Tag Archives: Accessibility

Students Speak About the Temporary Library

If you visited the 49er Library ConNeX this September you probably noticed a large white board on display posing the question:  “What do you think about our temporary facility?”   Students were invited to write comments on the white board sharing what they liked and disliked about the library’s temporary location in Building 300, which it currently shares with the cafeteria.

white board with responses

We asked, and you answered!  The following were the topics mentioned in students’ feedback:

Likes

  • Friendly, helpful library staff
    • We’re glad that students like the library staff.  We like you, too!
  • Research assistance 
    • We provide research assistance to students working on assignments. Stop by the reference desk and speak to a librarian for research assistance.  We’re here to help!
  • Free coffee
    • Who doesn’t love free coffee?
  • Quiet Cyber Lab
    • The Cyber Lab, located in a room separate from the main library area, is a quiet place to study and access computers.  If the cafeteria noise is bothering you, visit the library’s quiet Cyber Lab, containing 32 computers as well as individual desks and study carrels.
  • Longer hours
    • Because we care about our students, we have extended our hours to Monday-Thursday 7:45am-8pm and Friday 7:45am-4:30pm.  Stop in!
  • Shortened distance to the cafeteria
    • You’ve got that right!  If the library was any closer to the cafeteria, we’d be shelving bananas alongside our books.
  • Less formal setting than the previous library
    • A less formal setting is inevitable when the library is sharing the same building with the cafeteria.  Just maintain the quiet, please!

Dislikes

  • Smaller library size
    • Although the size of the temporary library is smaller than the main library, with about 4,000 books on display, the library’s remaining collection of about 15,000 books is accessible offsite.  If you find an item in the library catalog that is not currently located on the library’s shelves, all you need to do is request the item and we’ll retrieve it from storage for you.
  • Smelling cafeteria food while trying to study
    • We understand that the smell of cafeteria food can be distracting while trying to study.  Unfortunately, the aromas come with the location.
  • Lack of power outlets to plug in electronic devices
    • We’re pleased to announce that a whole row of power outlets have been installed on the cafeteria side of Building 300 to meet students’ needs.  Additionally, more power outlets have been installed in the courtyard.
  • Cafeteria noise
    • We know that the cafeteria noise can be distracting to students while working at the library’s study tables.  However, the library’s Cyber Lab, located in a room separate from the open-air space that the library shares with the cafeteria, is a quiet place to study and work on assignments.  The Cyber Lab contains 32 computers as well as individual desks and study carrels.  Visit the Cyber Lab for your quiet computer and studying needs.

We thank you for your patience during this two year period while the main library is being remodeled and undergoing its high-tech, Library 2.0 transformation.  The temporary inconveniences accompanying our cafeteria-based location were inevitable, but in the end it will all be worth it when in two years we move into our newly remodeled, state-of-the-art library building.   We continue to try to improve our service, and we appreciate the excellent, informative feedback written on the library’s white board this September.   The library is doing its best to meet students’ needs and always welcomes students’ feedback about how we can make your library experience better.

We’re listening, and we want to hear from you.

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Filed under About, Library Services

Banned Books Week: Sept. 24 – Oct. 1, 2011

Banned Books Week, an annual campaign promoting the intellectual freedom to read that has been held in the United States since 1982, is occurring this week from September 24 – October 1, 2011.  Banned Books Week not only draws awareness to First Amendment rights and intellectual freedom, but also to the issues of censorship, free access to information, and real attempts (both successful and unsuccessful) to ban books in the United States.   At the core of Banned Books Week lies the principal that books containing controversial or unpopular content should remain accessible and available to all people who wish to read them.

Many events take place each year during the last week in September to highlight Banned Books Week in the United States.  Events such as read-outs, in which people gather to read passages from banned books, are a popular way to draw attention to the issue of book censorship.  Adding a twist to the traditional read-out, this year the American Library Association (ALA) and its cosponsors are holding a Virtual Read-Out event in which people are encouraged to submit short videos of themselves reading passages from banned books, which will be featured on the Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out YouTube channel.  Additionally, many library’s plan events and create displays each year for Banned Books Week.  The official Banned Books Week website provides a list of events occurring in libraries in the United States throughout the week.  However, since this list is in no way exhaustive, we encourage you to contact your local libraries this week to learn about the Banned Books Week events that are occurring near you.

