Tag Archives: Feb 13 09

Divisional Faculty Advisory Groups

Submitted by Carrie Macfarlane

We have formed five new faculty advisory groups, one for each academic division, to provide advice and feedback to LIS and the existing campus-wide Faculty LIS Advisory Committee.  You can see a list of the five new groups on the LIS Advisory Groups blog.  Each group will be led by a LIS representative and a faculty representative, and will be convened 2-3 times per year to share information and requests.  Our hope is that these new groups will facilitate discussion on discipline-specific questions, helping us all to see where needs converge and diverge.

Topics for discussion in divisional meetings will be determined by the groups and their co-conveners.  Some topics that we expect might be of interest include updates on academic technology assessments; budgets; classrooms and labs; emerging tech support needs; trends in scholarly communication; collection management; web presence; and in-class research instruction.

We’re excited at the prospects for increased communication that these new advisory groups raise.  This is a pilot, though, and if it’s not as successful as we’d like then we’ll look for alternatives after two years.  If you have any suggestions for meeting topics, contact one of your representatives (find out who they are at the LIS Advisory Groups blog).

Cell phone room?

Submitted by Carrie Macfarlane

We received a request for a “cell phone room” in the Main Library.  We’ve posted a preliminary response here:  LIS Suggestions – Cell Phone Room.  Do you think that we should provide a soundproof space for impromptu phone conversations? If so, what should it look like and where should it be?  We’ll admit that the idea of a bright red phone booth occurred to us.   What do you think?   Should we set aside an existing group study?  Is there another (inexpensive) solution?

Or, is this something that falls outside of our responsibilities?

Please discuss!

Print Management: Coming soon!

A group of folks from LIS and the rest of the College have been meeting to develop a plan for rolling out print management to campus this Spring. The system, which uses PaperCut to manage print jobs, initially will require people wanting to print to release their print jobs via a control panel. In the Fall we intend to begin issuing print quotas. After a quota has been reached, the person would need to pay for their print outs using a credit card. As the project moves forward, we’ll post more information.

This week we’ll be running a test print release station at circulation in the main library; come by and try it out!

“Our roofs don’t leak.”

Submitted by Joseph Watson

“Our roofs don’t leak.”  That’s what the architects said in a meeting with library staff when the plans for the new library were first presented.  Somebody in the audience noticed that much of the library was covered with a flat roof and pointed out that there was a history of flat roofs failing in the harsh New England climate.  Their concern was met with firm assurances from the architects that they knew what they were doing and the roof would not leak.

Well, here we are.

Roof leak up lvl Feb 09.jpg

Since the Main Library opened in 2004 we have had more than 20 water incursions. Four of them were from leaky pipes or malfunctioning HVAC equipment, which is bound to happen with new construction.  The worst of these was when a part in a cooling unit in the server room broke, flooding the raised floor almost to overflowing.  Five of them were from groundwater rising up and flowing in, which, hopefully, is a very rare event.  Fortunately only the floors got wet. Twelve of them were from roof leaks, sometimes persistent ones.  A particularly tedious leak started on the upper mezzanine on the north side of the building in the spring of 2006.  For two years water intermittently dripped through the ceiling, ruining drywall and carpet, and distracting students studying nearby.  Roofers were finally able to fix the leak in the summer of 2008.

Library materials have gotten wet only twice.  The first time was when the building was new and window seals above the atrium failed allowing water to flow in around the window, travel along the sloped ceiling, and then drip down onto the art books.  That leak was fixed and hasn’t recurred.

The second time books got wet was on Friday night, January 30, 2009.   Just as the building was closing, a student stopped at the Circulation Desk and said there was water leaking onto book shelves on the upper level.  Kellam Ayres investigated and acted to save the day.  She informed Facilities Services who deployed “on call”  personnel who were conveniently already on campus.  Kellam worked with them to remove the wet books from the shelves, cover the effected book stacks with plastic in order to divert the water, and place buckets under the drips. (Pictured above.) She then set the wet books up to air dry.  We in Preservation really appreciate the efforts of colleagues like Kellam who follow procedures and carefully ensure that damage to the collections is minimized. THANK YOU KELLAM!!! The leak continues to drip on and off.  Facilities Services, who are also frustrated by these problems, had a roofer here this week to try to locate the source and they were unable to.   We’ll be keeping an eye on this leak and will be on the look out for others.

When conditions indicate threats such as heavy rains in warm weather or a snow covered roof with light rains in cold weather, I routinely inspect the upper level for leaks during the weekdays and Circulation Staff members do the same in the evening and on the weekends.  We’ve been lucky that all parts of the building are pretty heavily traveled so leaks have always been discovered fairly soon after they start.

Each library Circulation Desk has an Emergency Manual in which procedures are outlined.  These manuals can be consulted when something goes wrong.  The portion on reacting to water leaks is excerpted below.

“Water Damage

1.    Stop flow of water.  As needed call Facilities Management:  x-5472 (If Facilities Management is closed, call security x-5911 to reach “on call” facilities workers.)

2.    As the situation requires, protect items not yet wet by covering with plastic or relocate them to a dry area.  Turn off, unplug, and cover any computer equipment with plastic to protect it from water damage.  (Supplies are located in closet next to 135.)

3.    Until setting them up to dry:

Do not open wet books.
Do not separate single sheets.
Do not remove covers.
Do not disturb wet file boxes, prints, drawings, and photographs.

4.    Notify the Circulation Desk Supervisor, who will in turn notify the Disaster Team particularly the Preservation & Processing Manager.  The Disaster Team is responsible for preparing a plan of action.  See contact information on page A-3 and call them at home as needed.

For more information on recovery from a water incursion see Section E”

Access to Congressional Research Service Reports

Submitted by Hans Raum

Wikileaks recently released a comprehensive set of reports by the Congressional Research Service that had not previously been available to federal depository libraries or the general public.  The highly regarded and non-partisan reports had been previously available only to members of Congress and Wired magazine called their concealment “The biggest Congressional scandal of the digital age.”  Senator Patrick Leahy, who is a strong advocate of freedom of the press, has fought for years to make the reports public.

The Congressional Research Service is regarded as “Congress’s brain” and has a budget of over $100 million a year and the reports written by their experts cover a broad range of contentious issues, from the U. S. relationship with Israel to the financial collapse.  Public access to these reports is now available at http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Change_you_can_download:_a_billion_in_secret_Congressional_reports

Well over 2,000 reports have been updated in the past year and the oldest report goes back to 1990.  The recent release of these reports is an important milestone in the development of a more open and accountable government.