The Daisaku and Kaneko Ikeda Library
The Daisaku and Kaneko Ikeda Library team consists of librarians, specialists, and student employees. We are committed to supporting the entire Soka University of America (SUA) community in their endeavors to meet their academic and professional goals as we all work together toward fulfilling the SUA mission. Remaining flexible and open to new ways of serving the community, we provide prompt access to information according to the users’ needs, interests, and abilities.
Through collaboration with the faculty, the Instruction Librarians support students to become effective, thoughtful, and critical researchers. We seek to empower students through research consultations and information literacy instructions, using the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (1. Authority Is Constructed and Contextual; 2. Information Creation as a Process; 3. Information Has Value; 4. Research as Inquiry; 5. Scholarship as Conversation; 6. Searching as Strategic Exploration). By the invitation of professors, librarians present research skills related to course assignments, using interactive activities. Supplementary course guides are also created. In addition to in-class instructions, individualized research consultations are available to all. Walk-in inquiries, emails, phone calls, and Microsoft Teams online chats are welcome. To make an appointment with an Instruction Librarian, please visit the SUA portal. The library also offers information guides (LibGuides) and how-to instructions designed to support students in their studies and develop their information literacy skills.
When the library opened in 2001, the university founder Daisaku Ikeda donated 3,000 books to the library. The donated collection grew to 4,000 with a second donation in the following year. Currently, our print book collection contains 95,000 titles in English and in the four languages taught at SUA: Chinese, French, Japanese, and Spanish. The number of accessible books increases significantly with our annual subscriptions to databases; approximately 470,000 online books can be viewed with any electronic devices. Similarly, a growing collection of online periodicals (49,000) as well as streaming films and music files (147,000) are delivered to the community, in addition to our DVDs and CDs. The librarians actively update these collections to keep them relevant. The purchase requests and recommendations from the students, faculty, and staff are encouraged as we aim to meet the changing needs of the community.
Having a membership in the world-wide network of libraries allows us to offer interlibrary loan (ILL) services. By sending requests directly from our databases or Qualtrics form, books and periodical articles can be retrieved from other libraries. Ikeda Library lends more resources to other institutions than the amount borrowed.
Although abundant information is accessible via the internet, arranging comfortable and welcoming spaces for exploration, contemplation, and collaboration is still an important function of the library. On each floor of the library, study desks and carrels are available for individual study. Group study rooms, equipped with a TV, a DVD/Blu-ray/VHS player, and a whiteboard, are open to students for collaborative work or film viewing. Reservations are not required but recommended and can be made on the portal. Additionally, there are two study rooms open for student use at all times: the 24-Hour Study Room, located on the 2nd floor of the library, and room 461 on the 4th floor of the library. The Grand Reading Room (GRR) #400 is open from 8 a.m. to midnight daily. The patio across from the GRR is another popular spot; the view of the canyon may motivate you to study or inspire you to have open dialogues with your peers.
As contributive members of the SUA community, we would like to cultivate a culture of collaboration. Working closely with event and program organizers on campus, we as information specialists, support their goals by collecting and disseminating tailored information to enhance the participants’ learning experiences. Your suggestions and requests are always welcome; submit the online form or visit us at the library.
In our effort to keep everyone informed and engaged, a library newsletter is distributed at the end of each semester. For more information about our services and events, you may view our portal, About Us page, Facebook, and Instagram.
The University Archives
The Soka University of America (SUA) Archives consists of a team of students and staff seeking to preserve SUA’s legacy in the making. As a young institution, SUA and the SUA Archives have the rare opportunity to mindfully and intentionally preserve what may be historically significant items in the future. Our growing collections include materials related to the SUA Campus, its faculty and staff, notable accomplishments of alumni, and materials that showcase the vibrant student life on campus. Our information guide presents a variety of archived items currently accessible to the campus community.
In the past year, the SUA Archives’ students have been working on “Passion Projects” which intend to share the unique pieces of history they have learned while working in the archives. The “#OneSoka” exhibit at the library, for example, is one of the most recent Passion Projects produced within the Archives. “#OneSoka“ is a “choose-your-own-path” type of walk-through experience which allows audiences to learn more about the beginnings of SUA from its original location to where it sits now in Aliso Viejo.
The SUA Archives Office is looking to be both an actively collecting repository for the purpose of historical preservation, and a resource for the SUA community to engage with our rich growing history, seek items for research, and provide supplemental materials to the academic collections within the Ikeda library.
We seek donations from any members of the SUA community. Please feel free to contact the SUA Archives for any inquiries.