Students at Benjamin Franklin High School now have Internet access to hundreds of databases available through the University of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library. Franklin students previously could tap into the databases, but had to wait for access to one of four desktop computers in UNO’s library, said Lora Amsberryaugier, interim dean of the library.
Now, thanks to a year of collaborative work between information technology staff and librarians at UNO and Franklin, Franklin students visiting the UNO library may use their own laptops to gain access to the wide selection of materials accessible online to university students.
“I’m happy to have them come to the UNO library and show them that we have the resources they need,” said Amsberryaugier.
Since Franklin built its campus at UNO in the 1990s, students there have had borrowing rights at UNO, Amsberryaugier said. And while many of the high school students—especially students taking Advanced Placement courses—have tapped into the University’s database collections using the library’s four desktop computers, they sometimes waited in lines 25- to 30-people long to do so.
Now, using their Franklin credentials, they can log-in and work at UNO as their schedules allow. And even when the library is physically closed, Franklin students may access the wireless resources while sitting at the tables and benches just outside, as UNO students often do. The library is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with shorter hours on weekends.
“This just adds another component and allows them to come in on their own time,” Amsberryaugier said.
Francoise McHugh, grant coordinator and library media specialist at Franklin, said the change is an exciting development in the partnership between UNO and the high school that shares its campus. In an email to Franklin’s administration, she commended UNO’s IT team, especially Pierre Minnis and Phil Stott, for making the change possible. She also thanked UNO President Peter J. Fos, “whose vision led to encourage the development of such a fruitful partnership between the university and Ben Franklin High School.”