I understand that the archives of the Journal of Wildlife Management are now available through JSTOR. As you know, VT has a highly regarded wildlife program (College of Natural Resources) and this is a key journal in this field. It is also valuable for students in the Biological Sciences Department (College of Science). I hope you will consider subscribing to the JWM archives through JSTOR.
Thank you for your suggestion about JSTOR, which was forwarded to me as head of collection development. We would love to subscribe to the Biology collection, and have been carrying it for some time on the list of resources to be acquired whenever possible. As you may know, it's not possible to cherry pick titles within JSTOR, so that the only way to get JWM would be to buy that entire collection.
The impediment has been budget. There are many other items of high priority that we should long since have acquired for our research faculty, but instead we have been losing ground, with a decline in our funding relative to peer institutions and a severe inability to keep up with the costs of even our existing resources. This past year we cancelled 598 serials, made further compromises in our access to journals from John Wiley and Taylor & Francis, and cut book-buying in half. The university administration, Faculty Senate, and the deans are well aware of the problem. At least for FY08 we, alone with the VT Police, were spared actual budget cuts.
The particular problem with the JSTOR sets is that relative to the first few collections they have sold, they have changed their pricing from heavy front-loading to steeper annual fees, so that one pays year after year, in perpetuity, for the same content. This would not necessarily stop us from adding JSTOR libraries if the overall picture were more sanguine.
We do of course have JWM electronically from 2004 forward via Bio1, and we have a full run in paper. But I know, oh I do know, nothing beats a full run in digital format.
I don't want to leave you with the impression that we don't welcome suggestions such as yours. On the contrary, I wish more of our users would give us specific indicators of what they are missing and would like to see us add. I hope your visit at Tech proves useful and enjoyable.
Paul Metz, Director of Collection Management
Thank you for this very rapid and very informative response, though of course, it isn't the news I'd hoped for. In fact, I didn't know about the JSTOR "buy-one-buy-all" policy, and didn't know about their annual pricing practices. I am a visiting assistant (read "part-time") faculty member here in the National Capital Region. In my "real" job, I run a consortium of eleven scientific societies. Though we are not engaged in the business or publications aspects of those societies, I am certainly aware of their discussions about publication practices. I recall that when one of them considered JSTOR, they were told that the contract would not require exclusivity. In other words, they could offer their archive in other ways. I don't know if JSTOR still has that policy. It could be that they made that offer to that particular society, because that society's archives were already available online (for free) as were the archives of all the ornithological societies in the U.S., and JSTOR would rather have had their non-exclusive business, perhaps to enhance the overall value of JSTOR, than not at all. Who knows?
In any case, I certainly do understand the dilemma. I've forwarded your message to the publications manager at The Wildlife Society, with a suggestion that if the JSTOR contract is NOT exclusive, perhaps they could look into other ways of making the archives available to libraries at a lower cost. Certainly for VT, with nationally known programs in biology and wildlife sciences, having this key journal is important.
Thanks again for your feedback, and I do hope that as the electronic journal publishing situation continues to evolve, we will see an expansion in accessibility.
The Webster's Third New International Dictionary (Ref PE 1625 W36 1981 c.7 Ref Room): would like to request a protective container or sleeve for it. It is beginning to deteriorate.
Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. I passed your note on to our bibliographer for Social Science Reference, and he has agreed to replace the dictionary in question with a newer 2002 edition. It should arrive in a couple of weeks. Input on matters of this kind are always appreciated.
Buddy Litchfield, Research & Instructional Services Librarian
In the past few weeks, I have been working on a research project that requires me to request many old dissertations through the ILL office. They have been great in seeking out all sorts of dissertations from a wide variety of libraries for me. They deserve kudos for doing a really good job!
I saw your note about the good support you are gettiing from the ILL office for old dissertations. Thanks so much for letting us know how much you appreciate their work. Good luck with your project.
I am a faculty staff at AOE and my office is in Randolph Hall. As you know, there are several departments close to AOE such as Mathematics, department of Education, Civil, Mining, ESM, ME, and CE. I think It would be very convenient for us if you could put a drop box near Randolph Hall.
Thanks for your note. We do have 3 drop boxes around campus and a drop box outside of the library entrance. There are no plans as of now to add additional boxes. During the summer the library will be experiencing some renovations and the drop situation may be revisited. Several issues that have to be considered in adding drop boxes are the ease of access for patrons using the box as well as the van that has to stop and gather items returned. We also have to consider the staffing issue for the van driver.
