Monday, November 03, 2008

Parking Lot Denzien

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
This adorable bunny is living in the back parking lot of the library. I've seen it off and on for the past few weeks. I chased it around the parking lot taking pictures last week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

An Idea

I get tired of boring verbiage laden screen-savers in the library, don't you? Well, I had a brainwave a few weeks ago and I'm so happy it is working. Here are the steps and everyone is welcome steal this idea.

1. Find a bunch of book jackets/book covers/books. You'll want 30 - 40 so you won't have to update the screen saver very often.

2. Find a smart employee (here, her name is Emily), have her scan the books covers and create .jpgs. After scanning, have the clever boots add text about Books in the Library and the call numbers.

3. This step may be optional, but for us, we had to get buy-in from our systems department. They had to do the critical thing of going to every computer and deleting all photos from the My Pictures folder replacing them with the book .jpgs.

4. Next the systems people changed the screen-saver to the one that rotates pictures from the My Pictures folder.

5. Done

It works beautifully. We are very happy with this. It showcases new and interesting books.

To check out our book jackets see our flickr account at:

-- Jenny

Monday, October 20, 2008

Art in the Library - Univ. of Alaska, Anchorage

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Foucault's Pendulum "Still Proving the Earth Rotates" and hung in a prominent spot in this fabulous library.

Art in the Library - Univ of Alaska, Fairbanks

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Paper. Several years ago there was an exhibit of paper sculptures in the library. They decided to purchase this fabulous raven.

Art in the Library - Univ. of Alaska - Fairbanks

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
A collection of prints by Fred Machetanz hang gallery style in the library. They are wonderful!

Art in the Library - Univ of Alaska, Anchorage

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Anchorage had lots of great photographs in the library. This is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Signage - University of Alberta, Edmonton

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
There are actually three signs, this is the best photo. It is for the quiet floor, there are additional signs for the silent floor and the common floor.

The Quiet Floor
"You are entering a
Quiet Floor
This floor is designated as quiet study space. Please respect the need for a quiet work space.
Quiet conversations can be expected"

The Silent Floor
"You are entering a
Silent Floor
This floor is designated as silent individual study space. Please respect the need for a silent work space.
No talking please"

The Common Floor
"You are entering a
Common Floor
This floor is designated as for group study and works space.
Conversational noise can be expected"

ILA: Plugging into the Numbers

by Gillian Harrison of BCR

We collect a lot of data in our libraries. Gillian's presentation began with what kinds of data can be collected and then turned its focus to how to present the data.

She showed charts, graphs, graphics, visuals... and had us assess their effectiveness in presenting the information.

Here are some more soundbites/notes
Before beginning a data project, determine who is going to pull/gather/manipulate the data. Decide which data will be collected and who has the password.

Data can be collected from in-house operations, vendors, professional organizations, Pew ( and OCLC.

There are standards for data collection for journals and databases. To see these standards take a look at

Make friends with your data. Look for baselines, trends and patterns.

Manipulate your data, simplify, compare and picture it.

Ask yourself, is this data point really valuable? Is it adding to the message or just adding noise?

Define your audience (and their data sophistication) What are you trying to say to them?
Is it an update, funding request, justification/explanation, information, shock or impact?
What outcome are you looking for?

Choose where and how to present the data. (venue, media, voice)

This was a very useful workshop. I am really glad I went cause I have a mountain of data to try and make into useful and useable information. Additionally, I'm going to change the first slide of my Wandering presentation to a better more descriptive graphic.

