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  • January 4, 2011: ESL resources (library suggestion box)

    Since the University has such a large amount of international students, why does the Library not have more materials to help students improve their grasp of English?

    Thank for your suggestion. You will be glad to know that we have recently been awarded a grant to upgrade the number of languages available in the heavily used, and very popular language lab in the Library. We are purchasing a couple of copies of the American English Rosetta Stone programs and will be looking into buying more textbooks with that same grant.
    Ana Dubnjakovic, 
    College Librarian for Humanities

    Updated February 24

    American English (levels 1-5) is now available in the Language Resource Center.

  • January 5, 2011: Donation (online comment box)

    We (University Development) have come to own three books that a departing employee left behind. They are on Genomes/Bioinformatics.  I would like to send them over to you to see if you can use them, otherwise we will dispose of them.  I have them in our Access database if you would like for me to send you more information.

    If they are recent and in good condition we would likely be interested in the books. Can you send me the title, date, and author for each so I can check if we already have them? Thanks.

    Edward Lener
    College Librarian for the Sciences and
    Associate Director for Collection Management University Libraries

  • January 18, 2011: Languages offered from Rosetta Stone (online comment box)

    I would like if you would add Japanese to your rosetta stone collection.

    We've received a grant along with the Foreign Languages department that will allow us to purchase most of the languages Rosetta Stone produces and increase the number of stations in the Language Resource Center. The languages have been ordered and we'll announce on the library homepage as they are installed and ready for use.

    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, University Libraries

    Updated February 24

    A dozen new languages are now available in the Language Resource Center, including Japanese.

  • January 21, 2011: DVD collection suggestions (library suggestion box)

    1. More contemporary selection of DVDs.

    2. Larger selection of DVDs.

    Thank you for your suggestions. We are always adding new titles to our DVD collection. If you would like to give us some suggestions of titles you think we should have, that would be very helpful.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va Tech Libraries

  • January 24, 2011: Hebrew for language lab (online comment box)

    The library has been a great resource for me over the years, but I would like to make one suggestion.  I would like to see Hebrew offered in the Language Resource Center that offers Rosetta Stone in several languages.  The lack of material for students interested in learning Hebrew has concerned myself and members of the Jewish Hillel organization on campus.  Please look into expanding the Language Resource Center.  Thank you.

    Thank you Eric for your suggestion to add Hebrew to our Language Resource Center. We are in the process of adding several additional languages to the center, so your input has come at a good time. We will add Hebrew to the group of languages under consideration. Thank you again for your suggestion.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Virginia Tech Libraries

    Updated February 24

    A dozen new languages have been added to the Language Resource Center, including Hebrew.

  • January 25, 2011: Exception for renewal block (online comment box)

    I would really be grateful if I could renew the book that I have out just one more time ... please???  I need it for a case that I am working on ... which comes to trial on [redacted date].  Thank you for your kind consideration.

    As a retired faculty you can borrow for 90 days with one renewal; you have used the renewal and must return the book.  You can however bring the book in and we can check it in and then back out to you since there are no holds on the book.

    As a faculty member, you will not be charged late fees unless the book is over 30 days past due and looking at your time frame waiting to return the book is a close call.  I would take time to bring the book in and do the check in/back out option.

    Head of Circulation

  • February 1, 2011: Grad lounge cleaning (library suggestion box)

    Please clean the Grad Study room.

    Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. I will pass your concern on to our custodian staff. 

    Buddy Litchfield, 
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • February 14, 2011: Replacement of movie (online comment box)

    Please get Deliverance (DVD) back in the library. Its apparently been taken-out since 2008.

    We have asked our Acquisitions Department to order a replacement copy of Deliverance through our Gaskins fund (a fund devoted to the purchase of movie films) and alert you (thanks for the suggestion) once it arrives. 

    Paul Metz
    Interim Dean of the University Libraries 

  • February 18, 2011: Al Jazeera (library suggestion box)

    Al Jazeera

    Al Jazeera is the English version of the Arabic-language news network, but I don't know what it is you're suggesting here...  As this was located in the suggestion box above the daily newspapers and by the TV, are you requesting that the library subscribe to the daily newspaper Al-Jazirah or show Al Jazeera's news on the TV on the 2nd floor (in which case that request would need to go to the University cable providers) or what you mean by this suggestion.  Please discuss your suggestion with one of the librarians at either of the reference desks for further assistance. 

    Thank you,
    Kiri Goldbeck
    Research & Instructional Services Librarian

  • February 21, 2011: Screensaver on public machines (online comment box)

    Is there any way to get the screen saver from turning on every minute?  It is really distracting.

    We are aware that the time of the screen saver is annoying for some patrons. We are working on a solution that we hope to apply sometime this semester.

    Curtis D. Carr
    Director Library Systems

  • February 23, 2011: Longer hours on Saturday (library suggestion box)

    There are people that study late on Saturday night.  Please leave the library open till midnight.

    At this time, the library is unable to stay open later than our current hours.We are open 102 hours a week with extended hours during exams. Many of our resources are available online 24/7. Given our finite budget we must balance expenditures for services, collections, and physical facilities. Our hours are comparable to many other research libraries our size. Additionally, the extended hours we stay open during exams seems to be adequate, given the number of students still in the Library at closing time.

    The university also realized the need for late night study areas on campus and has made Torgersen Hall open 24/7 to accommodate the needs of students needing a late night place to study. I hope this addresses your issues.

    Kiri Goldbeck
    Research and Instructional Services Librarian

  • February 24, 2011: More electrical outlets on 3rd floor (online comment box)

    I appreciate the signs on the 3rd floor that now point to where power plugs are located.  However, there still seems to be a lack of outlets throughout the library, including the 3rd floor.  It is extremely frustrating to go into the library and find that every single outlet is taken.  This is particularly a problem during final exam times, but is true most everyday.  With a large engineering department, it is crucial that students stuck with tablet computers, on which most of their work needs to be completed, be able to plug in to an outlet anytime.  Even if it were simply power strips that extended from the wall outlets.  Anything that would allow more computers to be plugged in at a time would be appreciated.

