Monday, March 31, 2014

MyLibrary - Library Resources at your Fingertips

MyLibrary Helps Students Find Library Resources

by Alan Regan

In almost every course site is a little tool called MyLibrary. If a student clicks this tool, it will present information tailored to their subject area or even their specific class and section.

How the Tool Works

When a student or professor clicks the tool, it looks at the course site. If it finds a specific match for that class site, section, and semester (e.g. ENG 101.01 F16), then it displays custom information for that class.  If it doesn't find an exact match, then it looks for the subject area (e.g. ENG), and displays the general information for that subject. Finally, if it finds no matches at all, then it displays a list of all general resource lists and the main library information.

The tool can also support up to two subject librarians per course.  For example, if the primary subject librarian is at the Malibu campus, and there is an additional subject expert at the Irvine campus, then a student can click the link at the bottom to display the other librarian's contact information.


MyLibrary was a collaborative effort between Pepperdine IT and Pepperdine Libraries and has evolved over the years.  It began in 2007 when the library approached us about students not knowing where to go or who to speak with regarding research for class papers and projects. Working with library staff members, we mocked up some options and developed an initial tool for our previous learning management system (LMS). This version was originally created with Java, Flash, and Actionscript, which were popular at the time.

In 2009, we started our pilot of Sakai as a replacement for our previous LMS. We ported our prior version of the tool to a Sakai-friendly version. This version was also based in Java, Flash, and Actionscript. Slowly, we started to see more and more mobile devices appear on campus, and many devices were not compatible with Flash content. In 2012, we began a revision, and starting spring 2013 we launched the revised MyLibrary in HTML5/Javascript so that iPad and iPhone users could benefit from the tool.


We're very grateful for our collaboration with Pepperdine Libraries and hope that students and professors alike benefit from library resources and contact details readily available from their class sites.