Working towards success: the Andruss Library is making moves

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Grumblings from frustrated students have been heard around campus such as,  “The computers at the library are too slow,” and “There aren’t enough group rooms available.” It is impossible to find a computer when one is needed.  The Andruss Library overlooking the Bloomsburg University quadrangle is constantly active with the ebb and flow of students coming and going, printing and studying, and reading and writing. However, some of these busy students are not fully satisfied with the library’s resources, and every student has a different opinion about the pros and cons of the Andruss Library.  Interim Director of Library Services, Dr. David Magolis, assures that he hears perturbed students’ concerns and elaborates upon changes that have been made in the building to better accommodate an array of academic needs.  The collective voice of the student body does, indeed, hold weight at Bloomsburg University, and changes that have occurred recently on all floors of the building prove this to be true.

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Upon walking into Magolis’ office on the fourth floor of the library, the ex-librarian’s amiability is immediately perceptible and his “open door policy” with students is instantly made clear.  “I want to hear from students.  I want to know what their needs are and what will make them successful….Students’ success is our mission in the library!”  states Magolis emphatically, who hopes that students will contact him with their frustrations so that he can take the necessary steps to fix problems that arise.  “I don’t know about a problem if you don’t tell me,” says Magolis, who receives only about two or so complaints from students a month.  If apprehensive about personally addressing Magolis, students with questions can also text the library, “Tweet” the library’s page on Twitter, or leave comments in the library webpage’s electronic suggestion box.

Dr. David Magolis in his fourth-floor library office

In lieu of suggestions presented by students, multiple changes have been made in the library over the past few years.  One of the most common grievances communicated by students is the slow sign-on and operating speeds of the library computers.  Magolis, who is aware of these problems, is working on a solution.  Hillary Gorgone, a senior, voiced her frustrations with the computers, saying “…they never print and they take forever to log on.  They need to be fast when we count on them to be.”  Magolis, who is aware of these problems, is working on a solution.

In order to understand the solution, an explanation behind why the computers can be so slow is necessary, and may surprise some students with feelings similar to Gorgone’s.  The library uses a type of mock computer called a “Thin Client,” which consists of a monitor, keyboard, mouse and a box to connect to the system; however, the main server for these computers is contained in Ben Franklin Hall and the distance between the “dummy” terminals of the “Thin Client” computers and the central server results in connection difficulties.  Magolis asserts that there are plans to remove 38 of these computers, which will free up space on the server, and he is adamant that if the need for new computers develops, then new computers will be bought.

Second to students’ concerns about the sometimes below-par computer speeds is the amount of group and study space available.  Efforts have been made by Magolis and the library staff to provide more study areas.  The first and third floors were recaptured and opened up to create more study space, new furniture was recently added to the first floor and at least one new group study room became available on each floor.  In addition, Magolis states that an internal space audit is executed every year to assure that space is used efficiently.

“Please, please let me know if there are any problems. 

I encourage students to stop by my office, call, or send me an email to let me

know what they need.”   — Dr. David Magolis

       The library’s purportedly insufficient hours of operation have generated complaints in the past and were recently extended to meet the needs of late studiers.  The building is now open until 2:00 a.m., Sunday through Wednesday, and is open for an additional 2 ½ hours on Fridays, closing at 7:00 p.m.  In addition to remaining open longer, the library building increased its technological resources by adding 20 laptops for circulation, creating a satellite writing center on the first floor, installing a color printer and scanner on the second floor and adding the option of paying with “Husky Gold” for paper copies and fine payments.

       The calculated alterations made by Magolis and the library staff in response to the concerns of students will hopefully remind those attending BU to vocalize their good and bad opinions to prompt constructive changes in the library so it can function smoothly as a tool for academic success.

  What’s Next for the Library?

      More layout designs are in the works for the library in the near future and Magolis elaborated on preparations being made to create more study space.  The plan is to combine old print journals from the second floor with those on the fourth floor of the library to not only make research easier, but more importantly, to recapture space and provide more study areas.  Magolis hopes to begin this project at the end of the current spring 2012 semester.

No discussion has ensued in terms of building onto the library since 20,000 journal volumes were recently “deaccessioned” (withdrawn, given away, recycled or sold), from various area around the library and were converted into study space.  There was a time when the building was expected to expand into the faculty parking lot next to the Waller Administration building before the lot was developed, but these alleged plans fell by the way side.  Now, Magolis says that the only route for expansion would be to extend the library farther out into the campus quadrangle, presenting quite a construction project for the university.

For now, the Andruss library, its staff and the students who pile in and out of the revolving doors daily must make the best use of the space available.  As the needs of BU’s growing population change, be sure to check out the library’s blog at andrusslibrarian.blogspot.com and the Today Page to see what’s on the horizon for your library.

The Library in Numbers

Numerical statistics and relevant facts about the Andruss Library that students may want and need to know.

  • The Library building opened almost exactly 14 years ago on May 26, 1998.
  • There is study space and seating available for 1,000+ students and faculty members.
  • There is a combined total of 30 group study rooms, which was doubled from 15.
  • 20 circulation laptops are now available for general use.
  • 120,000 square feet was recaptured on the first and third floors to create more study space.
  • The library contains enough “Stack space,” or shelf space, for more than 400,000 volumes.
  • Any student may have up to 100 books rented out at a time.
  • It costs 10 cents to make a paper copy on the copier machines on the first and second floors.
  • There are 33 academic disciplines, or majors, that each have their own librarian with his or her own extension number.
  • In the month of April, the library added 11 posts to its blog page.

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