To inform the public about the the facts relating to challenged or banned books, the American Library Association provides lists of the top ten challenged books of the 21st century (2001-2010), the top ten challenged authors of the 21st century (2001-2010), statistics relating to the challenges to books per year (1990-2010), the 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990-1999, the 100 most frequently challenged books from 2000-2009, and the most frequently banned or challenged classics.  How many of the challenged or banned books included on ALA’s lists have you read?

In honor of Banned Books Week this week, read a banned book, attend a Banned Books Week event, and support your local libraries.  You can show your support for the precious freedom to read by reading those books on ALA’s lists that have been challenged or banned in the past.  Which banned book will you be reading this week?

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New Library Location

The transition of moving the library to its temporary location has been completed!  The move went exceptionally well, and we were able to bring over 4,000 books and media materials to the new 49er Library ConNex!  The 49er Library ConNex will be offering new, extended hours for the Fall in order to accommodate growing needs of Yuba College’s students.  We are so excited about providing more hours to students, and we really hope that you will take advantage of the extended schedule!  The 49er Library ConNex will be opening August 15 for the Fall Semester.

New Fall Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 7:45am – 8:00pm

Friday: 7:45am – 4:30pm

The new library location will provide thousands of resources for students, faculty, and staff.  However, if you find something in the catalog that is not located at the 49er Library ConNex, you can request that the materials be brought over to the new location.  You can request materials through the library catalog or in-person at the library – and remember, you can also request materials from other campuses as well!  We will be at this new location for two years during the major remodeling project and then reopen at the freshly remodeled library in 2013.

Come visit the Cyber Lab!  We will have all types of technology and equipment to meet your needs, including: computers, printers, WiFi, copiers, resources for DE testing, and more!  We will also provide a quiet study area for students who need to complete studies and research in a quiet environment.

We are so excited about the innovative changes being made to the Yuba College Library and hope that you are too!  We understand that the temporary location is smaller in size and has a new atmosphere due to the close proximity of the cafeteria.  We greatly appreciate the flexibility of our students as we work to create a newly remodeled library!

So, stop by the 49er Library ConNex to see our technologically advanced Cyber Lab, take advantage of our extended hours schedule, and find a quiet place to complete your studies.  We are here to help!

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Filed under Library Future, Library Services

On the Virtues of Ebrary (With Apologies to Google)

Last Fall, Yuba College Library acquired access to Ebrary, a searchable e-book database with access to thousands of titles. Now, you may be thinking, “why do that when we have Google for free?” And the answer is something along the lines of “because you get what you pay for.” Let me explain.

Library systems are highly specialized. People who work for them spend countless hours devising cataloguing standards that allow you to conduct simple keyword searches, title searchers, subject or topic searches, searches within searchers, and further segment your results by date, relevance, type of publication, or whether it is available in full text. In theory, this means that you will get more accurate information faster and, because you can save your search results, will be able to retrieve it again easily in the future.

Yes, I know, with its advanced search features, Google Books can do much the same thing…with one exception: On Google Books the really good stuff is for pay.

You don’t believe me? Try a search on Google Books and before you get too excited, look on the left side bar and click on “Free Google eBooks.” Now, watch your fancy list of results whittle down to a bunch of old, government-sponsored, irrelevant, and generally sad-looking publications. On a library system like Ebrary, while it, too, does not necessarily have immediate access to every book in creation, it is not stingy about providing you with access to good, current titles. That’s because what the library does is generously pay for access to those titles on your behalf. Google will never do that.

In fact, “free” is the whole purpose of Ebrary’s existence. As Ebrary co-founder Christopher Warnock said recently, “If every library acquired information digitally, all the world’s information would be free to everybody.” Generally speaking, that is what librarians want to do also, which is why we are always dissing Google. We know, we know, Google is so much easier and friendlier to use. But if you can’t find what you’re looking for and you have to pay for it when you get there, what is the point? I’m sorry, are you rich? This economy too successful for you? The library gives it away for free, FREE! You might as well take advantage of that.

Also, Ebrary offers some key benefits to disabled learners or users with accessibility issues. This video helpfully explores those options. As the video points out, Ebrary is akin to a free electronic library, so users can still acquire the materials they need, as well as take advantage of technological features that help facilitate access.

We hope you will try Ebrary the next time you need to do your research, or simply want to read a (good) free book. And if you need book suggestions, don’t forget to ask us at the library!

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Filed under About, Library Systems