ILA: Active Learning Potions for Information Literacy

Presentation by Spencer Jardine

This was a great presentation to end the conference with. Spencer had us interacting with each other and him. His handout lists 14 different activities that can be integrated into bibliographic instruction.
1. Listening teams
2. Groups applying the CRAAP test
3. Visual quiz
4. Quick/pop quiz
5. Demonstrations aka demos
6. Worksheets
7. Citation assignment
8. Lecture
9. Think-pair-share
10. Analogies & stories
11. Object lessons
12. Identify the term
13. Jeopardy review
14. Student blogs

Some of these he demonstrated, or rather used us to demonstrate. Unfortunately time ran out and we didn't get to discuss all of them. I really liked the way this session became truly participatory. I guess that says something about active learning techniques.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Signage - University of Calgary

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
And here is another useful sign found in the bathroom. This time it provides contact numbers for places to get help with:

Safety on Campus
Distress Center/Drug Center
Sexual Violence
Physical Violence
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexual Harassment
Status of Women
Staff Assistance Program

I thought this was a very useful sign to have out. -- Jenny

Signage - University of Calgary

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
This is a nifty sign, positive in that it tells students they can eat food here. And useful in reminding them to be responsible and clean things up.

Signage - Colorado School of Mines, Golden

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
I love this little power outlet sign. If you want to find a place to plug in your laptop, you just look for one of these.

ILA Information Literacy & Instruction Roundtable

Hosted by Sara Seely, Rick Stoddard, Glynda Pflieger

This was an unusual roundtable in that the first draft of the Technology & Information Standards for k-16 was presented. This standard will hopefully be integrated into the state educational standards. While the words information literacy are not used explicitly, the concepts, and goals are integrated. I think this was a lot of work and I am really hoping it gets adopted. If these standards are implemented into the education of our k-12 schools, the students will benefit immeasurably. People who are information and technology fluent are so much more adept at navigating college, life, and difficulties.

I was particularly impressed with the mapping of AASL, ACRL and Big 6 information literacy goals to the ISTE standard. Well done!!

ILA Division Meeting: Idaho Librarian

There are a lot of changes coming to the Idaho Librarian ( The new editor is Kim Leeder of Boise State University. The IL will be using software that many other open access journals use. It will now be a hybrid with a new section for peer-reviewed featured articles.

Articles for any section (peer-reviewed feature, non-scholarly articles and reports, book reviews) are welcome. Email submissions to

I have a concern regarding the Idaho Librarian. Yet, I am hesitant to voice it because I have not submitted anything for publication to them. If I have not been willing to be involved by writing, then who am I to criticise? Be that as it may I'm going to write it anyway. Particularly, since I voiced it in the meeting. The periodical has not been coming out on a regular basis in recent years. If this is because of a lack of articles being submitted, then won't the peer review process bog it down further?

Well, time will tell how this will play out...


Friday, October 10, 2008

ILA Keynote Speaker

George Needham of OCLC gave the Keynote address. It was inspiring and encouraging.

Here are a few soundbites from the presentation:

The library's tag line should read: Save Time, Get Better Grades.

Libraries need to be marketed not as Institutions, but as Infrastructure, from frill to neccessity, from altruism to return on investment. There are several online OCLC reports with information and data that can be used to back up the argument so go check them out at: In particular, the reports on "From Awareness to Funding," "Sharing, Privacy & Trust in Our Networked World," and "College Students’ Perceptions of Libraries & Information Resources"

To enliven his presentation Mr. Needham included some facts from the Beloit College Mindset List (

"The Mindset List is not a chronological listing of things that happened in 1990, the year they were born. It is instead an effort to identify the worldview of 18 year-olds in the fall of 2008. Of course, our students come from many backgrounds and different traditions and these generalizations may not apply to all. The list identifies the experiences and event horizons of students and is not meant to reflect on their preparatory education.

It is also not deliberately designed to make readers feel really old!"

Here are the first five of the sixty entries on this very entertaining list:

1. Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.
2. Since they were in diapers, karaoke machines have been annoying people at parties.
3. They have always been looking for Carmen Sandiego.
4. GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
5. Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.

