WSU Library System News

News & Updates in the Libraries

Archive for July, 2013

Science and Engineering Library Building Closure Postponed until December 24, 2013

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Due to a number of factors, the Library System has postponed the closure of the Science and Engineering Library building until the end of the day on December 24, 2013. We believe that we need more time to work with our users for a smoother transition and make necessary physical modifications to the building as well as changes in resource locations and access. It is important to note that although the physical building will close to the public at the end of the year, library users will continue to have full access to the SEL collections through our Get It! paging and electronic document delivery services, which offer a 24 hour turnaround time on most requested materials. The Library System will continue to meet with our campus partners to find solutions and meet the needs of our users in these difficult financial times.

Why did the Library System choose to close the SEL?

In the last five years, the Science and Engineering Library has seen a significant decrease in building use despite the addition of the busy Math and Computer Science labs. With this decline, we eliminated reference service at SEL and enhanced reference services in our other libraries. We moved the reserves to the UGL to offer longer periods of access to those materials. Logons to library computers in the SEL have seen a nearly 50% drop since 2008. Currently, SEL users are using the Get It! Paging service for one-third of all circulation requests. These diminishing numbers let us know that our students and faculty are not using the physical space as they once did but our costs to continue operations increase each year. With this in mind, we are working to refocus our resources on the programs and services that our students and faculty use and value the most, like access to electronic resources, exceptional reference service, comfortable study spaces.

How can I get access to the SEL collections?

Users will continue to have full access to the SEL physical collections via the Get It! button in our catalog, and our electronic document delivery service. Through the Library System website, users will also be able to access over 800,000 ebooks, 9,600 electronic journals and more than 500 databases.

For books and non-journal items, the Get It! button will deliver your requested materials to the campus library of your choice within 24 hours or from 24-72 hours for extension center pickup. We are also working to move select high use titles and new purchases to the Purdy/Kresge library.

For journal titles, our 24 hour electronic document delivery service will provide electronic copies of articles. Additionally, the library is working towards having as many titles as possible available in electronic formats.

Where can I use a computer?

More than 400 computers are available for student use in the Undergraduate and Purdy/Kresge Library. Computers are available on all floors of the Undergraduate Library and include both Windows machines and Macs. Microsoft Office software, special programs like EndNote, advanced computing software for science and engineering, Adobe graphics stations with scanners, Adaptive Technology stations for those with special needs and wireless Internet access throughout the library are just some of the features offered throughout all of the libraries.

What study options still exist for students who regularly studied and conducted research at the SEL?

The libraries have over 2,800 study seats available in the Undergraduate and Purdy/Kresge Libraries. Last year, the Undergraduate Library added more study rooms, bringing the total number to 46. We are committed to doing all we possibly can to enhance existing spaces and create new study and work spaces to accommodate students in our library facilities.

What will happen to the Math and Computer Science computer labs in the basement of the SEL?

The Math and Computer Science labs will remain in the basement of the SEL. Lab users will still be able to enter the building and access the lab with no service interruptions. Only library services will cease in the building. Visit their respective websites for current hours of operation:

Math Lab:
Computer Science department

What else is the Library System doing to make the transition easier for users?

The Libraries have a tradition of innovation and building new services to meet the emerging needs of researchers and students. Our intent is to streamline operations where we can in order to focus on providing the key services that our users expect. In addition to the “Get It” paging and document delivery services, the libraries will make several changes to make access easier for our users.

New print materials
- Monographs will be shelved in the Purdy Library collections; new current journals will be shelved in the Kresge Library in the P/K collection.

- Using circulation data, we will evaluate high-use and reference titles for possible transfer to the Purdy/Kresge Library.

- We will evaluate print-only titles for migration to electronic.
- We will also evaluate backfiles for electronic publishing.
- Bound journals will be available through document delivery.
- Where appropriate, and based on Document Delivery demand, high-use bound journals will be moved to Storage.

MATH Specific Journals
- Currents will be transferred to Kresge open stacks.
- Bound journals will remain in SEL but will be available for document delivery. Specific volumes may also be requested.

Like us on Facebook for exclusive Library news, events and promotions!

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Like the Library System to check out Facebook-only news, promotions and activities as well as special feature stories about library news, people and events and. So, if you’re a Facebook user, get online, “like” us now and help us to grow!

Study finds that students prefer print for serious academic reading

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Student Project Could Kill Digital Ad Targeting

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Bookworms Have Better Brains in Old Age

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 (Taken from Mental Floss)

For some, being lost in a book is better than watching a movie. And although it might seem that bookworms let the world pass them by while their noses are stuck in a book, their love of reading will serve them well: According to a new study from the July issue of Neurology, readers and other mentally active folks have boosted brainpower in old age.

“Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as [reading, writing, and playing with puzzles] across a person’s lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age,” says study co-author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, senior neuropsychologist at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center.

For six years prior to their deaths, 294 people took cognitive tests, which examined their memory and clear thinking. The subjects also recounted how frequently they exercised their brains by reading a newspaper or book (or favorite blog, ah hem); writing a letter; playing a thinking game like chess or Sudoku; or visiting a museum or theater. All the subjects, part of the Rush Memory and Aging Process, donated their brains to science so that the researchers could examine them after death. (Currently, the only way to definitively determine if someone suffers from Alzheimer’s is to look at the brain post-mortem for tangles, lesions, and plaques, hallmarks of the disease.)

Subjects who read, wrote, and played puzzles experienced fewer cognitive problems; what’s even more interesting is that mental activities stave off the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Even if their brains displayed plaques, tangles, and lesions, people who exercised their brains did not exhibit behaviors of Alzheimer’s.

“Based on this, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves, and our parents or grandparents,” Wilson says.

Not a big reader? Never fear—it’s not too late to start. The study finds that people who challenged themselves later in life lowered cognitive deficits by 32 percent. The bad news: People who didn’t engage in mental acrobatics experienced cognitive decline 48 percent faster.

Read the full text here:
–brought to you by mental_floss!

Purdy/Kresge July Subject of the Month: Urban Farming

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Would you like some carrots with your graffiti?

In Detroit and big cities all over America, Urban Farmers are growing food in schoolyards, churches, community centers, and vacant lots. Creative farmers are cultivating rooftop and even bus-top gardens, too! Learn more at the Subject of the Month display in the Purdy/Kresge Library or visit

Wayne State University Libraries will be closed Thursday, July 4

Monday, July 1st, 2013

In celebration of Independence Day, the Wayne State University Libraries will be closed on Thursday, July 4. The Libraries will reopen for regular hours on Friday, July 5. Have a safe and wonderful holiday!