Working against several mid-term deadlines, Woodbury MBA student Regina Bonilla needed to find critical information from the past six months on trade policies between Japan and the United States. She conducted her research using over 4,000 periodicals about news, business, investments, company profiles and intelligence. She found exactly what she was looking for: five articles specifically focused on the exact topic she would cover for her term paper.
How long did it take her? Less than fourteen minutes, and all from the comfort of her home computer. “I didn’t even have to take my slippers off,” says Bonilla.
How did she do it? By using a web browser and her Woodbury University student password to log on to UMI Proquest Direct. By typing in search words such as ‘trade war,’ Bonilla accessed over 200 articles in just a few seconds.
Woodbury University’s campus, located in the Burbank foothills, now offers more of the world to its students and faculty: faster, better and cheaper! Woodbury University’s Los Angeles Times Library recently upgraded its holdings to include access to over 4,000 full-text periodicals on-line. With their university log-on ID’s and passwords, students and faculty can now conduct research from anywhere they access the Internet.
“Just because we are a small private institution doesn’t mean we can’t offer our students the world,” says Reference Librarian Mary Turtle. The library staff made some strategic ‘cyber choices’ this past summer, and the volume of library resources has more than quadrupled. Especially valuable is the addition of Lexis-Nexis, one of the premier on-line resources for legal and business information.
“We’re moving toward a ‘just-in-time’ collection instead of a ‘just-in-case’ collection,” said Barbara Bowley, Interim Director of Library Services. Now students can narrowly target their research electronically, relieving the need for librarians to maintain a large number of hard-copy journals “just in case” the students should need them.
Bowley cites the example of Woodbury’s business courses. Dr. Satinder Dhiman, Interim Chair of Business, requires students to restrict their research to articles published within the last 18 months. “I ask my students to give me a two-page reference list of the sources they will be using for their APA style papers,” says Dhiman. “Over the past semester, I’ve noticed that 90% of their references were found through databases that Woodbury offers over the Web.”
Bringing the world to the students via the library mirrors the global focus across the Woodbury campus, including the new Pacific Rim Studies Program and the new ASPECT International Language Program which offers studies in English as a Foreign Language to students from all over the world.
With a traditional campus atmosphere, Woodbury is one of the three oldest schools on the West Coast, having just celebrated its 113th birthday. This unique school in Burbank is one of the most diverse on the West Coast, placing among the top five in the category of “Campus Diversity” in the 1998 U. S. News and World Report guide to “America’s Best Colleges.” The international students at Woodbury come from more than 40 countries.
Another new item on Woodbury’s campus this fall is Woody’s Internet Caf & #233;. While enjoying a meal, students can log on to the Web to do research or perhaps dial in and chat with their families and friends all around the world.
Doing research from home is a great incentive for students who have family life and full-time careers. Woodbury has designed several programs specifically scheduled on weekends and evenings for this working adult population, including a full bachelor’s degree in a variety of majors, and a Master of Business Administration. New this fall is AACEL, an accelerated degree program in Business Management to begin mid-November, with evening classes offered in a five-week format.
“One of the reasons I chose Woodbury for my MBA is that it provides flexibility for my work schedule,” says second-year MBA student John Echeto. As a business analyst at Edison International, Echeto finds Woodbury’s on-line services crucial for academic research and for skills development for today’s business world.
“The new library services are a great help. For students working full time, this service affords us versatility in that we can access materials without going to campus.” Echeto regularly logs on to Fortune, Forbes, The Economist, and The New York Times via Woodbury’s on-line services.
Besides those databases already mentioned, Woodbury’s on-line subscriptions also include Encyclopedia Britannica, and access to 66 additional databases available through First Search.
Doing homework cheaper, better and faster is also fun. “It’s enjoyable to teach students how to surf the Web to do their research,” says Tuttle. “Gone are the days of telling students they’ll have to look something up on microfiche. I can’t remember one student who was excited to operate the microfiche viewer.”
“In my classes, the traditional term paper has been replaced by the writing of Web pages. Students’ work is more of a multi-media presentation than the standard typed essay,” says Dr. Douglas Cremer, Associate Professor of History. “This lets students see each others’ work– allowing for peer collaboration on their own instruction. Much of their research is based on the new library resources.” Cremer teaches World Civilization courses for freshman and sophomores. He adds, “Of course it’s important they use books and other traditional resources. Students should integrate all the various information sources rather that switching one for the other.”
“Information coming faster and better is important, but of course more critical is what the students do with that data,” says Dhiman. “Our goal at Woodbury is to teach the students to become effective consumers of information.” In his MBA course entitled Management and Organizational Behavior, Dhiman focuses on future trends in business management “There is a distinct shift in the awareness of bringing more humanity to the bottom line, especially as we move into the next millenium.”
The quaint library building now wired to the world has humble beginnings. Constructed in 1950, it was originally built as a chapel for The Villa Cabrini Girls Academy. A photo of the library is featured at the front of this special education supplement. The adjacent building which houses many of the library’s holdings used to be dormitories for Catholic nun candidates for the convent.
Besides programs for working adults, Woodbury has a full-time undergraduate program, with dormitory housing and full student services. Bachelors’ degrees are offered from the schools of Architecture and Design, Business and Management, and Arts and Sciences.
Information sessions for spring 1998 enrollment are on going, and those interested should contact Woodbury University via http://www.woodburyu.edu, or call 818-767-0888. To visit Woodbury University’s library Web page, log on at http://www.woodburyu.edu/Library/index.htm.
Lorraine Sharkey is the Marketing Liaison Officer for Woodbury University.