Greetings from the Chief Librarian

The beginning of Fall 2011 semester has been quite eventful — caught unaware by the tremors of the August 24 earthquake in VA, but braced for the touchdown of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene on August 28!  Nevertheless, I am pleased to report that the stacks did not buckle nor did we experience any serious water damage, thankfully, from these historic events.  We hope that you are all excited as we are to get the semester underway, regardless of the shaky beginnings.

The CSI Library had a productive year that has been documented in the 2010/2011 Annual Report. Highlights include several initiatives: a three-day citation clinic on formatting and citing with APA, MLA, and Chicago manual writing styles; the integration of a self-checkout system that allows patrons to check out books from the circulating collection (3rd floor stacks); the establishment of a peer-to-peer student library security program to monitor noise level and behaviour of patrons in the Library; and the two week pilot of 22 hours of library hours during Spring 2011 final examination.

In our pursuit of monitoring the impact in library services with regards to 14.5 extended hours of services, we conducted a five-questionnaire poll Spring 2011, from March 1 to May 26, 2011. Patrons were not shy in sounding off, which generated some interesting data.  Out of 432 respondents,

  • 36% responded that the library hours were “fine as is,” however 26% responded that the library “should be open 24 hours a day during midterm and final exams.”
  • 64% of the respondents ranked “To find a quiet place to study or read” as the #1 reason for frequently visiting the library after 10pm.
  • When asked what college services did they expect to be available after 10pm, 67.8% ranked Security/Public Safety as #1, 53.7% ranked Food Services as #2, 52.5% ranked Technical Support (computer/email logins, wireless networking, BlackBoard) as #3, and 46.3% ranked Transportation Services (loop bus, ferry shuttle) as #4.

Nevertheless, with the extended hours, the library has experienced an increase in the average number of patrons in the Library between the hours of 7pm and 11pm.  This increase has indirectly contributed to the increase in use of various resources as compared to the previous academic year, which can be attributed to the following:

  • increase in use of the textbooks and circulating collections ( 11%),
  • increase in use of study group rooms (26%),
  • increase in use of calculators (174%), and
  • increase in use of laptops (220%).

Major initiatives for the 2011/2012 include the merge of two services points (the Document Center and Circulation/Reserves Unit) to absorb the loss of staff and space; the restructuring of the library instruction program to include a prescribed curriculum for orientation, workshops, and information literacy sessions; and the relocation of the microform storage from the 1L building to an off-site location in 2M.

In the meantime, we expect to see you in the Library soon at one or more of our events this semester, which include a photographic exhibit of 9/11 in our newly renovated Library Gallery of the Volpe Rotunda through October; a lecture about the Seguine Mansion on Staten Island celebrating Archives History Day on October 13; the faculty Author Talks on November 10 where faculty will present the backstory of their recently published books; film screenings celebrating International Education Week from November 14-18; and several workshops where you can work in groups or one-on-one with librarians in effectively using specific electronic databases.

As always, I do encourage you to explore some of the new databases acquired during last year.  A selection includes American Society for Microbiology Journals (12 journals in the field of microbiology), Chronicle of Philanthropy (includes trend analysis, and fundraising strategies, annual surveys on giving, foundations, executive salaries, and ranking of charities in the Philanthropy 400); IEEE Xplore (abstracts and select full-text of technical literature in electrical engineering, computer science, and electronics published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers); Salem History (e-reference online about historical eras, events, and figures; and Salem Science (e-reference online from Salem Press concerning science and environmental issues).

If you have not discovered our Research Guides, please locate them on the homepage.  Find your discipline and revel in the wealth of resources acquired to support your learning, research, and teaching at CSI.  If there is one you need that is not on the list, do not hesitate to send me the title so that we can evaluate and consider it for the library’s collection.

Here’s to a productive and successful 2011 Fall semester!

Cheers!

Wilma L. Jones, Ph.D.
Professor and Chief Librarian
Wilma.Jones@csi.cuny.edu
http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/~jones/