you like coffee with that?
Library services respond to student requests
Baldwin, director of the University of New Mexicos Zimmerman
Library, took the helm of the Universitys flagship library
in January and is already looking at some changes and issues
that need to be addressed.
have a challenge to provide coverage at four public service
desks Circulation, Reference, Government Information
and Microforms, Baldwin says. Five years ago, the UNM
General Library (UNMGL) had 47 librarians. That number
is down to around 33. Weve gone from two faculty senators
down to one in that time frame. Weve also had staff vacancies
go unfilled, Baldwin says, adding that the library relies
more and more on student employees.
this point in time, the Student Fee Review Board (SFRB) has
the library in its second year of probation during which the
library was to address some student concerns so that UNMGL could
continue to receive student fee money. One issue: Library hours.
expressed a desire to have Zimmerman Library open until 2 a.m.
during closed and finals weeks. We are going to do a quick survey
in April to find out if the students would, in fact, use the
library if it were open that late, says Baldwin. If the
survey reveals a genuine need, then staff and student workers
will be reassigned to cover those hours.
student request is for a coffee shop in the library. Plans are
already underway to have a coffee cart in Zimmermans basement,
on the tile area outside the copy center. The SUB offered
us some furniture and said they are willing to staff the coffee
cart during open library hours, Baldwin says. The cart
will offer coffee regular and decaf, as well as tea.
Food sales may be added later.
literature indicates that individuals who havent been
in the library in years come back if you make it a more inviting
means we need to adjust the food and drink policy in the library,
says Baldwin. He says the literature from other libraries providing
the service indicates no increase in damage to library materials
or an increased pest problem. Some literature indicates
that individuals who havent been in the library in years
come back if you make it a more inviting place. Coffee is one
way to do that, he says. Libraries that dont adjust
to the changing tide see diminished numbers, he says.
says that library services are at a crossroads between the virtual
and physical realms. Some disciplines may ultimately go
almost exclusively electronic, but I think there will always
be book users. Right now, its a delicate balance between
paper and electronic resources, he says.
to compact the bound journals so that they take up fewer shelves
and he would like to create a current display area where people
can sit comfortably and read the periodicals. Much of the work
that Zimmerman is engaged in now is in anticipation of the visit
by a library space consultant who will be coming mid-April.
Our goal is to have a proposed space plan when the new
dean comes on board, he says.
is also about service. UNMGL is one of 168 institutions participating
in LIBQUAL+, a study that assesses the quality of library service.
Texas A&M will compile the results, Baldwin says, and eventually
a measure of service may be incorporated into the rankings assigned
by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
UNM General Library is committed to working with students and
faculty to better understand their evolving research needs.
We also want to create an environment that encourages and supports
learning. All libraries are being challenged to look at
services and collections within a rapidly changing environment.
These are very interesting times for universities and libraries,
says Nancy Dennis, library director of collections and technology