George Needham was a very interesting speaker and best of all, he was truly inspiring about the impact a that we can have on our communities.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Signage - University of Northern Colorado, Greeley

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
I need one of these signs posted by our Library's air intake. Instead of smoking I need it to read, do not idle your vehicle here. Nothing quite like the smell of exhaust in the morning. - Jenny

Signage - University of Wyoming Laramie

bathroom sign
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Eyup, another bathroom sign. This one actually tells people who to contact if there is a problem. Shocking! - Jenny

Signage - Montana State Univ. Bozeman

clowder sign
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Clever, clever, clever, that's all I have to say for both the naming of the area and for the sign. - Jenny

Signage - Boise State Univ

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Found hanging over the recycling bins near the candy and soda machines. Brilliant. -- Jenny

Signage 2 - New Mexico State Univ. Las Cruces

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
The sign says:
Watch your stuff! Do not leave your valuables unattended -
Watch your purses, backpacks, laptops...

I do not understand how students can just leave their items in the library and feel that they will not get stolen. It's like a big surprise when the item is gone and they're asking us if someone turned it in to lost and found.

This sign was hung up in the bathroom over the sinks. A pretty noticeable/readable location if you ask me.

-- Jenny

Signage - New Mexico State Univ. Las Cruces

ada signage2
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
While the sign itself may not be ADA accessible, the information is great for the reference staff who may be helping the patrons. -- Jenny

Signage - University of Arizona Tucson

cool sign
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
These bright green signs were very noticeable and had that sense of humor we're all trying to portray. - Jenny

Signage - Arizona State Univ Tempe

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
In recent years libraries have become more and more noisy. We may have finally gotten rid of the dot matrix printers, but that noise has been replaced by cell phones and group projects. Areas for group and noisy study need to be balanced with areas for quiet individual study. Marking these different areas in easily identifiable ways is crucial. So here's one of the best sign ideas I saw in my wanderings. -- Jenny

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My Sabbatical


In case you're looking for more information on my sabbatical activities and results check out the following:

For info on the scholarly side, including some compilations of results see:

For a more personal look at my adventures try my personal blog:

Thanks for listening
-- Jenny

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Space & Building Ideas

1. Study rooms
Making two rooms into one
Instead of accordion walls use collapsible panels or a garage door

1b. Special study rooms
Presentation ready (computer & projector)
Screening room (big screen tv with dvd player)

2. Flooring
Durable materials for all entry or heavy use spaces
Carpet squares so that you can replace those that wear out

3. Decor
Neutral colors, textures
Real colors used lavishly
Classic themes not trendy

4. Natural light, windows

5. Piece of collection should be visible from all study areas

6. Offices
With windows because staff/faculty spend the most time in the library
Minimum 124 sq ft

7. Seating/chairs
Variety is the key

8. Showcase special collections

9. Find learning partners and bring into space
Tutoring services: Speech, English, Math
Honors school
Graduate Schools
Centers for teaching & learning
Caveat, IT will always need more space

10. Movable furniture, walls, whiteboards, laptops...

11. Nooks and crannies, places for individuals to study

12. Quiet study areas (frequently glassed in to keep the areas open

13. Cafes and coffee spots

14. Art displays and galleries

15. Auditoriums, lecture halls, classrooms

16. Lighting
automatic brightening with motion sensors
attached to stacks

17. Shelving
low shelving for expansive feel and to see what is going on
compact shelving to conserve space

18. Beware of installing or allowing the installation of spaces that require special equipment to clean.

19. Beware of installing special lights that require special equipment in order to change the bulb.

20. Beware of ledges on windows across from balcony in atrium. You'll be continually clearing out paper airplanes...

Found in Reference

A colleague of mine came into my office this morning. She had been walking her student through the reference stacks assessing the state of our spine labels, when what did she spy, but the top of a bottle. The bottle was lying on its side and she assumed it was just a water bottle, but no. No, it was this bottle:

People are strange.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What is a map and what does it really represent?

Check out the article "Internet maps 'demolish British history'". I found it interesting to think beyond the idea of a map as a way to get to a specific destination or to find out specific information. The writer of the article clearly thinks that maps give a sense of place and character. That they are cultural artifacts.

In the library world we have always had a multitude of maps and atlases with multiple, varied, and unique purposes. Street maps, cultural maps, political maps, historical maps, maps of stars, maps of commerce and farming, maps of all kinds of information. These varied maps usually come bound in atlases and are there for us when we need specific kinds of information like a map of the Battle of Hastings or the locations of all of the castles in Scotland. I use them to help patrons find information. I have never really thought about how they are also cultural artifacts tied not only to a specific place but to a time.

