Digital Suggestion Box Responses

Help Improve Your Libraries


Interlibrary Loan

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I am very frustrated when I need a book and discover that I can’t get it because it has been lent out through MeL or some other interlibrary loan organization. It seems to me that Wayne library books ought to be for Wayne students.

One of the ways libraries extend their library collections is through resource sharing agreements like the Michigan Electronic Library (MeL) and other interlibrary loan services. These agreements allow our students and faculty to borrow materials we do not physically own from other institutions, and allows their students and faculty to do so from us. One of the consequences of such agreements is that sometimes items we own are not immediately available to our own patrons.

If we didn’t have such agreements, students and faculty would have to travel to other universities to read books we do not own and, in many cases, might be unable to obtain the materials they desire. The benefits from expanding our collection through interlibrary loan far out way the inconvenience of items being briefly unavailable.

The loan periods for interlibrary loan, by the way, are approximately the same as those for an undergraduate borrower and holds can be placed upon such books so they are held for a specific patron when they are returned.

New Book Lists

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Why aren’t there more new books in my area, library science? When I looked in the new book list, I only saw eight titles listed. I’m sure there are many more than eight books on library science that have been published recently.

I know you have been looking at the new book list in you discipline available through the “New Books” link in the catalog or by going directly to


Books that appear on the new books lists are those for which catalog records have been received and posted within the time period of the search and are in the LC Classification range for the subject area. To use your discipline, library science, as an example, this means only books with numbers from Z or ZA are listed in the list of new library science books. Books appear on the list when they have catalog dates more recent than the last time the updates were run and when they have item records and order records attached.

The list gets updated about once a week.

Books on the lists can still be “In Process” and may not yet have got to the shelves. The books on the lists have, however, been received in cataloging. Books with the status “In Process” can be requested by clicking on the “Get It” button. They will be rush processed and brought to a circulation desk to be picked up.

Often books relevant to a discipline fall outside the designated LC Classification range for a subject area. Library science materials, for example, often fall into such subject areas as education, technology, computer science, law, the social sciences and business. When this happens, the books are found in the new book lists for the subject areas associated with their LC Classifications. It is always a good idea to browse the new books lists for related disciplines.

I should also point out that electronic books are not listed in the new book lists by discipline. They appear only on the New Ebooks list, which you can locate by clicking on the “Electronic Resources” link in the catalog.


Each discipline/selection area has a budget for new books for a budget year. In each area, we spend the allotted funds based on the curriculum(s) in the discipline, faculty requests, other patron requests, suggestions from librarian colleagues, and, of course, the judgment of the librarian building the collection in that area.

Differing numbers of new books will appear on the lists at different points during the year. Publishers have varying publishing cycles; orders are often grouped to allow more efficient processing; some orders are placed for books which have not yet been published; and some orders are submitted to coincide with curricular developments in a program. Again to use the example of library science, we have recently purchased a number of items for the new Records Management certificate program. All of these factors, as well as the exigencies of the budget process, contribute to a continual, if uneven flow of books into our collection.

Recommending Books and Journals

Monday, May 19th, 2008

The most common use of our Digital Suggestion Box is to recommend a title for the collections. Most often, books are suggested, but from time to time we also hear about journals and magazines. We are always glad to receive such suggestions and would be happy to see the number of suggestion grow.

Typically, we forward each such message to the librarian responsible for developing the part of our collection in which we would place the recommended item. These subject specialist librarians are called liaisons. Each liaison librarian is in charge of developing one or more subject areas within our collections. These subject areas cover the full range of what is studied, taught, and researched at the University.

After forwarding a recommendation to a liaison librarian, we also let the person who made the recommendation know the name and email address of that librarian and make clear that future suggestions can be made either through the Suggestion Box or by contacting the liaison librarian directly.

If you would like to cut out the middleman and recommend books and serials directly to a liaison librarian, you can identify the librarian you want by going to the directory of Librarian Liaisons at

It is also possible to recommend books for purchase directly through our catalog. When you first open the catalog, just under the search box you will find the link “Suggest a Title.” When you click on that link, a form will open allowing you to make your recommendation. You can go directly to this form now by clicking on this link:

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: