Tag Archives: Library Spaces

Cell Phone Booths in Davis Family Library – Location Update

In response to complaints about people having cell phone conversations adjacent to quiet study areas in Davis Family Library, LIS recently purchased to cell phone booths.  These almost completely sound proof booths are proving to be quite popular.

Cell phone booth in the NE corner of the upper level of Davis Family Library

After consulting with LIS staff and the Student LIS Advisory Committee, and after seeking suggestions through this blog, we have relocated the two booths in Davis Family Library.  They are both on the upper level in more low profile locations so there is less of an aesthetic impact on the architecture of the building.  One is in the NE corner closest to Twilight Hall opposite elevator #2, and the other is in the SW corner closest to the Axinn Center next to group study room LIB301F.  When you’re on the upper level of Davis Family Library and you want to make or receive a cell phone call, please take advantage of the private booths.

Cell phone booth locations on the upper level of Davis Family Library

 

Upcomming Collection Shift in Davis Family Library

Library moving company W. B. Meyer has been hired to shift part of the book collection in Davis Family Library during the week of Spring Break, starting on Monday the 26th.  This is being done to make room for the expansion of classroom LIB140 in June.  First, the Gov Docs collection will be consolidated to the east end of the compact shelving that it currently occupies.  (This is possible because Hans Raum and Ginny Faust have been weeding the collection for the past two years, significantly reducing it in size.)  Second, three ranges of books just to the east of LIB140 on the Lower Lvl will be moved to the emptied shelves at the west end of the compact shelving in the center of the Main Lvl.    The stacks sequence will remain the same but the break between the floors will be slightly different.   The movers will be done by Friday of that week.  Contact Joseph Watson with any questions or concerns.  A public notification of the move will be forthcoming in a few weeks.

Options for locating the new cell phone booths.

Update as of 2/29– After consulting with the Student LIS Advisory Committee who independently preferred the same option that LIS staff preferred, we have asked Facilities Services to move the two booths. Both booths will be on the upper level. One will be opposite elevator #2 and the other will be in the corridor between group study LIB301F and the south wall of carrels. The one that is opposite elevator #2 is still quite adjacent to the most staff who occupy shared offices in the building, it’s just that the adjacency is vertical, after a short elevator ride. Thanks to everyone who participated in the decision making process.

Post as of 2/24–  A group of LIS staff recently attended an open meeting to consider various options for locating the two new cell phone booths.   Below please see a summary of our conclusions.  If you were unable to attend the meeting but would like to share some ideas, please either comment here or email me (jwatson@middlebury.edu)  Also, if you prefer, feel free to stop by my office so I can point out the options on a floor plan.

 Cell phone booth location notes:

-General agreement that it doesn’t make sense to put a booth on the Main Lvl.

-General agreement that it makes more sense to put both booths on the Upper Lvl. because the signal will be more reliable and it’s more likely they’ll be used.  However we also agreed it makes sense to check back in with stakeholders who weren’t at the meeting to get their reaction to this before proceeding.  It’s a difficult call.  (LOL!  “call”, get it?)

-No general agreement on the ideal placement of the two on the Upper level.   In order of popularity the three options are:

  1. Kitty corner.  One opposite elevator #2 in the alcove with the recycling bins and the other in the separate little hallway between group study 301F and the carrels on the south wall.  The advantages are a low aesthetic impact, at separate ends of the upper floor.  The disadvantages are the low profile for finding them, one of them is near assigned study carrels where people might be bothered, the other displaces a few nicely located lounge chairs, the possibility of providing too much privacy for mischief.
  2. By elevators on east end.  One each in the alcoves opposite elevators #2 and #3.  The advantages are the low aesthetic impact and the feeling that it’s a semi-private spot. The disadvantages are the low profile for finding them, the nearness of assigned study carrels, the possibility of providing too much privacy for mischief.
  3. Center of east end.  next to the public access computers that are adjacent to the East Reading Room.  Advantages are the ease of finding them, that they’re not very near anybody studying, and they could be easily hardwired with a land line phone.  Disadvantage is the high aesthetic impact.

Cellphone booths in Davis Library

We were going to wait to announce the new Cellphone booths in Davis Family Library until we’d had a chance to evaluate them and decide on a permanent location for them, but Brittany beat us to the punch with this post on middblog.  (Thanks Yiling Zhang for the great picture.)

