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Library Services for Distance Education Students

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Technology, including compressed video and the Internet, makes it possible for you to pursue educational goals from your home or by attending classes at a site where instruction can be presented to you electronically.

Regardless of how or where you take Distance Education courses, a guiding principle of distance education holds that all students who reside away from the main campus in Natchitoches, as well as the branch campuses in Leesville and Shreveport, are entitled to equivalent services available to students attending classes at the university campus.

This is a guide to services available through Watson Library, and how you can obtain those services from remote locations.


Library Departments

Director of Libraries The Director formulates library policy, originates and spends the annual budget, and coordinates the various activities of the library departments.

Cammie G. Henry Research Center (also known as the Archives, the Louisiana Room, and Special Collections). The Research Center houses the university archives and is a repository of historical documents. Materials from the Melrose Plantation Scrapbooks have been scanned and are available online. The Melrose Imaging Project is an ongoing activity and new materials are added regularly. Most of the materials in these collections do not circulate. The Research Center's hours of operation are generally limited to weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm.

Reference Division Sometimes known as the "public face" of the library, this is where you come with questions about library resources. More than any other department, the Reference Division is responsible for planning and providing services to Distance Education students. The Information Literacy / Distance Learning Services Librarian is a faculty member of this department.

Government Documents is a vital component of reference services. Watson Library is a selective federal depository of government information. This means that approximately 30% of everything published by the federal government and distributed by the depository service is available in the library. Emphasis areas include education, health, and business. Most documents are listed in the library online catalog. Many government documents are available on the Internet and links are provided on the library web page. Government documents not held by Watson Library may be borrowed via InterLibrary Loan.

Technical Processes Division This department includes two areas: cataloging and collection development. Cataloging is responsible for cataloging library materials in all formats and placing a record in the on-line catalog. Collection Development purchases all print and non-print materials for the three libraries. Any faculty member or student can recommend materials for purchase.

Serials and Media Division manages the purchase of 1,800 journal subscriptions. The latest issues of journals and newspapers are arranged by title on open bookshelves. Older issues are either bound and shelved in the book stacks, or are purchased on microfilm. Microforms may be read in this department on special readers, and paper copies can be printed on reader/printers. All microfiche, including ERIC documents (ED) are kept in the Media Center with other non-print materials such as CDs, videos, and cassettes along with equipment for previewing the materials. Serials and Media services include InterLibrary Loan.

Circulation Department sees that all circulating materials are properly checked out and retrieved. The normal loan period is three weeks, including Government Documents. The circulation department is also responsible for maintaining student overdue notices and fine payments.

Branch Libraries, administered by the Director of Libraries:

Nursing Library, NSU Shreveport. This library predominantly contains materials on nursing for the students in that program. 318-677-3007

Leesville Library. This branch library has full access to all electronic databases used by the main library and has a small core collection. 337-392-3126

LCRP Library, England Air Park, Alexandria. The LCRP Library & Computer Lab is available to all students enrolled in classes offered at the LCRP

Monday - Thursday 9:00am - 12:00pm 4:00pm - 7:00pm

Contact Information

Watson Memorial Library
Northwestern State University
913 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71497

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URL for Watson Library's website: