Recently in Branches of IADS Category

Bio-Medical Library Remodels for the Future

The Bio-Medical Library has recently undergone many changes through remodeling and restructuring to better serve both the patrons and the staff who use the library. According to Steven Llewellyn, Head of Access Services at the Bio-Medical Library, the project began by shifting the entire print journal collection, which is over six miles worth of journals, and "by compacting the collection to decrease its footprint by 1,200 shelving sections in recognition of canceled titles, foreign language titles sent to MLAC storage, and the trend to e-resources."

Because of these shifting and compacting efforts, over two thousand square feet of floor space has been made into study space for patrons. In addition to these changes, the computer stations were remodeled with new furniture which allows for more work space and improved aesthetics.

The second floor of the Bio-Medical Library, which is the tunnel level connecting the library with Moos Tower and the surrounding area, has become the hub of the library with an integrated service desk featuring both circulation and reference services. Staff offices, including ILL staff, have been moved to put staff in closer proximity to patrons.

Construction Underway

With the new hub of the library on the second floor tunnel level, four thousand square feet have been opened up on the third floor for construction of office space for a new AHC interdisciplinary program, the Institute of Health Informatics. All these changes have put the Bio-Medical Library in a great position to meet the challenges of the future and the needs of the patrons.

These changes were brought about by trends seen over the last few years including reduced photocopier usage, declines in reference questions asked in person, and the declining use of print resources and the increasing use of electronic resources. These changes have fundamentally altered how the patrons view the library and the services it offers.

Old Rm. 270

New Rm. 270

Because of these trends a HSL Space Planning Team was created in 2007 to work on the goals of improving the computer areas, increasing study spaces, consolidating service points, providing more printing and copying options, moving staff closer to users, and to create space for the new AHC interdisciplinary program. Starting with the shifting of the journals in Fall of 2007 many people including student workers, HSL Tech Services staff, and HSL Access Services staff have worked hard to make this large project a reality.

With the loss of the third floor service desk, much work has been put into the integrated service point on the second floor tunnel level. Cross-training between Reference and Circulation Desk Services is underway to provide patrons the services they require more cohesively and efficiently.

Old Staff Area

New Staff Area

Additionally, work flow at the new service point will be monitored so that more targeted service can be provided when patrons need it most. No formal data has been collected from patrons yet, but anecdotal evidence has been positive on the new computer stations. The newly expanded study spaces are often filled with students too. The move to a self-service model for printing and copier service has made it possible to provide such services when other circulation services are not available. With all the work that has been done in the remodeling and restructuring, the Bio-Medical Library is well-situated to meet the changing needs of patrons both now and in the future.

~ Submitted by Nick Fugate, Magrath Circulation, January 2009

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

Branches of IADS: The Plant Pathology Library

There's no denying that the Plant Pathology Library is tiny. We do as much circulation all year as Wilson can do in two days. And as many people visit Plant Path in one month as Wilson sees in 1.5 days. Even compared to other branch libraries we are small; generally doing a quarter of the business of the other branches. Our collection consists of books and journals on only one topic: plant diseases.*

The benefits of being small are many, including an intimate understanding of the collection and user needs, and a streamlined experience for the library user--the same person helps them use MNCAT, find the book and checks them out. Obviously some economy of scale is lost, but because the Plant Pathology Department pays the staffing costs, the end result is that the Libraries gain another entry point with which to serve students, staff, faculty and the public. While our stats do not compare to the larger libraries, we provide the same levels and types of services to our users. Savvy library users expect comparable service, but just as many casual users are delighted to discover they can conduct their library research and receive assistance with circulation issues at this location. We provide full reference service, circulation service (except for fines & billing), and course reserves (except for e-reserves). Behind the scenes you will find the same staff activities as at the larger libraries; binding, stack maintenance, student training, basic technical services (cataloging is done at Magrath) and other non-IADS activities. The only difference is one person, myself, fills all of these functions; and even though I do all of this IADS work, my position and the library are actually positioned in AP (Academic Programs).

~ Submitted by Laura Wiegand, Library Assistant III, Head of Plant Pathology Library, May 2006

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Branches of IADS category.

Borrowing Privileges & Fines is the previous category.

Circulation is the next category.

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