Library gets upgrades; still lacking?

Quinta Goines

The campus library is continuing to make changes to meet students’ needs.
According to a survey that was sent out last year, the main concerns students had about the campus library involved the operating hours, library space, the need for more study rooms and more computers with the Microsoft Office Suite.
Returning students might have noticed some enhance­ments to the library, such as the addition of 30 computers with the Microsoft Office Suite placed throughout the facility.
The two study rooms on the second floor of Wallace Hall have been repainted with whiteboard paint, and markers are available at the circulation desk. Two offices were also converted into study rooms on the second floor.
“The only issue that I cannot address at this time is the desire for increased hours,” said Christopher Shaffer, dean of library services. “We do not have the staffing to accommodate that desire, and there also are not many students in the library during the two hours leading up to closing, which makes me think a limited number of students would take advantage of increased open hours.”
Quez Williams, a junior psychol­ogy major from Dothan, said he did not notice the new library enhancements, but he does depend on the library a lot. He said that he is in the library about five times a week in order to use the computers.
“There is nowhere else that I know that I can go to get studying done,” Williams said. “I come here to stay focused.”
Even with the library’s upgrades, the hours of operation, study rooms and technology still seem a concern to some students.
Ashley Rollins, a junior business major from Dothan, said that the library would be more useful if it had more places for groups of students to study.
“It would also be more helpful if it was one little area that is open all night for people to come in and out when they wanted to,” she said.
Shaffer said there are several factors that go into extending the library’s hours. One factor is if students will use the library past midnight. Another concern is providing the staff to run the library; and the last factor involves funding the additional costs.
“Additional employees to work hard to cover hours would cost additional funds,” Shaffer said. “There would also need to be security on site for evening hours. Funds for these needs are not available in my budget.”
Herman Mitchell, a senior social work major from Phenix City, uses the library sparingly throughout the year, but he
would prefer later hours.
“It would be nice if the library stayed open until 2 a.m. a few nights a week,” he said. “Especially for me, because I am more productive at night.”
Although extending library hours is not in the budget anytime soon, the library staff is planning to make more changes throughout the year.
Apple iPads will be added for students to use while searching through the catalogs to find books.
The library staff is also working in collaboration with the IT department to create an innovation lab on the third floor of Wallace Hall.

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