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Library Learning Commons Student Advisory Board

Notes from the 2013-14 Academic Year meetings of the LLC Student Advisory Board.

March 21, 2014 - notes

Library Learning Commons Student Advisory Committee


Present:  Sean Barkley, Abby Williams, Theresa Corbine, Chris Murray, Johanna Lee, Pierre Nzuah, Johanna Lee, Michelle Currier

Absent:  Carlos Remigio

Refreshments were provided by Dean of Academic Support Services and Instructional Technologies, Dr. Molly Mott.

Michelle brought the meeting to order at 2:04 p.m., and indicated that this meeting is to address issues raised at the previous LLC Student Advisory Board, and to discuss any solutions or proposed remediation of such issues that are planned, have already happened, or are coming in the future. 

Sean introduced himself to Michelle, since he was not at the first meeting, and she was absent from the last meeting.  Michelle introduced Theresa Corbine as the Director of Academic Computing, who was invited to the LLC Student Advisory Board meetings to represent issues and tackle concerns relating to Information Services, technology and Help Desk. 

Michelle began by quickly addressing issues Sean had regarding Fishbowl calendar and scheduling/reservations from the previous meeting.

Sean asked if administration was aware of what we’re doing in this group, and Michelle indicatd that the Dean of Academic Support Services and Instructional Technologies is aware, is copied on the meeting notes, and works to establish solutions and prioritize student feedback along with the Directors represented.

Michelle went through the bulleted list of items from last meeting one by one, with Updates (noted in red) for solutions, proposed plans or ongoing work that is being done to address each.

1. (Tutoring) Students would like to have more physics tutors available in the Math/Science Center.

Update:  According to Tamra there is not a lot a lot traffic for this subject.  During the days (M-F) there are 11 tutors who can do some level of physics.  Students should access the schedule to see when specific tutors are available. If students are having trouble finding the tutor that they need they should talk to Tamra or Johanna.  The Tutoring Center cannot guarantee tutoring in every subject during all hours of the day. The more popular a course, the more hours of assistance are available (such as Beginning Algebra vs Differential Equations).  There is a Chat function on the tutoring webpage.  When it is open students can submit a question (such as when a particular tutor is available) and receive an answer.

2. (Tutoring) A number of students who are taking A&P stated that sometimes other students take the models out of the Math/Science Center and then they are not available for shared use in the lab.

Update:  Johanna had talked to Tamra about models leaving the lab, and she thought perhaps there was confusion because many of the same models are available at the Circ Desk. Johanna indicated part of the problem from this question in general potentially comes down to students wanting more models, and Tutoring is looking at ordering more. 

Sean also asked why the models were even available at the Circ Desk in the first place, whether it was related to the lab closing times.  Michelle discussed how the models at the Circ Desk are a supplement, and are intended to facilitate small-group or individual study that is not tied to a tutor or tutoring session.  Chris also asked about the Visible Body app, and Michelle indicated all of the library's circulating iPads currently have that on them.  There is another one called 3-D Anatomy, according to Chris, which is expensive but excellent.  Theresa wondered if that was an iPad app or a PC app.  She also indicated that there is a Science Tutoring folder on the PCs with an Interactive Physiology CD available to students.  When students are logged into any campus PC, they’ll have a folder on their desktop of the PC that is labeled "Instructor Folders."  The folder contains multiple sub folders labeled for individual faculty members as well as course or lab names.  There’s a folder named “ScienceTutoringLab” that houses the Interactive Physiology CD for student access. Additionally, Johanna indicated for the future it would be good to know which apps are the most helpful or most desired by students, so that she can add them to their new iPads.   Sean asked if apps are just for science, or if there are apps for business, math or other things?  Johanna indicated there are apps for other things, and it’s important to let her know which ones would be useful. 

3. (Tutoring) Also with regards to the models, the students would like it if they were available sooner than Fridays so that they have more time (days) to study.

Update:  Johanna indicates Tamra is going to continue to switch out on Fridays, but if a student needs to use the models earlier for study, they should go in and request that.  Tamra will allow the students to use models that are not currently on display, either for review of previous material or for studying upcoming material

4. (Tutoring) Students would like room 127 (math/science) to be open on Saturdays. Students who said this were not necessarily requesting tutors. They want access to the room and its resources.

