Nimitz Library, United States Naval Academy

Nimitz Library image

We have chosen the Nimitz Library at the United States Naval Academy as our spotlight library this month. The Nimitz Library balances the needs of both the public and its primary users when providing access to its special collections and Federal depository collection. The library staff have been doing so since they joined the FDLP in 1895. Due to their subject expertise, they handle a large volume of information requests from the public. The library’s primary users include the midshipmen, faculty, and staff of the U.S. Naval Academy.

The library staff take great care in developing a tangible and online collection of resources that meet its users’ needs. In addition to having subscription catalog record services, they scrutinize individual electronic titles for inclusion in their catalog so they do not miss any title or subject of potential importance to their users.

The depository collection is promoted in many ways. The Acquisitions and Cataloging Departments process and catalog depository material within a week, to ensure that important and timely information makes it to those who need it. The depository coordinator, Bill McQuade, also notifies library staff of important resources through email.

While it is true that only DOD vehicles can enter the Academy and the public may only use the library during normal business hours, visitors however may walk onto the Academy premises during normal business hours. As a part of its participation in the FDLP, the library reaches out to the public. Despite the fact that its primary user group is in “peak physical condition,” the library advertises how those with physical disabilities can access and use their collections and services.

Reference staff also participate in Ask A Librarian e-mail reference help, which is geared towards the midshipmen, faculty and staff but does not exclude the public. This spreads their expert knowledge to those with a question about the Navy, Marine Corps, navigation, astronomy, engineering, or more.

The library’s Web pages reflect the specialized collection and services it offers. Many of its Web pages are organized to reflect the course offerings of the academy. Government information has been incorporated into subject guides and bibliographies, which themselves are aligned to the 21 degreed majors presently offered at the academy. It is a somewhat unique strategy to push content to their users.

For both tailoring the library collections and services to its users and for keeping its doors open to non-primary users, GPO would like to spotlight the United States Naval Academy, Nimitz Library. We thank the library staff for their dedication to creating the best possible collection for their users and for pushing that government information content!