    Adding new outlets can be expensive (and in some locations almost impossible because we have reached the limit of circuits in the breaker box). But we continue to add outlets where we can.

    An additional 26 outlets have just been added between the microforms and maps sections on the first floor. Many more outlets are available in the library cafe (or will be once it reopens after the renovations are done).

    Numerous outlets have been added in the past couple of years in the two learning commons areas on the 2nd and 4th floors. Many of the tables in those areas have outlets installed in their surface.

    I also recommend finding outlets along the wall facing the interior atrium space on the 4th floor (study carrels), behind the restrooms on the 4th floor (tables),  and beside the PN-PS range of call numbers on the 3rd (tables).
    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

  • February 28, 2011: Poor DVD condition (online comment box)

    Your copy of City of God is unreadable. I got 3/4 of the way into the movie and it stopped working. That you still have this DVD on circulation is ridiculous. I realize DVD rental is free for students and faculty but what is the point if the disc doesn't work?

    We have a machine that can heal a surprising percentage of our scratched DVD's so we'll try that first, and if not, we'll
    replace it.

    Brenda Pratt
    Head of Circulation Services

  • February 28, 2011: Jackhammers (library suggestion box)

    Stop using jackhammers during the day.

    We are very sorry about the noise caused by the Cafe installation project. The use of the jackhammers should stop any day now.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • March 3, 2011: Noise in library (library suggestion box)

    Too much noise in the Library.
    Pipe down.

    I am so sorry that you have been disturbed by the noise in the Library. If the noise was caused by the construction of the Study Cafe on the 1st floor, I apologize for the disturbance. It was unavoidable, and should be over now. If the noise was caused by patrons talking on the 3rd floor, you can ask them to be more quiet, or report the problem to a Librarian at one of our reference desks, and they will speak to who ever is making the noise. If the noise was occurring on the 2nd or 4th floors, I am sorry, but those are designated noisy floors, and students are allowed talk loudly on those two floors.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • March 3, 2011: DVD collection (library suggestion box)

    More DVD selections

    Thank you for your suggestion. We are always adding new titles to our DVD collections. If you would like to suggests some specific titles for us to purchase that would be very helpful.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • March 3, 2011: Longer hours on weekends (library suggestion box)

    Extend Library hours on Friday & Saturday nights. It feels like we are discouraging students from studying on these night, when we don't have the Library open.

    At this time, the library is unable to stay open later than our current hours.We are open 102 hours a week with extended hours during exams. Many of our resources are available online 24/7. Given our finite budget we must balance expenditures for services, collections, and physical facilities. Our hours are comparable to many other research libraries our size.

    The university also realized the need for late night study areas on campus and has made Torgersen Hall open 24/7 to accommodate the needs of students needing a late night place to study. I hope this addresses your issues.

    Kiri Goldbeck
    Research and Instructional Services Librarian

  • March 4, 2011: Difficulty locating things (library suggestion box)

    Make everything easier to find.

    I am so sorry is you are having difficulty finding the resources you need from the University Libraries. There are several remedies you could try. You could start with a tour of the Library. These are offered at 11:30 am, and 5 pm, Tuesday through Thursday, through  out the Fall and Spring semesters. They give you a good over view of the Library and how to navigate through the building. Second I would suggest that you ask for help finding what you need, at either of our two reference desks. There you will find helpful Librarians who are more than happy to help you with your research needs. Finally, there is a link on the Library Homepage for "Subject guides", where you can get in depth help from specific subject Librarians, on any subject taught at the University. Hope this helps.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • March 4, 2011: Library hours question (online comment box)

    In your main page under the section named "Newman Library spring hours" the following does not seem to be correct: "Sun, Mar 7: Closed" :)

    No actually that is correct. We've closed on Sundays during break for many years -- excepting Sundays before school days, which is why we'll be open the 14th. Thanks. 

    Paul Metz
    Interim Dean of the University Libraries

  • March 16, 2011: Slow internet (library suggestion box)

    It would be very nice if the Internet wasn't so slow at the Library. I am really frustrated by it.

    Hi, to what network are you referring? The library has 2 networks available for patron use. We have the campus wireless network available to be used by your personal laptop computer or mobile device, and the campus wired network where all public computers are attached.

    If you were using the wireless network on your laptop, it depends on where you are situated in the library, the number of connections connecting through that access point and the speed of your laptop. We get fairly good reception from most places in the libraries. However, there are some spots and some days where heavy use will degrade performance. The campus wireless network support is aware of a congestion problem and are looking into resolving the heavy use issue.

    All library public computers are attached to the campus wired network capable of 100mbps. At very rare occasions are these running slow due to distance away from the hubs and congestion on the wired network.  If you could provide more information the next time you are experiencing a problem, we may be able to give you more of a specific
    reason for why you are experiencing slowness.  For better problem resolution, please provide, network, floor, day,
    time of day, machine name, browser, and whether you are downloading or accessing some other application, from the web or from the desktop and your email so that we may respond to you. Or report the issue to a library staff member at the reference or circulation desks.

    Thank you,
    Curtis Carr
    Director Library Systems

  • March 17, 2011: New location for browse books (library suggestion box)

    Put the browse books on the first floor, near the cafe.

    Thank you so much for the suggestion.  We welcome the opportunity to hear from our patrons and we are looking into the possibility of moving the browse books.  There are many factors involved to make such a change.  We will look at this situation and see what happens.  We appreciate your feedback.

