In 2006, an intra-institutional partnership was formed between the William and Anita Newman Library at Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY) and the CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS) for the provision of library services to the university’s first entirely online degree program in the fall of 2006, the CUNY Online BA in Communication and Culture.
Since 2006, SPS has grown exponentially. Currently, SPS offers 10 undergraduate degrees, including a BS in nursing and six masters’ degrees, including MS degrees in urban studies, data analytics, and an MA in applied theatre.
Integrating a new and growing school with its own unique practical and programmatic needs into an existing college library posed unique challenges and opportunities in an effort to provide the same suite of services to the externally based SPS distance community as those offered to traditional Baruch students and faculty.
The experience of launching such services is examined through the lens of the current literature for the purposes of highlighting examples of lessons learned for the benefit to librarians currently supporting or considering support for an influx distance learners at their institutions.
This paper describes the author’s experiences as the library’s liaison to the school in planning, launching, and providing highly used library services for this unique urban population while at the same time establishing a foundation for providing similar services for our home institution.