Warner Library announces multiple changes

If you read the “At Eastern” emails (and as a well-informed student, I’m sure you do), you probably noticed the new changes posted about Warner Library. Public Services Librarian Joy Dlugosz spoke enthusiastically about what students can expect from their library this year.

One of the greatest differences is the implementation of Blackboard for class reading assignments. Previously, students have had to go to the library to check out course materials that professors put on reserve. Even if this actually happened, a student might have to wait on another classmate to finish it. Upon check-out, a student would have only a couple of hours to read the material.

Now, however, most reading assignments outside of textbooks will be automatically placed on the Blackboard website by the library. All students will have to do is log in to Blackboard (found by clicking the “Distance Learning” link on Eastern’s website) with their Eastern ID and password and simply check the documents in the appropriate course. It is best to summarize that articles once in print are now available on E-Reserves via Blackboard; videos and entire books must be retrieved as they have in the past.

For students, this will make assignment completion much easier-no more rushing to the library 20 minutes before class. The main task now is to get professors on board.

According to Dlugosz, it is a test. “We want to get a feel for how it works this semester,” she said. “It’ll be an adjustment, but it’s going to be a good adjustment.”

Along with this move, several of the library’s staff members have also joined Facebook.com and are looking into using an instant messenging program. John Mokonyama, Susan Joseph, Mark Puterbaugh and Dlugosz can all be contacted via Facebook during normal library hours.

Students have not been asking for assistance in person, according to Dlugosz, and joining Facebook was the obvious response based on the site’s popularity throughout the campus. “It is an outreach tool [to the] students,” Dlugosz said, “not to be infiltrating their space, but to be available.” She added that other college libraries have been using Facebook as a means of communicating with students as well.

Warner Library may be often overlooked by students, but it features many worthwhile offerings. The staff have developed a best-sellers collection which currently boasts the book A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and more than 500 titles in recreational reading with 240 more to come this year.

If none of those appeal to a student, Dlugosz encourages using the EZ-Borrow feature on the library website to order the book of your choice through an inter-library loan system. Within three to five days a student can pick it up and may keep the book for 30 days, plus a one-time renewal if necessary.

The only downside to all of these changes is the significant rise in fines. Overdue books will now cost borrowers 25 cents per day, including weekends and holidays. According to Dlugosz, the library has experienced many lost materials which are expensive to replace. Fines are being raised “to make people more aware,” she said.

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