Digital Suggestion Box Responses

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Archive for October, 2007

Purdy/Kresge Electrical Outlets

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

You should change all the old 2-prong plugs in the Purdy/Kresge Library to 3-prong plugs. Those have been a standard longer than I’ve been alive and all laptops require a 3-prong outlet to run off of current and recharge batteries. This only seems to be a problem in Purdy/Kresge and even there some of the plus have been upgraded to 3-prong.

This is a very good suggestion. When library facilities manager and the computer support team manager read it, they put their full support behind it. They are now seeking funding to upgrade these outlets. The work has not yet been scheduled, but the replacement of the two-prong plugs with three-prong plugs on the first floor of the Purdy/Kresge Library should be forthcoming. More information about this will be posted to this blog as it becomes available.

The old two-prong plugs in the first floor study areas of the Purdy/Kresge Library were converted to three-prong plugs during December 2007 and were ready for use at the beginning of the Winter 2008 semester.

Keeping the Libraries Clean

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Comments: The libraries need to be cleaner. The study tables, computer areas, and bathrooms are often filthy.

Our cleaning staff works very hard to keep the library buildings clean. To assist them in their work, the University Libraries has also instituted some new policies and re-emphasizing other policies of long standing.
No beverage may be brought or consumed in any of our Libraries unless it is in a covered container. There is a strict no eating policy in effect in the Neef Law, the Purdy/Kresge, and the Science and Engineering Libraries as well as on the third floor of the Undergraduate Library. In those areas in which our customers may eat, there is a strict policy against eating at Library computer workstations.

But let’s be frank. Almost 2,000,000 visits were paid to the University Libraries last year. Unless the WSU community comes to the realization that keeping the Libraries clean is a responsibility they share with the library staff, we will be fighting a losing battle. At present, far too many people feel they can simply walk away from their messes and someone else will clean them up. The student community needs to assert some positive peer pressure.

Libraries: Sometimes Too Hot, Sometimes Too Cold

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Comments: Why don’t you do something about the temperature in the library? It’s too hot all winter and too cold all summer.

This also affects the staff working in the libraries so you can be certain we try to adjust building temperatures whenever they go awry. The truth of the matter is that heating and cooling large public buildings is very tricky. These problems are even worse in the older building, which have been reconfigured and remodeled in ways that were unanticipated when the climate control systems were designed. The Library Building Coordinators work closely with the building engineers asking them to tweak and adjust the equipment and, with luck, create more pleasant environments. Recently, there have been some significant upgrades to library heating and cooling systems, and we anticipate further upgrades in the future.

Safety in the Libraries

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Comments: Please do more with security. Sometimes I get nervous about some of the outsiders in the buildings.

Security is an important concern in the University Libraries. Our staff is alert to security concerns and, when situations warrant it, promptly calls Public Safety. Our regular staff is also supplemented by police cadets who are scheduled in the evenings and other times of concerns and library monitors who patrol the Purdy/Kresge, Science and Engineering, and Undergraduate Libraries.

In the winter of 2007, we initiated policies that require those entering libraries to show AccessIDs or if they are not affiliated with WSU to show an alternative form of ID and sign into the building.

During the summer of 2007, we also consolidated the community access terminals in the Undergraduate Library. This move will allow us to more efficiently speak to the needs of the community members.

Online Journals

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Comment: Why aren’t all the journals available at the libraries available online? It eats up time having to come down to campus and even go from library to library to copy journal articles.

The University Libraries purchase online journals just as they purchase print journals; the Libraries do not digitize journals themselves. If we wish to add an online journal to our collection, it must be available for purchase. Publishing has not yet reached the point where every academic journal currently published is available online. But we are getting progressively closer. When it comes to older issues of such journals, conversion to digital formats is moving much slower. Print collections of older journals will continue to be essential parts of library collections for years to come.

When we decide to purchase an online journal, besides considering its availability we also consider its price. The price paid by an academic library for online journals is not, by the way, the price you might pay as an individual. Publishers know that library subscriptions are used by hundreds or even thousands of people and price accordingly. In fact, the vendors of online journals often demand to know how many students and faculty we have and base their pricing accordingly.

More Computers

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Comment: We need to have more computers and a larger 24 hour lab. We also need new computers with the latest software.

