Friday, March 31, 2017

Atmosphere in the Library

From the suggestion box:

I am deeply disappointed that the same issues of noise and food use continue to be a concern each year, and very little seems to be done about it. "Quiet conversation" on the 1st floor is often hardly that. It is also disturbing that students continue to bring in coffee, chips and other goods and sit near the books. There is a clear need for signage and greater acknowledgement that the individual student must be aware of the study needs of other students and members of the public.

Library response:

Thank you for your feedback. We do empathise with your concerns and are investigating a number of ways to reduce food and noise in the library. As you can imagine the library is a high traffic area and this means that the facilities are often "well used" .Staff regularly talk to students about the type of food they bring into the building and encourage them to use suitable areas including the additional outside seating and kitchenette which is available. We are working on finding other ways to encourage students to behave in a more community minded manner (and this includes thinking about appropriate signage and other methods which may be more effective).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Designating the Second Floor of Mabo Library as a Food Free, Drinks with Lids only Area

Library suggestion box:

Food wrappers, food crumbs, and food and liquid residue, is found on computer desks/electronic/areas devices and in the individual and group study rooms. Bookshelves have food scraps left on them. There are associated strong smells. Noise from food consumption in the total silent areas. Ants regularly seen on desks. Food consumption appears to promote social conversation. Existing allocated cleaning regimes are not able to adequately address this problem. Therefore an equitable and achievable solution could be the one suggested above.

Library response:

Thank you for your feedback. We do empathise with your concerns and are investigating a number of ways to reduce food and noise in the library. As you can imagine the library is a high traffic area and this means that the facilities are often "well used". Staff regularly talk to students about the type of food they bring into the building and encourage them to use suitable areas including the additional outside seating and kitchenette which is available. We are working on finding other ways to encourage students to behave in a more community minded manner (and this includes thinking about appropriate signage and other methods which may be more effective).

Would like to see the library catalogue (Tropicat) easier to locate

From the suggestion box:

I would like to see the library catalogue (Tropicat) easier to locate rather than hidden away in "Books, DVDs and More". This is especially so for the younger library users that may be unaware of the library's rich physical resources.

Library response:

We have had this idea suggested to us on occasion in the 5 years (or so?) since we stopped referring to Tropicat on our home page. We had several reasons for doing so, the most important was that our usability testing (done with undergraduates and based on the ideas of Steve Krug 'Don't Make Me Think' and the methodology described in his 'Rocket Surgery Made Easy') showed clearly:
  • That the term 'Tropicat' held no meaning for the vast majority
  • Even those that understood that it was our librarian label for 'catalogue' (yet another library term) didn't realise it was what you searched to find non-book resources like journals and videorecordings
At the same time One Search (Summon TM) had become an easy way to search not just the 'catalogue', but also journal articles, ResearchOnline @ JCU, LibGuides, NQHeritage, our suite of databases and even the fulltext of books, like you were searching Google, with one simple search.

We are format agnostic - we believe the value and utility of the content are the prime considerations (its ROI if you will). The container doesn't doesn't detract from the value, but it can hamper the utility, as anyone who remembers closed reserve collections of print materials will attest.

So we put One Search on the home page with a simple 'Start Here' label. It does everything the catalogue does and a lot more beside - plus in One Search a simple click on 'Library Catalogue' filters your search results to only be those items found in Tropicat.

Fundamentally our mission is to aid the teaching, learning and research activities of the university, and the evolution of those activities means print books are just one part of the increasingly diverse information needs of our clients. Meeting those needs has meant our acquisition of resources has had a major evolutionary shift - to the point where 95% of our materials budget is spent on online resources. Tropicat was never designed to manage that sort of content (either administratively from our perspective, or in delivery from your perspective).

So, while we freely acknowledge that for a certain set of needs Tropicat is the answer, ours was a 'greatest good' approach - particularly for clients unfamiliar with libraries and library resources (an additional rationale being that those who were familiar had the skills to dig down to the catalogue if that was what they required).

Those could be considered brave decisions at the time, but usability testing afterwards, and the use of analytics, have shown us that they were the right decisions for the majority of users.

But usability and the user experience (UX) are a constantly changing feast that requires constant monitoring, analysing and testing with a view to heuristically improving our web presence.  Feedback like yours aids that process, thank you for taking the time to make a suggestion.

 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

InfoHelp Service

From the suggestion box:

Would like to give Shannon Harmon a shout out, always a smiling face at the desk. Extreamly knowledgable in responces when asked about referanceing or any other matter. Thanks shannon, you've saved my sanity many a time.[sic]

Library response:

Thank you for you wonderful feedback about one of our librarians. I'll be sure to pass to pass it onto Shannon.