Library Student Resource Group April 18 2012

Present: Adreanne Breton, Darrel Chia, Chris Dunlap, Charlie Kargman, Evan Kuehn, Yongkang Kim, Christina McClernon, Wilson Miu, Rick Moore, Zhui Wang
From the Library:
Judi Nadler (chair), Rachel Rosenberg, Rebecca Starkey, Jim Vaughan, John Kimbrough 

Welcome to LSRG and Introductions

Welcome to the first meeting of the Library Student Resource Group. A special welcome to our new members, including Rebecca Starkey, Librarian for College Instruction and Outreach and Selector for Education. Rebecca will assume coordinating duties for LSRG.

Judi noted that the LSRG is a resource group: you are a resource to the Library, and we hope the Library is a resource to you. The LSRG has been very successful in years past, both in achieving its goals and being a enjoyable meeting for its members.

The group has a webpage and an email alias (lsrg (at) lib uchicago edu)

New Library Services: UBorrow and Scan & Deliver

The Library did a short demonstration of UBorrow, the Library's new interlibrary loan service. We've found that around 50% of UBorrow requests are placed by doctoral students, with another 25% being placed by College students. The Library also demonstrated Scan and Deliver, where University students can request a journal article or book chapter be pulled from the bookstacks and sent to them as a PDF. Questions and discussion by the LSRG:

It was noted that UBorrow, while bringing several advantages to the University community, presents a slight disadvantage to browsing: more material is off the shelves. It's an interesting philosophical questions to think of a group/consortium of libraries as an extension of "our library" -- but choosing the right group (as we have done with the CIC) becomes important. Judi noted we are also pursing a expedited borrowing/lending relationship with the Ivy League schools.


What is the best way to reach students? The Library doesn't want to bombard people with email! LSRG members noted:

The Library now has a new Youtube channel. We're hoping to produce short instructional videos -- any suggested topics or general video tips?

Regenstein Spaces

Regenstein opened in 1970, said Judi. At the time of its opening, it was built as a graduate research library -- not for undergraduates. The College Library was Harper. However, over the years Regenstein has changed to a hospitable place for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. Today we don't look so much at different users but different uses -- the first floor tends to be noisy and the upper floors tend to be quieter.

With the opening of Mansueto, we were able to do many things. We vacated space in Regenstein for (1) further collection growth, (2) rearrangement of the collections, and (3) repurposing some of the spaces that were occupied by books. One example is the first floor and the new cafe and Techbar, and many other such spaces. One type of space we'd like to create is a multipurpose room for large lectures, receptions, conferences, and workshops. This will take the place of room 127 (near the old Ex Libris entrance.) We also hope to implement a study room reservation system in 2012-2013.

The JRL collection reorganization began with the rearrangement of the reference collections housed in the reading rooms and is now proceeding with the general bookstacks. The A-Level, currently used as swing space by the movers, will be returned after the move to study space for groups.

There is a planning group for the Regenstein upper floors. The group's charge is to develop a unified vision for Regenstein as a center for the humanities and social sciences as well as a framework for thinking about both short term/high impact changes and long term renovation projects for those floors. Some of our goals include:

We also want to enhance the ability of the subject specialists to interact with researchers, to make these floors facilitate research, and to allow for research and teaching in conjunction with the collections. The Provost's Task Force on the Library stressed that the main purpose of these upper floors should be research. For group work, we hope to make the A-Level a pleasant place for this to work. At present we've constructed two technology-equipped classrooms (rooms 207 and 523), and hope to add more. We are also thinking about new furniture, and working with an architect who will help us conceptualize space. Interesting ideas have come from examining peer institutions: for example, Berkeley has a dissertation writing room for graduate students.

LSRG discussion of JRL spaces:

Regenstein Study Carrel Survey

To aid the planning of the upper floors, we recently conducted three surveys of study carrel use. During reading period and finals of  Winter Quarter 2012, we barcoded all the seating on the upper floors and checked for occupancy three times daily. Based on occupancy rates, patrons seem to prefer (1) tables, (2) linear carrels, and lastly (3) the pinwheel carrels as study spaces. We also found that patrons don't like to sit close to others unless necessary: most of the tables were "maxed out" with 2 people, and while 70% of the linear carrels had 3-4 seats occupied, only 23% of the pinwheel carrels had all four seats occupied.

Our second survey took a more in-depth look at carrel use. We conducted on-the-spot interviews with 30 people whom we saw using linear carrels (in exchange for a free cup of coffee at Ex Libris). Users told us they picked a linear carrel because it was isolated/private, enclosed/no distractions, it was quieter than a table, and it had close proximity to their locker. They disliked the carrel's lack of power, the aesthetic, and the lack of shelves in the carrel.

Our final survey concerned a prototype wooden carrel in the pinwheel style, which placed on the first floor during Winter Quarter. We encouraged people to use the carrel briefly and complete a short survey. 293 people completed surveys; some results included:

Any thoughts or comments from LSRG members?

Agenda Building

Possible topics for future meetings: