Internet access to the Library website)
  • Library instruction (FY2012-2013): 63 classes; 1,152 persons attending (See also Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2 for details.)

Learning and Information Resources

The learning/information resources of Earl K. Long Library include print and electronic books, print and electronic journals, over a hundred subscription databases, federal and state documents, microforms, maps, sound recordings, videos, and DVDs, as well as the equipment for their use.  Almost all of the resources are included in the web-based online catalog and in the Library’s discovery service, OneSearch.  As reported in the ACRL and the national ALS survey, at the end of June 2012, holdings included 997,068 bound volumes, 137,469 electronic books, 2,842 print serial subscriptions, 952,749 federal government documents, 2,479,773 microform units, and 122,029 audiovisual materials.  In FY2012-2013, the Library spent $2,210,083 on resources. All materials in the Library match the needs of the curriculum as well as enhance the knowledge of all users. (Library collections are addressed in core requirement 2.9)

The Library participates in the Louisiana Digital Consortium (LDC), has its own server for the Louisiana Supreme Court Archives collection, and administers the campus institutional repository for faculty and student research, ScholarWorks. The Library has 14 Collections in the LDC. These collections focus primarily on the cultural and research interests of New Orleans and Louisiana. ScholarWorks includes among other faculty and student research, students’ electronic theses and dissertations.

Technology Services

The Earl K. Long Library has 130 computers, divided over four floors.  The first floor includes the Learning Commons which has 100 student use computers and four public/visitor access computers.  Students can check for available computers accessing the campus “available computers” online map. In 2013, it received a $40,260.50. grant for replacing obsolete computers in the Library’s Learning Commons. The entire building offers wireless access and coverage extends to the portico areas outside. The students also have access to two flatbed scanners and a Knowledge Information Center (KIC) planetary scanner.  An electronic display in the Learning Commons, the Privateer Information Network (PIN), alerts students to library policies, resources, events, and services. The first floor has five group study rooms each equipped with a computer for collaborative work and seven other group study rooms without computers. The second and third floors have eight student use computers and one kiosk mode catalog lookup computer each.  The fourth floor has three public use computers in Louisiana and Special Collections.  Copiers are also located throughout the library for students’ convenience: black and white copiers on the first and fourth floors (in Louisiana and Special Collections) and color copiers on the second and third floors.  The library offers printing via three black and white printers and one color printer. Wi-Fi and wireless printing are available throughout all public areas in the library.

Students may check out laptops or netbooks through the Library laptop checkout program for use in the Library or to use outside the Library for up to three days at a time.

The Library’s website is an integral part of the Library’s learning and information resources. Through the website, users may search for library materials using OneSearch (a resource discovery service that searches multiple databases simultaneously), the Library’s online catalog, request materials through an electronic interlibrary loan form, access electronic journals, conduct research in a broad range of multidisciplinary and subject specific databases, find out library hours, contact the Reference Department, reserve Group study rooms, and make comments and suggestions. The Library website also provides access to numerous means of communication between library staff and our users, including email, chat, and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. Library research databases are accessible through the website on or off campus. Online and off campus learners can authenticate through Ezproxy, the Library’s proxy server to access subscription resources. (Additional support of online learning is addressed in core standard 2.9).

The Library’s interlibrary loan unit uses the ILLiad system to obtain items that are not available in the Library's collection or accessible from the Library's online databases. In addition, through LALINC, the Louisiana academic library consortium, graduate students and faculty have borrowing privileges at over 40 academic libraries within the state.

The Library has two electronic classrooms for instruction in learning, information resources and information literacy. The largest classroom can accommodate 32 students and is equipped with laptops for hands on learning experiences. The second classroom has 21 desktop computers for hands on instruction. Both classrooms have ceiling mounted projectors connected to the instructor’s workstation so that the librarian can demonstrate the resources and the information literacy concepts being taught in the class. The librarians use LibGuides to create and provide online instructional information to support student research in the degrees offered at the University. (Additional support of instruction is addressed in comprehensive standard 3.8.2).

Librarians serve as subject liaisons, on academic committees, Faculty Senate, the General Education Committee, and the Courses and Curriculum Committee. The Library also conducts user surveys to gauge success in its mission. All of this service and inquiry contributes to the overall awareness of campus academic issues and needs and helps guide services offered, technology implemented and collection development.

Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document Icon2007_Student_Focus_GroupStudent Focus Group Conducted to Inform Design of Learning Commons
Document Icon2012_13_ACRL_dataAcademic Library Survey
Document IconALS_2012Academic College Research Libraries Annual Survey
Document IconCampus_Wireless_MapCampus Wireless Information
Document IconDatabase_Listing_LibguideUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Subject Databases Webpage
Document IconGroup_Study_Room_Reservation_PolicyLibrary Reservation Policy for Group Study Rooms
Document IconLDC_Digital_ArchivesLouisiana Digital Consortium
Document IconLearning_CommonsUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Webpage Description of Learning Commons
Document IconLibrary_Ask_A_Library_WebpageUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Ask a Librarian Website
Document IconLibrary_Chat_Widget_on_HomepageLibrary Chat Widget on Webpage
Document IconLibrary_Floor_MapsUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Floor Maps
Document IconLibrary_Floor_PlansUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Floor Plans
Document IconLibrary_homepageUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Home Webpage
Document IconLibrary_Homepage_One_SearchOne Search Feature on Library Homepage
Document IconLibrary_Hours_Web_PageUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Hours of Operation
Document IconLibrary_MissionMission of the University of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library
Document IconLink_To_Available_Computers_PageLearning Commons Webpage Feature to Check on Computer Availability
Document IconOff_Campus_Access_PageUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Off Campus Access Instructions
Document IconScholarWorks_WebpageScholarWorks Description