The Crusader Online: February 23, 2007 - Library unlocks brand new features

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Library unlocks brand new features
By Allison Martin Contributing Writer
The Blough-Weis Library recently introduced two new services in response to input from students. The library now offers a leisure reading collection and student lockers. Both new features are located in the snack room, behind the periodical collection, on the first floor. The leisure reading collection was added at the end of last semester and consists of science fiction, romance, mystery and other books donated by Susquehanna students, faculty and staff. Kathleen Dalton, reference librarian, met with a student advisory group to discuss improvements to the services offered by the Blough-Weis Library. The advisory committee is comprised of senior Spencer Paschal, junior Joseph Shannon, sophomore Brittany Bunting and freshman Keadrick Peters. Among other ideas, the group expressed a desire for a collection of books to read for fun. Students and staff may borrow up to three books at a time. Available on the honor system, the leisure reading books do not need to be checked out. Kathleen Gunning, director of the Blough-Weis Library and coordinator of information resources, said that the library staff decided to use this system as well as donations for the new collection. Gunning said the library is using these methods in order to keep the library's funding and staff time devoted to books and services that support the Susquehanna curriculum. Gunning said that she and other library staff members were thrilled that students requested a leisure reading section. "One often hears that this generation of students doesn't read anymore," she said. "This was a lovely surprise." The library is still accepting books to increase this new collection. Anyone who would like to donate "slightly used" books or books on tape can either place them in the bin next to the collection or call Ann Marie Rompolski, acquisitions coordinator, at ext. 4411. Six lockers were also added to the library. The lockers are meant for students who are working on long-term research projects such as the Honors Program sophomore essay or senior research projects, Gunning said. She said that the lockers can also help students using a large number of interlibrary loan books. Students pay a $10 key deposit at the beginning of the semester, and the deposit will be returned at the end of the semester when the student returns the key. Gunning said the library will order more lockers if there is demand for more than the current amount. To obtain a locker, contact Susan Musser, library secretary, by e-mail or at ext. 4317. In the fall of 2005 the library also added five laptop computers which are available for students to borrow for use in the library. Gunning said that the laptops have been very well-received so far. "They're especially popular during peak study times when residence halls are too noisy and there aren't enough desktop computers," she said. To borrow a laptop, students must go to the media center in the lower level and leave their Susquehanna ID during the time that they have the laptop. Laptops can be checked out for up to three hours and are equipped with features including Internet access, printing capabilities and Microsoft Office. Students may also request a mouse. "All of these services were added based on needs expressed by students," Gunning said. "We encourage anyone with suggestions to contact us," she added. For more information or to make a suggestion, contact Gunning by e-mail.


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