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Service Convenience and Study Space Improvements in Alden Library this Summer

Two staff members work at the Alden Library reserves desk in 1971
Library staff at the Alden reserves desk in 1971. More info

During summer session, we’re making several changes in Alden Library to provide more convenient services and improve library user experiences. 

Self-Pickup Shelving

The self-pickup location on the second floor of Alden Library, originally an experiment to provide no-contact pickup of library materials during the pandemic, has proved to be a very popular service. Library users appreciate that books are already checked out them, making it more efficient to simply walk in and pick up their materials.   

This summer we’ll move the location of this shelving about 30 feet to make better use of the space and create an easy to navigate shelving array.  Reference materials currently located on the 2nd floor will be reviewed for research and teaching alignment, currency, as well as state-wide and electronic availability. Significant and critical materials will be retained and moved to the circulating collection, improving access by making these volumes available using the request button and check-out. “The subject librarians are carefully reviewing titles and additional staff are making a second review of all titles. We are researching availability and ensuring the titles that need to be in Alden will be here for our researchers,” explained assistant dean for collections and digitization strategies, Janet Hulm.

Course Reserves, Interlibrary Loan Materials, and General Print Periodicals

In addition to the self-pickup improvements, we’re moving course reserves materials and interlibrary loan holds to the 2nd floor. Users will be able to conveniently pick up all requested materials on the same floor in Alden. Further collections access improvements include relocating the current print periodicals from the 4th floor to the 2nd floor near the service desk. 

In recent years, 60 percent of entrances to Alden came through the 2nd floor entrance, and nearly 70 percent of our in-person transactions occur at the 2nd floor desk. These improvements will allow us to highlight the 2nd floor desk as our primary service point in Alden, enabling a more sustainable service model.  

2nd and 4th Floor Study Spaces

The self-pickup shelving will occupy a relatively small footprint on the 2nd floor, thus allowing for the return of a popular study space to visitors with some improvements, including increased access to power. “We’re pleased that this work will simultaneously return a very popular study space near Café Bibilotech back to our users while also maintaining our convenient self-pickup service for our faculty and students,” observed assistant dean of research and educational services, Dr. Kelly Broughton.

Relocating the current periodicals shelving to the 2nd floor will increase study space in the very popular naturally lit area on the 4th floor and the reduction of transactions and traffic at the 4th floor service desk will lower the noise level on the east wing of the floor.

The 2nd floor received a new coat of paint this spring, but we’ll also be updating the carpet and improving the lighting this summer.  In addition, we will be rearranging the multimedia center to accommodate a new multimedia peer tutor service that we’re rolling out in the fall.

As we make these improvements throughout the summer, large sections of the 2nd floor will be unavailable due to construction. Thanks for your patience and understanding as we accomplish these changes.

“I am very excited to make self-pickup service a permanent offering at Alden Library, while also centralizing more services on the 2nd Floor,” said Dr. Neil Romanosky, dean of University Libraries. “This is a great example of user behaviors directly informing changes to library services and spaces.” 

Plans for these changes were discussed with the University Library Committee and the Student Advisory Board in the spring semester. If you have questions about our projects or for more information, please contact Dr. Kelly Broughton.