    Charla Lancaster 
    Director Library Assessment & Access Services

  • March 24, 2011: Noisy elevators (online comment box)

    The Elevator makes too much noise. It also rings a bell every time it arrives on a floor. That bell is not needed.
    The elevator unfortunately faces the seating area on quite floors. The quiet areas are no longer quiet due to this.

    The bell is required for accessibility reasons (it lets vision impaired people know as each floor is passed). All elevators on campus will give an audible signal on each floor.

    Elevators are by nature noisy; they're large machines with lots of moving parts. They will always be noisy.

    Your best option is to move away from the elevators. There are large sections in between the elevators, by the windows, in the curved wing of the library on floors 3 and 5 with lots of seating. Those areas should be sufficiently far from the front and rear elevators that you will not be disturbed.

    Robert Sebek
    Library Webmaster

  • April 1, 2011: Padding on benches (library suggestion box)

    Please put padding on the wood benches in the study Cafe, cushions or something.

    Thank you for  this suggestion.  Others have made similar suggestions, so we are looking into the possibility of getting cushions for the benches. 

    Dennis Herron
    Purchasing/Facilities Manager
    University Libraries

  • April 5, 2011: Slow wireless connections (online comment box)

    Please fix the wireless internet. It is painfully slow almost every day I come to study. During finals I now go to the math emporium because it is so unreliable. For reference, today April 4th, I went on the 2nd 3rd and 4th floors...all were extremely slow.

    Hi, We are aware that we are having wireless congestion problems and have alerted the campus wireless network support. They have done what they can do as far as increasing access points in the library because of the number of students using the network at certain times. Here are a few tips to consider: 
    If you are using the wireless network on your laptop, it depends on where you are situated in the library, the number of student and staff connections connecting through that access point and the speed of your laptop. We get fairly good reception from most places in the libraries. However, there are some spots and some days where heavy use will degrade performance.  

    The more students in the library, in study areas, the more each is competing for wireless access. The campus wireless network support is aware of a congestion problem, not only in the library but in other heavily used student areas on campus, and are looking into resolving the heavy use issue. We have developed a wireless access point map for each floor and are keeping track of problems reported. If the area where you are having issues is heavily populated (20-50 students) try moving to a less congested area. Heavily used areas of the library are usually the 2nd and 4th floors from 11-5pm, and the cafe area on the 1st floor.

    Curtis D. Carr
    Director Library Systems

  • April 13, 2011: DVD suggestion (library suggestion box)

    Get Seabiscuit in DVD.

    Thank you for the DVD suggestion. It will be ordered right away.

    Paul Metz
    Assistant to the Dean for Special Projects University

  • April 18, 2011: DVD suggestion (library suggestion box)

    Get the movie: Green Street Hooligans.

    Thank you for your DVD suggestion. We will order it right away. Let us know if you want to be notified when it is added to the collection.

    Paul Metz 
    Assistant to the Dean for Special Projects University

  • April 25, 2011: DVD suggestion (online comment box)

    I was wondering if you could get the movie Outdoorsmen: Blood, Sweat, and Beers. It is an indie documentary that appeared on IFC and is not available anywhere in the area. Here is an Amazon link for reference.

    Good afternoon,

    This DVD does not fall in the collection parameters for our library materials.  I would suggest requesting that the local public library purchase it instead, if you yourself don't want to buy it.

    Jennifer Nardine
    Outreach and Instruction Librarian
    Dept. Liaison: Music, Theatre and Film Studies, Foreign Languages

  • April 25, 2011: Thanks for purchase (library suggestion box)

    I would like to thank you for purchasing Beverly Hills Cop, DVD 3597. It is one of Eddie Murphy's funniest movies.

    Thank you for letting us know that you are pleased with one of our recent DVD purchases. If you would like to make recommendations for other DVDs to be added to our collection, feel free to get back in touch.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • April 27, 2011: Double sided printing (library suggestion box)

    Please consider making double sided printing the default on some  >printers. Or, at least make it an accessible option.

    Thank you so much for your suggestion.  We are currently working on making some changes to printing options here in Newman.  We welcome your thoughts and will put this on our radar to look into for future printing needs.

    Director of Assessment

  • April 27, 2011: Smoking by building issues (library suggestion box)

    Please increase the smoking distance from the building. A group of people keep smoking right outside the door, and I can smell it.

    The Library will post signage, and look into other possible measures to increase awareness regarding Virginia Tech's no smoking within 25' of a public entrance policy.

    Dennis Herron
    Facility Manager
    University Libraries

  • May 6, 2011: Slow wireless (library suggestion box)

    1. The Internet in the Library (wireless) is unusable during the day. It causes every student hours of wasted study time waiting for the Internet to work.  This has been a problem for years and still hasn't been addressed.

    2. The Internet is very slow here (ie, the Library) It is hard to connect to wireless and websites freeze up very often. Something should be done to fix this.

    3. Internet connection is absolutely terrible. What is the point of coming to the Library to get work done if I can't do anything because of poor Internet connections?

    4. Internet access has been atrocious the last 3 years I have been on campus. Please up the router band width.

    5. On the third floor, the corner near pillars, the signal strength of wireless is really weak.  If there are too many people in the corner or it's just an off day someone might only be able to get one bar of strength.  Not a big deal all the time just when there are a lot of people in the same corner and with finals coming up i like studying in this corner but if i can't get REASONABLE internet access i won't be able too.

    Thank you all for your insightful comments about the Internet access in the Library. I am happy to report that on May 12, the campus Network Infrastructure  & Services unit will start to install the new Unified Communications System in the Library. This will entail replacing all of the existing hard wiring in the Library, as well as the installation of a new wireless network. Hopefully, this will address all of the problems you are currently experiencing.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va Tech Libraries

  • May 6, 2011: Searching library resources (library suggestion box)

    Get a better search engine.

