Looking out my window


I have a list of things I do regularly. First thing in the morning I check http://www.bbc.com, Inside Higher Ed, and my Instagram account. Then I check e-mail. When there’s time I might look at Facebook and Twitter, but that’s usually delayed until evening. Early morning and late evenings I take a walk with our dog, Brody. Themed meals (most popular right now-Tuesday Taco Bar…apparently making your own plate is a big deal for 7-year olds) and Friday game nights (ping pong and foosball) are pretty regular occurrences with my family. On Fridays I try to clean out my email accounts, both work and personal accounts. And, on Saturdays I usually call my folks. The list goes on.

So, when a friend here on campus suggested I try my hand at blogging as a way to connect with Library staff and faculty, I thought, sure, I should add that to my routine. But can and should are two very different things. I sat on this suggestion for a couple of months but have now decided I’m going to give this a try and see how it works. My intent is to provide a weekly update, and for the words I write here to be mostly business, some personal, and I am hopeful, to be of interest.

My first installment includes three pieces of information that I think will be of interest to library staff and faculty. One is donor related. One is holiday schedule related. One is space related.

Donors. After research and experimentation, a Gift button has been added to the navigation bar on the Library website. When site visitors are so inclined, we want giving to be really obvious and really easy. So far, reviews of the Gift button are positive, and it has been utilized. We’ve received at least two gifts in the few days it has been active. All the colleges on campus present a straightforward path for donating via their websites. We researched how Gift links are presented on various library websites, too. The most effective ones are conspicuously placed at the top.

Holiday/Semester break. In an effort to best serve our many constituencies, faculty, staff, and the campus community, Parks Library will not close over the holidays in 2016/17. Parks will remain open, most likely with reduced hours, and with limited services. Details on how we’ll do this are still being worked on, but I wanted to make you aware of it for semester-end/holiday planning.

Last but not least, library space. You’ve probably noticed that Parks Library is pretty crowded with students most days. I think this is wonderful and a good sign that we’re providing a welcoming, supportive research and study environment for our students. And, to continue to do so, we will soon begin a formal space study of the University Library. This space study will focus mostly on Parks, but will also include the Design Reading Room, Veterinary Medicine Library and the Library Storage Building. Discussions are just beginning with FP&M’s Margie Tabor and the University architects Dan Sloan and Dan Nutini and they will guide us on the next steps. We will all have opportunities to be involved and engaged in this major project and I’m counting on your creative ideas.

Stay tuned for more on the above and please let me know if you have any questions.


Snow scene from 302 Parks Library: “I love ISU.” I do, too!


You can follow me on Twitter @bethmcneil