Update:  We are going to develop a plan to start this next semester.  At this point, we don’t know exactly what resources will be available on Saturdays.  The computers, printers, models, microscopes, etc., will be available.  If work study students are available, additional resoruces including textbooks, calculators, and items faculty have put on reserve may be available, as will potentially the login computer.  At minimum, however, we do plan to have the room open.

5. (Tutoring) Students want additional hours in the Business/Accounting Lab. They would like Robin to be there for longer days and also open for some hours on Fridays.

Update:  Johanna spoke with Dr. Mott about this, and she asked Johanna to put in a proposal to open one hour earlier each day, and be open 9-1 on Fridays.  So Johanna put in this proposal, and we are hopeful that those will be the hours next semester.

6. (Tutoring) Some of the models in the Math/Science Center are mislabeled which is confusing for studying. Specifically it is the skulls that are not correct.

Update:  Tamra didn’t know which ones weren’t correct.  Tamra indicates if someone finds something that’s incorrect, please bring it to her so she can fix it.

7. (Tutoring) Why is there no longer a scanner available in the Math/Science Center for student use?

Update:  There will be scanning available in there soon!  Theresa inquired as to what kind of scanner (or scanners) is needed, and indicated she could provide standard student scanning equipment that is available in the rest of the building.  Theresa inquired as to what the students in the lab are scanning, and Johanna indicated she would have to ask Tamra.  Pierre indicated he sees students scanning books, and that often tutors have to help students use the machines upstairs.  Theresa indicated she can plan for adding scanners in her summer upgrades.  Johanna indicated she still would like one of Michelle’s surplus scanners for Tamra’s staff office as well. 

8. (Café) Students said that they wished the Cyber Café was open during all of the hours that the building is open. Specifically, students want coffee. They said having the café open until midnights during finals week would be great. During the rest of the semester having it open until 6PM.

Update:  Michelle indicated that College Association is willing to pilot “some” extended hours for the Cyber Café this spring during final exam week, to see how much use/numbers that would generate, and will adjust and plan for future going forward. 

Chris wondered if there would still be coffee provided for free.  Michelle indicated yes.  She will also make sure the coffee ordered by the library is not delivered until after Cyber is closed.

9. (Library) Many of the laptops are “slow” and they “freeze” often. Students are not sure why this happens.

Update:  Theresa indicated that if we could see that happening when it happens, we could probably address it better.  It could be malware, it could be whatever the person happens to be doing on the laptop at that time, but the laptops we have on campus are business-class models, and we try very hard to keep them cleaned up and updated.  All of the laptops will be replaced this summer, and that is a two-year cycle, which is pretty good.  They are replaced every two years because of the heavy use.

10. (Library) Students would like to have MacBooks available for circulation in the building in addition to laptops and iPads.

Update:  Theresa indicated they cost at least twice as much as the laptops we have currently.  What IT would like to know is what students would like to do with the Macbooks that they can’t do with the PC.  We will be placing a couple iMacs in the building somewhere, and those will be for student access.  We will be integrating some Mac devices over time.  Chris indicated that a lot of the student desire is based on student perception that Macs are much better, never get viruses, are virtually indestructible, etc.  Theresa indicated that there are as many help requests for Apple products at the Help Desk as for PC products.  Sean indicated that the GMMD students use the Apple products for graphic design.  Theresa indicated that GMMD students do have a Mac lab, and she believes that they also have tutoring in that lab.  Johanna indicated that there aren’t actually tutors in there, but that Kamal does assist students.  Sean indicated that he believes the desire for Apples is preference more than anything.  Chris wondered if it is “easier” to manage Windows products.  Theresa said we are a “Windows Shop.”

Sean asked if he could speak to shared services with technology.  He worked at Potsdam over the summer.  He had a laptop to use over there.  He indicated that over there, you have to have a password to get onto the wireless.  Theresa indicated that you have to register here as well.   Even if you’re a person who walks in off the street, you can use the wireless as a guest. 

11. (Library) Students wonder why it takes so long to log into the PCs.