    Thank you for your suggestion. It just so happens that the Library is about to release a new search engine, called Summon on May 23. It is a very powerful searching tool that allows you to search across  most of our databases, online books and article collections, and Addison holdings, all from one search box.  It also has a wide array of parameters that can be set on the fly to adjust your result sets. I hope you will be pleased with our new search engine.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va Tech Libraries

  • May 9, 2011: Longer hours during exams (online comment box)

    An hour ago I went to the library to study for the two final exams I have tomorrow. The library is one of the few places on campus that I study well in. I can usually find a quiet space to spread out my books and computer to get work done. I was really surprised and irritated when I was kicked out of the library at 10:00pm in the middle of exam week. I had to pick up my books in the dark and leave with still hours of studying to do. I had thought the library was open for extended hours during exams and these hours should be in place during the entire exam period. There were many students still in the library during this time and I am sure many would have stayed had hours been extended. I am suggesting that on night like these (even though it is a Friday) where students have exams the next day that the library be open a little later than 10:00pm.

    Thank you so much for your comment to the library on our hours of operation.  While this is a larger discussion that must be discussed among multiple departments, we appreciate your feedback.  Please continue to provide comments so that we may provide our patrons with the best service possible.

    Charla Lancaster
    Director of Assessment & Access Services

  • May 9, 2011: Donation for RR collection (online comment box)

    i have a postcard of the williamson r.r.y.m.c.a dated 1912  that i can email to you if you are interested in adding it to your collection of the columbus and norfolk r.r. 

    Thank you for your very kind and generous offer. If you are talking about sending us a scan of the postcard, rather than donating the actual postcard, I will have to respectfully decline the offer. If you are interested in having the postcard preserved for all time and accessible to all interested parties, I would be glad to send you a Deed of Gift form so that we might complete the transaction. If this is not what you have in mind, I certainly understand completely and, again, simply, thank you for the offer.

    Marc Brodsky
    Public Services and Reference Archivist Special Collections

  • May 10, 2011: Free coffee appreciation (library suggestion and online comment boxes)

    1.  free coffee makes me want to study!!  :)THANK YOU!!

    2. The free coffee during exams is so great. I want to thank whoever thought of the idea and sponsored it. It is helping me get through these late nights!  Thank you VT

    3. Thank you very much for the Greenberry's coffee during exam week. It was great to have during a study break.

    Hi there,
    You are most welcome.  We're happy that the extra caffeine is helping with your exam prep.   Good luck on your finals.

    Jennifer Nardine
    Instruction and Outreach Librarian

  • May 11, 2011: Water fountains (library suggestion box)

    Get better water fountains.

    The water fountains are the responsibility of the VT Facilities Department.  Libraries will forward this concern to them, and request better water fountains.

    Dennis Herron
    Facility Manager, University Libraries

  • May 11, 2011: Better seats (library suggestion box)

    Get more comfortable seats.

    Libraries is planning to renovate multiple areas in Newman Library, which will include more comfortable seating, and more seating in general.

    Dennis Herron
    Facilities Manager, University Libraries

  • May 11, 2011: Reshelving (library suggestion box)

    Please re shelve the books faster.

    Please know we are doing our best to shelve as fast as possible.  This time of year is extremely difficult to keep up with the end-of-year influx of materials.  We typically have a 3 day turn-around time for shelving materials which accommodates the multiple units that handle the materials.

    Thank you for your input and patience as we work to shelve the returns.

    Charla Lancaster
    Director of Assessment & Access Services

  • May 13, 2011: Rude treament (online comment box)

    A little surprised at how rudely I was treated at the library helpdesk. I have been at Tech VT for 4 years and when I had some questions about my online library account the person made it seem like I was lying/or that I was wrong until I showed him the monitor and logged into my account. Next time please try to understand the student concerns before getting agitated, if you are frustrated about something do not try to take it out on the students. Also if you are going to man the front desk please try to be more cordial. Thank you.

    We appreciate your concern and apologize for such a negative experience.  We will reinforce with our staff the positive attitudes and behaviors needed when working a public services position. Thank you for your feedback and your patronage to the Newman Library.

    Charla Lancaster
    Director of Assessment and Library Access Services

  • May 17, 2011: Exam coffee appreciation (online comment box)

    Thank you very much for the Greenberry's coffee during exam week. It was great to have during a study break.

    We're very happy to hear that the coffee service during exams is useful and fun for you.  Thanks for taking the time to let us know, so we can continue to provide such services.

    Jennifer Nardine
    Instruction and Outreach Librarian

  • May 18, 2011: LPs (library suggestion box)

    Stock LP's in the Library, by the turntable.

    I am sorry, but we moved our LPs to Storage years ago because they took up too much room in the Circulation area, and were not requested very often. If you want to use a specific LP in our collection you will need to search for it in Addison, and request that it be brought in from Storage. It will take 2 or 3 days to have it brought back to the main Library. You can pick it up at the Circulation desk on the second floor, and also check out earphones if you wish to listen to it in the Library.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va Tech Libraries

  • May 19, 2011: Book suggestion (online comment box)

    It would help me, and I'm sure many others, greatly if you were to acquire the book "Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty" by Banerjee and Duflo.

    The book surveys the authors's attempts to combat poverty using randomized trials, an approach being imitated by many leading development economists. The approach is not only somewhat novel for economics but it is also proving much more effective than older approaches.

    To keep our economics majors, political science majors, and general student (and professorial) body up to date on what is being done to combat poverty, I think we should acquire this book!

    I'll forward your request to the Poli Sci librarian, but book purchase requests should be made on our Suggest a Book form where you can also choose to have the book held for you after it has arrived.

    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries


    This title was already in the ordering pipeline, on the strength of a recent review in The Economist.