Again, this may be talked about later.
Brenda Pratt, Head, Circulation Department
Web of Science Citation Index does not seem to work through the Off Campus proxey server. (Windows Vista, Internet Explorer 7.06)
Web of Science has moved to a new platform. The original URL is supposed to work, although I notice there is a slightly different one appearing when I connect. Does this URL work for you?
I am wondering if you just happened to try to connect when ISI was making the transition to the new platform.
Let me know if this works for you.
Dave Beagle, Reference Librarian
I am trying to order something from Remote Storage, but I can't figure out how to do that (it used to be simple), partly because the website is cut off on both sides, and I can't expand it to see all of its width. (And the system seems to have changed.) Hence much information is missing, and even when I click on a "Request" item nothing happens. What gives?
I am not sure what your problem might be. I just searched the title you want using both Netscape and Internet Explorer, and had no problem seeing the record or opening the Request form. I have CCed someone from our Systems Dept. on this note, to see if she can shed some light on what might be going on. If worse comes to worse, you can always call our Circulation Dept. (231-6340) and ask that they place a request for this book in your name.
Buddy Litchfield, Reference Librarian
I'm not sure what the problem is with the display but I requested the disc for you using the same method that you would be using and the request was successful. I made the pickup location at Newman Library and you will receive an email when the item is ready for pickup.
Brenda Pratt, Circulation Department Head
Your current alert system telling patrons the library is about to close has to be done away with. Considering how technologically innovative VT is, you can surely come up with something much more effective and suitable for a library than a grating buzz that is too loud and lasts too long. I realize you want to get people's attention, but certainly you can be more professional about it. Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
I am sorry you find the system offensive. Closing the building is difficult for our staff. Some people simply refuse to leave or continue to linger long after the "grating buzzer" announces the closing time. Our staff who are closing have had a long day and deserve to get on with the routine of their job of getting the building secured and leaving for their workday. The buzzer system seems to be the best way to announce to people that the building is getting ready to close within 15 minutes and to prepare to leave. Otherwise, staff would be here way beyond their normal work day attempting to clear the building. Most other academic libraries use similar bell systems to announce closures.
Thank you for input and hope this puts things in perspective for you.
Don Kenney, Associate Dean of Libraries
If the Vet Med Library were open longer hours we would be very appreciative. Specifically, the weekend hours could be longer. Being open longer on Friday and Saturday nights would help, as well as opening earlier on Sunday morning. As professional students we spend most of our time studying and having the library is a necessary tool. In addition, the librarian is often talking loudly in the library. He will talk loudly, even when there are many people in the library. We would appreciate it if he would respect the silence of the library, especially since he is the librarian! Thank you.
The Vet. Med. Library hours were cut several years ago in response to budget cuts. We close at 6:00 p.m. on Friday instead of 8:00 p.m. so that we can open at 11:00 a.m. instead of 1:00 p.m. on Sunday as requested. Data collected some years ago showed that very few students use the library on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Veterinary Medical Library's policy states that students can check out Reserve Books two hours before the library closes and return them one hour after the Library reopens. So students are not deprived of the use of Reserve materials.
As for study space, there are classrooms, seminar rooms and "the Commons" that are open 24 hours for use. With minimum wage going up, with no corresponding increase in budget, the only options is to reshuffle the hours the Library is open.
As to "loud talking" by library staff, it is by no means intentional. There might be occasions when it is unavoidable, like responding to a patron that might be hard of hearing, etc.
Vicki Kok, Head of Vet Med Library
Please make the veterinary school library 24 hours. We are professional students and need access to the library books and computers all hours of the day. Especially the fourth years need constant access to books for reference in their cases, which they work on every hour of the day. Our days do not end at five or six or eleven. We study through the night and in the early mornings. PLEASE provide us with the realistic and deserved library facilities that we need!!!
It is un-realistic to have a library open 24 hours a day. We have neither the personnel nor the budget to keep the library open more than the hours we are open now. If a student needs Reserve Books, the Veterinary Medical Library allows books to be checked out two hours before the library closes and returns them one hour after the library reopens --- so students will have access to books they need, if they plan ahead.
The library is within the college complex so it's not too much of an inconvenience to get there. Now with a budget cut, coupled with the increase in minimum wage, I do not foresee any increase in library hours.
Vicki Kok, Head of the Veterinary Medical Library
I just wanted to make a statement that many of my recent searches on Addison , for books in particular, have come up saying that VT does not offer that book. (And I checked titles and authors - nothing comes up). But when I request these books or journals on Illiad, I get a message back with the call number included.
