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Mardigian Library News
Monday, May 6. 2013
Collaborative group work is a key factor for student engagement and the integrative learning experience. User input drives many changes at the Mardigian Library, and recent student surveys and Library Master Planning activities identified group study rooms as a missing resource in high demand. In the library’s continual efforts to support the curriculum and the needs of UM-Dearborn students, I am happy to announce the library will have group study rooms in Fall 2013.
To make these rooms a reality, the library partnered with the Academy of Retired Faculty and Staff, which generously provided office space formerly allocated for the academy’s sole use. This and a second office will be transformed into spacious 8-10 person group study rooms. The academy will provide monetary support to equip the rooms with necessary technology, such as big screen televisions for projecting presentations, class notes, and large diagrams.
Further, the library will pilot modular panel study rooms this fall. This pilot project will create study spaces that serve groups of four students and will include extra electrical outlets and whiteboards. These modular rooms are a building block for future renovation of the library. Both the group rooms and the modular study spaces will be for the exclusive use of UM-Dearborn students. In the future, we intend to establish an online reservation system that gives students the ability to schedule rooms using their UMID.
We encourage the campus community to continue providing us with valuable feedback. We are committed to identifying and addressing the needs our students and faculty, collaborating with our campus partners to tackle issues whenever possible.
Friday, January 13. 2012
Hello, my name is Elaine Logan. It is my privilege to serve as director of the Mardigian Library. I returned to the University of Michigan-Dearborn in early October after an absence of twenty years. UM-Dearborn is the same vibrant, welcoming community that I fondly remembered. I am enjoying getting to know library staff, campus leaders, faculty, and students – and hearing their ideas about the library. Continuing the tradition of retired director, Tim Richards, this is my first installment of Director’s Update. I plan to use my updates to share my perspective and thoughts three or four times a year on library issues. I also hope that you will communicate your thoughts, questions, ideas, and suggestions to me in response to these updates.
It is no secret that technology is changing the way we all find, use, and create knowledge and information. One of the library’s key functions is to help you be successful in locating the information you need. We do this by providing discovery tools like Summon and by providing resources to make your searching successful. The library cannot own every resource in the world, but our participation in the “One University” initiative, with the Ann Arbor and Flint campus libraries, has vastly increased the depth and breadth of information resources immediately available to everyone on this campus. Did you know that through “One University” we’ve been able to increase access to over 240 online databases, over 20,000 electronic journals, and over 100,000 e-books to supplement the print materials in the Mardigian Library collections?
Of equal importance to supplying a wealth of information resources is our work with students to teach them how to critically evaluate and ethically use information. In the past, finding information was hard. Now with improved discovery tools, the finding is easy. What is hard is knowing how to filter and evaluate content so that its reliability and trustworthiness can be determined. We take great pride in our instructional role in the classroom, in small groups, and one-on-one sessions.
Academic libraries are changing in fundamental ways, but our underlying goals remain the same. We strive to provide the necessary tools, services, collections, expertise, and learning environments to ensure that your experience in the Mardigian Library is productive and academically enriching. We use our expertise and resources to inform, connect, and transform the lives of the people in our community. It is an exciting time to be at the Mardigian Library. I am proud to be leading the effort of continuing to maintain the library’s vital presence and purpose within the University of Michigan-Dearborn. In the next few months, we will be providing the entire campus community with a variety of opportunities to let us know your aspirations for our future.
Director, Mardigian Library
Monday, November 10. 2008
The mission of the Mardigian Library is to provide access to authoritative sources of information and knowledge. We are also committed to providing an environment and resources that support student learning. The vast majority of those who use the library and its resources respect the role of the library and understand that the library building is a shared space devoted to the pursuit of knowledge.
However, I have recently received multiple complaints about excessive noise in the library building, trash left behind, and reports of rude conduct. Cleaning staff are noticing numerous food/drink spills, which require extra cleaning and increase labor costs.
It is simply rude and thoughtless to leave trash around for others to pick up. Spilling food and drink causes extra work for maintenance crews; extra cleaning and trash pick up increases maintenance costs. I hope that all who read this will make it a point to pick up after themselves and to remind others to do the same.
We opened Club Cappuccino several years ago to meet a clear student desire to have access to food and beverages during long days and evenings of study and research. Without better “self-policing,” we may be forced to re-think whether we should continue to provide space for Club Cappuccino and whether we should continue our long-standing policy of allowing food and beverages in the library.
We have recently experienced a distressingly high level of loud and disruptive behavior by people who do not respect your rights or the role of the library. We employ a security guard in the evenings specifically to address behavior problems. Even with this presence, behavioral problems do occur.
One of our expectations is that University of Michigan-Dearborn students are mature individuals who are serious about learning, who understand what behavior is acceptable in public places, and who take responsibility for their own behavior. I am confident that these complaints result from the behavior of a small number of irresponsible people who simply do not respect the rights of others.