Photo by Yiling Zhang

We’ve installed these in an attempt to solve two problems.   For years we’ve had complaints about people having cell phone conversations adjacent to study areas.  Other academic libraries like ours have successfully used cell phone booths like these to solve that problem.  Also, there are about thirty staff members working in shared offices in Davis Family Library and these folks don’t have a private place for phone calls to their doctor, baby sitter, etc.   Part of the reason we acquired the cell phone booths was to enhance the work/life balance of these staff members.

We purchased them at a deeply discounted price and we hope they’re worth it.  Only time will tell.   In Brittany’s post she mentioned that the location of the one on the upper level might not be ideal.  If you have suggestions of better spots in Davis Family Library for these, please feel free to drop me a line at jwatson@middlebury.edu  Thanks!

Where’s the Harman Periodical Reading room?

If you’re an avid reader of newspapers or magazines…wait, that is, if you’re an avid reader of newspapers and magazines in their paper format, then maybe you’ve spent time in the Harman Periodical Reading Room located on the ground floor of the Davis Family Library. Comfy blue chairs, copies of the Burlington Free Press, New York Times, الأهرام (Al-Ahram from Egypt), 人民日报 (The China People’s Daily), and The Times of India to name just a few. Sound familiar?

Over the winter break we moved thirty-six of our most popular magazines to Harman from our current periodical shelves. So now, twenty-four of our newspapers from around the world live side-by-side with thirty-six magazines. So, if you have the urge to leaf through the most recent copy of Wired, The Economist, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Atlantic, MacWorld, Mother Earth News, or many others, pull up a chair.

Those of you using Apple’s Newsstand app for your magazine and newspaper reading can kindly ignore this message.

This is a quiet study area


While certain areas of Davis Family Library have always been known unofficially as good spots for quiet study, recently we’ve formalized that a bit by installing signage marking some areas as “Quiet Study Areas”. Look for the big blue Q and please avoid conversation, either in person or on the phone, anywhere near these signs. Of course, LIS staff won’t be going around the building “shushing” people, but we hope the new signage makes it more obvious which parts of the building are reserved for quiet contemplative study.

Upcoming LIS Office Moves

A few thoughts about the upcoming LIS office reassignments from your LIS Facilities Coordinator—

As you know, in the coming months many LIS staff will be moving offices. I think we would all agree that the timing of this reshuffle is less than ideal, but we must remember that it is triggered by the College’s need to react to the economic downturn. One way we’re doing that is by adding students to the enrollment without building new dorms. Because Voter 2nd floor was once used for student housing it can be returned to that purpose relatively quickly and efficiently, but that means that LIS staff members currently there need to move out so Voter can be renovated in time for the fall semester. I’ve been working with LIS Administration and Mary Stanley, the College Space Manager, to draft a relocation plan. With some creative thinking it looks like all the Voter 2nd floor folks will be able to fit into the Main Library.

As Mike Roy mentioned in a recent email, in order for this to happen, many of the LIS staff in the Main Library will also need to move. In most cases these moves will likely actually enhance adjacencies, allowing people who work most closely together to be near each other. In a few cases sacrifices will likely need to be made. Every effort is being made to accommodate everyone’s needs. I’m saying “likely” above because as I write this, the plan is in the draft stage. Once we’re sure that it’s possible for everyone to fit, the ADs will determine, in consultation with their managers and staff, exactly who will be sitting in exactly what chair. Once we know that, we’ll work with Facilities to set a move schedule. I do not now know exactly when that will be, but hopefully it will be soon.

While we will do all we can to customize the new spaces that people move into before moves take place, there will likely be instances when people move into a space that is not yet refined. Files could sit in boxes on the floor while we wait for a filing cabinet to be acquired. Books could sit on boxes on the floor while we wait for shelves to be installed. People may work at desks next to each other in open areas until dividers can be acquired to define spaces. Spring is an especially busy time for both Facilities Services and LIS. They will be just as busy and as stressed as we are. We must all strive to be patient and kind in our dealings with one another, pulling together, realizing that we are doing what needs to be done to solve the College’s current financial challenges.

Those who already know they’re moving, like the staff on Voter 2nd floor, could prepare now by cleaning out their offices and recycling everything that they don’t absolutely need to take with them. Everyone else, whether they think they might be moving or not, could do the same… it’s Spring after all! Stay tuned….