Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Very Public Phone Interview

Where: main staircase in Rush Rhees Library with a constant stream of people going up and down the stairs

What: young woman on her cell phone clearly answering interview questions (job? graduate school?)


The point here is that I would never ever do this. I separate my work (interview) and personal (talking on a cell phone in a public space). Undergraduates don't, or don't to the same degree that I do.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Campus Tour

Just came back from a campus tour. The library was the only academic building we actually entered and the tour guide was pretty accurate.

  • The library is the "center of campus"
  • The library has "tons and tons of material"
  • She (the tour guide) loves studying in the periodical reading room, though it gets crowded. (Really? I wonder when that is?)
  • You can eat in the library.
  • She knew about the senior thesis exhibits in the Art and Music Library.
  • Multi media library is a "mini-blockbuster".
  • The pit is very popular in part because you can buy food there and take it to the library.
  • Not a single mention of reference, reserve, or even circulation.

Other miscellaneous statements:
  • The tunnels are "awesome". (Of course I beg to differ)
  • The buses are "really great". Really???
  • The University has pledged to buy only local food for the dining halls. (?!)
  • One of the mothers asked if the showers were open 24X7. ???!
  • Tour leader didn't have a clue as the significance of the dandelion .
  • She mispronounced Louvre, as in THE Louvre.....
  • We have a tanning salon on campus. Who knew?
  • Lots of questions from mothers about what hours the dining halls are open. What was that about?

Friday, April 11, 2008

The 2008 Student Employee of the Year

works at Carlson Library - Phuong (Lucy) Tran. We are sooooo proud! I don't think a student worker from the library has ever won this award. In fact we almost didn't submit the nomination we were so sure one of our students could never win. Here are few quotes from her nomination letter:

"She is a delight to work with and represents perfectly the highest standard of service we strive to provide in Carlson. "

"Lucy not only is an asset to large scale projects, she shines performing everyday tasks with a strong commitment to the library and a recognition that all of the small tasks are necessary for the library to succeed, allowing her to achieve a high level of excellence as a work study student. "

"Lucy approaches all tasks with enthusiasm and excellence. She puts herself into everything she does from the mundane to the complex. "

"Another student commented..., “who is that girl at the desk who always smiles and is so helpful to me?” Again it was Lucy."

We have very mixed emotions about Lucy graduating this May. Of course we're excited for her. She has worked hard and has been accepted into Pharmacy School for the fall. This summer she is taking a long deserved vacation home to Vietnam. But darn it - we're just going to miss her like crazy.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Library Myths

Blue moon? I feel that the misinformation about library services is running rampant this week.

1. You have to pay to get articles through InterLibrary Loan. Ouch!

2. You can't recall books. What?

3. And one patron didn't know how to find articles you "don't need to pay for". Turns out they were searching via the web (not Google) and didn’t know about our databases page.

Happily all were thrilled to find out that we do not charge for ILL, do subscribe to online journals and do allow books to be recalled. Maybe we shouldn't worry so much about getting the word out about the NEW services we offer, but go back and review the basics....

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Anyone Else Here Not Sure?

Acceptance letters were sent out last week. I love to read the facebook posts from incoming (potentially) students. My very unscientific observations:

1. Many are having a hard time deciding which school to attend. At least two high school seniors were accepted by 11 schools!!!

Got into 11, grararrrr
I’m really confused
I’m really undecided
It’s so overwhelming
Difficult decision time
I have no idea what I’m going to do
I’m VERY confused
It’s driving me nuts

2. Financial aid is a big factor in their decision.

“U of R has been my first choice but I really didn’t get enough financial aid”
“I guess we’ll see when my financial aid comes…”
“The decision pretty much comes down to financial”

But of course, you can never make a blanket statement about students – sometimes financial aid does not seem to be the deal breaker.

“XX offered me a really nice aid package, but I think I like UR more”

3. A few mentioned academic program, i.e. that UR has programs they want – premed, political science , Bio, BCS

4. Quite a number are concerned about the CITY of Rochester, especially those who currently live in a big city. They worry that “Rochester the city isn’t gonna do it for” them.

5. Who are the current UR students who respond to these posts? RA's maybe?

Friday, April 04, 2008

I Do Not Care Why

I do not care why.

When I look for the online version of Cell in our catalog (journal title), it's entry number 30.

Searching for Scientific American online by title -- number 76.

Philosophy (online) is entry number SIX HUNDRED AND FORTY ONE. (search by journal title)

I don't care about the cataloging rules. I don't care about the serials solutions load. I don't care. All I know is that people choose google and Amazon over the library catalog for good reason -- it's almost impossible to find things in our OPAC.

I gave a talk about how difficult it was to find PRINT serials in the OPAC at ALA in Miami in 1994 - almost fifteen years ago. I feel like I'm in clip from "Ground Hog Day".... The journals are online, but it's still just as hard to find them in the catalog.