Friday, February 20, 2009

The Greening of Lake Land (and the Library, Too!)

The efforts that have been under way since last year to move the College over to geothermal energy have garnered some more press. See the nice article from Construction Digest here.

And yes, this certainly does impact the Library. As I mentioned when talking about the weeding that we are doing, the LRC (the building that the Library resides in) has been moved up the list for renovation and conversion to the geothermal system. We first thought that we would be moving out of our present digs in December 2009, and we started making plans for that.

Well, I should know better - men plan, the gods laugh [administrators, too.] so I next heard that we might end up getting moved out in August instead, IF a bunch of possibilities lined up just right and the moon was in the 7th house (or something like that). 4 months before what we were planning for, but not terrible - we'd just have to move along on our plans a lot faster.

But wait, there's more...

This week, it was announced that there was a possibility that we could have to leave our home in MAY if things work out right, which we will know in the next month or so. OK, now we would be 7 months "early" - and from the looks of it, we would probably be out of the building for a full year. Well, who wants to live a dull life (or sleep, or stop thinking about how you're going to do this on time and get it right)? And most importantly, the end result of this is going to be something that is really very positive for the environment, the College, and the Library, too. We hope that, if all goes well and no one decides to get too excited with the redesign plans, that we may be able to offer some things that we haven't really been able to do before. I can't say more than that right now, because the plans are still not finalized. So this looks like it might be a definite plus for students, Library staff, and the College. So, stay tuned. I will provide more information as soon as I can.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

By the Numbers...

I just finished filling out a report that I have to submit every two years to the National Center for Education Statistics. It's chock full of numbers and other stuff that someone has decided are important to gather for libraries. And it is useful as a means of comparing ourselves to other libraries at schools our size. I thought I would pull out some numbers (as of June 30, 2008) to amaze/bore you:

* We have 8.5 FTE staff, including student and part-time workers (almost exactly the same as we had when I started here in 1991);
* We spent approximately $1.47 on electronic resources (read "databases) for every $1.00 that we spent on book, AV materials, and print periodicals combined (in 2004, that number was $1.13);
* we had 37,573 items (books and AV) in the collection (plus about 7,400 ebooks), 144 print periodicals, and access to over 21,000 full-text electronic periodicals through our database services;
*In an average week, there are almost 3,6oo visits to the LRC - it really isn't just 6 people 600 times each week...

OK, enough with the numbers. We also help a LOT of people, whether it is answering reference questions, directing traffic, answering questions from the public, helping fix minor computer problems, or just giving folks a place to come study a bit between classes. But that's why we're here. So don't be afraid to come ask questions - we're here to help.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Bare shelves - the real story

If you have been upstairs in the library lately, you probably will have noticed that the ranges on the very ends of the collection look a bit thin. You may even have noticed Tim and I pulling cart loads of books off the shelves.

To make a long story short, we're weeding the library collection. Or de-accessioning, if you like the snooty term.

No, we don't have crabgrass or foxtail or even dandilions up there. We do have a fair number of books that are out of date, haven't been used in years, and/or are no longer relevant to the clases that are taught here. We do minor weeding every year, but it has been over 20 years since the library collection has had a serious overhaul. So, it seemed like it was high time we did something about that - and now we are. But there's also another motive

As part of the effort convert buildings on campus over to geothermal energy, they are being closed for a period of time (like the Fieldhouse and VoTech were last summer). Well, the LRC building is on the list after NW, and it will be closed far longer than most of the others when the time comes - probably like 6-7 months. So we will have to find a temporary home on campus, and the fewer things we have to move, the better. We can't leave ANYTHING behind - so the more we weed now, the less has to be moved and/or stored, when it comes to that.

There WILL be a library during the renovations. We are trying to work out the many details, and I'll have more information for you when it's more solid.