Library Seeks Student Input on Future Building

November 8th, 2010

Library representatives met with Associated Students on October 20, 2010 to get their input on the future Library building. They provided us with a lot of very useful feedback and ideas. We’d also like to hear from you.

Let us know what types of services and spaces you’d like to see in the new library.

Also, let us know if you have come across something in another library that you think we should consider trying in our new library.

Thanks.

Entry Filed under: News

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nick M  |  November 16th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    1. Use quality products. Whenever I want to study I go to Berkeley to use their library because it is a beautiful library on a beautiful campus. Also, the library study tables are all solid wood with sturdy traditional chairs. No plastic, no fake finishes, just real products.

    2. Stop the burning! The fluorescent lights in all my classrooms and hallways hurts my eyes and makes it difficult to focus. Give us a break and use real lights, if you want to be green then use LEDs. Although, I prefer tradition filament lights, like the ones Edison invented. It’s too bad GE closed their light bulb plant in the US :(.

    3. If you have a cafe in the library it should be open whenever the library is open. It would be no fun to go to the library thinking that the cafe is still open to find out that it is closed.

    4. Mechanical pencil sharpeners! America is fat so this little exercise should cut the fat in people’s arm all the while sharpening a pencil without distracting everyone else.

    5. I want librarians who know what they’re talking about. If I have a question I want the librarian to be able to answer my question or lead me very close to it. That means the librarian should be familiar with the resources at the SF public library, Oakland public library and other nearby resources. The library should also be aware of all on-campus events! It is good to know what’s going on and what better place to find out than the library? I get frustrated with the school when I find out about events in the [X]-press after they happened. Maybe I would like to go to the election forum or meet the French consulate general in SF, did anyone think to let the rest of the campus know what the hell is going on on campus? I go to Berkeley for movie screenings and lectures because it is easy to find out what’s happening from their website. Until our website can handle all of that I think the library would be a good 411 headquarters.

    6. Studyrooms. Studyrooms should be sound proof and fully furnished with a table, chairs/stools, electricity, and network lines. I say sound proof because I would like to be able to practice speeches for my communication class and monologues for my theatre class without having to go off campus or in the run-down creative arts building. Not everyone can go home to an environment where they can practice speaking. Studyrooms should also have conference phones. I needed to do telephone interviews for a class project and nobody had an extra phone I could borrow for the day. Also, because I was an undeclared freshman I couldn’t use anybody’s conferance room. I spent five (5) hours looking for a phone on campus.

    7. Everything the library offerres should be listed online. From what software library computers have to the number of scanners to what is available to check out (including expo pens).

    8. Displays. The library should have multiple display cases that can show off the resources the library has, the wonders of San Francisco, and the professional works of SFSU staff, students, and alumni. This will really help with bringing the school together and giving students (like me) a greater sense of pride in SFSU.

    9. I hope the library will be a place where everyone is welcomed (and I’m not talking about all that culture tolerance shit either). I mean visitors, SF residents, and school children should all be welcomed. They should be able to come in and read or do research in certain, if not all, spaces.

    10. Streamline everything. Cut as much red-tape away as possible. It is a pain in that ass when people give you some bureaucratic runaround. Less paperwork, less forms and a single unified (streamlined) system for everything from checking out computers and equipment, to reserving a studyroom, to getting a guest library card. (please don’t be like the SFSU admin)

    If I think of more I’ll let you know.

  • 2. Graduate Student, SFSU  |  November 22nd, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Dear Library Services,

    Thank you for this opportunity to provide you with feedback and ideas about how you can best serve the diverse student body.

    A library should be a sanctuary of quiet, peace, natural light, and fresh and quietly circulating air. Silence is golden. The architecture and furnishing should be person-centered to provide for optimal learning environments for critical thinking, independent research, and collaboration in their appropriate and designated locations.

    As a current graduate student and patron of libraries for nearly three decades, I have witnessed many trends in interior design, public space, technology, and multimedia. The following suggestions are ranked from highest to lowest (but still important) priority for a typical graduate student of SFSU:

    1. Noise Policy : Enforced and Highly-Visible
    It is of utmost importance to have many designated areas of the library reserved for silent (not just quiet) study.

    This means any whispered conversation that last more than one minute should be conducted in a designated “sound-proof” area (the bathroom, the stairwell), and all conversation should be no more audible than within 6-inches of the speaker’s face. This also means absolutely no playing of loud music over non-canceling headphones (noise travels, especially if the listener is wearing ear-buds) or making other noises that might disturb one’s neighbor.

    Absolutely no cell phone calls should be allowed on any floor higher than the first floor (i.e., cell phone use is permissible only in the first-floor general circulation desk and lounge area). The higher the floor number, the quieter the space. The top floor, therefore, should be quiet enough to hear a chair creak from the other side of the room.

    Librarians, staff, and other students should be empowered to request that other patrons respect the posted rules, or vacate the area immediately. Egregious and repeat violators will be escorted out by library security, and access rights will be revoked for one day/week/semester (depending on the severity of the situation).

    2. Provide multiple and differentiated study areas that serve the diverse needs of learners of all abilities and impairments
    This means building an ADA-approved space that incorporates modern principles of universal design (i.e., providing elevator access to all floors, making stacks and all study areas friendly to wheelchairs and assistive technology, etc.).

    Chairs, tables, and carousels should be made to last, not “flash.” This means chairs should be solid, sturdy, preferably made of hardwood, and provide back support. They should also be arm-free, so that people using laptops or assistive technology are not hindered from proper ergonomic positioning. Desks, tables, and study carousels should be made of the same hardwood as the chairs, and be situated near windows. Stacks should be in the center of the space.