We know that the demand for computers in the UGL Extended Study Center and elsewhere in the Libraries is very high. Last April, we shifted furniture and were able to place 24 new Dell computers with flat-panel LCD monitors in the Extended Study Center. As our budget permits, replace outdated computers throughout the University Libraries and update their software. In practice, we make replacements on a cycle introducing groups of new computers in locations while removing the older computers. As for software, in order to be efficient in maintaining our computers, we maintain the same software releases on all workstations. This means we move to new releases in a very deliberate pace.

Library Staff and Library Service

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Comment: Most of the library staff does a good job of assisting me when I need help. But every now and then I run into one of them who is rude and completely unhelpful. You should remind your staff that they are part of an educational institution and they need to treat everyone with respect.

The University Libraries are a service organization, and we take great efforts to improve and maintain our service quality. Service quality is emphasized when training new staff members and re-emphasized in regular staff meetings. We also run a special service institute for library student assistants each fall.
If you do have a bad interaction with someone at our service desks, we urge you to raise the issue with his or her supervisor.

Identifying and contacting supervisors can often be difficult. One way to do so would be to send a note to the Library Digital Suggestion Box, describing the incident and the person involve and providing your email address so the supervisor can contact you. The Digital Suggestion Box is, of course, available at

Maintaining the Libraries

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Comment: You need to pay more attention to building maintenance. The libraries shouldn’t be so shabby and dark.

Our mission is to provide our students and faculty with libraries where they will want to spend time. We are continually involved in projects to make the buildings more comfortable, safe, and appealing.

One of our major projects in this area took place last summer. With generous support from the Provost, we were able to recarpet the first floor of the Purdy/Kresge Library. We also took advantage of this recarpeting to make some other major changes. In the Kresge wing, we shifted the serials collection to the second floor and transformed the first floor into a quiet study area. On the Purdy side, we shrunk the size of our reference collection and repositioned furniture to provide as much study space as possible. One benefit of this is that we are now taking full advantage of the natural light available through the many windows in both the Kresge and Purdy wings.

Last academic year, the lighting on the first floor of Purdy was also completely refurbished, and we created a comfortable and well lit study area on the second floor of Purdy.

Pleasure Reading

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Comment: The library has a lot of research books, but almost nothing we can read for enjoyment. It would be nice if the library had novels and other things that we can read for enjoyment. We don’t study all the time.

The University Libraries’ mission is to collect the books, journals, and other information needed to support learning, teaching, and research and we try to be very efficient in doing this. We really want to get the maximum benefit from every dollar entrusted to us. That doesn’t leave a lot of money for purely entertainment reading.

You do, however, want to give our collections a careful look. The range of study and research at the University is vast and our collections are quite varied.

But, because of our participation in a state-wide program, any book you’d expect to find in a public library is available to you on campus. The University Libraries are part of the Michigan eLibrary (known as MeLCat) which will allow you to borrow books from public and academic libraries from all over the state of Michigan and pick them up here on campus. To search the MeLCat catalog and place requests for books follow the link found on our Interlibrary Loan page at

More Ejournals and Ebooks

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Comment: More books and other resources need to be available. The library ought to be providing more e-journals and even e-books that we can use from home.

As I’m sure you know, we have limited budgets for buying books and journals. Working within the limits of that budget, we make great efforts to spend our funds well and get the books, journals, and other information sources necessary to support learning, teaching, and research at Wayne. To do this we have assigned subject liaison librarians to specific subject areas and charged them with identifying and purchasing materials for those areas.

We are very aware that e-journals are preferred by students and faculty alike and that there is a growing demand for e-books. Whenever possible, we purchase online journals and magazines rather than print. We are also building e-book collections in a number of different areas. In fact in 2005-2006 (the most recent year for which data is available), the WSU Libraries once again lead the 113 members of the Association of Research Libraries in the percentage of its collection budget used for digital materials.

We also want you to know that Wayne students and faculty are not limited to the books and journals in our collections. Through special interlibrary loan arrangements with libraries, we have the ability to borrow books and obtain articles from libraries all over the United States and the world. To set up your interlibrary loan account and make requests, go to

If you would like to contact the liaison librarian in your area of study, please use the list available at

You can also suggest books for our collections. You may do so by clicking on the “Suggest a Title” link in our catalog. It will lead you to this online form: