Library Student Resource Group Notes Feb 22 2011
Present: Joey Brown, Alison Demes, Chris Dunlap, Josh Grochow, Kelly Ledbetter, Samantha Lee, Ben Merriman, Rick Moore, Julia Sizek, Nick Stock, Nick Tarasen
From the Library: Judi Nadler (chair), David Bietila, David Larsen, Rachel Rosenberg, Jim Vaughan, John Kimbrough (secretary)
The Snow-Apocalypse: On Tuesday evening, 20 people stayed in the Reg overnight. Wednesday and Thursday, the Reg closed at 4pm at the request of the University's Office of Emergency Management, but we still had 500 people on Wednesday and 1000 people on Thursday.
2011 Library Survey of College Students
For the past two weeks, the Library has asked College students to fill out a survey. Very similar to last year's survey of graduate students. David reported the current (and very preliminary) results:
- Overall about a 26% response rate among College students -- very encouraging for this type of survey.
- 44.3% of respondents visited the library daily
- 84% go to Regenstein
- 64% study alone most or all the time
- 43% said the Library was a major contribution to ability to find information they needed for research assignments and papers
- 80%+ were either "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with Library services, collections, and spaces
- 80%+ overall Library satisfaction
- However, a "pretty low" [didn't catch the number] of respondents said they had talked with a librarian.
Discussion, Library Workshops, and Reaching out to College Students
Although a low number of respondents said they had consulted a librarian, LSRG members pointed out that serious research often didn’t begin until third year. This led to an ad-hoc discussion: how might the Library better reach out to College students? LSRG members (especially the College members) said:
- Workshops on physical reference materials: one LSRG member mentioned some "independent laments" on the lack of instruction involving print reference.
- Many students don't realize the scope of the library's collection -- when you don't realize how large the collection is, you're less interested in seeking guidance about it.
- An aside from Nick: I realized the scope of the Library when, as an undergrad, I would come across an interesting book/article in a bibliography, and -- whenever I checked the catalog -- the Library would always have it.
- Departments control the BA process, so you have to go through/persuade the department or faculty members to incorporate Library instruction.
- Orientation programs: these are good, but (1) they're during Orientation/first week when so much else is going on and (2) they emphasize the library as a building/place rather than using the collection
- Ideally, Judi said, an introduction to the Library doesn't end with the orientation session -- it's not just a one-instance greeting.
- Target the "intro to your major" courses -- the required survey or introductory courses in the major. Often there is a research paper requirement, so it's an ideal time to meet with a librarian.
- Judi said that the Library is talking with the Collegiate Masters about incorporating a Library component into the College curriculum.
Library Web Site Planning
David Bietila, Library Web Program Director, introduced this topic. We’re determining a formal mission, goals and strategy for the Library web site – what it the website supposed to do and not do? This strategic plan will help guide our web development work. We’ve been talking to various user groups about the priorities of the web site, and wanted to talk to the LSRG.
What (in the eyes of LSRG members) should be the top priorities of the Library web site?
- find new things in a topic area
- find a known book/journal article
- Checking Library hours
- Visiting My Account
- Call# Locations – what floor is my call# on?
Most LSRG members go straight to the Library website, not the University’s portal or homepage. LSRG members said they didn’t know anyone who used my.uchicago.edu.
David asked about a customized version of the website? – you would have to log in, but then would see “your” Library view. LSRG members responded:
- a custom view might work if I don’t have to log on frequently – like Google, where it keeps you logged in.
- could the website remember the searches I’ve done? (Maybe, said David.)
- Customization is OK, but we need to know what we aren’t seeing – e.g., “you’re viewing content for Sociology students; click here to go to the general version.”
- One LSRG member mentioned clicking between existing Library views (e.g., D’Angelo and the main page) to easily access certain resources.
Other website comments:
- Maps and Floorplans should be more prominent.
- LSRG members said they had to bookmark (or memorize!) certain maps because they are hard to find and use.
- Include maps and floorplan links on the mobile version.
- Available Computers: good, but can we see ALL computers not just the Library ones?
- Search box – thumbs up for:
- moving the search box to the front page
- easy access to WorldCat
- One LSRG member mentioned liking have two alternatives: “if I know exactly what book I want, I go to the catalog – if I’m not sure, I go to Lens”
- Chalk and the Library website:
- could the syllabi/reading list have direct and easy hyperlinks to Library holdings? (David L replied this would require faculty buy-in and some complicated processing behind the scenes.)
- It would be really nice if the articles told you the page numbers and source rather than just the article title, because sometimes the faculty only give you page numbers to read.
- Chalk only works on wi-fi, not 3G
- Mobile site:
- It would be really nice to have the catalog (NOT Lens) available on the mobile search, because often I’m in the stacks searching for a particular item. (David B mentioned that Lens has a text-only interface suitable for mobile devices, but the catalog doesn’t.)
- How come the Library’s website doesn’t automatically take you to the mobile version? Is there a way to default to the mobile version, or have the link more prominent?
- Don’t lose some of the customized content (e.g., past Law School exams) in a drive for standardization.
- Keep both the catalog and Lens: while Lens is good for some things, it's bad for searching for a particular book or journal.
- If you have a fairly generic title, “heaven help you if you don’t have the author – Lens isn’t going to help you” – whereas the catalog is a lot more predictable.
- One LSRG member likened Lens and the catalog to WestlawNext and the original Westlaw: it's a neat system but there are things you can do in the original system that everyone is afraid might go away.
- Are Lens and the Library Catalog going to be merged, or will the catalog be supplanted in favor of Lens? Judi said not in the immediate future, although down the road we’re trying not support two duplicate systems. But if we moved to Lens today, we would lose much information.
- Keep the basic skeleton intact, then you can move smaller pieces around. If you do big changes, do over the summer. Don’t be like Facebook and do a major overhaul every two weeks.
Rachel outlined several preliminary plans for celebrating the opening of the Special Collections Research Center and the new Joe and Rika Mansueto Library. SCRC will open March 28. However, the first exhibit in the new space -- on architecture and part of a city-wide program celebrating the 500th anniversary of the first illustrated book on architecture (Fra Giovanni Giocondo’s 1511 edition of Vitruvius’s De Architectura libri decem) would be prepared and ready for the opening on Mansueto, sometime between May 2 – May 9. There will be a celebratory period in May (about two weeks) that will mark the opening of Special Collections and allow patrons to walk through the new spaces. The official dedication of the Mansueto Library will be October 11.
Will the landscaping be done by May? (We hope so.)
There is a new video that takes you through the construction. If you’re interested in the architecture or engineering of the building, you should watch. (With closed captioning!)
Agenda building and general comments
- Additional bike racks to accommodate people using Mansueto? (Something to think about, although we are expecting more redistribution of people already in the Reg than a giant influx of new people.)
- Library workshops: what’s being offered, how can they be publicized, and what other workshops can be done? They seem really useful, said LSRG members, and more people should know about them.
- Emails from the department or one’s professor suggesting a workshop would be great.
- Get on the departmental website? (Many have a “workshops” section)
- Don’t be afraid to have workshops that seem “too basic” like physical reference materials.
- The door signs on the entrances are really visible -- keep using those.
- Could we have a daily schedule of Library events? (Similar to what's posted in Ida Noyes -- "what events are taking place in the buiding today").