Between summer ‘recess’ sessions this week (ice cream and poetry in the atrium!), the quiet storm of August continues. Our new expanded 24-hour space – Hub24 – is getting power and networking this week and will soon be built out with new furniture. Five of our colleagues have been debriefing from their 3 days of intensive training on the new library systems in San Jose. Our Web Steering Committee and web subcommittees are well along in designing a new interface that we’ll begin testing this fall. Our graphics, communications, outreach leaders, and exhibits teams are producing a stream of handsome fall outreach materials, navigation signs, and materials for the upcoming Mustang 100 fall exhibit. All of these activities are part of the strategic goals we’re setting this year: look for more information next week on those draft goals, including plans for the Hub24 program; new systems for discovery and delivery; improving and increasing spaces for student study; communicating a strong library brand; and working with our community to activate the library with art.
Summer is also a time we look back at the previous year, with annual reports and updated measures of activity that we track each year. A couple of highlights: last year we reached 11% more students with our teaching programs (over 12,000 students); we answered 21% more questions at the research help desk, reflecting the new visibility of the desk after it moved to the second floor. Laptop and other media checkouts soared this year too, hitting over 120,000. Patrons waited an average of only 13 hours (a drop of 14%) to receive over 9000 articles via our RapidILL network. And to top it off, our visitor count this year broke through 1.5 million for the first time in over a decade. That’s a 15% increase in the last 5 years; and a 60% in the last 10 years, since 2006. Where do those students go? Since 2006, we’ve increased library seats from 1400 to over 2300!
The human side of the world of publishing is one libraries sometimes forget to celebrate. One discovery this summer was Perceval Press – founded by actor/writer Viggo Mortenson. And it was great to see the ACLS Humanities Ebook team venturing out with social media to tell their story – sharing interviews, new publications, and even video of their empty office on an August Friday….. These are our comrades at arms in the world of learning, writing, and sharing ideas. I particularly enjoyed their link to the Atlantic. Well, actually they linked to an Atlantic article about librarians, but then I found this great article about the human side of email:
“Best,” “I hope you’re well,” “Thanks so much for your time,” “Just checking in on X”—these are new cultural scripts for digital interaction, much like the exchange of “How are you?” is for IRL interaction.
Enjoy the weekend,