    I've asked for the processing to be accelerated (hopefully beating the end-of-fiscal-year order freeze), the book held for you at the Newman Library circulation desk, and an email sent you when it is ready to pick up.

    Bruce Pencek
    College Librarian for Social Sciences

  • May 20, 2011: Series suggestion (library suggestion box)

    Please get seasons 3, 4, and 5 of Friday Night Lights.

    Absolutely, thank you for the suggestion.

    Paul Metz
    Director of Special Projects

  • May 31, 2011: Purchase recommendation (library suggestion box)

    Please buy "Cloverfield" 2008.

    Thank you for your suggestion, we will buy it right away.

    Paul Metz 
    Assistant to the Dean for Special Projects

  • June 1, 2011: Noisy food (library suggestion box)

    Please don't allow potato chips in the Library.

    I am sorry if you have been disturbed by someone eating potato chips in the Library. If you were on one of our quiet floors, 3rd or 5th, you could ask the person to eat more quietly, or move to another study area where no one is eating. Other than that there is not much we can do. We do not ban eating or drinking in the Library, especially now that we have the cafe on the 1st floor.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • June 2, 2011: Summon subject options (online comment box)

    Social science and education are not options in the subject terms section of a summon search. Does this mean these types of journals are not available in this search?

    Options in the subject terms facet are populated based on subjects and descriptors connected to your search results. You'll also see these listed in order of frequency, so depending on your search, both "social science" and "education" may appear further down in the list--use the More options link to see additional choices.

    For instance, I do a search on "information literacy" and see education, literacy, learning, studies,  students, and children & learning in the top set of subject terms. Clicking More options shows many, many more.

    Many, many journals are indexed in Summon from all academic disciplines, plus books, dissertations, multimedia and much more.

    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

  • June 13, 2011: Posting library hours (online comment box)

    I have trouble finding the library's hours.  It would be extremely helpful to have the hours posted around the building. Hours posted on the outside of the building would be even more helpful.

    Good Morning!
    This is an excellent suggestion and we have been looking into a solution for this issue.  It takes special permission for us to place signage outside of the building, but it is something we want to do!  Placing signs with building hours inside the building is also an excellent step to get the information out to our patrons. 

    Thank you so much for your feedback.
    Charla Lancaster
    Director of Assessment and Library Access Services

  • June 15, 2011: Annoying noises (library suggestion box)

    The Intercom makes weird noises, which can be annoying when sitting near one. Can it be fixed.

    I am sorry that you are being inconvenienced by noises when you study, but there is no intercom system in the Library. You will have to be more specific about where you were sitting, and where the noises were coming from.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • June 18, 2011: Recycling container locations (online comment box)

    Would it be possible to place more recycling bins for paper around the library? I have noticed a couple around the building, but they seem to be few and far between. I hate having to throw out papers just because I can't find the proper recycling receptacle.

    We have some standard locations for paper recycling bins, plus added ones at points of need.

    On floors 2-5, bins are located near the main elevators and on the opposite side of the building near the unisex restroom.

    Bins are also located at each service desk, by each photocopier, in the Study Cafe, by the microform printers, outside the grad study room, and near the 2nd and 4th floor exits.

    If you have suggestions for additional locations, please let me know.

    Robert Sebek
    Library recycling coordinator

  • July 1, 2011: Movie suggestions (library suggestion box)

    Please buy these movies on DVD.
    Way of the gun
    The Jerk
    Nightmare on Elm Street

    We will buy The Jerk, but the other two movies are more appropriate for, and may be found at the local public library. Thank you for your suggestions.

    Jennifer Nardine, Instruction and Outreach Librarian
    Paul Metz, Assistant to the Dean for Special Projects

  • July 2, 2011: Secure connection pop up for my library record (online comment box)

    When I go to log in at:  I get the irritating box question do I want a secure connection.  I don't care, but I get tired of having to click YES or NO each time I go to a new page.  How do I get away from the https: pages so I don't waste so much time??  Thx

    Connecting to My Library Record requires a secure connections (https)--there is no other method. Once you have logged in, all future searches and record pages should be served the same way. There should be no switching back to the unsecured method until you log out. If you are seeing repeated warnings, I think that's an issue with your browser. Perhaps a security setting is configured too high?

    What browser and version are you using? I can test and see if I can figure out what's going on.
    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

  • July 6, 2011: Repository for data (online comment box)

    I would like to setup a repository to publish data sets while allowing people to cite them using a DOI. Do you have any idea where I could get help with that? Thanks.

    DLA [Digital Library & Archives] would gladly host your data.We are in the process of establishing a formal university repository using the DSpace software, which can manage various file formats. We will be using the Handle System to establish and maintain unique and persistent URLs (rather than DOIs).

    DLA is working hard to have a sample repository by mid-August but we hope to have something for the library to preview before then.

    Gail McMillan
    Director, Digital Library and Archives

  • July 7, 2011: Lack of stepstools in stacks (online comment box)

    I would love to see more step-stools in the stacks to reach books on the top shelves.  I often have to wander around in order to successfully find a stool when I need one.  Today I had to steal a chair from a desk -- which was not a particularly safe choice, but the only one available since there were no stools anywhere reasonable close to where I was searching.

    Thank you so much for your comment.  If you could provide us the area in which you were searching, we will be happy to distribute some stools in that general call number range.  We are concerned about your safety and want to encourage you to seek assistance when the proper tools are not at your disposal to retrieve an item.  As you have noted, a chair is not a safe choice and we do not wish to endanger you or any of our patrons.

    Charla Lancaster
    Director of Assessment and Library Access Services

  • July 14, 2011: Missing tapestry (library suggestion box)

    There is a plaque on the wall to the right of the Greenberry's coffee bar, near the stairwell on the first floor, that states a Flemish tapestry that was donated to the Library should be hanging there. Where is it, and why is it not hanging where it should be?

