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Penn State University Libraries

Access Services

Comments and Suggestions Submitted to Access Services

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Student in a library surrounded by piles of books

HOURS

Please stay open longer hours, especially on Fridays. Please make all weekend hours longer.

In response to your request, Library hours are approved by Libraries' administration, based on the recommendation of front line managers. We monitor building use, counting people as they enter and exit, and conduct hourly room use counts, as well, to gauge the density of users in the space available. Because we have to balance the application of resources to staff the Libraries with demand for our services our review of the data suggests that current hours do the best job of creating that balance. Regards, Ann Snowman

It’s frustrating that the Library isn’t open for twenty-four hours during the summer semesters! Classes that require copious amounts of work and a lot of dedication should also come with 24/7 hours for studying so as to complete the work. Summer students should have equal opportunity.

I am sorry to learn that you are dissatisfied with the Pattee/Paterno hours of service. In response to your request, Library hours are approved by Libraries’ administration, based on the recommendation of front line managers. We monitor building use, counting people as they enter and exit, and conduct hourly room use counts, as well, to gauge the density of users in the space available. Because we have to balance the application of resources to staff the Libraries with demand for our services our review of the data suggests that current hours do the best job of creating that balance.

Would really appreciate a 24/7 section or an all-night section in the Library. It would be a boon for all the students looking to graduate in the summer semester, especially the grad students. 

In response to your request, Library hours are approved by Libraries’ administration, based on the recommendation of front line managers. We monitor building use, counting people as they enter and exit, and conduct hourly room use counts, as well, to gauge the density of users in the space available. Because we have to balance the application of resources to staff the Libraries with demand for our services our review of the data suggests that current hours do the best job of creating that balance.

50,000 students and we still don’t have a 24/7 area of the Library.

During academic year 2013/2014 Pattee & Paterno Libraries will be open 24x7 during the critical final two weeks of the semester. With the exception of Thanksgiving week, the Pattee & Paterno Libraries maintains 133 hours of access weekly. Regards, Ann Snowman

Hello. I am a Ph.D. student in History and would like to express frustration at the fact that the books-portion of the Library essentially shuts down over break. We are always working, and being deprived of access to books is incredibly inconvenient. I am in the process of checking out over 25 very large, heavy volumes because I need them for my work over break. Having the Knowledge Commons open is no help - we all have computers - we do not have books.  Even if the books-portion of the Library were just open a couple more hours each day, this would be a huge help.

To the best of my recollection, the only time that the stacks were not open was on the two ½ days between Christmas and New Year’s Day when the Library was open but minimally staffed. Staff at the Commons Services desk were paging requested materials from the stacks during that time. The semesters since the opening of the Knowledge Commons have been a transition phase. We have seen unprecedented use of the Libraries and we continue to adjust services and hours as we monitor demand. We’ll keep your comments in mind. Regards, Ann Snowman

Have students swipe in each time they use the Library and let them earn points. Give students who earn a set amount of points a guaranteed desk during finals week.

Your suggestion is an interesting one. There are more than 2,350 publicly available seats in the Pattee/Paterno complex. But with over 2,000,000 visits annually, I think the first come, first served program is still the best solution. Regards, Ann Snowman

There was a couple from out of state here on Friday, May 31, 2013 around 4:30 p.m. They checked into a hotel and hurried here to see the Fred Waring archives - only to arrive at the door to find that it was closed - even though the sign on the door states that it is open until 5:00 p.m.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Your comment has been forwarded to the Special Collections Librarian who oversees the Waring collection.

NOISE

The Quiet Room needs to be enforced. The noise level is absolutely disruptive and ridiculous. Either put a sign or a person to enforce the rules or I will no longer use the Library here at PSU. I'm not trying to be rude but it's my favorite place to study and I can no longer concentrate in there.

I am not sure which area of the Library you are referencing but can appreciate your frustration. Noise levels can vary by the hours and by the season depending on the needs of those using the Libraries. If you prefer a quieter area to study you might want to consult the list of "Quiet Study Areas". Staff at the service desks are also available to address noise problems. Regards, Ann Snowman

People working here are always pushing very loud carts. Computer room not so peaceful during that time. Anyway of placing other wheels on all the carts to town down the noise?

Finding the right space in the Library to meet your needs can be a challenge. Noise levels vary through the day, through the academic year and from one area to another. You may find it helpful to consult the list of "Quiet Study Areas". Your suggestion about placing quieter wheels on the book carts has been forwarded to the manager of Collection Maintenance.

PRINTERS

It would be nice to have a sign posted near all of the printers with the website to order more copies or a refund. It would have been nice to know ahead of time that I had free copies on my account that I lost at the end of the semester because I did not use then. If I had known, I would have done more printing.

Thank you for your comment, a Libraries' web page "Printers in the Library" contains helpful information. Your sign suggestion has been forwarded to the head of the Knowledge Commons for consideration.

SERVICES

I think that DVDs that contain the complete season of a show should circulate for the same amount of time as a book, seeking as how they take longer to watch than many books do to read.

Thank you for providing this feedback on the Libraries' services. I am pleased to let you know that while the initial 7 day loan period has not changed, there has been a recent change to the amount of times a DVD or other video format may be renewed; eight renewals are permitted. Thus allowing you to take your time over nine weeks to watch a series. Regards, Ann Snowman

SPACE

Need more personal space to work in the Library, and, more laptops to borrow would benefit the students.