We need your help. Library staff members alone can do little to control these unwelcome behaviors, but together, we can address these problems. When inappropriate behavior occurs, inform the Circulation Desk staff so we can alert the library security guard and/or Public Safety officers to the problem.
Director, Mardigian Library
Monday, October 29. 2007
Public printing in the library has become a big headache for everyone. A decade or so ago, when we first began to have a significant amount of material available electronically, we very intentionally elected to not charge students for printing. Previously, we made these kinds of resources available in paper and students could easily read them. If they chose to pay to make photocopies of material for their convenience, they could -- it was up to them. For many people, including me, reading intellectually challenging material on a computer screen is an obstacle to understanding. Many of us need to see the material in print, on paper. This perspective was the basis for our decision to not pass on the cost of printing to UM-D students. Little did we know!!!
Over time, the depth and breadth of materials that are available electronically have grown tremendously. At the same time, word seems to have spread around the region that ANYONE can come to the Mardigian Library and print whatever they want for free. I have heard many horror stories about students who attend other universities and colleges in the area coming here to take advantage of our free printing. Sadly, it is also true that some UM-D students abuse the free printing privilege. Of course, printing is not free--it costs the library a considerable amount of money to offer this service, which is intended to benefit UM-D students in completing course work and conducting research. Things have clearly gotten out of hand. We are in the process of doing something about it.
Specifically, by January 1, 2008 the library will have a means of distinguishing between UM-Dearborn users and "guests." We will continue to allow UM-Dearborn students, faculty members and staff members to print at no cost, while requiring that guests pay a fee for printing. We are not yet certain of the mechanics, but tentatively, our plan is that, temporarily, beginning in January 2008 EVERYONE will pick up printing jobs at the Circulation desk. Students will not be charged for printing; guests will be charged for printing.
As soon as we are able to put the technology in place, those who authenticate as UM-Dearborn students/faculty/staff will be able to print as they do currently while those who sign in as "guests" will go to a service station where their print jobs will be released by a library staff member in exchange for payment. We are trying very hard to put the system in place to allow authenticated UM-D users to continue printing as they always have (and only route guests to the Circulation desk) by January but we need the temporary plan in case we are unable to get everything in place by January. We will try to do that.
It is our expectation that a further step in the process to get a handle on printing will be to institute a printing quota for UM-Dearborn users. If users choose to print beyond their allowed quota, they will need to pay, either on a per-job basis or by adding money to an "account." We do not yet know what that mechanism will be or what the print quota will be. Stay tuned.
Monday, April 9. 2007
Hello, my name is Tim Richards. It is my privilege to serve as director of the Mardigian Library. This is the inaugural issue of what I am calling The Director's Update. I hope to use my updates to share my perspective and thoughts three or four times a year on library issues that affect you and other members of this academic community . I also hope that you will communicate your thoughts, questions, ideas and suggestions to me in response to these updates.
One issue that library staff members and I hear about frequently from students is the lack of electrical outlets in the building. We recognize that this is a problem for students and we have actually tried to address it, obviously with little success. I thought it might be informative to provide a little bit of historical context.
This building was designed in the late 1970's, a time when the mainframe computer ruled the world. When this building opened in 1980, it had a card catalog, which was still here when I arrived in 1989. Back in that mainframe era, no one imagined that many (possibly most) University of Michigan-Dearborn students would be using laptop computers for their academic work, that there would be a campus network linking computers together, or that there would be wireless access to that network.
When we dismantled the card catalog and installed computer work stations on the main floor of the library in the early 1990's, we had to carve out channels in the concrete floor to run additional electrical lines to power the computer work stations that replaced the catalog, an early indicator that we had insufficient electrical outlets to run a modern library. That was when we discovered another significant electrical challenge: this building is "underpowered." Additional electrical equipment caused several power outages.
Where are most of the electrical outlets that you can find in the public areas of the library located? They are positioned at intervals along the base boards, near the floor. I'm pretty sure that the few electrical outlets that you can find in public areas of the building were designed to serve one purpose -- to enable cleaning crews to plug in vacuum cleaners. There are a few additional outlets on the fourth floor along the wall where pieces from the University's marvelous glass collection are on display. The point is that the few electrical outlets that you can find were not intended for library users but to serve building functions. That's how libraries were designed in the late 1970's.
We formed the "Library Power Committee" a few years ago to try to address our electrical power problems. The committee has had modest success (for example, a few power poles were erected to increase the number of outlets accessible to users), but overall, we have not yet found a way to solve the problem of too few electrical outlets to serve adequately library users' needs.
We have not given up. We continue to search for ways to increase both the availability of electrical outlets for your use and to increase the amount of electrical power that is available to us all. I welcome your thoughts, ideas, suggestions and questions about electrical power and about any other library-related issue that is of interest or concern to you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Director, Mardigian Library
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