I just thought I'd bring this to the library's attention, because I've noted this occurring a lot more recently since I've started to search for books in particular. But also, if you do not type in exactly the correct journal name, Addison doesn't come up with anything close to the journal you're searching for. However, if you type it in Google.scholar a "VT Text" button will appear. I just find this a bit inefficient.
~ The hot chocolate rocks! You should do this every year. :D
~ I think that the free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate during finals week is a really great idea. I enjoyed it very much
~ These new hours and the free coffee really helped out during these tough finals season. I completely support these new hours during finals or test time.
Thank you all for sending us positive comments about the library coffee service. We offer this every semester during finals. Your comments are useful as we make decisions about this service for the future. Please continue to let us know how we might help make your finals week a pleasant one in the library. Also let us know of your research needs throughout the semester.
Lesley Moyo, Director of Research and Instructional Services
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
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
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!
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)?
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
Is there any way that there could be an expedited reserve service for faculty who are out sick or having surgery? I tried to reserve a video for my class to watch in my absence, but the reserve processing took 48 hours, one of my students checked out the video, and it turned into a fiasco for my class. I understand that these things take time, but I wanted some options for my class while I had to be out, and now it seems that they will have to wait until I am back in class.
I was under the impression that all my requests, e.g., from storage, would be shown on my record. What happened or what has not happened.
Also, when pages are opened such as this one, the cursor should automatically go to the first line to be typed. They do not. That includes theoff-campus log-in. Please bring the system up to the usual standards.
My Library Record should show any pending requests (from Storage or recalled books) within 15 minutes of placing the request. It won't show failed requests--but requests only fail if the item is not requestable, such as checked out videos. You should get an error message in the request window when that happends, though.
If you have made a request that should appear in My Library Record, but does not, please contact the Circulation Desk (231-6340) to ensure that it is actually in the system and will be processed. (We have had problems with the request function at the beginning of the semester.)
I have updated Off Campus Sign In, and have provided the new code to our system administrator. Hopefully she'll update the server soon.
Robert Sebek, Webmaster, University Libraries
The library at Auburn University has a fantastic service for grad students and faculty: if an article in a scientific journal or book isn't online (maybe the article is too old, etc), there is an online form that can be filled out and the library staff (probably undergrads) scan the article and email it to you in pdf. This is the best thing in the entire world!!!! There is a page limit (maybe 25 pages?). Please please please try to implement this here!
Just wanted to say that I really like the new "Cite this item" feature in Addison. It is nice to have the citation right as you are looking at the resource, rather than having to look it up later.
Can VT Libraries please send someone to this workshop to become a Zotero trainer, and then offer Zotero training at Virginia Tech? Zotero is seen as a free and open source alternative to EndNote, and has gathered a lot of attention over the past year. I use it daily and would be pleased to see more people use it here on campus.
I can send out an email to my colleagues in Reference & Instruction to see if anyone is interested in attending this workshop. Vicki Kok and I are the two main EndNote trainers in the Library. Speaking strictly for myself, I am not interested in attending given the recent multi-million dollar lawsuit filed against George Mason University (home of Zotero) for the alleged reverse engineering of EndNote software. This could drag on for years and maybe nothing will come of it, but for me the lawsuit poses a real impediment to Zotero serving as a legitimate alternative to EndNote.
Dave Beagle, Reference Librarian
<p><em>I love that you have free coffee during exam week, it makes studying so much better.</em></p>
<p><em>Thanks for the extended hours during exam period. And also for the "free" coffee. It is definitely a personal and caring touch to an atmosphere that can often be impersonal. Just a personal thing, The Folgers coffee tasted and smelled better than the brand you used this time. Keep up the good work. Thanks again.</em></p>
<p>We received many nice compliments on our free coffee service again this year. I hope the service (and our extended hours) proved helpful during the exam period.<br />
Robert Sebek, interim chair, Marketing Committee</p>
<p><em>Ever since my first visit,<br />
the service was exquisite,<br />
you made my day with free coffee,<br />
so now just try and stop me,<br />
the semester is complete,<br />
and now it's time to eat,<br />
noisy patrons abound,<br />
soon i'll hit the ground,<br />
so i'd better head out the door,<br />
on the 29th, i'll be back for more.</em></p>
<p>Thanks for your comment<br />
hope that future commenters<br />
send more poetry.</p>
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