I am glad to know that you find our laptop service useful. University Libraries makes laptops available as a convenience to our students; we strive to balance supply with demand. The data we collect regarding laptop use is reviewed annually and taken into consideration when ordering replacements and new equipment. I will pass your comment along to those who purchase equipment. Regards, Ann Snowman

Because there are no tables and chairs during the night, it is not convenient to study. Therefore, why don't you open the Paterno Reading room for the night?

Thank you for your comments regarding the lack of availability of chairs and tables to study late at night. We continue to review our services to students during the evening and will take your suggestion under consideration. Regards, Ann Snowman

Offer more substantive data on Library costs (databases & staffing), and provide grad students with their own Library space.

It is difficult to pinpoint the data you are interested in without a more specific request. Costs for databases vary widely from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars for an annual subscription depending on the scope, quality of content, versatility of the interface and potential audience. Budgets are limited so we are unable to provide everything we could hope; however if you have a specific need please get in touch and we'll refer you to the appropriate librarian for the discipline. Personnel costs are the single highest budget item for University Libraries, the work is limitless and the Libraries are open long hours. The complexity of the universe of information, its compilation and distribution, requires a broad range of expertise, skills and talents to make it accessible to our students and faculty. Among those the Libraries employ are professional librarians, many with second Master's degrees and Ph.D.s, data analysts, IT consultants, programmers, instructional designers, and specialists of all kinds to manager services and select resources to support research. As we continue to plan and develop our services and spaces, we will consider the needs of graduate students in particular. Our Student Engagement team meets regularly with student advisory groups for input and feedback. Regards, Ann Snowman

VENDING

Place vending machines in a 24 hour area please. Also coffee in a 24 hour area.

Snack and drink vending machines on the lower level of Central Pattee are available until 2:00 a.m. Sunday - Thursday. We continue to discuss the availability of coffee and food options for our students during the late evening hours. Regards, Ann Snowman

Can we please have a microwave available for use by students? I think this will be very helpful to students studying overnight so they don't have to risk their lives going downtown looking for coffee at 3:00 a.m.

I will pass your request for a microwave over along to Libraries' administration to consider. Regards, Ann Snowman

There are no vending machines in the Library during the night. The ones downstairs are closed. Could you add some?

Snack and drink vending machines on the lower level of Central Pattee are available until 2:00 a.m. Sunday - Thursday. We continue to discuss the availability of coffee and food options for our students during the late evening hours. Regards, Ann Snowman

WAYFINDING

Please make it clear on the University Libraries' hours web page that the stacks in the Pattee/Paterno Library are closed on open-first-floor-only-days. That isn't clear now - even to experienced Library users.

Thank you for your suggestion. We'll review our messages concerning "First Floor Only Services" and consider how best to convey that the stacks are closed. Regards, Ann Snowman

I have been here 28 years and still get hopelessly lost in the stacks. The labeling of locations, of exits, of exits to the stairs, is dreadful - and even worse since the renovations. The stacks are a fire trap and an escape from assault would be very chancy as things are now. You need to do some real clear and helpful labeling - proper guidance is decades overdue.

Signage. Wayfinding. The bane of our existence. The chronic malady of a structure built in phases over a century. I am pleased to know that these problems have not deterred you from visiting for the past 28 years. Your comments will be passed along to the Facilities and Safety Coordinator for consideration. Regards, Ann Snowman

The Library web pages - even the renewals list - have become increasingly user-unfriendly. Searching for an exact title or author brings up an inexact list of numerous irrelevant titles. Very bad development.

Your comments regarding poor catalog search results and configuration of My Library Account pages have been passed along to the Libraries' Discovery and Web Services Team in the Libraries' IT department. This is a newly formed group who will be helping us improve the end-user experience. Your feedback is helpful. Regards, Ann Snowman

WORKSTATIONS (also see SPACE)

You should not be allowed to sit at a computer desk with a computer (Knowledge Commons) while using a laptop.

In response to your comment about someone sitting at a computer workstation while using a laptop, we have noted that our students make use of the technology in a variety of ways. It is possible that this person was making legitimate use of the workstation, perhaps with a partner who stepped away. We recommend that you ask if the workstation is free for you to use. You can also check our "Computer Availability" site for information on our 500+ computer workstations in the Library. Regards, Ann Snowman

You inquired about an alternative when the visitor workstations are all being used.

When no visitor workstations are available, staff at the Commons Services Desk can issue a "Short Term Access and Research Account"" to enable visitors to authenticate to the network at any workstation computer in the Library. Regards, Ann Snowman

MISCELLANEOUS

All the bathrooms always seem to smell bad and can use cleaning more often. No matter what time of the day it is.

The Libraries' Facilities and Safety Coordinator has been made aware of your comment. Regards, Ann Snowman

I noticed that the plastic recycling bin has a small opening for plastic bottles. I recommend that you offer a larger opening for other plastic recycling objects. This can benefit the environment.

Your comment regarding the small opening for plastics in the recycling bin has been forwarded to the Libraries' Facilities and Safety Coordinator. Regards, Ann Snowman

I would appreciate a different chair in front of the visitors' station computer just to the right of the entrance to the Leisure Reading room. It's a tad uncomfortable to use the present chair - a bit too low.

Your request for a different type of chair at the visitors' station near the Leisure Reading room has been passed along to the head of the Knowledge Commons for consideration. Regards, Ann Snowman

 

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