I have always used Mapquest or Google-Maps to find a specific address, I've never thought of using them as guides or tourbooks. Cultural features can be found on other map forms. When traveling I tend to use Mapquest to find specific destinations AND a guidebook to see what else is around. I use the Internet to find interesting and unusual things to go and see on the way. On my sabbatical I used the National Park Service site to find National Parks, Monuments and Historic places.

I'm an information omnivore with a Masters in Library Science, which pretty much gives me a black belt in finding information. So what about John Q. Public. Are they masters of travel information? Should Google-Maps and Mapquest be putting more cultural information on their road maps in order to function more like a sightseeing guide? According to the article, Google-Maps does have the ability to show these
features, but how many people turn that on? I think I have more questions than answers. It is hard to ascertain peoples information seeking behavior on travel using the internet.

I have another question to add. Do the GPS guidance systems in automobiles like "Tom Tom" give cultural information or just guidance to a specific address? Since I don't own one of these I do not have the answer, nor a deep enough interest in this question to go find out...

This is a small sample of the scope of the atlas collection in the Oboler Library Reference Area:

Atlas of the breeding birds of Nevada
REF: QL684.N3 A85 2007

Atlas of the world’s languages
REF: G1046.E3 A8 2007

Idaho atlas & gazetteer
REFDESK: G1480 .I33 2007

An atlas of poverty in America
REF: HC110.P6 G543 2006

Atlas of North America
REF: G1105 .A8 2005

Atlas of the world
Atlas Stand: G1021 .G4125 2005

America discovered : a historical atlas of North American exploration
REF: G1106.S12 H3 2004
Idaho Falls Reference: G1106.S12 H3 2004

Friday, August 29, 2008

Cataloging your home library

I have a large, extensive, enormous collection of books and movies at my house. 3 avid readers equals a lot of stuff. Large bookcases line the walls of the downstairs hall, and they are packed. Several years ago I decided I had to bring order to the seeming chaos. I went out and researched until I found a product called Readerware. This is a downloadable program that is installed on a computer. It'll go out and search for records, and book jackets, on Amazon. You can either enter ISBN or title or use a barcode reader to bring records into the catalog. It can handle records for movies, books and music. It's fabulous, but it does have a cost. Buy a copy and they'll send you a free barcode reader. It was easy to install and use and I loved it. But...

I have more computers in my house than I do humans. I also wanted to check my library catalog from other locations so when I read about LibraryThing about two years ago I jumped on the bandwagon. Here is a fully featured catalog for books. It can search for records in Amazon as well as library catalogs such as the Library of Congress. It uses ISBN's and you can use a barcode reader too. I LOVE LibraryThing. I had over 3,800 items in the catalog till the ruthless summer weeding project of 2008. I particularly love the widget that allows me to be on an Amazon page and automatically add an item to my catalog, SWEET. You should know that LibraryThing does have a one time fee for catalogs over 200 books. If you have fewer than 200 books, go ahead and use it free.

I have added videos to the catalog. I just use the book form. The director becomes the main author with other directors and writers being added as additional authors. You can view my catalog here: This is a social software site so there are lots of groups you can join to discuss books. My friend likes the suggester and unsuggester pieces of the product. Go check them out for yourself.

Okay, so my library is still fairly large and I wanted to put a genre subset into a separate catalog. First I tried using LibraryThing, but I ran up against the 200 book limit. I didn't want to pay for a second catalog so I started looking around. I found Shelfari and Gurulib and stopped looking.

Neither of these products has the staggering array of features that LibraryThing has. But for a small catalog of books they could be useful. It was easy to add books to Shelfari. So easy, I don't remember the steps right now. You have a bookshelf view and a list view. The bookshelf view actually shows the book covers on a bookcase. It's pretty and easy to use. I like the categories: I plan to read, I've read and I'm reading. Gurulib is the other product I tried.

