Friday, August 17, 2007

Changes to Public Services in the Ball State University Libraries

Ball State University Libraries' personnel have been busy improving facilities, resources, and fine-tuning services in preparation for the start of the new academic year 2007-2008.

Students and faculty will note a new alcove in the 1-East area of Bracken Library, an area now devoted to group or individual study. The space, measuring 26’ x 30’ or 780 square feet, is conveniently located near the Periodicals/Reserves Desk and features plenty of natural light from north-facing windows. Additional electrical outlets have been added to the area for students and faculty who use laptops or other mobile devices for research and learning.

People seeking current news in a traditional format may browse from a number of newspaper subscriptions on nearby racks. Soft chairs have been added for persons seeking a relaxed study environment away from the dorm, office, or research lab. Photocopiers, including color, and a laser-printing station are nearby, and the Bookmark Café is just around the corner adjacent to the Circulation Desk.

This space is a great addition for Bracken Library, which is generally accepted as a regular destination for students and faculty on campus for research and learning. Even during July 2007, traditionally one of the more quiet months, there were over 46,000 visits to Bracken — an increase of more than 8% over the previous year.

Renovation of the area was made possible from the conversion of many periodical subscriptions from print to online full-text holdings. Increased accessibility is another benefit to this format change. Online journals and periodicals are available 24/7/365 both on and off-campus.

Fans of print periodicals may still find plenty to interest them with the approximately 2,000 current print subscriptions in the area. Those interested in still more can find many thousands of bound back issues on Bracken 2-W and in remote storage.

Thanks go to many library personnel for the renovation of this space, most notably to Access Services’ Jan A. Vance, Jeff R. Koenker, Lajmar D. Anderson, Jennifer N. Criss, Christy A. Groves and several student employees.

In commenting on the project, Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, said, “This was a large undertaking that included layout design and planning, dismantling and assembling of shelving, and moving periodicals to their new homes. Thanks also go to Suzanne S. Rice, Assistant Dean for Public Services, members of Support Services, and Ball State University Carpenter Ray Kinder for his significant contribution to this project.”

Library staff have been engaged in many projects this summer to enhance support for research, teaching, and learning at Ball State University. Many will be featured in this or future issues of The Library Insider. Among those completed or underway in Public Services are the following:

Music Collection — Audio streaming for course reserves for PCs and MACs
Science-Health Science Library — Renovations to increase study space and pubic workstations
Access Services — Renovations to the microfilm viewing area, including adding new equipment
Information Services — The creation of online, interactive tours and tutorials
Educational Resources Collections — Refurbishment of equipment to maintain the circulating media collections and the addition of more circulating technical equipment such as a SmartBoard, headphones, PC power supplies, etc.
Architecture Library – Pursuit of licensing arrangements to increase the number of images available digitally

For more information, contact Suzanne S. Rice, Ball State University Libraries’ Assistant Dean for Public Services,, (765) 285-1305.

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