Aug 13, 2020
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Students still not browsing library’s stacks

Now that the newly remodeled Henry Madden Library is open and the shelves are lined with books, some students have been slowly reincorporating a working library into their school lives while others still haven’t gone inside to see what the biggest building on campus has to offer them.

Until this semester, students did not have a fully-operational library on campus since fall 2005. Books were accessible to students through a request system where students would browse the Henry Madden Library search engine and then submit a book request via fax, internet or in person. Now that the 350,000 square foot library has opened its doors, some students are finding that old habits are hard to break.

Rafael Mendoza, 19, a chemistry major, said that he has gotten used to not having a library on campus and will continue to use the book request system instead of searching for books himself.

“I’ve just found it easier to view the book selections on-line and request them right then,” said Mendoza. “It saves me a lot of time instead of having to go into the library to look for the books I need.”

Christine Evans is Head of Circulation at the Henry Madden Library and said while online requests are still high, they have learned through surveys that students have responded positively to the remodel and are regularly enjoying the hi-tech building.

“Our check outs have definitely increased since we have been open,” Evans said. “People are browsing more than requesting. We still get online requests everyday but I’d say it’s 70 percent of what we were getting before. All the surveys said they liked the Starbucks, being able to retrieve their own books, the study spaces and the laptop borrow system. ”

Evans also said that how an individual uses the library reflects on the type of student they are.

“Sometimes students are last minute people,” Evans said. “If they come in and order a book and realize it will take 2-3 days to get it, they might have to go look for it themselves. Other students would rather order it and come in and pick it up and be out in five minutes. While others would still like to browse to see what we have here.”

Having a library under construction for the past few years has left some students unable to navigate the building themselves.

“Some students haven’t had a working library since they started college and they’re having to relearn how it works,” Evans said. “We have great personnel here to help with that.”

Sarah Smith, 19, a child development major, said that she prefers to use the internet for school related information and she’s been in the library for only one reason.

“I only go in there for Starbucks and I’m out,” Smith said. “I’m too afraid of going in there and getting lost.”

Stevie Brumwell, 18, a speech language pathology major and track athlete, said that she requests books on-line to save time in her busy schedule, but that the library finally reopening has given her a quiet place to get away to.

“I live in the dorms and I go to the library whenever I can,” said Brumwell. “It’s a nice place to get away from everyone and focus on my work.”

After Brumwell retrieves her requested books, she heads to the second floor where she can plug in her laptop and get homework done.

“The study rooms are really nice,” said Brumwell. “I just like the quiet up there. I can get a lot done.”

Taylor Cook, 18, a psychology major, said that she enjoys spending time in the library and is thankful she no longer has to go to public libraries for her school needs.

“I never know what book I might need, so I like to browse to see what they have,” Cook said. “I didn’t like the temporary system so I never used it. Now I spend a lot of time studying there.”

Cook said that her favorite part of the library is the view of the newly remodeled Peace Garden.

“I really enjoy the new library. It’s so nice and quiet and the view is so peaceful and beautiful,” Cook said. “I’m so thankful I have such a great study place to go to now.”

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