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September 2011

  • 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 7, 2011: Computer signups (library suggestion box)

    Please institute some type of computer sign up sheet or waiting list, when all of the public workstations are busy.

    Thank you for your suggestion. I apologize for the frustration you are experiencing when trying to find an open computer in the Library.  We have 59 public computers available in the Library scattered between the 2nd and 5th floors. If you go to one of our 5 help desks in the Library and ask for assistance in finding a computer that is not is use, a person there can pull up a webpage that will show you all 59 computers, and indicate which ones are not in use. I hope this helps.

    Buddy Litchfield,
    VA Tech librarian

  • September 9, 2011: Internet access problems (library suggestion box)

    Why don't the PCs on the 5th floor work? There is no Internet connection, or it is slower than dial-up. Why?

    I am so sorry for the inconvenience, but we are in the process of rewiring all of the public workstations in the Library. As they switch over the connections on each floor there will be temporary outages and slowdowns, that can not be helped. If you can, you should go to another floor in the Library, as the temporary outages and slowdowns should only occur on one floor at a time. We hope to have all of the rewiring finished by the end of the month.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • 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 13, 2011: Internet access issues (library suggestion box)

    Am I not paying my fees or something, that I am getting NO Internet service in the Library.

    I am very sorry for your inconvenience, but we are in the middle of installing new wiring and wireless connections throughout the Library. We had a failure in one part of the new system that knocked out Internet service in that area temporarily. Again I apologize for the disruption in Internet service in the Library.

    Buddy Litchfield
    Va. Tech Libraries

  • 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 21, 2011: Greenberry's flex accounts (library suggestion box)

    1. Green Berrys should use Flex dollars. Why would I spend real money when I am forced to have a meal plan anyway?

    2. Have Green Berrys take Hokie passports!!! Flex Dollars!!!

    Thank you for your suggestions. Greenberry's tried to get on the meal plan, but Dining Services said "No".  Students can use their Hokie Passports, but Virginia Tech's Dining Services will not allow Greenberry's to accept Flex dollars, or other meal plans. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Dennis Herron
    Purchasing Facilities Manager
    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

  • September 28, 2011: GetVText difficulties (online comment box)

    The get VText thing is really hard to use. Actually, it is so hard to use that couple of times I just found a way to get the article in a different way. The links at webpage lead me to the website of a paper, so I need to search again (why?); the "full text online" button leads me to useless resources. I just need a PDF with an article, that's all I am searching for! I am pretty disappointed with new searching engine. These useless steps now take even more time. In many places there are way too many buttons (I always click the wrong one).

    It sounds like you are using a combination of the new Summon search engine and its links to full text articles via Get VText. Get VText is our method of connecting article citations from databases that do not provide full text (Summon is one example) to our local provider of full text. We have a page that describes how it works (, but basically you are looking for a link labeled "Article" under Step 1. Such a link indicates direct online access to the article in question. When you use the "Full text online" facet in Summon, it uses the same back-end that Get VText uses to determine what's available in full text through our many subscriptions. It should be about 99% accurate. For whatever reason, many people don't use that Article link, as prominent as it is,, which will result in more work to locate the article. The Journal link will present you with the home page of the journal in which you article appears, which will then require you to navigate to the volume/issue/page number of your article manually.

    If what you are trying to find is not a journal article (a book or book chapter, conference proceeding, or dissertation--all of which can be found in Summon), then it's less likely you'll get a direct link under Step 1 of the Get VText window. In those cases, you'll need to make use of the links under Step 2 (which will always include a link to manually search Addison, the library catalog, along with other links specific to the format of item you are trying to find). If both steps 1 and 2 strike out, then Step 3 will allow you to quickly request a copy of the item via Interlibrary Loan.

    If you have specific examples of searches/results that did not work for you, we can give more precise instructions on improving the search process.
    Robert Sebek
    Webmaster, Virginia Tech Libraries

  • September 29, 2011: Privacy concerns at scanning stations (online comment box)

    The scanning station on the 4th floor is unacceptable. There is no reasonable measure of security for a user's documents. I have asked twice when different people were working what measures are taken to ensure no one else can view documents I have scanned. No one was able to give a clear answer. I was told the computer resets to a default image when it was rebooted, however this is not done between each person's use of the station, so it is an ineffective measure. I asked if there was a way to securely delete my documents from the computer. I was told no, and to delete the files normally because there was no Recycle Bin on the computer. This is false. There is a Recycle Bin and when I looked in it to delete what I had scanned, many other user's documents were there. Even after deleting these a simple, free, and portable file recovery program such as Recuva ( which does not require admin privileges to run could be used to recover documents deleted from the Recycle Bin. There is also no authentication required to access the scanning station and the library is open to the general public. This means anyone who walks into the library can go to this station, access this computer, and access any documents left on the machine.

    This station is lacking in any means of security. I have two suggestions to remedy this.
    -Require user authentication to access the scanning machine. This will force a user's documents to be placed in a unique user profile only accessible to them
    -Provide software which can securely delete files. Two free programs more than capable are SDelete
    ( and Eraser (

    I am genuinely disappointed such a well known university has such slack security. I hope this is taken seriously, and these concerns over user privacy are not overlooked.

    Please know the Library always works hard to protect patron's privacy.  Unfortunately, by using a public machine we do not have as many options.  We cannot use user authentication because this would decrease services to our patrons that are not affiliated with Virginia Tech.  The spring semester will be bringing some changes with our current system as we are planning on decentralizing our photocopy area and allowing patrons access to the machines and their materials via either a hokie passport or a purchased card (and therefore effectively eliminating this problem).  Specific details
    will be forthcoming to users closer to implementation.  In the meantime, we will post some notices by the machines explaining to patrons that in order to secure their privacy, the must empty the recycle bin once they have deleted their materials from the machine.

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

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