Category Archives: Staff Updates

Silas Marques Researches How to Best Use Our Library Spaces

By Silas Marques, Reference/Database/Off-campus Services Librarian, James White Library, Andrews University

The 35th International Association of Technical and University Libraries (IATUL ) was held in Espoo, Finland, this past June. It was sponsored by Aalto University. The main topic was, “Measures for Success: Library Resources and Effectiveness under Scrutiny.”

My paper entitled “What Students Really Want: Library as Place at Andrews University” was presented as a poster during the conference. The discussion about space in the academic library is a timely issue and has provoked heated debate in the specialized literature. Over the past few decades, many doomsday prophets have predicted the end of the library building. We are living in a time when technology gives greater access to information than at any other point in history. However, any discussion with a librarian will demonstrate that they have a passion for new technology and how it can benefit people in their communities. Librarians have become experts in adapting to technological changes and still remain the heart of the university and any academic endeavor.

In practice, academic library buildings are well and alive, bursting with students, day and night. Librarians achieved this by reconfiguring library spaces to align with the new teaching and learning styles, such as collaborative learning, blended learning, and flipped classroom. These reconfigured spaces acknowledge that socialization is more popular today than ever, but solitude, concentration, silence, and individual study where students and faculty can undergo serious research is also still very important.

The results of my research showed that no matter how you look at it (by gender, program level, level of attendance, survey location, and etc.), students still like studying at the library. The results of ethnographic study, using, amongst others, a design charrette technique, showed that out of the 138 students who participated, 46% still prefer closed or open individual study areas, 18% closed group study areas, 16% open group study areas, 10% social spaces, and 10% interactive learning spaces.

The results of this study could be used by library administrators to make decisions about the services libraries provide for their patrons, especially regarding the distribution and rearrangement of library building spaces to meet the actual needs and preferences of their customers. Meeting customer needs more fully would ensure that our libraries have a place in the hearts and lives of our communities for many years to come, and that’s something every librarian aspires to.


Steve Sowder Presents at Innovative Users Group

By Steve Sowder, Systems Librarian, James White Library, Andrews University

I attended the International Innovative Users Group (IUG) in Detroit the week of May 5, 2014. There, I presented a paper on techniques for loading journal records into Innovative’s Eresource Management System (ERM).

The point of my presentation was to show how to develop a system that could handle complex data records that were in multiple languages, with titles over 300 characters long, and with inconsistent punctuation. The solution is to develop a hashtag that is consistent across the different variations and use it to uniquely identify titles even though a simple match would not be evident. This method is being used at James White Library for our 160,000+ journal titles that are a part of our ERM system.

The IUG was founded in 1991 and is a very active user group for Innovative software. The IUG Conference is held every spring in various cities around the US. There usually around 140 different sessions to attend at the conference and about half of the presenters are library staff and the other half are representatives from Innovative. Event

attendance averages around 1,000 people. It is a good opportunity to learn new features of the software, find fixes or solve “how do I …” types of problems. Many times just meeting staff from other libraries and “talking shop” leads to solving problems and getting new ideas to enhance the library back home.

Innovative software runs the James White Library catalog, JWL Discovery Keyword searches, the software for backroom processing, and other functions. The James White Library has been using Innovative software since 1992.

New Library Assistants Orientation

The James White Library hired energetic, highly motivated library assistants to help you with your research and academic needs. From left to right you will see their names and departments:

Michelle (Patron Services), Jameel (Center for Adventist Research/CAR), Hannah (CAR), Brian (Patron Services), Daekwon (Patron Services), Jatniel, Beniel (CAR), Matthew (Music Materials Center/MMC), Henrique (CAR), Noemi (Marketing), Kayla (Periodicals), Rebecca (Multimedia Center), Maureen (CAR), Priscilla (ARC), Jessica (MMC), Melissa (Seminary Library), Heaven (Patron Services), Edgar (Marketing), Alexa (MMC), Tatiana (ARC), Jenny (ARC), Kylie (ARC)

Taking the photo: Carlisle (Information Services). Not pictured: Delvin (Patron Services), Timothy (MMC)