A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to make a presentation to President’s Council about our University Library. To those of you helped with content for the PowerPoint slides – thank you very much. President’s Council meets once a month or so, and often includes short presentations from various campus units. I was delighted to be invited to present. My plan was to remind Council members about the services and collections we provide, tell them about some of our newer initiatives underway, and finally – for everyone there to recognize the important contributions we in the University Library make to learning and research and that we want to collaborate with them to increase our contributions in these areas. Message received! It turns out that just about everyone wants to talk with us. OK, I’m exaggerating a bit, but over the past few weeks several campus leaders have contacted us with ideas for collaborating. Not all of these ideas will develop but others should lead to tangible ways for us to make even more contributions to student success at Iowa State. There are two collaborations coming soon to which I want to alert you.
First, the ITS Solution Center, where ISU students, staff, and faculty go for technology support, will move from Durham into Parks Library later this semester. The exact location is still being determined but it will be somewhere on the Parks first floor, in close proximity to the stand-up computers, printers, and our main service desk. Solution Center staff will continue to provide help with software, networking, and other IT service issues as they do now and will also assist with the technology-related support that our library users sometimes need, including printing and scanning assistance, etc. This is a great way for the Library and ITS to collaborate, but even more importantly it offers convenient access to technical expertise for campus.
Dead and Finals Week. We will try an experiment this semester: Parks Library will pilot being open 24/7 during dead week and finals week. On Sunday, April 24th we’ll open at our usual time, 12:30 p.m., and we will stay open until 5p.m. on Friday, May 6th. This extra service is something libraries at some other universities have successfully provided in recent years, and apparently this is something that ISU students have asked for off-and-on. Since I’d been thinking about it anyway, when I saw the student government campaign poster listing 24/7 access as a platform issue for one of the candidates I decided it was the time to seriously consider the idea and discuss it with Administrative Cabinet. And Admin Cabinet has agreed to give it a try.
There are many, many details still to work out, including investigating CyRide schedules, communicating with other units such as campus police, not to mention scheduling. For this to be a successful project, we’ll need an adult employee here around the clock for those 13 days. Please be thinking how you might participate: maybe sign up to staff a night shift or two (I’m planning to), take an extra daytime desk shift or chat session for a colleague who flexes their schedule to work an evening shift, or be flexible about rescheduling a regular meeting for a co-worker who has changed their schedule. There are many ways for each of us, throughout the Library, to contribute. I am confident we can work together to pull this off and that ISU students will appreciate this contribution to their academic success. More information about this will follow.
Up next: Next Tuesday, the Library is sponsoring the final game of the ISU’s Women’s basketball season. We play West Virginia University and their library dean, Dr. Jon Cawthorne, will visit campus that day to join me at the game for a bit of friendly library/basketball rivalry. In addition to coming to the game, Dr. Cawthorne will make a presentation at 1:30 on Tuesday. Please check CyPoint for details about his presentation. The game sponsorship gives us another way to support Iowa State students plus provides an outreach opportunity to our area library colleagues – we have invited guests from academic and public libraries around the state to visit campus, tour Parks and go to the game.
Seeking creative ideas: Another interesting developing partnership is with the Office of the Vice President for Research, for a research lecture series co-sponsored by the University Library and VPR. We are still in the early discussion stages and need some creative thinkers to assist. Please send me your creative ideas for names for the lecture series – something that will draw faculty in and connect the Library to research.
Please be in touch if you have any questions, suggestions, or comments.