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August 2008 Archive of Comments

  • August 1, 2008: Popular Reading/Browse books - no longer available

    I am very disappointed that the browse section has disappeared. It seemed like a very popular and well-used area to me, and worth the effort and expense. Will it be reestablished when things settle down with your circulation relocation?

    I appreciate your sharing your thoughts about the "Browse" books -- too often we are left guessing about what our public wants. I know that you are not alone in being sorry to see the termination of the popular reading collection. Library employees themselves were heavy users. But rising costs have forced us to cut more deeply almost every year into research collections. In the past two years, we have cancelled 922 serial publications and cut book-buying below the level we consider minimally adequate to support VT's key missions. So we have reached the point where we felt that retaining the Browse books could not be justified.

    All of us would love to see them back. The Libraries have received good support for next year -- enough to help with the research mission, but not enough for us to revisit this latest round of cuts. We are hopeful that continued new support could help us to do that.

    Thanks again for your expression of interest.
    Paul Metz, Director of Collection Management

  • August 1, 2008: More Browse books comments

    Recognizing that there are finite resources and that the library is horribly underfunded, I still want to at least register my sadness that the Browse Books section has been terminated. This was an excellent way for readers to sample new authors and, it seems to me, a workable way to expand fiction offerings without the long term investment in new books.

    I realize that this issue pivots on what one understands the mission of a library such as VT's to be. Literature has long been a way for persons to pursue education rather than merely training. The humanities are already the step-children at VT; I am afraid that the decision in favor of esoteric technical journals, many of which are available in other ways, exacerbates the trend and intellectually impoverishes our community.

    I hope this decision can be reconsidered at a later time.

    We have developed a webpage on Finding Pleasure Reading Books to assist users in finding popular literature in the stacks, along with resources for suggested reading lists and links to the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library and their library catalog. It can be surprising how much pleasure reading material can be found in the collection.

    Robert Sebek, Webmaster

  • August 2, 2008: More Browse books comments

    What has happened to the "browse" popular reading books that had been available next to the circulation desk on first floor? I know that some of them were moved upstairs when the desk was moved, but now they don't seem to be available at all. A co-worker just dropped by and was told that those books will no longer be offered. Is this true????

    I am a staff person, and loved dropping by the library to pick up a couple of books at lunchtime for leisure reading. I will be VERY upset if you do away with this service. I, and many of my co-workers, don't have time to go through the stacks to look for books, but the browse section was quick and convenient.

    Please do not terminate this service; it is much needed and appreciated!

  • August 7, 2008: Service in microforms area

    Re the moving of circ to the second floor. I am a regular microfilm user, and often had to go to circ desk to get more paper. When the microfilm readers were just around the corner from circ desk, I felt fine leaving my bag, laptop etc at the machine. But if I have to go upstairs to get paper or assistance in case of a paper jam, I will have to pack up all of my belongings and take them with me. Is there some other option (perhaps storing some paper near the microfilm readers; placing a phone near the readers that connects directly to circ)?

    2 Responses:

    We are still reviewing the logistics of how we will assist people. Your idea of a telephone sounds like a good possibility. Whenever we do, we will be sure to have some easy way for people to get assistance.

    Thanks for letting us know your concerns.
    Don Kenney, Associate Dean of Administrative Services & Circulation

    Thank you for your note regarding user assistance at the microforms area of Newman Library. With the current changes taking place in the library and the moving of circ to the second floor, the Research and Instructional Services Department is now going to be in charge of microforms. We have planned on having someone stationed on the first floor to assist patrons with microforms, maps and other user resources on the first floor. Additionally, there may be a phone that connects to the reference desk or the person who will be assisting users. We are currently in a state of transition and ask that you bear with us as we finalize the plans. Watch our library announcements on the library home page for further information.

    On another note, we discourage patrons from leaving their bags, laptops, cell phones, etc. unattended in the library. Numerous thefts have occurred in the library, even when items are left for brief periods of time, there is a risk of theft.

    Please let me know if I can be of assistance to you, or if you have other questions or concerns, Sincerely,
    Lesley M. Moyo, Director for Library Research and Instructional Services

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