Sunday, March 30, 2008

Gleeson Library Display

Our Digital Literacy class has taken the responsibility to fill this space:

for National Library Week in April. Our display will be in response to the questions:

What do I love about the library?
What do I wish the library offered?

I spent five semesters working at the Gleeson Library, so it's interesting to think about these questions. What I love most about the library is the books. I like Prof. Silver's idea about each of us choosing a few of our favorite books to display. Some books I would like to include are: Who Needs Donuts? by Mark Alan Stamaty, Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (though it's checked out right now), Pathologies of Power by Paul Farmer (also checked out), Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers, and Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs.

Other things I love about the library: the 24-hour atrium, the Thacher Gallery, the old card catalog on the lower level, all the places you can hide in the stacks (especially in the lower level), the carrels (those individual study cubby things - I'm not sure how I know the name for them), and all the online resources (databases, e-books, online journals, etc.). In order to represent these things, I like the idea of taking photos. I see two main options for presenting the photos (and we could do both): 1) We can get photos printed and put them on the wall, 2) We can have a slideshow running on a laptop. My vote is for option 1, first because it will save us table/counter space for other things (like books), and second because most people are just going to glance at this exhibit as they walk by. They'll take in a lot more of the photos if they can see them all at once instead of waiting for them to cycle through on a computer screen.

What would I like the library to offer? Online study room reservation, clearly designated "quiet" and "okay to talk" areas, clocks throughout the library, a better access system than the terrible gates at the front, and more music and movies (also presented more accessibly than they currently are), and book discussion groups. Smarter and nicer patrons would be cool too, but I think that's beyond the library's control. I know I'm not dreaming big here (though I did like the in-class idea of hugs and head massages), but those are practical, doable things I would like to see.

These are harder to represent than what the library has already. I like the idea of a space where patrons can say what they would like the library to offer. That makes more sense to me than just the opinions of seven students and a professor. We could encourage people to draw as well as write. We could provide colored pencils, markers, and crayons. As a digital alternative (or addition), we could set up a computer with a blog (or something) where people could write their suggestions. That way, if people were writing inappropriate things, we could easily delete them.

A fun field trip for our class would be to go into the library storage space on Lone Mountain. You go through the Del Santo Reading Room, and there's a door in the back leading to the storage space. There are a few floors of books that used to be where they had closed stacks at the Lone Mountain College library. Now it's space for books that don't circulate very often. It's dark and hot and stuffy in there. Kind of scary when you're alone. If I were a ghost on Lone Mountain, I would definitely hang out in there.


Mary said...

That way, if people were writing inappropriate things, we could easily delete them.

*gasp* Censorship!!!!1!1!!!!

Whatchu doin' hiding in the stacks, anyway? *eyes you*

Amber said...

Re: censorship - obscenity and "fighting words" are not protected by the first amendment. So there. :-P

Re: hiding in the stacks - when I worked there, I would hide when I found an interesting book and started reading when I should have been working. Ssssshhhhhh. More generally, I prefer isolation when I'm in the library. If someone's in the aisle that has the books I want to look at, sometimes I'll wait till they leave. Probably because I homeschooled and can't handle social interactions. *eyes you back*

lissle said...

i agree about photos on the wall for our display. eye catching. also i think providing a space for people to say what they like about the library is good, on a mural maybe. maybe also we could have a hand held recorder there and people could say what they liked about the library? then we could play it in our little fort. hmmm

lissle said...

o ya, also i totally agree about the movies thing. the library maybe has movies that i would like to see and don't even know about them! this would be a way to get more people excited about the library, by advertising all the movies they have available to rent.

Kelly said...

--clearly designated "quiet" and "OK to talk" spaces? You dreamer.... but you're not the only one! Why don't we put home-made signs that say just that in our display?

--same goes for the clocks (but who wants to know what time it is really?

--I think we can address what you like with the canopy/corner creation (using book covers and moving library furniture, of course). Kind of create our own private place/fort right in the busiest spot in the joint. Just like those little corners that you enjoy, we could create a corner... anywhere, I suppose.

Penny Scott said...

So is this head massages for patrons, or for the librarians? Asks Reference Librarian, Penny Scott... :)

Tee hee!!

I can't wait to see the ideas you all come up with!

Debbie (a Gleeson Librarian) said...

I'm thrilled that your class is putting up the display and making a space for people to give the library staff their ideas. People do email comments via the library's web site from time to time but the display will be a lot more fun and, I bet will get lots more interesting ideas. I'm really looking forward to seeing the fort. Now about those massages...

Amber said...

We've now put together a pretty awesome display (in my opinion), but unfortunately we haven't created those spaces I envisioned for comments about the library. I'm really hoping that we'll add that on, though. I think we'll make it happen next week.

Debbie said...

You're right the display is awesome! I love the chairs and flip books and contest and everything about it, including that this morning the fort looks like a book explosion. It took a while to realize the fort fell down, overnight I guess.