An essay by English faculty Jay Ponteri, In Defense of Navel Gazing, was selected as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2015.
We welcome your feedback about library services and resources.
We will personally reply if you include your contact information.
|October 26, 2015: The 1/2 cup of hot chocolate w/loads of plastic waste goes against the sustainability practices expected from this school and $2.00 for this is absurd||We are so glad you asked about this because sustainability was one of the reasons we chose this company for hot drinks.The freshpacks are 100% recyclable: coffee and tea are separated and used as compost and the freshpacks are melted and pelletized to become a new raw material which can be used to make new products from recycled materials! We ship the packets to the compay at no charge to be recycled.In addition, 100% of their coffee and tea is purchased from certified sustainable sources.Sorry about the cup size, it does look like you are only getting a half cup. We need to get smaller cups to fit the machine but we are trying to save $ by buying cups with the book store and they use the larger size.|
|I wonder if we might post a schedule each term outside the teaching/design labs so people know when and how long they can be working until a class comes in. We need easily accessible information for students who want to use the lab w/o begin interrupted when a class unexpectedly comes in. thanks!||Since the lab schedules change faster than we can print them out, we keep an online
schedule that is up-to-the minute current. This online schedule can be viewed from
off campus so you can check before you come to campus. A link to the schedule is located
on the main library web page on the right hand side of the screen. If you use the
labs frequently, you may want to bookmark the page:
If you have any trouble accessing the schedules, feel free to call the library and we can look it up for you. 503-699-6261.
|February 4, 2015: Please sharpen the little pencils in the cups more often. This will benefit everyone who wants to jot a note with the pencils you put out||If you come across a pencil that needs sharpening before we get a chance to sharpen it, feel free to use the sharpeners yourself. There are two downstairs: one on the table outside the Teaching Lab and one by the copier and one on the main floor by the copier|
|January 24, 2015: I am a graduate student and most of my program offerings are during
weekend days. The hours of the marathon classes are compact which allows a minimal
amount of time on campus for those of us that work full time jobs. The program is
However, the changes made to availability to the book store and coffee bar are not amazing. I sometimes feel like a step-child...less valued and assumed smaller needs in regards to the support a bookstore offers. With no other place to grab a simple cup of coffee during short breaks, our only other option is limited to vending machines.
Please reconsider this business decision. The weekend programming addresses the changing times of adult education but the limited support on the weekends counters this modern vision.
|The bookstore is open on Saturdays 10-2:00 and reception makes coffee on Sundays and
at no charge.
The library is looking at options for offering coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the library with a system like the Keurig or Flavia. We have representatives coming to visit and hope to make a decision soon and be able to support students when the book store is closed.
|A woman's privacy room - not the bathroom. Somewhere that breastfeeding students can go to pump in private. PLEASE!||Your best option in the library would be to check out a conference room at the circulation desk. Conference Room C is a single use space, keep your back to the door for privacy. I am not sure what other options exist on the rest of campus.|
|It would be nice to have some new PCs upstairs or at least some new keyboards. The ones you have now are always greasy or sticky, they don't look clean.||Thanks for this reminder! We will build in a rotation for cleaning the keyboards. We went through the main floor, we will tackle the labs next!|
|July 25, 2013: Library being closed on weekends for summer very disruptive to my needs.
Was unaware of closure until writing center sign posted on door told me where to find
my tutor. Counting on printer in garden center to print out rough draft, could not
accomplish much with tutor as significant changes were made in draft.
Students taking evening and weekend classes should have access to computers and printers. I have computer at home but don't have printer. Assignments often require both computer and printer. Would instructors in weekend classes need to send emails early in term letting students know they need something printed for class? One weekend class winter term required a print out on Saturday morning (we weren't told until Friday of the need for the print out). Fortunately the library was open so I could quickly print a copy.