Gurulib is also easy to add books and movies to. It is set up to include movies, music, games and software. These are valuable additions. Books are added onto shelves that you get to set up, so things are categorized according to bookcases you create. These shelves can be descriptive like brown desk, yellow bookcase or box 132. They can also be subject focused like SciFi, Fantasy, Western or Romance. I really liked this feature. I also liked the additional categories: "Wishlist" for books you haven't purchased. But best of all is the easily spotted "Borrowed Items" category. Any book record can be viewed and set to borrowed. It's very cool!

I ended up with portions of my library on both Shelfari and Gurulib. I'm still struggling with which one will be my final choice for my subset of books. In the meantime, I suggest you check things out for yourself. There are a LOT of other choices out on the web too. Here's an incomplete list:

AllConsuming, Anobii,,,, Booktribes, ChainReading,,,,,, Reader2, ShelfCentered, Socialogue, Squirl, Stuffopolis,, Zestr...
Here's another more comparative look at LibraryThing, Shelfari and Gurulib.

That is all

Saturday, July 05, 2008

University of Nevada - Reno

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Okay, I know you're wondering why it's a picture of the Reno sign. Well, my sabbatical scheduling meant that I went to Reno during the time they were moving into their new library. I got to see the new library aka Knowledge Center, but without most of the furnishings. So go here: to take a look at the website.

Here is where they are the most bold users of the simple IM/Chat interface. The University webpage IM/Chat is the library's. In other words, the reference librarians are the first in line for answering all incoming questions through this service.

Sorry, no photos from me for this library. Well not yet anyway. Reno is on the way to my in-laws in California, so I'll be back there soon.

-- Jenny

Friday, June 06, 2008

University of Alaska - Anchorage

popular donated vids
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
So many things to blog about, it was hard to choose just one. In the end, I chose this one cause I think all of us can use this. They had complaints about not having videos to watch for entertainment purposes, so they asked for donations. This collection is all based on donations from individuals. Complaints about why this is here and that is not is addressed by telling the complainer, that all the videos are donated and they are welcome to donate something to improve the collection...

Okay I can't help it. Take a look at the chairs in the foreground. See how they are curved towards the back. These chairs allow a student to either sit upright or lean (tip) back. I thought they were great! I believe Fairbanks uses similar chairs in their library too.

-- Jenny

For more photos from the Anchorage library see:

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

University of Alaska - Fairbanks

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Lots of serious library stuff was discussed, of course. But what I thought I'd share with you is an anecdote related to me by my tour guide librarian. I know we're all looking for art to place in our libraries. This picture is of a very heavy metal sculpture that magically appeared in place one day. Perhaps some student couldn't figure out how to get it home. Who knows. All they know is an anonymous artist and donor somehow made it happen with no one knowing about it. -- Jenny

For more photos of the library see:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

University of Alberta - Edmonton

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
I got to visit 4 different libraries on this campus it was fascinating. They are doing a bit (understatement) of construction in the Cameron Science library. The big pad of paper is by the reference desk and it asks the question: What should the sign over this desk say? Students and other patrons are then able make suggestions on the paper. I believe they have used this method to solicit all kinds of input from their patrons. - Jenny

For more photos see:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

University of Calgary - Alberta

info commons4
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
The information commons area included desks with power strips and no computer so that people with laptops could just plug in. The reference desk also had instructions to help students access the wireless network.

This is a very large campus. On the road trip through Canada to Alaska I brought my husband Nick. For this campus I'm really glad I had him along. Someone here at the University of Calgary Library had input the coordinates for the library into Google Earth. Nick used his handy GPS gadget to get us right to the door. I really think more libraries may want to do this!

-- Jenny

For more photos see:

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Colorado School of Mines - Golden

vault display1
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
There are a lot of different art displays and installations at the libraries I visited, but none had the size, weight or impact of this one. It is a large, very heavy vault and with displays on mining and gold. Um, wow. Only problem is, that this display was put in before library real estate became a premium and now they'd like to move it, but it is just too heavy.

