Research topics and works can only be considered as accurate and substantial as the information that is utilized when developing the literature. The more literature that is accessible, the more thorough the research project will be. Therefore, one of the most important elements for a researcher is to locate the best sources and this is achieved through ease of access and availability of research. Additionally, the researcher must be able to depend on the accuracy of the literature and the tools that are provided through the research facility. Certainly, it is necessary to access multiple pieces of literature in order to make certain the data is valid, but some key components of research should possess elements of validity without the need to fact check the information. In other words, the student should be able to count on the information made available through the library. In this concept, this author has found many positive aspects about the research capabilities at Ashford University and has also identified some concern with the tools that are available and encouraged for use.

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First and foremost, there are numerous advantages and positive elements that can be discussed in relation to the Ashford University’s library as it houses multiple angles of researching tools. For example, for the typical online student, the need to travel to the university for the purpose of research may be very difficult. However, Ashford University has made the access to the library verey readily available to all students. This means that the databases and other sources are available remotely. This helps the researcher to eliminate the travel time and spend more time on reviewing the literature. Additionally, although the tutorials are available, they are often not necessary as the library website and literature sources are easy to navigate. By making the site easy to navigate, the university has created a scenario whereas the students can easily sort through the literature that is available and focus the search based on the specifications of the current research. Once the literature is located, the library has made the sources available in multiple formats that allows for ease of access on various devices. In sum, the literature is easy to locate and the search engines are easy to navigate and manipulate based on the search topic and specifications for the assignment. This makes the library easy to use for the online student.

However, while there are many positive aspects of the Ashford University library, there are also areas of concern and opportunities for improvement. The primary concern that this author has is the inaccuracy of the citation tools that are available through the databases. While the databases offer examples and suggestions for citing in various formats such as APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard, many of these examples and suggestions do not meet the requirements of the most recent additions. The students must be aware of these inaccuracies and utilize other websites such as to properly format these citations. However, most students tend to take the library examples as being accurate and therefore do not double check the citations. It would be better to have no example than to have one that is inaccurate. Furthermore, the online library does not provide for an ease of access to library personnel in a timely manner. While the capability to email is available, waiting for responses may hinder the time management of the research process. Finally, although the online library allows for the access to multiple databases in full text versions, the access to books and other literature is often lessened through the online accessibility. More E-book capabilities would help to expand the access to the library resources.