If the library has to remain closed on weekends for the summer due to staffing problems and is not economically feasible, could computers and printers be put in the admin. building (one computer in each classroom that students could access when classes aren't in session)? Are there computers and printers in other buildings that students can access? What about allowing one or two computers in the student lounge area on the 3rd floor of the admin. building? There should be something that can be done so students can get work done.
|There is a printer at the computer kiosk in the lobby of Marian Hall. Also, there
is a printer in the Student Leadership Council office in Davignon Hall, room 220,
which can be used by any student during campus open hours, the office is left unlocked.
Our IT team is working on a plan for printing to copiers in BP John that will make printing very convenient for everyone. This will be in place hopefully by fall term.
|July 23, 2013: New Computer System:Please make it easier to find book by title. I looked for “Gospel of John: a Commentary”. What came up was each of the above words singularly in a title or description. I looked for 3 pages and still no title. I did a search by author, and the title came up immediately. The exact phrase of the title did not come up. So I have given up doing searches by title (this has happened every time).||The new system has a wealth of information in it, much more than our last system. If you are looking for a book and you know the title, type the title into the search field. When the results appear, limit the search to Books by clicking on Books on the left hand column of the screen. There is also a limit for Shoen Library if you only want books that are in our library. I did this search and your title was the second record on the list. Be sure to ask for help in searching, we are all learning the new system!|
|June 26, 2013: Very unhappy about the library being closed on weekends during summer term! I will on campus this summer for a Saturday class and cannot believe that I won't be able to use the library to study then. I do not own a printer, so if I need to print something up for class, I use the library beforehand to do so. Not being able to do this will be a huge inconvenience. Luckily I do own a computer, but there are students that might not own one, and what if they need to do homework using a computer over the weekend, what are they supposed to do? Or what if people need to get a book for class? As with closing the bookstore, I think that having the library closed then as well is a very poor decision by the University, and one that greatly inconvenience students.||Thank you for letting us know that weekend closures of the library in July and August are a problem for students. We are appealing the decision to be closed on weekends. We will get back to you soon on the final decision.|
|April 22, 2013: Can you please enforce the "Quiet Study" aspect of the main floor? As I try to study quietly, a couple are discussing a project at the table next to me and it is very distracting.||The Main Floor of the library is noisy by nature since we have the circulation and
reference desks where students and faculty receive assistance. The reference area
and the kiosk under the stairs are particularly noisy and often patrons check out
headphones for their computers to block out noise.
A good spot for quiet study is on the top floor using a carrel on the outside walls or the DVD/VHS/CD Room where the HVAC acts as white noise. Best of all is to use a private study room, there are 3 on the top floor that are available for 4 hours at a time. If you need a computer, you can check out a laptop to use in the study room. These study rooms can also be reserved in advance.
Please ask us for assistance in finding you a quiet space to study!
|April 15, 2013: Replace chairs in Teaching Lab, they're dirty. It would make the room smell better.||Those chairs are indeed old and cruddy. I apologize. Feel free to bring in one of
the newer Herman Miller chairs that are floating around the ground floor if that would
be more comfortable.
We are beginning a concerted fundraising effort to create an ADA ground floor library entrance and also to create learning and technology spaces throughout the building. Part of the fundraising will be for new lab furniture including chairs! I know it will be awhile but rest assured we will be swapping the old chairs for new ones when the money is raised.
Thanks for the reminder about those chairs!
|February 18, 2013: Move MAC based computer for student use NOT located in a lab (i.e. public MAC computers for use at all times). When students use MAC programs i.e. Pages, Photoshop, InDesign, etc., they do not have full access for getting HW done when labs in use.||In the past, we had MACs with design software available outside the labs but they
didn’t get used because the computers weren’t hooked up to the fancy printers that
are inside the labs. That is why we went with the plan where both labs have identical
software so a student can use either lab if one is in use.
The lab schedules are up-to-date and linked on the main page of the library website. This will help with planning your time.