Additionally they have created signage for power outlets. We know that everyone with a laptop is searching for one of these. -- Jenny
For more photos see:


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

University of Colorado - Denver

kite competition
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
UC Denver, or rather the Auraria Library is actually the library for three institutions of higher education, UC Denver (of course) Metropolitan State College of Denver and Community College of Denver. As such this library has many interesting challenges such as tracking reference statistics for each institution. I don't even want to think about Information Literacy.

I was really taken by the art display of kites in the library and found out more about it. The kites are all part of a juried art show, which is a fundraiser for the library. The kites will be auctioned off at the end of the display period and the money will be split by the student artist and the library. They have a flickr set at:

-- Jenny

For more of my pictures of the library see:

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

University of Colorado - Boulder

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Now this was an interesting wall of honor for donors. The Top Drawer Society. This apparent card catalog has been modified so it isn't very deep and the drawers don't open. I though this was one of the most appropriate donor recognition devices. -- Jenny

For more photos from UC Boulder see:


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Like my library here at ISU, Colo State allows food in the library. But they too want a few places free of food. I thought this sign was genius. They have over 300 computers available in various groupings and areas. This grouping of approx 10 come equipped with scanners. An additional 200 laptops are available for checkout, and are heavily used.

For more photos see:

-- Jenny

Friday, May 02, 2008

University of Northern Colorado - Greeley

instruction lab1
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
UNC may have the poshest library instruction classroom I've ever been in. Check out the other photos in the set This is where I was introduced to the Interwrite Pad. The Interwrite Pad is a wireless pad that can be used anywhere in the classroom. It works with the instructor station, acting as an interactive, portable whiteboard.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

University of Wyoming - Laramie

const sign
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
I got to University of Wyoming while they were building new library opened. Darn it, I'll just have to go back Anyway, I loved the idea of the whiteboards as changeable signage. Take a look at: for information on the new "addition." -- Jenny

For more photos of the old library see:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Montana State University - Bozeman

quiet study
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Quiet study, I found several libraries where quiet study areas were designated, but here it's a room of its own walled in glass. Pretty nifty if you ask me. MSU had another very cool thing, but I'm saving it for my presentations. If you can't make it to one of those, email me at and I'll let you in on the very coolest of the cool thing that MSU is doing. -- Jenny

For more photos see:

Friday, April 18, 2008

University of Montana - Missoula

big desk
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
I loved my visit to the University of Montana. There are so many things I could blog about. The most innovative idea to me, was the removal of the reference collection. I can hear the collective gasp from all of you reading this. The reasoning goes like this...

1. They are subscribing to many online reference resources
2. They would like to free up space on the first floor for other purposes
3. When was the last time someone went to the collection to help a student ...

The books are going to be moved to a small collection at the information desk or are going to be moved to the stacks. If moved to the stacks they can be still be marked as non-circulating as decided by the subject/reference librarians.

I know there are a lot of books in my own library's reference collection that are rarely used. But we don't have the budget to buy as many online reference resources as they have. However, I definitely see a reduction of the collection in the future. -- Jenny

For more photos see:

Missoula Public Library

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Here was another surprise. Shopping carts. It was another Wahhhh moment. (I don't know how to spell that sound, but I'm sure you get my drift). Anyway, I can really see a use for these for moms with small kids!! -- Jenny

For more photos check out:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

University of Idaho - Moscow

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
You never know what you're going to find when you visit a library. This was very unexpected, but BRILLIANT. How many times have I seen patrons who could have really used one of these. In many ways, this picture speaks for itself. -- Jenny

More photos of UofI's library at:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Seattle Public Library

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Okay, everything about the Seattle Public Library was cool. I loved how different flooring indicated different areas of the library. I liked how they RFID system checked books in and then sorted them into bins for return to branch libraries or shelves at the main library. I enjoyed the art and was impressed by the spiral of main stacks. You can get a very nice walk just by walking around the spiral of main stacks. The kids area with the computer mice that were colored like ladybugs were fabulous. I just wish my pictures of all of this fabulosity were better. Go check them out at: -- Jenny

