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Library student services vary in popularity

By | February 22, 2013 | News
The library offers laptops and tablets to be checked out by students, like Ahsy Vang (above). The service can be found in the north wing of the first floor, but tablets are only available at the circulation desk. Roe Borunda / The Collegian

The library offers laptops and tablets to be checked out by students, like Ahsy Vang (above). The service can be found in the north wing of the first floor, but tablets are only available at the circulation desk.
Roe Borunda / The Collegian

Laptop checkouts rise, music and media rooms go unused

Since its remodel in 2009, The Henry Madden Library has had 4,262,955 students, faculty and community members walk through its doors, but few of those people know all that it has to offer.

“I wasn’t exposed to any of the services,” said Michelle Moua, a second-year social work student from Fresno. “If I knew more about them, I would try to use them more. A laptop and even tutoring would have been very helpful my first year.”

Laptop lending, which is the most popular service, allows students the opportunity to check out a free laptop or power cord for as little as a few hours to as long as a full semester. Last year alone, laptops were checked out 97,000 times.

In addition to laptops, the library also began carrying tablet computers that can be checked out for up to a week.  Laptop lending made a big move to kick off the new semester and is now located in the north wing of the first floor. Checkouts of all laptop lending products are based on a “first come, first served” basis.

In contrast to laptop lending, one of the most underutilized services is the reference desk. With more than 20 librarians and numerous other highly-trained staff, the reference desk gives students a quick shortcut on finding materials for any kind of assignment or project.

“Students don’t use the expertise or the librarians,” said Glenda Harada, director of administrative services for the library. “That’s what they’re good at, and the students don’t utilize them as much as they should.”

The reference desk personnel can be contacted in-person, via instant message, over the phone (call or text message) or through an email. They will send you website links or help you navigate the library to obtain the material you need. Students may also make a specific appointment with a librarian to seek assistance.

Another free service is the media and music room. This little-known service gives students access to an extensive music and media collection, which contains the largest compilation of scores at any of the CSU campus and media materials on all subject matters.

It has several workstations equipped with current music and media software, as well as experienced staff to assist with any questions. They also offer listening and viewing equipment and viewing rooms for students to reserve.

The list of services continues with tutoring, maps and governmental information, special collections, political archives, teacher resources and more. These services, which are funded through Associated Students, Inc., private donors and library funds, offer students free resources to assist them through their time at Fresno State.

Full tours of the Henry Madden Library are offered frequently throughout the fall semester and by appointments for groups during the spring semester.

“The library is here to help students succeed, and I hope that students take advantage of that. We get a lot of people in here every day, but I want to encourage students to ask for help when they need it.” saidDave Tyckoson, associate dean of user services, “and of course, use our books.”

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