New at LITS for Spring 2021
We’ve made some changes to the library for Spring 2021. Here’s what’s new.more
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Adobe ended the previous year’s subscription program that let anyone on campus have Creative Cloud installed on their computer. The new program requires a separate license for each individual computer and would be prohibitively expensive if we licensed all of the campus computers.
Luckily, Adobe does let us license individual programs as well as the entire product suite. People who have ongoing, frequent need for Adobe Acrobat (not the free reader, but the licensed PDF editing program) will have the new version installed on your computer. The entire Creative Cloud suite of programs will be available in the Library on computers in the Innovation Space and the Learning Studio.
Over the summer the entire IT staff moved from Mayer Hall to the library. Having all of the LITS employees in one central campus location makes it easier for the campus community to get in-person assistance for technology and library questions, as well as provide easier opportunities for collaboration on projects.
By combining the groups of work-study students, we are also now able to have two students on duty at the InfoDesk during all hours when the library is open. All of the students are learning to resolve basic technology problems, answer questions about library resources and make research appointments for students with our librarians, do timely reshelving of materials so that students are able to find the books they want, create ID cards, and keep the printers and copiers stocked with paper and operating smoothly.
As you enter the library, you may notice three visible changes.
First, the chrome metal stanchions at the entrance are no longer in place. They were installed as a security system many years ago, designed to alarm if someone tried to leave the building with a book that had not been checked-out. Unfortunately, they stopped working over 5 years ago and the cost to repair or replace them was extraordinarily high. Further, they also narrowed the opening making it difficult for anyone with a mobility impairment to enter the library.
Second, we expanded the size of the Activity Table and shifted it to a new location. This permits us to offer a greater selection of activities and accommodate more students. The move also let us center the shelves for New Books under better lighting so that the titles were easier to read.
Finally, we will no longer have a librarian assigned to sit at the reference desk. We have logged almost every request that came to the desk in person over the past 4 years. The overwhelming majority of those requests could easily be answered by trained students—problems with the printers, difficulty in using the computers near that desk, and directional questions. In light of that, and with having only two librarians, we elected to follow the example of other college libraries and create a single service point — the InfoDesk — where all of those requests could be easily handled. Our new librarians are promoting research appointments where a student can schedule to meet one-on-one for a more in-depth discussion about their work. We encourage faculty to consider requiring their first-year students to make these appointments so that they can get started with this good academic work habit right away.
The library now has a small, but growing collection of tabletop games that can be checked out or used in the library. Look for Boggle, Clue, The Game of Life, Exploding Kittens, Mancala, Settlers of Catan and many more on the shelves near the southwest corner of the main floor.
Over the summer our librarians completed a review of the reference collection that began in 2018. This review required looking at each item to determine whether the information was still current and if the material was also available in the library’s electronic databases. If an item was out-dated or available electronically, it was marked for withdrawal from the collection.
Beginning on September 9 through October 20, faculty are invited to peruse the reference collection items marked with an orange or green dot. If you wish for the library to retain any of the marked items, please fill out a yellow slip (available on 2nd set of reference shelves) and place it in the book. The yellow slips can also be used to note any book that you would like to have for your personal use.
After October 20, the library staff will remove dots from any book that someone has asked to have it remain in the collection. Books that are intended for personal use will be marked WITHDRAWN and delivered to the faculty member’s office. A request to keep a book in the collection will take precedence over a request to have the book for personal use. In the case of multiple requests for the personal use of a book, the library staff will use a coin toss to determine who gets the book.
On October 28, staff and students will be invited to take any remaining marked items for personal use. On December 2, all remaining items scheduled for withdrawal will be sent to Better World Books to be distributed to libraries in other parts of the world.
Six display cabinets in the library provide a space for highlighting the archives, the history of the college, displaying items from the collection, and featuring student projects. Check the library each month to see new displays. This month Beloit College Authors, the archives, and student success resources are featured. If you’re interested in exhibiting your class’s work, please contact Kelly Leahy to coordinate.
Located on the main floor of the Morse Library, the InfoDesk is a single place in the library staffed by student employees and professional staff who are available to answer questions, assist with locating and checking out library materials, connecting students with librarians and tech support, creating ID-cards, and assisting students, faculty, staff, and guests in using LITS services.
After the change in printing vendors last year, we intentionally did not activate the charging mechanism for student printing to determine if charging for printing made any difference in the amount of paper and printing they used. The difference was negligible and we are going to extend this experiment through the fall semester.
While the students may see that their printing balance is zero, they will be able to print whatever they need through the fall semester. We will evaluate the outcome at the end of the semester and decide whether to continue without the printing dollar allotments for students or return to the previous system.
By the time you read this, you should be using the new Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) campus phone system. The new digital system uses the campus network and external Internet for telephone calls rather than the traditional copper wire and telephone lines. Videos and print materials about using the phones are available. If you are having problems or have questions, please call the InfoDesk at HELP (4357).
Kelly Leahy After a two-year stint in the Great Plains, where she was a first-year experience librarian at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, Kelly is excited to be back in Wisconsin, a state she fell in love with during her time at UW-Madison. Kelly is eager to help students feel more comfortable using library resources and strengthening their research skills.
Haley Lott As the Outreach / Public Services Librarian at the University of Lynchburg for the past three years, Haley lives by the “Library is for Everyone” motto and encourages students to see the library not simply as a place to check out books and print things for class, but space for inquisitiveness, reflection, collaboration, and even a little bit of fun.
Paula Richeson While at the Rockford Public Library, Paula registered new patrons, answered questions about electronic devices and other technologies, executed reference searches, and answered a steady stream of every type of question. She is excited about working on a college campus and especially looking forward to making the Activity Table a great place for creativity and stress-relief.
We’ve made some changes to the library for Spring 2021. Here’s what’s new.more
We’ve made some changes to the library for Fall 2020. Here’s what’s new.more
The cornerstone of Middle College was laid on June 24, 1847 and witnessed by thousands.more