    Computer labs and catalog terminals should be in the basement and main (first) floor, respectively, as they tend to hum, buzz, and elicit conversation. If there is a cafe, it should be on the first floor and all food and drinks should be consumed within, not taken “to go” for consumption elsewhere in the library. (Unlike the other respondent, I don’t think we need or should have a cafe in the library. The new library is adjacent to the Cesar Chavez Center, which already has myriad food and beverage options. Let’s spend the money on books, not burritos!)

    3. Online Reservation System for Conference/Study Rooms
    Priority should be given to graduate students (i.e., those who work full-time, commute, etc.), and reservations that exceed one hour per Student ID # are charged $5-10 for every subsequent hour (depending on the time of the semester).

    Rooms should be opened by swiping one’s Student ID, with backup keys held with the head librarian for emergencies. The conference rooms should be soundproofed and have one wall of glass, so that only library-appropriate activities be carried out within. No food or drink (except water) should be allowed, so they stay clean and fresh for everyone’s sake.

    3. No Food or Drink in the Library
    This is self-explanatory. Water/tea should always be allowed, but it must be in a sealed bottle or thermos and stored inside one’s bag/personal belongings. Let’s keep it clean for generations of students to come.

    4. Adequate and Appropriate Use of Technology
    While it might impress the Board of Trustees to have a computer lab on every floor and Ethernet ports at every table, technology can actually be distracting and a hindrance to critical and independent thinking.

    Please limit computer placement to one or two catalog-only terminals per floor, and provide full-service, 24-7 access to both Mac and PC labs in the basement or lowest level of the library. This also means providing printing and copying services (charged to one’s student’s account) for students who need to print massive dissertations or reproduce a handout for a class of 50 students, as well as on-call technical support (hello, computer science majors!).

    5. Library Access is Limited to Students, Faculty, and Staff
    While the spirit of SFSU is that it is a public university and therefore should be open to all, the fact of the matter is that the library budget and staff cannot possibly support the needs of all San Francisco and Daly City residents. The state and city provide public library services for residents, but university libraries should be reserved for university-related activities to provide the best resources to the students who actually attend school there. (Of course, a network of schools for sharing and open access should exist between all UC, State, and City colleges. This is completely welcome and appropriate!)

    The library is not a place where you bring your baby, because you could not find a sitter (sorry, but do you know how distracting a baby’s shrieks are when you’re trying to study?). The library is not where you go to escape the fog, or take a break from shopping at the mall to surf the ‘net and text friends. It is not a place to take a nap (though providing long couches on the first floor is nice for when you need to take a comfortable few moments to gather your strength or calm your mind).

    6. Utilize the Library Display Areas to Showcase Student Art and Faculty Research
    We are proud of our diverse student body and faculty, and should celebrate the academic and artistic achievements of our colleagues and classmates in a space where all can see and enjoy.

    Thanks again for this opportunity to be heard.

    Sincerely,
    Graduate Student

    San Francisco State University

  • 3. withheld by request  |  December 9th, 2010 at 1:13 am

    regarding the Graduate student’s comments:

    5. Library Access is Limited to Students, Faculty, and Staff
    While the spirit of SFSU is that it is a public university and therefore should be open to all, the fact of the matter is that the library budget and staff cannot possibly support the needs of all San Francisco and Daly City residents. The state and city provide public library services for residents, but university libraries should be reserved for university-related activities to provide the best resources to the students who actually attend school there. (Of course, a network of schools for sharing and open access should exist between all UC, State, and City colleges. This is completely welcome and appropriate!)

    I would like to respond that by law and funding, the library is a public place, and therefore must let in anyone who wishes to use our resources. In fact one person who was annoying women in the library was kicked out of the library and he then sued the library! So it went to court and guess what? He won! So we can’t just evict anyone from the library unless we can get the police to remove him based on him breaking any laws. this is not the case of private university libraries such as Stanford University’s library or U. of San Francisco’s library. Since the women who complained were not pressing charges, and the university ended up not sending anyone to the court, the man won by default, but if the university is not going to take these things seriously, then we cannot do anything.

  • 4. withheld by request  |  December 9th, 2010 at 1:22 am

    One additional comment regarding the graduate student’s comments:
    The man who was bothering the women students is not a student or faculty member or has any relationship with SFSU. However, we cannot prevent him from using the library’s resources, using the bathrooms, or even sleeping in the library.

  • 5. withheld by request  |  December 9th, 2010 at 1:25 am

    regarding the Graduate student’s comments:

    5. Library Access is Limited to Students, Faculty, and Staff
    While the spirit of SFSU is that it is a public university and therefore should be open to all, the fact of the matter is that the library budget and staff cannot possibly support the needs of all San Francisco and Daly City residents. The state and city provide public library services for residents, but university libraries should be reserved for university-related activities to provide the best resources to the students who actually attend school there. (Of course, a network of schools for sharing and open access should exist between all UC, State, and City colleges. This is completely welcome and appropriate!)

    I would like to respond that by law and funding, the library is a public place, and therefore must let in anyone who wishes to use our resources. In fact one person who was annoying women in the library was kicked out of the library and he then sued the library! So it went to court and guess what? He won! So we can’t just evict anyone from the library unless we can get the police to remove him based on him breaking any laws. this is not the case of private university libraries such as Stanford University’s library or U. of San Francisco’s library. Since the women who complained were not pressing charges, and the university ended up not sending anyone to the court, the man won by default, but if the university is not going to take these things seriously, then we cannot do anything.

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