Your guide to the University Library

Rachel Hunter

Think the library is filled with old books, slow computers and shushing librarians? Think again. With 12 floors and more than 100 employees, the Kent State Library offers much more than a typical library does.

“The staff is very service oriented,” said Dean of the Library Mark Weber.

The library offers drop-in tutoring, as well as Ask A Librarian, which is a link on the library Web site with options of e-mailing questions, calling in or coming to the library in person for help. There is also a service called IMaKSULibrarian, which can be added to a student’s AIM buddy list to IM questions to a librarian.

“This is another way we (the library) can reach students when they need it the most. All of us librarians feel very comfortable with answering questions using IM,” said Reference Center Manager and Assistant Professor Tom Warren. “If a question is such that we cannot adequately answer it using the service, we simply ask the student to call or come in for additional help.”

Along with tutoring, there’s a service called Personalized Research Consultation. A PERC is a 30-60 minute one-on-one session with a librarian to help find information for a paper or project. Appointments can be made at the reference desk or by calling the library, and should be made two days in advance. Along with these services, the library has librarians and faculty all around the building ready and waiting to help.

The first floor offers many computer labs, as well as a reference desk in the front of the building and a help desk in the center. A multimedia studio with video editing equipment, private editing rooms and a friendly staff that is ready to help is also located on the first floor. The multimedia studio also offers a new “Software Usability” program that discusses the advantages and the most common technical problems encountered, as well as how to solve these problems. Other features include a computer help desk, May 4th Resource room for studying and reflection, comfortable seating area, Jazzman’s and quiet study rooms.

The newly remodeled second floor contains a new study space with small tables, comfortable seating and individual cubicles. It also includes a presentation practice room with six seats, a podium, computer, LCD screen and whiteboard for students to gather and work on projects. The room can be reserved by students in two hour blocks at the new information desk. The photocopiers and laser print station are located next to the desk. Lastly, the second floor also offers a Microform Center, where students can access newspaper archives.

“The second floor renovations were inspired by the executive office,” said Jessica Gardner, who is in charge of the second floor reference desk. “It’s much prettier and cosmetically attractive,” Gardner said.

The Audio Visual Media Services is located on the third floor, along with the School of Library and Information Science and the Dean’s Office. The A/V Media Services lends out a variety of materials such as digital cameras, camcorders, tripods, DVDs, videotapes and digital recorders. The remaining floors are equipped with shelves of books, computers to search for books and quiet study tables and desks open to all students.

“I think the library is a good source of information to classes. One of my classes used the e-reserves portion and that was nice since we didn’t have to buy a book for class,” said sophomore nursing major Amy Anderson. “I also think it is a good place for students to go study without many distractions.”

Contact libraries and information reporter Rachel Hunter at [email protected].