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August 2009

  • August 11, 2009: Library cleanliness (library suggestion box)

    The shelves are dirty. Too much dust on the books. Please clean them more frequently.

    We have limited housekeeping staff whose duties include only dusting shelves.  With budget reductions, housekeeping staff have been reduced campus wide including the library.  With limited resources, we can do little about the problem except when books circulate.

    Don Kenney, Associate Dean of the Libraries

  • August 11, 2009: Better storage facilities in restrooms (library suggestion box)

    1. Put hooks for bags and coats in bathroom stalls.

    2. I would love it if there were hooks in the restroom stalls and individual restrooms. Who wants to put their purse, backpack, or coat on the restroom floor, or risk having them stolen by leaving them unattended in the Library? Thank you for your consideration.

    Some of the restrooms do have shelves to place things on.  Most of the stall doors have or had hooks but people remove them or damage them and it is a nuisance and expensive to constantly replace them as people vandalize them.

    Don Kenney, Associate Dean of the Libraries

  • August 15, 2009: Art + Architecture Library doors

    I am appalled, as a graduate of Virginia Tech, to find that our #1 Architecture program has connections with an Art and Architecture library whose doors have been put on backwards. Is there a way that the library doors in Cowgill Hall could be refitted to work correctly, as opposed to having most library patrons walking straight into a plate glass door?

    Thank you for your comment. The doors to the Art + Architecture Library were designed to accommodate, with ADA compliance in mind, our patrons with disabilities. Although, as you probably noted, the entrance door has a "pull" handle, it was carefully calibrated to open inward with least resistance for wheelchair-bound patrons in particular. Thus a "Push" label was applied just beside the handle. This week, the door was modified to swing in both directions, and can be opened by either pushing or pulling. This should alleviate the problem.

    Best regards,
    Patrick Tomlin
    Head, Art + Architecture Library

  • August 17, 2009: Redesign complaint (online comment box)

    The new redesign for how to search for journals and databases is much more complex and difficult than the previous design. I am trying to create a walk through for my students and I just noticed that there is an error with the EBSCOHOST Databases. When you click on it, you get the following error: The requested URL /dsp/noproxy.html was not found on this server. Is this going to be resolved soon because I am trying to upload all my course documents in the next few days so that I can go ahead and open my course site.

    First, I have fixed the No Proxy error. (You get directed to the No Proxy page when you try to access resources like databases or ejournals while not on the campus network. This is the same behavior as before the changeover. Be sure you make use of Off Campus Sign In or connect to the VT VPN so that you are recognized as a VT affiliate.)

    You can still search for databases from the library's homepage, just as before.  Switch to the Databases tab on the left side of the screen and enter a title or part of a title to search. For instance, enter "ebsco" to see a complete list of all the Ebscohost databases. You can also browse from this tab to view databases listed by subject (the Subject Guide pages), by the format of the contents, or our recommended general interest databases (including Academic Search Complete from Ebsco).

    You can now also search for ejournals right from the homepage. The vast majority of ejournals have been entered in Addison, so a Title search in that tab will show both online and print access. The Ejournals tab searches just the electronic subscriptions and will pick up items not in Addison, which is mainly the non-full-text-journals like news wires.

    The old pathways are still available, too. The Article/Databases link takes you to a page with all the many options for finding articles and/or databases. The Ejournals link gives you many options for searching for ejournals. And the Subject Guides link presents librarian selected databases from department-based subject lists.

    If you are creating lists of library resources for students, I recommend taking a look at our Persistent Links page for some guidance on how to make sure these links work on and off campus and keep working for the whole semester.

    If you have other questions or concerns (or find anything else broken--we're looking hard ourselves), please don't hesitate to send me a note. 

    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, University Libraries

  • August 18, 2009: Offer music (library suggestion box)

    The Library would be more conducive to learning if there was some music playing, preferably live music, something with guitars.

    Two things, first, we do not have PA system. Second, while some people might enjoy music, I suspect a number of people would object.

    Don Kenney, Associate Dean for the Libraries

  • August 18, 2009: Praise for library (library suggestion box)

    The Library is great!!! Sometimes I think it should be reminded of that.

    Thank you for your kind words. It is always nice to hear that we are doing a good job.

    Buddy Litchfield.

  • August 19, 2009: Get VText not working (online comment box)

    I'm not sure if this is due to the change in the library web page, (the new one seems to be a bit easier to get around for beginners) but the VT Text links for EBSCO, WorldCat, and a few other journal databases do not work...this causes literature research to take much longer than previously...maybe i'm spoiled...
    Could you all try to fix it. Thanks!

    We are aware of the problem and are trying to fix it as soon as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Buddy Litchfield Va. Tech Libraries

  • August 21, 2009: New books link not working (online comment box)

    Link not working:

    Is this possibly an old URL that you bookmarked? We have recently brought up a new version of our homepage, and the new URL for new books is  (

    Sorry for the confusion.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • August 24, 2009: Book suggestion (online comment box)

    It is about the first African American world champion in any sport. Please consider purchasing the following book for your library:
    Joe Gans: A Biography of the First African American World Boxing Champion
    By Colleen Aycock
    McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers ISBN# 978-0-7864-3994-2

    Thank you for your suggestion.  This looks like an interesting title, and we will order a copy.

    Bruce Pencek, 
    College Librarian for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

  • August 24, 2009: British newspaper suggestion (library suggestion box)

    I would enjoy reading the Bristol Herald Courier newspaper.

    Thank you for your suggestion. You may not be aware, but we have current full text access to the Bristol Herald Courier, from Addison, as well as our e-journal database.  Given our ever shrinking materials budget, we can not afford to have both paper and online copies of our journals and newspapers.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

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