Also, if a class is not using all the seats in the labs, some teachers don’t mind if you sit in the back of the lab and work. You would need to ask permission but this might work in a pinch.
|October 9, 2012: It would be really nice if, when I walk into the library, the person at the desk looks up and greets me. The library is the center of the community and friendliness makes a difference.||We agree that this would be really nice. The architecture of the library is awkward because the service desk points to the middle of the room and not the door. Also, the people on the desk are students just like you. When the student worker is not busy, they have permission to work on their homework which keeps them glued to their computers. However, we certainly hope that when you approach the desk and ask for help, the student workers offer assistance with a smile. That is part of our student worker training and something that is very important to the library.|
|September 24, 2012: I suggest that the library consider loosening the policies around
access to library resources for alumni like access to laptop computers when being
utilized within the library itself. On a recent visit to the library I requested to
check out a laptop. When my student id was run through the computer I was "expired"
(the library staff's exact words). I said, "Yes, I am an alumni" and he said that
laptops were only available to current students and that I was not allowed to use
a library laptop in the library. I now see that this policy is posted (along with
a laundry list of "don't" for alumni) on your website. I did not see that prior to
my visit. Instead, I called a day or so ahead and explained that I was an alumni who
would like to check out a laptop and reserve a conference room in the library for
a few hours. I was told this was fine and that there was no need to reserve a laptop
or the conference room.
So, aside from the need for flexibility, I also believe the library staff needs some etiquette training and should not treat alumni like second class citizens. I have yet to open my wallet to this university as an alumni and this, believe it or not, will delay my future donations.
While I understand that there may be limited laptops available for use, some flexibility would go a long way with alumni relations. For instance, if I checked out the laptop and a student or faculty member needed it, I could have just returned it to the desk.
|Clearly whoever talked to you over the phone made a mistake. Still, when you came
in, we should have honored what we told you over the phone, lent you a laptop for
a conference room, and explained that in the future our equipment and conference rooms
are for currently enrolled students and faculty only.
We will educate our front line staff to not use the word “expired” when a patron record becomes inactive. We set alumni patron records to become inactive on an annual basis so we can confirm correct contact information.
Alumni are welcome to use the computers and resources in our libraries, but we must keep our equipment and conference rooms for currently enrolled students working on their assignments and group projects.
We deeply regret the miscommunication on this. Thanks for writing so we can improve our customer service. No one should have feel like a second class citizen. If we had properly explained our policies right up front, none of this would have happened.
|September 17, 2012: Are there any plans or campaigns underway to remodel/make the library more modern? It seems outdated in comparison to other universities.||We have detailed plans to remodel the library and turn it into a 21st century destination with a learning commons and research and technology support for students and faculty. We are spending this coming year looking at campus priorities for fundraising with an eye to launching a fundraising campaign next summer. Hopefully the library will be the lead project for the fundraising.|
|May 21, 2012: Food in the library is annoying and messy esp. in the computer areas. Tx. Please consider eating elsewhere.||We do have a food and drink policy which states: "Food and beverages are allowed but should not inhibit the library experiences of others. Please be discreet when eating in public study areas. The library has several meeting spaces where it is appropriate to have food. Drinks should be kept covered at all times. Please do not eat or drink while using electronic equipment in the library." If someone who is eating is bothering you, please let a staff person know and we can ask that person to move to an approved area for food and drink. Thanks for letting us know about this issue.|
|May 17, 2012: TURN THE HEAT ON! TURN THE A.C. OFF!
TURN THE HEAT ON!
