Friday afternoons are very festive in the library this semester. I don't seem to remember that they were always this way. The library is filled with students working in big groups, studying by themselves, writing papers on the computers, scrawling formulas on the white boards, etc. The place just buzzes with good energy. I have always had a theory that the circulation desk sets the tone for the entire library. This is a picture of two of our circ students happily cutting snow flakes together. Case closed.
The new Gleason Library is a huge success. Students love it. Though because there are no books and no desk, how to insert "library" into the space is an interesting challenge. Judi and the other reference librarians have made a point of meeting with students in the space. So every time they have an appointment, they go to Gleason Library. I think it's a great idea and a way to insert librarians into the space every day.
We're big on the little things in the Science Libraries. One of Pat's ideas that has been a resounding success,was to put out bottles of hand sanitizer. Frankly I thought it was kind of nutty, but I learned a long time ago that I'm not very good at predicting what will and won't work. Students love it. Pat even had a faculty member thank her for it last week. Who knew?
I was talking to some of our circ students last night who were RAVING about the new Gleason Library. The space is pretty much one big open room with floor to ceiling windows at one end. One of the reasons they like it so much (this is after less than one week of use!...) is that "people can see you" and "you can see your friends".
I had never thought of that as an important consideration.
They then proceeded to tell that of course, that was part of the reason that people liked to study at Carlson library -- you can see your friends thought the glass windows as they come up and down the glass staircase. I knew the windows gave the library an open, airy feel. I had never considered that the reason it appealed to students was that they could see their friends through the windows.
I forwarded this very funny blog post entitled "amazing things found in the stacks" to my staff. And much to my amazement, it turns out that we too have found some pretty amazing things in OUR stacks over the years.
This is the sink in the women's bathroom of the new Gleason Library. At first I thought "yeah". The gunky pink soap will go directly into the sink rather than on the counter like it does in all the other bathrooms. Then I thought, "wait a minute". Where am I going to put my purse when I'm washing my hands? Or my toothbrush? Or my book (this is a library after all). Hmmmm. No counter, only sink. I have a feeling that a man designed this sink.
I dressed up for Halloween as a piece of candy corn. It was handmade and dorky. Students laughed and gave me the thumbs up. One of my class of 2011 friends (I've never met her) saw me in the stacks and we had a little exchange on facebook about it. (How can you miss a woman in a bun dressed as a candy corn?...) The mail guy and the janitor were nearly speechless when they saw me at the reference desk. It was a huge success. I had fun. They had fun. I think we all need more fun.