P.S. I really like the box for donations. I think this is a great idea for public libraries.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Boise State University - Boise Idaho

comfy seats
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Chairs. I seem to be obsessed with chairs lately ergonomic chairs, chairs the tip, chairs that adjust, hard chairs, chairs with wheels and comfy chairs. At Boise State I discovered comfy chairs that my tour guide assured me were cheap and from the local superstore. She also said they were heavily used. I really like the idea of providing lots of different kinds of seating for the different needs of the students. Personally I study a lot better in a comfy chair than in a hard upright one, so I LOVED these. I think this is a great way to lure students to the library. -- Jenny

For more photos see:

Boise Public Library

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Boise Public Library has everything, a cafe, an entertainment section, a bookstore and most amazingly customizable library cards. I thought these were very cool. -- Jenny

For more photos see:

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Idaho State University - Pocatello

Dual monitors
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
We put dual monitors at the reference desk. This allows patrons to easily follow along with what we are doing. It is really useful. In my wanderings I discovered a couple other universities that had this setup. At University of Alaska-Anchorage they recently added keyboards to the other side of the desk to allow better communication with hearing impaired patrons. I need to follow-up on how this is working for them. -- Jenny

For more photos of the ISU library see:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Northern Arizona University Library - Flagstaff

part of refdesk
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
There seems to be a trend in many libraries to reduce the number of service desks. I think they've done a very good job of this here at NAU. This horseshoe shaped desk includes Reference, Circulation and Reserves functions. Fewer places for students to be sent for help is a good idea to me. It's also a handy place for reference staff to ask the ever important question: did you find everything you need? -- Jenny

For more photos of this library see:

Friday, March 28, 2008

University of New Mexico Library - Albuquerque

donor wall
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
UNM has lots of cool things happening, but this wall really intrigued me. To find out the other cool things, you'll just have to attend one of my lectures/workshops. I'll post my tentative lecture itinerary in another blog enry. In any case, you should definitely take a look at this very cool wall of honor. -- Jenny

For more photos of the library see:

Friday, March 14, 2008

New Mexico State University Library - Las Cruces

moveable whiteboard
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
This may not seem to be a fascinating photo, but look closer. That is a moveable whiteboard. They are going to allow students to check-out and use these whiteboards in the library. A very cool idea if you ask me. -- Jenny

Go see the fabulous photos of this library at:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tucson Public Library

tp signage flags
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Okay, these are some of the coolest signs ever! -- Jenny
For more photos of the library see:

University of Arizona - Tucson

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Another university with too many things to blog about. I chose this one cause I think it's wonderful. Patrons can fill out a form online and the library retrieves the items. There is a room full of held items. So the patron can retrieve it themselves and then use self-check out and voila, done. For a library as large and complex as this one, it's genius. -- Jenny

For more fascinating photos see:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Arizona State University - Tempe

instruction lab05
Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Here's a great idea for an instruction room. Put the computers together in clusters to facilitate group work. It also makes walking around very easy. Only problem is that you need more floor space than when you have the class arranged in rows. Other libraries in my sabbatical pool are doing this, but this was the first time I had seen this kind of arrangement. I also really loved the palm tree lined, wide sidewalk through campus. -- Jenny

For more photos of the libraries see:

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Phoenix Public Library

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
Okay, so I pay attention to the oddest things. While the collection of audiobooks is really impressive, what caught my eye was the shelving. The lights are attached to the shelving. This means, when you move the shelving, the lights go with them. We have some really dark areas in our library stacks. This would totally solve that problem. -- Jenny

To see more pictures, including the totally fabulous teen space, go to:

Clark County Public Library - Las Vegas

Originally uploaded by J Semenza
On my way out of town I stopped at the Clark County Public Library. They have the cutest used bookstore in the basement. It is run by the Friends of the Library group and proceeds go to the library. They sell weeded and donated materials. Other public and a few academic libraries are doing this too. -- Jenny

For more pictures of the library see: