Monday, April 24, 2006

Reference Services for the After-Five Crowd at BSU Libraries

It’s Tuesday night and Bracken Library’s lobby is buzzing with the energy of a hip night club. Students are meeting at the “naked lady” statue (artist Albin Polasek’s Forest Idyll) to discuss their days and plan their evenings, checking their e-mail on laptops through the Libraries’ wireless network, relaxing in cushy chairs with the latest issue of The Ball State Daily News, and reserving rooms for group study sessions. Everyone knows that the University Libraries is the place to go for the excellent services and sources necessary for successful scholarship in the modern age, but, for many Ball State students, Bracken Library is also the place to see and be seen.

Students and faculty enjoy interactive and customizable experiences that surpass the traditional functions of the academic library. These users create communities and form friendships while enjoying programs and services such as the following:

Librarians to assist with research papers
A wide variety of DVDs and CDs for personal enrichment and entertainment
A bestsellers book collection for recreational reading
Student art work on display throughout the Libraries
Meeting rooms for study sessions and student organizations
Access to the wireless network throughout
Soft chairs for a relaxing study session or break
Live musical and theatrical performances

Students find their libraries’ experience enhanced by the new Student Virtual Library Web page which is designed to better serve the research needs of undergraduates. Lots of students comment about using great resources through the Libraries’ “Digital Media Repository,” a collection of digital resources for teaching and learning.

Librarians utilize blogs to open communication channels, share information, and solicit feedback from students and faculty.

As Librarian Liaison to the School of Extended Education, I created a blog at to help keep distance learners and instructors abreast of changes in the University Libraries and to foster and deepen a sense of community among distance library users.

We librarians are always looking for additional ways to make the University Libraries the most enjoyable and convenient places to study and socialize on campus, making them the best places for learning after the classroom.

Beginning in mid-August 2006, students can look forward to a full coffee bar “Bookmark Café @ Bracken Library,” expanded library hours to include 24-Access Mondays through Thursdays, and a monthly foreign film series in Bracken.

For information, contact Kelli Keclik, Information Services Librarian, at or (765) 285-1101.

This story was published in The Library Insider April 2006, pg. 6.


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