Thursday, April 17, 2014

Celebrate Earth Day at the Library!

Tuesday, April 22nd is Earth Day and a celebration of trees and geological samples will be held on the Middletown campus from 11:30-1:00 in the Gardner-Harvey Library.

An exhibit featuring minerals, rocks, and local fossils collected by Middletown Geology students will be on display. It will be staffed by Geology students during that time, and then will be in place for the remainder of the week. The exhibit was curated by Dr. Tammie Gerke and is sponsored by the Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science.

Free tree seedlings will also be available, provided by the Miami Middletown Botany Club under the guidance of Dr. Carolyn Keiffer. There are 100 trees available, with some almost 5 feet tall! There are four varieties:

  • Kousa Dogwood 
  • Bur Oak 
  • White Pine 
  • Thornless Honey Locust 

Please come by to learn about the minerals, rocks, and fossils, to get a beautiful tree for your yard, and to peruse a display of library materials related to geology and earth science.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Here's what we said: library goals for 2014

After posting the survey results, my staff reminded me that I should post the library goals that we came up with in December 2013 for our 2014 calendar year.  It is perhaps no surprise that some of the needs we identified overlap so closely with the most common areas for improvement from the survey.  Here is what we're working on this year:

2014 Goals

  • Study rooms/offices/closed storage
  • Digital media lab/makerspace
  • Door repairs
  • Artist/mural
  • Regular library programming/new workshops

Thanks again for your interest in the library and our shared commitment to meet the needs of the campus!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

That's What They Said: One-Minute Survey Results

Here is a short summary of results from the the Library's One-Minute Survey.  The survey was available on the web and in print from February 4 through March 10, 2014.  It simply asked respondents to self-identify by their connection to the University, and to offer one way that they would improve the library.  83 individuals responded to the survey.  38 (46%) were students, 27 (33%) were faculty members, 11 (13%) were staff members, 4 (5%) were community borrowers, and the final 3 (4%) identified themselves as "Miami Alumni" in the "other" blank.

Respondents offered many thoughtful comments and suggestions on library services and the library building itself .  The most popular categories for comments were the following, including samples from each:
  • Thanking the library staff (16, or 19% of respondents)
  • "I would not change a thing; this library is very efficient and full of resources." (Student)
  •  "Fill it with people: students, faculty, community. You are already doing a great job at getting this to happen." (Faculty)
  • More study rooms (15, or 18% of respondents)
  • "Private and silent reading rooms where power outlets are provided for students to connect their computers." (Student)
  • "More quiet study rooms or table space to look at the books you select before checking them out." (Staff)
  • "Add more classrooms and study rooms." (Faculty)
  • Technology additions (13, or 16% of respondents)
  • "Capability to quickly create student online access to media content in various formats (e.g., VHS, DVD, CD, Audio Cassette, 35MM, etc) that would be easily accessible from off campus computers with either Windows or Mac operating systems." (Faculty)
  • "A Go-Pro video camera." (Student) 
  • "One suggestion is to have hot spots for check out for faculty and staff traveling etc." (Staff/Faculty) 
  • Library building issues (9, or 11% of respondents)
  • "If I could make one improvement, it would honestly be the front doors. They are old, hard to push, and loud." (Student)
  •  "More modern architecture and furniture.  Update as much as possible." (Student)
  • "Bigger elevator." (Community borrower) 
  • Changes to to improve the library's environment (9, or 11% of respondents)
  • "The building would be as calm as possible with little clutter and noise. There would be a sense of privacy and comfort within the walls." (Student)
  •  "Fishtanks, terrariums, etc. . . . They could provide interesting "distractions" or "attractions" to students, faculty, etc.  They could also be opportunities for academic engagement." (Faculty)
  •  "Sometimes other students are not quiet and it's distracting." (Student)
  • Changes to library furniture (9, or 11% of respondents)
  • "More secluded areas to study that have comfortable couches and comfortable chairs (the blue ones)." (Student)
  •  "Modernize the bookshelves so it does not look so dated." (Student)
  •  "Large and solid desks have been replaced by cheaper units with wheels." (Student)
As you can see, respondents had many interesting suggestions for improving the library, and we haven't even mentioned the "covered walkway between buildings" or the "free coffee and pizza."  While those are unlikely additions, we are considering other suggestions, such as checking out magazines, creating "a doodle wall to simulate creativity," and adding locally made art work, in addition to the requests in the most common categories above.

We were heartened to see that we've already met some of the requests, but realize that we need to market these services better: "a small section of children's books" is already available in our Juvenile section, and we just added a number of award-winning 2013 books to that collection, and the above suggestion to give students online access to media content is already in place in our Video on Demand service (though it can be improved).  We also encourage those who wished us to add more books or DVDs to the collection to just let us know the titles you would like, and we'll add them.

One other item bears mentioning here:  five respondents (6%) asked that the library add weekend hours.  Based on our experience in offering those hours for many years with declining visits, and the handful of requests we've received about it during this academic year, we are unlikely to add weekend hours without a clearer mandate.  Instead, our energies will go toward making other improvements and additions to our service.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in the survey!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Library materials added in March

To bring you up to date on what has recently been added to the collection, a new materials list is now available that reflects additions during March. We added 91 books, DVDs, and other items during that time, thanks to your selections and suggestions. The list is sorted by call number, with items grouped roughly by subject area.  

This tag will show you all of the prior lists of new materials, in reverse chronological order.

It is a pretty eclectic and interesting list, as always, but there's something missing from it.  What's missing?  The book or DVD or whatnot that you or our students need!  Is something missing from our collection that you or others might use?

If you have a suggestion of something to order for the 2013/14 fiscal year, please use our online request form, email Jennifer Hicks or one of our other staff members, or drop by the library with your request.  We would like to close out our request period on Friday, April 11.

We are working to spend our acquisitions budget for the year, and we need your requests to make that happen.  We have added 729 items so far this year, and we have the budget to add a few more. What do you need?  Let us know.

Thanks again for keeping our collection vibrant and your information needs met!