Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cell Phones are Collaborative Tools Connecting People to Information

Walking around the University Libraries, it is easy to see that cell phones are popular among students. They are constantly engaged in their use to call and text each other, listen and share information, take and send pictures, record sounds, transfer files, listen to music, e-mail, and use them for a variety of other information gathering functions. This is possible because of the power and adaptability of mobile phones.

With an average of 4,900 daily visitors to the University Libraries during the academic year, the challenge is how to manage the resulting levels of sound. While some would like to ban or greatly restrict cell phones use in any library as a nuisance, our librarians understand the value and importance of the cell phones in scholarly activities.

"We view cell phones as collaborative tools for learning," said Dr. Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of the University Libraries. "There are ways to remind students and library visitors about cell phone etiquette."

Periodically, at Bracken Library’s entrances and on various floors, we place large poster-size signs that encourage our visitors to use their cell phones responsibly and respectfully. The fourth floor remains a Quiet Zone.

The Libraries' professional and paraprofessionals want the BSU community to experience the University Libraries as a comfortable, productive destination for research, learning, and friends while using the Libraries' programs, services, and collections. To accomplish this, the University Libraries promote the use of cell phone activity that aids our students in their scholarly activities and pursuit of learning.

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