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The tapestry was taken down during the recent renovation of the Special Collections area, and stored in Special Collections for safe keeping. We will attempt to have it re hung  next to the plaque as soon as possible.

    Buddy Litchfield
    VA Tech Libraries

  • July 14, 2011: Cafe summer hours too short (library suggestion box)

    Make the Cafe stay open longer. 3 pm is when I need my coffee, smoothy, and frozen yogurt.

    Thank you for your patronage of the cafe on the first floor of the Library. We are sorry that the shortened summer hours have inconvenienced you. The Cafe will be going back to it's longer regular hours when school starts again in August.

    Buddy Litchfield
    VA Tech Libraries

  • July 25, 2011: 5th floor computer issues (library suggestion box)

    I wanted to bring to your notice that public PC 502 is not working. More specifically I should say the Internet is not working on that workstation.

    Thank you for bringing this problem to our attention. I have reported the problem to our Systems group, and they state that it is a network problem. They will report it to CNS for resolution.

    Buddy Litchfield
    VA Tech Libraries

  • July 26, 2011: Renewal question (online comment box)

    I thought I have 7 (seven) renewals. Yet my latest renewal request after 4 was rejected. What is wrong?

    Good Morning!

    We have recently changed the number of renewals and the length of those renewals.  We attempted to send an email out an individual email to any faculty, staff, and graduate student who currently had items checked out as well as made a general announcement in VTNEWS about the change.  I do apologize that we did not get this information to you.

    The following announcement was made:

    Extension of loan periods for library books

    On July 1st, University Libraries will be extending the loan periods of books for faculty, staff, and graduate students.  Faculty and staff will now be able checked out books for one year with up to three renewals.  Graduate students will now have a six month loan term on books with up to three renewals.  Faculty, staff, and graduate student can check out up to 150 items.  

    Unfortunately the new loan rules are not automatically applied to your existing check outs.  We have worked hard to come up with a solution that will assist everyone with this transition.

    What you need to do:

    If you are affected by these new rules you will receive an email notification of the items you currently have checked out.  If you wish to renew the materials under the new loan rules, you must:

    1. Send an email message to
    2. Verify your holdings in the email
    3. Ask for the materials to be switched to the new loan period

    If you do not wish to switch your materials to the new loan rules, your items will be due as listed on your “My Library” account at

    If you are a faculty member and currently holding 10 or more items and do not wish to verify your holdings via email, please call the library circulation desk at 231-6340.   We can schedule an appointment to come to your office and inventory your items to be placed under the new loan rule.


    Please know that if an item has been recalled or placed on hold for another patron, transfers to the new loan rule cannot occur.  This change in policy is for books only.

    Let me know if there is anything further I can do for you and I hope this clarifies the renewal problem.  We'll be happy to help solve the renewal issue, so just speak with the circulation staff to switch over to the new loan rules and further extend your borrowing privileges.

    Charla Lancaster
    Director of Assessment and Library Access Services

  • August 2, 2011: Searching for books (online comment box)

    When searching for books it might be a good idea to give the user the choice to
    (a) search everything (default)
    (b) search e-books only
    (c) search (printed) books only

    You didn't indicate if this refers to searching Addison or Summon (and you didn't leave your email address so we could follow up).

    When searching Addison by keyword, title, author, etc., the search defaults to all material types: books and ebooks, and also journals, videos, microforms, etc. If you use the Advanced Search screen, you can choose to limit to one or more material types. There's 22 materials types to choose from.

    The Summon search box on the library's home page offers three limiting options: search everything, search only books, and search only articles. We chose these three options to fit the limited space in the Summon tab and to minimize confusion for our users. The books option includes printed books, ebooks, and a web resources type that some government documents are categorized as. Once the search results display, you can easily turn off one or more of these Content Type facets to eliminate print or online books. You can also choose to include additional Content Types beyond the simple choices presented on the library's home page.

    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

  • August 3, 2011: Movie suggestions (library suggestion box)

    The following movies/TV series were requested through the library suggestion box, followed by the decision made by our film bibliographer (Jennifer Nardine):  

    Dead Man  --- Yes
    Casino ---   We already have
    Curb your Enthusiasm, Seasons 1-6
     --- No 
    Big Trouble in Little China
     ---  No 
    Breaking Bad, seasons 1, 2, and 3  --- No 
    Starship Troopers
      ---  No
    --- could not find, so No

    Thank you for your suggestions. Sorry we are not able to accommodate many of them at this time.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va Tech Libraries

  • August 11, 2011: Microform reader (library suggestion box)

    Discard (Microform) machine 1.

    Thank you for your suggestion. We are always interested in hearing from our patrons. I do have some questions for you, though. Were you trying to use machine 1, and had difficulty with it's operation? Did you seek help from one of our microform staff members? It is one of our oldest machines in the in the microforms area, but it still seems to function OK. Please get back to us and let us know why you think it should be discarded.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • August 24, 2011: Addison search issue (online comment box)

    The option to select between Keyword/Title/Author etc. is not available if nothing is found in the first attempt. 
    Here is what happens:

    (1) From the main library webpage:
    (2) I select Addison --> Keyword
    (3) I type the keywords
    (4) If nothing is found then the resulting page by default has "Keyword" selected and at this page if I want to switch to Title/Author etc. then that is not possible.

    This option should be available as it makes it lot easier to run the search again, instead of first going back 2 pages to select another criteria.

    You didn't supply your email address, so I could not respond to you directly.

    If you start with a keyword search and get no results, the system put you on which it calls the Keyword Search Help page, which basically just offers another keyword search. (Along with other help options).

    If you do one of the index searches (author, title, subject, call number, standard number) that gives no results, you'll see both the surrounding index terms listed (you end up alphabetically in the list based on what you entered) and the "search widget" box that offers the popup to change the search type.

