Monthly Archives: August 2015

Sharing library group study tables without the awkward interactions

Just Turn It Over: New Library Open/Taken Study Table SignsWelcome back! You will notice these new signs on the 3rd and 5th floors on all the group study tables.

In our last library survey many of you told us that often large group study tables were difficult to find open and sometimes there would only be one person sitting at the table. Large multi-person tables are not meant for solitary study, and should not be “reserved” by a single person, but it still can make for an awkward situation to ask the person if you can join them. So to make this easier we are piloting a new system that should make this type of interaction less uncomfortable for all involved. If you are by yourself at a table, please turn the sign to say “Open” unless you are expecting more team/group members to join you, then turn it to “Taken.” If you leave the table, please make sure to turn the sign to “Open” again. But if there is a table with a “Taken” sign and no one there, consider it open. Most likely, someone forgot to turn it back. 🙂

Please let us know how this is working for you, so we would love your feedback!

Welcome back! We hope you had a great summer. Stop by the Carney Library, we’ve got few things for you to check out (and to remind you of!)

Welcome Back! Arnie Greets Returning Students in Library Learning CommonsWelcome back! We hope you had a great summer.

So now that you’re back we thought we’d remind you about a few things.

The library is on new semester hours starting on Monday, but if you’re unsure you can always check our library calendar to see our hours for each day.

There are lots of study spaces throughout the library for individual and group study and we’ve added more movable white boards to help you work things out. And, on the 3rd and 5th floors we have new signage to help you make the best use of the large group study tables. Of course on the first and second floors, there are the Learning Commons and Scholarly Commons complete with computers and printing facilities. And near the Learning Commons on the first floor there is a large quiet study space in the South Reading Room.

Need a laptop for your work in the library? Check one out at the first floor Circulation Desk. Want to schedule a place for your group to study, then go online and reserve the room! Or perhaps wish to just notify a friend about where you’re going to be studying in the library. Then send them a link with a pointer on a library floor map of where you’ll be using the Find Me Here tool.

If your back and already thinking about your senior project, your master’s thesis or the big paper you’ll have to write this semester, you might want to look up one of our expert subject librarians to help you with your research.

Wait, you’re back, but your an online student. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our Library Services for Online Learners guide. And look here later for a schedule of library services online orientation sessions that are being planned for you.

On the other hand, if just finished moving back in and are looking for some stress free reading to relax with, check-out our New Books Shelf just across from the elevators on the first floor or pop over into the Library Living Room and see what’s there for you on the Books to Go @ The Carney Library shelves.

Anyway, we hope you get the point. We’re glad you’re back and we hope that you’ll stop by at one of our service points and ask if there is some way we can be of help … or if you want, just to say Hi!

Welcome Back!

Carney Library Staff

Finding Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) are digital teaching and learning materials that are free for faculty and students to use. Not only can OER materials save students money, but because they are free, they may also increase student access to required readings, films, etc. This has the potential to have a very positive impact on learning outcomes. However, according to Opening the Curriculum, a 2014 study funded by The Babson Survey Research Group and Pearson, “The most significant barrier to wider adoption of OER remains a faculty perception of the time and effort required to find and evaluate it.” The Scholarly Communications Committee and our campus librarians can make this task a little less daunting.

As you know, every academic department has a librarian liaison. Your liaison can help you identify high quality open educational resources as well as materials available through library subscriptions. Contact your librarian liaison to help you identify course readings or videos. Your liaison may be able to create a list of potential alternatives if s/he is provided with citations of the works you’re currently using with your class. Since these alternatives will be free to the students, you will be saving them money while ensuring that all students have access to the material regardless of the their ability and willingness to purchase the items.

The Scholarly Communications Committee has compiled a guide to OER resources for faculty interested in exploring the topic further.

Best wishes for a successful semester.

Matt Sylvain & Allison Cywin, Co-Chairs of the Scholarly Communication Committee
Committee Email: scholarlycommunications@umassd.edu