Library ready to serve college’s digital learners

Dana Ryals, Librarian

Here at Madison College digital learning is a growing trend, with more and more courses being offered either entirely online or in hybrid form.  When it comes to library services, you might think that digital learners would be at a disadvantage, given their distance from campus.  In fact, Madison College Libraries offers an array of materials, resources, and services that digital learners can use without ever needing to set foot on campus.

Last year, 19.3 percent of all Madison College students were enrolled in at least one online or hybrid class. Three years earlier, in 2011, this figure was 15 percent.   And just 5 years ago, in 2009, only 5.6 percent of students were choosing the digital option.

Given the increasing popularity of this learning mode, Madison College Libraries has made it a priority to explore ways to help students succeed in the online environment and to bridge the gap that can arise when a student never gets to meet an instructor face-to-face.

Madison College Libraries has an excellent online catalog that can be accessed both on and off campus.   Without leaving home you can browse the shelves of all seven libraries simultaneously and search our collections.

In addition to the print collection, the libraries offer a variety of e-books, many of which can be accessed directly through the online catalog.  E-books are available in the Credo Reference database, EBSCO eBooks, LearningExpress Library and Safari Tech and Business Books.

To search for e-books in the catalog, go to the library homepage at, enter your search query in the catalog box at the top of the page, select the “e-book” option from the “type” dropdown menu, and submit your request.

Once the results of your e-book search are returned, select a title and click the “connect to this resource online” link to open up the e-book record in a new screen.

The libraries also subscribe to over fifty different databases offering text, video, and audio materials, all accessible from the convenience of home.  Another excellent online resource is our Research Guides.   These are guides created by librarians at the college, tailored specifically for different subject areas and classes offered by the college and highlighting the best resources in each area.

In addition to availing themselves of the digital resources mentioned, students in online classes can also contact Madison College librarians directly through a number of channels to get help finding the resources they need for class.  Librarians are available remotely via phone, chat, email, text, and Skype.  To find out more about these services, click Reference and Research Help under Services on the Library Homepage.

At Madison College Libraries we strive to be responsive to the changing needs of students.  As digital learning evolves, so do the services the libraries offer.  No matter what the assignment or where your research takes you, we are here to provide information and research help to guide you on your digital learning adventures.