    Because we use a proprietary third-party system for the library catalog, I'm not sure that behavior can be changed. The search type is hard-coded on the Search Help pages and keyword searches are treated so differently from the other search types that it could not be modified to offer a search type popup menu.

    However, in the five different browsers I tested, after performing a keyword search that gave no results, I could back up one page (back to the library's home page) and switch to the Addison tab, my search terms were still there, so I could easily change the search type and search again without additional typing.

    If you want to perform a different search from the No Results page, click the "Addison, the library catalog" header to go directly to the main search page that offers all the different search types.

    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

  • August 26, 2011: Slow Internet (library suggestion box)

    Fix the slow Internet.

    Sorry for your inconvenience. The Library is currently undergoing a complete overhaul of all of our land lines and wireless communication capabilities. The telecommunication group doing the work hopes to be done by the end of September.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • August 26, 2011: More comfortable workspaces (library suggestion box)

    Please provide more ergonomic workspaces. Long hours of Library research take their toll.

    An excellent suggestion!  Dean Walters is committed to the same idea of creating more ergonomic workspaces, and we are meeting next week with a vendor to help us with the design and furnishing of new spaces in the library.

    Dennis D Herron
    Purchasing Facilities Manager
    University Libraries

  • September 5, 2011: Movie suggestions (library suggestion box)

    Please get Lucky Number Slevin and The Guard.

    Thank you for your movie suggestions. I plan to order both of these DVDs.

    Jennifer Nardine
    College Librarian for Foreign Languages, Music, Theatre and Cinema.

  • September 12, 2011: Art & Architecture library noise and use of space (online comment box)

    A lot of people use the Art and Architecture library as a meeting space to chat and do group projects. This makes the room get very loud and distracting. I think people forget that it is a library, and they just use it as a student center. In Newman, there are floors designated as quiet floors. Since the Art and Architecture library is just one floor, it is not possible to enforce the same rules, but there could be reminders to keep voices at a low level so that people who need to study and read can do so.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about the Art +Architecture Library. As you noted, the Library is frequently used for group work because of its large group seating area, and quite frequently some of the studio classes in Cowgill will come to the library for short periods of time as well. As a result, it can be quite full of discussion one minute and very quiet the next. We try to monitor the noise level as much as possible out of respect for other patrons (just as we have a fairly strict no cell-phone policy), as I certainly share your concern over the Library's conduciveness to all types of work. There are also several seating areas throughout the Library--in the rear corners and along the back wall--that afford quieter places for more individual study.

    Please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you have further questions or comments about the Art + Architecture Library.

    Best regards,
    Patrick Tomlin
    Head, Art + Architecture Library

  • September 20, 2011: DVD suggestion (library suggestion box)

    Please get some Pokemon DVDs.

    Thank you for your suggestion, but I am afraid we have to decline.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • September 26, 2011: Problems exporting bibliographic records (online comment box)

    I am trying to export material I saved in Summon out to EndNote. When I click on Export to Endnote, Firefox opens a new tab and then I get a message about Zotero. Why?

    Zotero likes to "eat" the RIS format used by EndNote. Basically, you'll want to use one or the other, but not both at the same time.

    You can change Zotero so it doesn't automatically grab RIS files through its preference menu (the gear menu). Uncheck "Use Zotero for downloaded Endnote files." Or you can uninstall Zotero from Firefox since you'll be using EndNote instead.
    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

  • October 3, 2011: ARTSTOR membership (online comment box)

    Are there any plans for the VT Libraries to become a registered institution with ARTSTOR? This is a fantastic resource for researchers in the visual arts and architecture. There are dozens of Virginia institutions that are already members -- it seems like Virginia Tech should be one of them.

    Thank you for letting us know about your interest in ARTstor. It is a resource that I have been following for some time as well. Because library resources are limited and the cost of our current electronic resources continues to inflate, each new acquisition must be carefully considered and weighed against a number of different factors. In this case, the site licensing for ARTstor--a pretty costly resource in any case--is based on institutional size, making it fairly prohibitive at our level, despite the fact that enrollment in our art, art history, and architecture programs ranges from small to medium-sized. I have been in periodic talks with ARTstor representatives, and trials of the database have been conducted in the past to measure possible use by faculty and students. Gauging potential investment in new resources with ongoing costs like ARTstor can often be difficult, so input such as yours is always welcome.

    Best regards,
    Patrick Tomlin
    Head, Art + Architecture Library

  • October 10, 2011: Thanks to library for help (library suggestion box)

    There was a girl that helped me out a lot late Sunday night, and I really appreciated it! Thanks Library staff.

    Thank you for your comment. It is always nice to hear praise for the work the Library staff does for our patrons.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • October 10, 2011: Movie suggestion (library suggestion box)

    Please order the movie: The Guard DVD (2011) when it becomes available.

    Thank you for your suggestion. I'll put it on the list. I will buy it when it becomes available.
    Jennifer Nardine,
    College Librarian for Liberal Arts & Human Sciences

  • October 19, 2011: DVD suggestions (library suggestion box)

    Please order these titles in DVD

    Akira -- Japanese animated film              
    This film has been ordered

    Traffic -- Soderberg drug film                  
    We have this film on DVD, but it is checked out and long over due. Will look into getting a replacement copy

    28 days later -- British apocalyptic film   
    This film has been ordered

    I am trying to break your heart --  film about Wilco (band)          
    This film has been ordered

    Thank you for your suggestions.
    Jennifer Nardine
    Instruction and Outreach Librarian
    Department Liaison: Music, Theater and Film, Foreign Languages

  • October 28, 2011: Bulletin board (library suggestion box)

    You need a public bulletin board in the Library.

