Connectivity and Convergence

By Bob Bellanti and Jason Frand

Connectivity and convergence are the key concepts that point toward the future at the new Eugene and Maxine Rosenfeld Management Library.

Ensuring that faculty, students, staff and administrators could connect to a computer network from anywhere in the library, was one of the early visions. Recent technological advances made it possible, and the convergence of the Management Library and the Anderson School Computing Services staff made it happen.

In the early to mid 1980s the automation revolution that swept across academic libraries affected the Management Library in significant ways. UCLA's ORION online system replaced the card catalog. CD-ROM databases began to appear in the reference area. Direct online connections for end users to large business databases, such as Dow Jones and Nexis, were established. Journal article databases were site licensed and mounted on the University of California's online Melvyl system.

As these changes were taking place, the Management Library continued to develop its services to the Graduate School of Management, now the John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management, or the Anderson School. An active user education program using various library-provided databases began to augment, and in many cases replace, printed guides to the collection. Reference service became possible by email.

Librarians developed subject-focused workshops which tied in with the school's curriculum. For instance, the library consultation program to support MBA teams in the field study component of the curriculum was launched and continues to this day. In this thesis-equivalent project, a three-to-five student field study team serves as a consultant to a host company on a real-world company problem. Students integrate and apply their knowledge and skills in a professional setting outside the classroom. The living case study component of the Executive MBA and Fully-Employed MBA programs inaugurated a library presentation that focuses on research strategies they've learned to execute a competitive analysis of a particular company and industry selected every year for each group.