September 2006 Archives

Branches of IADS: The Mathematics Library

The Math Library, located in the middle of the third and fourth floors of Vincent Hall, houses over 44,000 periodical volumes and monographs. It supports research and curriculum of the school of Mathematics, Statistics and the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications, with nearly 400 current journal subscriptions.

Although the Mathematics Library is part of the Academic Programs, 90% of the work is IADS related, including circulation service, stacks maintenance, course reserves, billing and fines and binding. The unit provides full reference service and processes journals, and some gift books, for Technical Services. Also, library staff work collaboratively with the academic departments to save money when building the Reserves Collection by obtaining free text books. The library is managed by a Librarian, Kris Fowler, a Library Assistant 3, Lynn Tran, and 6 FTE staff. Residing in the middle of the third and fourth floors of Vincent Hall, the Mathematics Library was not well known to the majority of students before 1999. As Walter Library and the Architecture Library prepared to move their collections for remodeling, the Math Library was the only library left on the Mall and was asked to provide paging and circulation services to the Institute of Technology faculty, staff and students. This event provided an opportunity to become more well known in the University community.

In the summer of 2005 The Circulation Desk and office areas underwent a facelift with the installation of a new circulation counter and new office furniture. The makeover gives the Library a new look and enhances services.

The Mathematics Library completes an incredible amount of activities for its size, coming in third in the number of circulation transactions and the total number of visitors in the seven branch libraries.

One of the greatest benefits of working in a departmental library is a "front-row seat" for helping the same individual use MNCAT, find the book and check it out. Another great benefit is the great working relationships the staff has formed with one another.

Mathematics Library staff know the Faculty, Staff and students very well, often chatting and joking about kids, family, work and life.

~ Submitted by: Lynn Tran, Library Assistant 3, Mathematics Library

Aleph Booking May be the Ticket

Library staff are currently busy testing Booking features in Aleph. Booking allows for materials to be reserved in advance for future use. For high use items like Reserve readings, rooms, and equipment, Aleph Booking can be an ideal way to ensure that these items are available for use when our patrons need to use them. While not yet available to our users in production, plans are underway to enable booking for our users in the very near future.

How does Booking work? For an example, say a faculty member wants to Reserve a video for class use during the 6th week of the semester. Library staff can book the request for the faculty member, but it is also possible for the faculty member to make the booking request directly within MNCAT. When booking an item, Aleph provides a schedule that allows users to view time slots that are already booked as well as ones that are still available. The booking can be for the full length of the normal loan period, but can be shortened as well. Once a booking request is in place, the video can continue to be loaned to other users, but as the 6th week approaches, any loan that would overlap with the booking period is automatically shortened by Aleph so that the faculty member will be able to have the video to show in class. As the date of the request approaches, staff at the owning library receive a report of the upcoming request from Aleph so that it can be delivered to the faculty member in time for the classroom showing. Reminders can even be sent to patrons letting them know that their requested date is approaching.

While our staff are testing Aleph Booking, the Duluth campus has been using Aleph Booking in production for the past six months. Their assistance and advice has been invaluable during our testing.

If you have items and/or equipment in your collection that you believe could benefit by being available for booking, please contact Chris Rose.

~Submitted by Chris Rose, IADS Aleph Coordinator

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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