    Thank you so much for the suggestion.  We are working out a plan for a message board for the library patrons.  We hope to have it up soon.  It will be located on the second floor in the corner between the drill field and alumni mall entrances.

    Charla Lancaster
    Director, Assessment and Access Services

  • October 31, 2011: LibraryThing add books option (online comment box)

    When I use the Add Books screen at LibraryThing, the VT library is not listed.  I asked about this a few years back and I thought it was in progress.  Is the VT library supposed to appear on that list?

    LibraryThing has indicated that they have fixed our configuration so that our books should now be selectable. Can you confirm that?

    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

    Virginia Tech now shows up on the list.

    Thanks for looking into this.

  • October 31, 2011: DVD suggestions (library suggestion box)

    1. Get some Kevin Hart movies and comedy shows DVDs.
    Kevin Hart material and comedy shows in general are more appropriate for a public library collection than ours.  Given our reduced DVD budget, we will not be purchasing comedy shows or popular comedies without a specific reason that they will augment our collection.

    2. You need more African-American (black) character/director  movies
    We'd welcome specific suggestions for high quality current and/or African-American actor/director films.

    3. More up to date movies
    Given our limited DVD budget, we do not purchase the majority of current films which are available via RedBox, Netflix and the public library.

    Jennifer Nardine
    Department Liaison: Music, Theater and Film, Foreign Languages

  • November 3, 2011: Movie suggestions (library suggestion box)

    1. Please buy some Bollywood movies
    2. Buy more Comedy movies

    Good day, and thank you for your suggestions.  We would be happy to consider any specific titles you are able to recommend.

    Please bear in mind that, as an academic library that has recently had a reduction in funds for popular films, our focus is on high quality cinema.

    Thank you, and again, please feel free to submit specific suggestions.

    Jennife Nardine,
    Department Liaison: Music, Theater and Film, Foreign Languages

  • October 14, 2011: Printing suggestion (library comment box)

    Wireless printing, please.

    Thank you so much for your inquiry.  Please know that wireless printing is indeed on its way.  The Newman Library just got upgraded with wiring and 'wireless' technology this past summer.  Our Photocopy unit has just ordered machines that are compatible with this new technology.  We are literally waiting on the machines to get here to begin testing.  We are hopeful to have this option available this coming spring.  We will decentralize the Photocopy machines so that there is printing availability on both 2nd and 4th floors for our users convenience.  We appreciate your request and hope this action satisfies your needs.

    Charla Lancaster
    Director of Assessment and Library Access Services

  • December 11, 2011: Exam coffee and grilled cheese comments

    Thank you all so much for the free caffeinated beverages during final exams! I was so excited when I discovered that your newest addition of service includes free grilled cheese sandwiches, which are amazing for those of us who don't take the time to go get food while preparing for finals. We are truly blessed to have a such a kind staff who genuinely cares for the success and well-being of students. THANK YOU!!!!

    P.S. I'm excited for next semester's new hours as part of 24/5.


    I love the food and drinks provided for exam studying!! It's so thoughtful and considerate during a time when food comes last on the priority list. Thank you, library staff!!!


    LOVE the grilled cheese/coffee station at night during finals. Seriously made my studying about a thousand times better. Definitely a great idea! Thank you!!


    I really enjoyed the after hour grilled cheese sandwiches! Hopefully I will be able to see more of them



    Also, the people that you had working the tables are amazing wonderful and fantastic! I wish it was finals week every week.... wait.... i take that back. But the grilled cheese and hot cocoa can stay! :D   Thanks again!

    Thanks so much for your feedback. Good luck on exams!

    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

  • December 12, 2011: More Exam coffee and grilled cheese comments

    I really appreciated the grilled cheese sandwiches, coffee, tea and hot chocolate that was provided in the library while i was studying for my final exam.  It was a really nice study break and I did not have to go far to get food or a drink.  I think it was a very thoughtful idea and hope it will continue.

    LOVE THE FREE COFFEE AND GRILLED CHEESE! Best idea ever. During finals, we all obviously are going to drink A LOT of coffee and we sometimes forget to eat due to studying. Great idea and please please please do it again! Makes me choose to study at Newman rather than going to the empo or somewhere else.


    You all are doing a great job making students comfortable during finals week. I really appreciate the grilled cheese and hot chocolate/tea/coffee. The grilled cheese makes an especially nice addition! Keep it up!

    Thanks for the free grilled cheese sandwiches.


    Thank you so much for your enthusiastic response to our expanded beverage and sandwich service during exams, I thought it would be a good idea to offer grilled cheese sandwiches to students during exams because many of you study so hard that you forget to eat!!!  I am so pleased by the appreciation shown by the students, and that I want you to know that we  plan to continue the service through the rest of this exam period.

    Therese Walters
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • December 13, 2011: Extended hours and power outlets (library suggestion box)

    Thank you for extending the Library hours next semester!! 24/5 will be great. More power outlets are needed, too.

    Thank you for your comment and your suggestion. We hope that our keeping the Library open 24/5 from Sunday to Thursday will be a benefit for all of our students. Regarding your suggestion for more power outlets, you will be glad to know that the Library has plans for several renovations in the building during 2012, that will include making more outlets available for student use.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • December 13, 2011: Larger monitors (library suggestion box)

    Please put larger monitors on all of the pubic workstations. It would help to increase productivity by allowing us to have more windows open.

    We have 2 size monitors on public access workstations in the library. There are 19inch and 22inch monitors. The 22inch monitors are all in ones. There are library group study rooms that contain 40-46inch monitors on the wall that can be used to connect your  laptop or other device for needs of larger displays. The library cycle for new machines have just passed, however we are considering adding a few larger size monitors on workstations throughout the library. These upgrades will probably take place spring semester.

    Have a nice day!
    Curtis D. Carr
    Director Library Systems

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