How do Students Use Library Books? 

As the circulation of print books by students continues to decline and access to e-books become ubiquitous, the library is working to develop monograph collection strategies that consider the impact of new technologies on reading styles, communication preferences and learning outcomes. The Library is seeking to understand how Hope students are using library books and which formats they prefer (print or e-books).

The library will be conducting a brief in-person iPad survey to gather information about how students use library books. This survey is not asking about textbooks, only library books in the library collections.

Students can take the survey Monday March 30 (today) through Sunday April 12. Look for it in several locations around campus including the lobby of Van Wylen, Cook Dining, Phelps, Cool Beans and the Martha Miller Rotunda.

This survey takes less than 3 minutes to complete and students will receive a small gift for their time.

The library is also conducting the HEDS Research Practices Survey for First Year and Senior students.  This survey is conducted through the Frost Center via email.  There are some great prizes for taking this one so if you are a First Year or Senior student, look for the email subject line Hope College Students: Share your experience with academic research. This survey runs through April 15.

Research Practices Survey March 25 through April 25

The college is in the third year of administering a national survey on student research practices and information literacy skills. The Research Practices Survey will be administered to all first-year students and to seniors this spring. Email invitations will go out to students on March 20 and will be open until April 24.

Through this survey we hope to assess the following areas: information literacy skills and pre-college research experiences of first-year students; first-year students’ information literacy skills and research experience after one year of college and after four years of college; how students’ information literacy skills change over four years of college; and how our students compare with those of students at other institutions. Since 2004, the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium (HEDS) has administered this survey to more than 30,000 undergraduates at over 60 colleges and universities.

The data from the survey will be used to inform us about where and how students experience research at Hope and how well we are preparing them to do college-level research. This data could be important to current conversations about writing in the disciplines, general education and the research experience at Hope.

While students can win an iPad mini or one of six $50.00 Amazon gift cards by participating in the survey, we know that faculty can make a big difference in student behavior. If you are currently teaching first-year and/or senior students, please take a moment to encourage them to complete this survey.

Sustainable Collections Project

For the past several years, the library has been working on a “sustainable collections” project which involves removing older, unused, readily-available books from the library collection.  The final part of the current phase will occur this summer when we look at books on the 4th floor and the Art section on the 2nd floor.  Call numbers beginning with A, B, C, D, and N are now up for review.  Corresponding subjects are Philosophy, Religion, World History, and Art.  Books that meet the criteria for withdrawal have been marked with green flags.  Faculty may replace any of those flags with red flags to indicate that the library should keep any given title.  If you prefer, you may highlight titles to be kept on an Excel spreadsheet and return that sheet to Dave O’Brien (  We will begin removing books from the collection in late May, which gives faculty at least two months to look through their areas of interest and flag the books we should keep.  Red flags are available at the library’s main circulation desk.  If you have any questions please contact Kelly Jacobsma ( ; x7738) or Dave O’Brien ( ; x7791).

Let Us Get That for You

The library now offers a service where we will retrieve the items you want to check out and hold them for you at the Circulation Desk.  When searching HopeCat, simply click the Place a Hold link just above the search bar.  If the item is currently checked out, you will be notified when it is returned.  If the item is available, we will go get it for you.  If you are not already logged in to your library account, the system will prompt you to log in using your 1.Hope username and password.  (Guest users can use their library barcode and PIN.)  By the following afternoon, items you have requested will be at the Main Circulation Desk.*  You will receive an e-mail when the items are ready to be picked up, and you then have 5 days to come get them.   You may request anything that can be checked out, including (but not limited to) books, DVDs, CDs, and music scores.  You may also request items from Western Theological Seminary’s library.  The process is the same, but you pick up those items at the WTS library Circulation Desk.

*We are currently retrieving items only during weekdays.  If you request an item on Friday it will not be available for pick-up until Monday.  As always, wait for the e-mail notification that the item is ready and waiting.

GoPro at the Library

Want to show your friends what it looks like from your point of view as you ski down the slopes?  Or swim at the Dow?  Or perform a dance routine?  The library now has two GoPro Hero cameras available for checkout.  These rugged, waterproof cameras have several shooting modes, including 1080pixel/30 frames-per-second video, 5 shots per second Burst Photo, and a time-lapse setting.  All images are recorded on a 16GB microSD card.  The library will supply the card or you can use your own (up to 32GB).  Once you are done filming, you then upload the files to your computer to compile your video.  If you have not used video editing software you can come to the TechLab and they will show you how to use iMovie.  If you prefer to learn on your own, you can come to the TechLab and view any of the thousands of video training tutorials available through

Along with the cameras, there are several different styles of mounts that can also be checked out.  These include a floating hand grip, chest mount harness, and 3-way grip/arm/tripod.  The cameras and mounts are all available at the Media Desk on the 2nd floor of the library and can be checked out for 3 days at a time.   Watch the video created by TechLab Assistant Michael Barrows featuring various filming modes and camera mounts using the GoPro Hero camera. at the Library

lynda.comThe library now subscribes to Two dedicated kiosks are available in the Techlab on the 2nd floor. is an online learning company. Cultivate skills in business, software, technology and more to boost your resume while achieving your personal and professional goals. Experts teach these skills using self-paced online video courses.

Browse through the hundreds of videos available in a multitude of topics. Interested in learning Adobe products? Want to learn more about web development? Maybe you want to sharpen your photography skills? These and many other topics are available through our library subscription to Video tutorials are available to help you learn how to use the video library. Any questions? Contact us today!

MeLCat Celebrates Its 10 Year Anniversary!

MeLCat Celebrates 10 Years!

MeL is the Michigan eLibrary, a 24/7 online library for Michigan residents.

Van Wylen Library has over 600,000 items. Using MeLCat increases the number of items available to you to over 45 million. You can get items from all types of libraries – from public to large academic institutions. MeLCat is a great resource for research materials as well as non-academic, popular books, music and movies.

Van Wylen Library has participated in MeLCat since June 2005. *In that period of time, Hope College has lent and borrowed over 88,000 books, DVDs and CDs!*

You can get books, CDs and DVDs delivered right to Van Wylen from over 400 other Michigan libraries. Search for your item at, click on the “Get this from MeLCat” button, select Hope College from the drop down list, enter your 1Hope username (without and password, and the item will be delivered to the library in about a week.

If you haven’t yet used this great service and have questions the Research Help Desk staff will be glad to assist you!

Michelle Yost, Interlibrary Loan Associate