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Library Student Resource Group

April 22 2009

Present: Alison Ringhand, Laura Jones, Arielle Linsey, Nick Nardini, Mark Opal, Kavitha Selvaraj, Anthony Todd, Jessica Westphal, Han Xiao
Judi Nadler, Rachel Rosenberg, Sem Sutter, Jim Vaughan, John Kimbrough

The minutes of February 26th were approved.


24-hour study space: The College will be creating a 24-hour study space in Harper next year. Accordingly, we will keep A-Level open 24 hours but we are closing the Crerar all-night study space. The Science librarians have met with the Pritzker chiefs and others in the BSD/PSD to discuss this.

Copying and Networked Printing: We hope to have new copiers/printers in place in July. These devices will allow copying, printing, and scanning to a flash drive or Webshare. (NSIT does not want scan-to-email). Scanning will carry a modest charge - perhaps 1-2 cents per page or such. We think that black/white printing will remain at 10 cents, although this is subject to change.

Followups from last meeting and other matters of interest

Crerar and Regenstein entries: Jim handed out charts of entries to Regenstein and Crerar by user type (faculty, undergraduates, graduates, and so on). Related to this, we will maintain Regenstein's current hours in the current round of budget reductions.

Email notices: (overdue notices, recall notices, etc.) - while we would like to separate out different types of notices so that recall notices don't appear at the end of an overdue notice, we've learned that this isn't possible under our current software.

Email notices received as an attachment: If the item has a non-filing indicator in the call number (used for call numbers that have "DVD" or "f" at the beginning of the call number) AND the patron uses cMail to open the message, the notice will appear as an attachment. Our Library Systems office continues to work on this problem.

Anthony asked if the subject lines of emails could be changed from the generic "email notice" to "recall", etc. Jim replied that the current software unfortunately doesn't allow this.

Paper receipts for quarter loans: Starting this quarter, we stopped printing paper receipts for regular loans. Please remind people that we are still happy to print receipts on request, and always for reserve materials.

Law Library restricted access: During Winter Quarter finals, the Law Library did not admit non-Law students who just needed to study but did admit non-Law students who needed to use the collections. In Spring Quarter, the Law School will continue and expand this program. From May 23rd (the end of 8th week) through the end of finals, because of students who have early exams due to internships.

Han asked about a recall request, that was rejected because it was the same book but different edtion. Jim responded that this was our error.

Quietness in the Library

Anthony received emails from some of his constituents (graduate students in the social sciences) who are complaining that Regenstein is too loud. What are the policies regarding noise in the library?

Laura noted that much of the noise comes from study rooms, because people forget the rooms aren't soundproof. Weekends tend to be fairly quiet except around finals, because everyone is in the library.

Zoning: Anthony asked if certain floors could be "quiet" floors (e.g., the 5th floor). Jessica asked how we would enforce zoning? Judi replied that hopefully the availability of pleasant alternatives - such as other floors - would induce people to move to "social" and "quiet" floors. Further, we are worried that people would be quiet when the "enforcer" was in the room, but would resume talking when he/she left.

Bookstacks as quiet space: Arielle asked if the Bookstacks are supposed to be quiet space? Some people go there to have conversations. Judi and Sem thought the bookstacks should be louder spaces (relatively) than the reading rooms.

"Deep quiet" areas, at present, can only be done in spaces with existing walls, that can be closed off from the main reading room. We have money to shift books, but not to build walls.

Collections Arrangement and Space Utilization

When Mansueto opens, said Judi, it will enable us to re-think the arrangement of existing collections in Regenstein. The Reg stacks will continue to be focused on social sciences and humanities - but how should the books be organized, and how should spaces be used? There are 2 Library staff task forces examining these issues (one on collections, one on space utilization), and we want to inform you of their work.

When the Reg opened, we arranged the collections by discipline - each floor specialized in certain subjects. Each reading room grouped together reference collections, Library specialists, and periodical literature for a given subject, and the bookstacks for the floor contained the appropriate LC classifications. Over time, reconfiguration and growing collections forced us to abandon this model.

The Collections committee has been guided by 3 principles: browsability (keep collections easy to browse), usability (make it easy to discover books), and adaptability (easily manage collections). They recommed returning to an arrangement of subject affinities, with like subjects grouped together on a floor. (One faculty member recommended seeing what books are checked out together by the same user.) What do LSRG members think of this idea?

Laura thought subject affinities would be helpful, to keep closely related material together. Although for highly interdisciplinary work (such as History of Culture), said Jessica, we will still move between various floors. Judi noted that the faculty felt the same way: they didn't care much about the bookstacks arrangement because as they put it, "they have to run around anyway."

Reference Collections

Instead of having a small reference collection on several floors, we would like to centralize the reference collections on one floor in the reading room - probably 2 or 3.

Jessica noted that she usually doesn't use upper-floor reference collections - usually the reference books she needs are on the first floor. Sometimes she also finds reference books misshelved in the bookstacks.

Anthony endorsed the idea of centralizing reference collections, and recommended that a reference librarian be stationed near the collection. Judi replied that the Library Board had also thought a reference librarian would be in close proximity. Would it be helpful to have a librarian or staff member near this collection? Jessica said that if the first floor reference desk continued to be staffed until 8pm, it might not be necessary to have a separate service point on the 2nd or 3rd floor.

New Acquisitions Shelves

Going back into history, on every floor there used to be "new books" shelves next to the photocopiers. Recently, we centralized "new books" into one place - near the current periodicals on the second floor. We would like to do away with the physical shelving, because people get confused about where new books are - in the new books shelving? or in the bookstacks? Although there will no longer be any physical "new books collections", we will maintain the online "New Acquistions" lists: 

If you think of space features or places you'd like to see particular collections, please let us know.

Next meeting

The next LSRG meeting will probably be 7th or 8th week. Jim will send an email with possible dates.