Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Post-summer wrap-up

We’re well into the third week of the semester, and everyone seems pretty well-situated.

Fortunately, so are we. The long work of the summer is over, and we get to shift our focus to more immediately-pressing matters, which usually involves offering in-depth research help to students, posting electronic readings on Blackboard for faculty, wrapping up the last of our orders for this fiscal year, giving presentations to classes, breaking in new student assistants, and generally just keeping things in good working order.

A few weeks ago, we bought two whiteboards on wheels and parked them around the Library; a big one (known as Whitey) went by the Deaf School Yearbooks, and a smaller one (Whitey, Jr., natch) went to the basement, just under the main stairs. We know groups like to work on our study tables and sometimes struggle to find ways to work together without having to tape a bunch of paper up on one of our walls.

So far, we’ve seen people using them fairly well, in addition to some humor. The sign we put up on Whitey, Jr. to encourage people to use the board resulted in an unidentified someone writing a note to poor little Junior, breaking up with the smaller whiteboard in favor of the larger one. He rebounded fairly well, though, so we have every confidence in his ability to pull through!

We also ordered a pretty cool table that’s basically a circular horizontal whiteboard that you can write on. It should arrive sometime in the next few weeks. If anyone has any suggestions for the best place to put it, we’re all eyes! Right now, we’re thinking the seating area with all the couches next to the stairs on the first floor by the Service Desk.

We’ve also finally installed a bunch of Macs in the first-floor public computer area after years of requests. The last straw was a survey we gave out around a year and a half ago, with plenty of demands for Macs. This year, most of our public computers were up for replacement, so we opted to make the switch, reasoning that since they can run either OS X or Windows 7, it wouldn’t be too much of a burden on anyone who has a preference. I have to admit they’re pretty good for making vlogs!

As I said earlier, summer is fairly disruptive to our routines -- fewer classes and students, but more logistical work behind the scenes -- and it’s pretty nice to see everyone coming back and get into the swing of what’s shaping up to be a terrific fall semester!

Later this week, I plan to post another vlog reviewing a pair of graphic novels that aren’t related but ended up complementing each other in very interesting ways when I read them. It should be fun. See you then!

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