Monday, July 11, 2011

Taking a break?

Summer is traditionally a time to take a break from school. Students go home for the summer, get summer jobs, do internships, or short term mission trips. Faculty travel and read up in their disciplines. The staff gear up for the next school year. For the library, that means doing projects such as weeding which uses up precious study space that isn't in high demand now.

I said, "traditionally."

Even though the main users of the Darling Library's facilities are gone for the summer, there are conferences that use the dorms and campus facilities so it's not exactly quiet around here. (We've had polynesian dance competition and basketball camps so far--guess which group this picture represents.) But these groups do not use the library so our hours are reduced to 5-6 hours on weekdays. But the library staff is busy.

The online and graduate programs are year-round as is the need for the online library. This summer we are particularly industrious as we are continuing, transitioning, revamping, or developing new online resources--and considering how each change will affect each of our users. Instruction, tutorials, intuitive interfaces are all vital for an user-accessible library. This doesn't just happen. And when they do come together, somehow our users have to become aware of it. How do we spread the word about services that truly do save time when the very act of reading another email message takes too much time?

Such are the challenges of the forward-thinking library of today.

No comments: