California State University, East Bay

California State University, East Bay

Aline Soules (University Libraries, California State University, East Bay, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4241-6.ch010

Abstract

At California State University, East Bay, reference is one component of a comprehensive instructional program in information literacy. Based on this approach, the focus of reference is on teachable moments on a just-in-time basis rather than a means by which users, primarily students, are simply provided with answers to their questions. This chapter provides a description of the role of reference within that context and describes the various services offered.
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Organizational Background

In the State of California, there are three systems of higher education which are regulated by various state laws and managed through Boards of Trustees and their respective Chancellors. The University of California System (UC) has ten (10) campuses, the California State University System (CSU) has twenty-three (23), and the California Community Colleges System (CCC) has one hundred and twelve (112). While the UC system is known for research and the CCC focuses on the first two years and the Associate degree, the CSU is considered the system that prepares the workforce of California, providing four-year undergraduate and masters’ level degrees. It is currently beginning to offer practical doctorate degrees, such as the Ed. D. and DPN (Nursing). According to CSU’s home page, “The CSU is a leader in high-quality, accessible, student-focused higher education. With 23 campuses, almost 433,000 students, and 44,000 faculty and staff, we are the largest, the most diverse, and one of the most affordable university systems in the country” (California State University, 2010).

While California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) is part of a large system, part of the larger state, and periodically chafes at the rules, regulations, mandates, and various strictures placed upon it, each campus enjoys some autonomy and behaves, on occasion, more like a member of a “federation” than a “system.” The effect on reference from day to day appears to be minimal, but, in fact, the thrust of its overall instructional program is affected by system mandates which will be discussed throughout the chapter.

Each CSU is charged with serving the citizens of its local counties, which, for CSUEB, means Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in the Eastern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. The university accepts students from other regions of the state and nation, as well as international students. The CSUEB student body, according to the latest available fall head count (2012), consists of residents of the regions shown in Table 1.

Table 1.
Where CSUEB students come from
RegionPopulation
Alameda County5,952
Contra Costa County2,263
Other California Counties4,388
Other States165
Other countries1,083
Total13,851

Other details about the breakdown of the CSUEB student body (ethnicity, gender, etc.) can be found in the Overall Headcount Enrollment Profile.

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