|Unfortunately, the heat and the AC are on separate systems. We are like a New York City apartment, the heat / AC goes on and off on a certain date and there is no option for switching back and forth. To mitigate this problem, if you are cold, we have space heaters we can check out for use in the library. I know these are popular in the conference rooms, but they can be used anywhere. We recommend dressing in layers no matter what time of year you come to the library. Our maintenance department does a stellar job trying to keep an even temperature in this cavern of a building but sometimes even they can’t keep up with extreme changes in weather. Thanks for complaining so we could tell you we have space heaters for check out!|
|November 30, 2010: Can we please get more operatic vocal scores in the music section? I'd even donate. This will benefit vocal music students. We have to buy scores or use Summit which doesn't always come on time.||We would love to buy more scores. What scores do you need? We can ask John Paul about ordering more to support his program once we hear from you. Please talk to Nancy Hoover, our library director, to figure out what to buy. You'll find Nancy in her office behind the circulation desk. Thanks!|
|November 19, 2010: The library should have a recycle bin for used printer cartridges!||Please feel free to hand over used cartridges to the student workers at the circulation desk. The campus does have a system for recycling cartridges. We can send yours on to recycling for you. If we had a bin in the library for used printer cartridges, where do you think the best place would be for it? Thanks for the suggestion!|
|October 29, 2010: Librarians need to be available in the evenings and on weekends. This will help working students and students with disabilities. I am disabled and a preschool teacher. I work long hours while attending college and my education needs can't be met!||Librarians are here until 6:30 pm Monday to Thursday and on Saturdays during the term. Please call or send an email to request an appointment to make sure a librarian will be here to assist you. We also have 24/7 chat reference service available from our website. A librarian is available whenever you need help.|
|June 7, 2010: Add note to no smoking sign outside of library requesting smokers wait a minimum of five minutes before returning inside of building. This will benefit all students who have allergies or are sensitive to cigarette smoke.||That would be hard to enforce but if you are reading this and you smoke, try to air yourself out before you re-enter the building. Thanks!|
|April 16, 2010: Please keep and not purge the juvenile section. My suggestion would benefit me and my son. I really love that time capsule of awesomeness that is the juvenile section. Let's Travel series is awesome as his father was born in the USSR.||We love the juvenile section too!|
|August 4, 2008: The empty space where the pay phones are located in the library should be used as a cell phone area so visitors won't be carrying on their conversations when others are trying to concentrate.||Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Cell phone usage in the library is an ongoing problem. If an individual is talking on a cell phone and it is distracting you from your work, please notify a staff person and we will ask the person on the cell phone to hang up or take the call in the foyer. We have printed cards for visitors to hand to others if you feel comfortable with this approach.Cell phones and personal electronic devices should be set to "silent." During the first few weeks of each term, we will put up our "silence your cell phone" sign for all to see upon entering the library.|
|January 6, 2007: Since the writing lab moved in downstairs it has gotten much louder. Perhaps they could close the door.||Since we moved the drop-in lab to the main floor of the library, we have designated the bottom floor of the library as a talking floor and a place for small groups to meet on the sofas or at the large tables. If there is a problem with noise from the Writing and Math Center, ask them if they would be willing to close the door. For complete quiet, we recommend that you move to a carrel on the top floor of the library.|
|November 25, 2006: It would be nice if back issues of magazines could be checked out of the library.||That would be nice! Unfortunately, back issues of journals are irreplaceable if they are not returned by our patrons. Journals are usually slender and easily lost or damaged. Plus there is nothing more frustrating to a library user than a missing issue of the exact journal they need to write a paper. We do have the ability to scan and send articles to our distance students if getting here to use our periodicals is a problem.|
|December 1, 2005: The library should carry all textbooks required for all classes.||Academic libraries do not purchase textbooks because they go out of date quickly. Also, the cost would be prohibitive. For instance, in Spring Term there were 334 classes. If the average cost of a text is $60.00, it would cost $20,040.00 to buy one text for each class. Multiply this by four terms for a total of $80,160.00 -- for books that will be out of date in a year. One solution is to ask your instructor to put his/her personal copy on reserve at the library for student use.|
|November 4, 2005: Extend library hours at the beginning of the day and at the end. I would like to see the hours be 7:00 am to 11:00 pm. Especially for students who work mainstream hours, it is important to have the library available at the extremes of the day.||We have slowly been adding more open hours in response to student feedback. Within the last year we added hours on the weekend days. We are always looking at ways to best serve our students and we will keep your suggestion in mind when we review our open hours.|