Update:  Theresa indicated that the machines available in this building have much space used up on them, which is why it takes quite a while to log in to a machine.  If you log in to a particular machine, it sets up a profile for you, however, which makes logging in to that exact machine the next time much quicker, as long as "the next time" is within a ten-day window.  Within the next ten days, if you use that same machine again, logging in will be quicker.  However, after that ten-day period, the profile will be wiped by Information Services, so logging in will take longer again.

12. (Help Desk) The WiFi drops students who are upstairs working, particularly in the corner study rooms. The students who reported this said that they have made the Help Desk aware of the issue but it has not been fixed. It is a real issue for students if they are taking a test.

Update:  Theresa indicated that we need to know when it happens, and what the student(s) is using when it happens (ie., whether it’s a campus laptop or not).  That info gets reported to the network administrator who will investigate.  Or Help Desk may take a look at your personal computer, etc.  There are a lot of variables, and Help Desk will need to get details when it happens.  Abby indicated she is the one who brought this one up.  She indicated many times in the corner rooms, the wifi would drop.  Students were using their own computers.  Theresa indicated if it’s a problem that happens day after day after day, they need to know about it.  Pierre indicated he has had problems with the wifi here as well on his own personal laptop.  The last two Wednesdays he’s been here, it’s connected, but he has no access to the internet.  It happens at a time when Help Desk is not open.  Theresa asked if he could bring his machine in while Help Desk is open.

13. (General) Some students complained that there is not a place near the library to smoke and they have to leave and walk a far distance to smoke and then walk back. These students wondered if an area could be designated for them.

Update:  Johanna spoke to Farren Lobdell, who validated the fact that we are moving toward a tobacco-free campus, and we don’t have control over the change.  But she wanted to add that the Health Center does offer free smoking-cessation resources.

14. (General) In general students are frustrated by the traffic in the building and want to see the Library Learning Commons moved to a larger space.

Update:  So do we!  Please continue to make this comment.  Michelle discussed how we are aware of our space limitations, and would encourage students to continue to voice their opinions about the space, their desire to be in it, and what they would like it to look like!

In a related conversation, Chris asked about Wicks connecting FOB to Cook, and what is the likelihood that they could connect all the way to Nevaldine?  Theresa said at one time they planned to connect French to the library.  Pierre thought they should connect Cook to the library. 

1. (Library) Students would like to see more closed-in rooms and cubbies for keeping belongings.

Update:  We are always working on how to arrange and develop our spaces and we know this is a HUGE student priority.  We are working on how to make some additional “room”-type spaces available for the future. 

Chris wonders about putting lockers outside.  Johanna wondered about lockers in that open space in the ladies’ room.  Discussion ensued about the feasability for this. 

Sean asked if we see a lot of students checking out books?  Michelle indicated circulation of print material (other than textbooks) has declined, but we do still see students using/borrowing print materials for research as well as pleasure reading.

Abby wondered, while we’re on the topic of bathrooms, if there could be toilet seat covers?  Michelle indicated she thinks that toilet seat covers are *probably* not provided anywhere on campus. But she can check on that.

2. (Library) Students would appreciate a stapler and hole-punch near the upstairs copiers.

Update:  We will be adding those there soon!  Chris suggested chaining them to a desk.  Library staff has discussed how to secure the items, and we’re working on it!

3. (Library) Is there a method for students to identify their print job so that they do not have to paw through a bunch of prints to find their own job?   Also, student feel there is a lot of waste of printing resources.

Update:  By next fall, Theresa indicated there will be a new process in place, a print-billing process in place, which will be much more efficient.  This should raise awareness and accountability in terms of resources.  Pierre asked if there would be campus notification of this, and Theresa said it would go out. 

5. (Library) The students would like a microwave that is available to all students.

Update:  We’re working on it.  We’re in talks with CA about providing the microwave, and the library has agreed to provide a microwave cart, so we hope to have this available pretty soon!

6. (General) A number of students complained about the temperature in the building citing that it has been very cold in here this winter.

Update:  Turns out, a number of our heating lines needed to be “bled,” which was done this past week.  Heat is fixed!

Michelle indicated that there were about 13 additional bullet points to discuss, and that since we'd already held the meeting over its allotted hour, we would reserve those additional 13 points for the next meeting, which we plan to have on the last Friday in April.  Michelle thanked everyone for attending and being awesome!

(Meeting adjourned at 3:36 p.m.)