Hours at Tompkins-McCaw Library

I really feel that the TML hours should be extended to a later time, at least until midnight. Many students on the MCV campus complain that the library closes at 9 pm and think that it should be open longer, just like Hunton. Now that the 2nd floor has been renovated and a lot of students are using it to study, it would benefit a lot of us on the MCV campus. The second floor of TML is the only place on the MCV campus that is large, open, and quiet. Although CIRC and Sanger are open 24/7, they do not have an open environment and are just full of cubicles, which is not very welcoming. Hunton is more open, but there are often people there who are talking; it is not always a quiet environment. All of these are reasons why I feel that keeping TML open longer would benefit medical students such as myself and everyone one else on the MCV campus.

From: a first professional student

Teresa Knott, Director of Tompkins-McCaw Library, replies…

Thank you for your suggestion.  Our Graduate Student Advisory Council has very strongly advocated this position as well.  Among the Tompkins-McCaw Library (TML) and VCU Libraries administration, we have begun to discuss options for how we would execute and fund extending the hours at TML.  In the next year, I believe that we will be able to do this.  We will likely start with a one-year pilot of extended hours where we assess the project at intervals.  There are many logistics to work out, but it is possible that we will launch the one-year pilot in early 2013.
In the meantime, the TML Learning Center @ Hunton and Hunton Hall are open later.  Also, the James Branch Cabell Library has a 24/5 schedule where the building opens Sunday at 10:00 AM and closes Friday at 10:00 PM.  As a graduate or professional student, you are entitled to use the John Mapp Graduate Study and Reading Room at Cabell, lcated on the fourth floor. To have access, you would need to ask the staff at the Circulation desk to add your identification card information to the access system.

Purchase Suggestion

Is the VCU library thinking of subscribing to Scopus literature search engine? I think this would be a valuable asset to faculty and students at VCU.

From: a faculty member
Lynne Turman, Head of TML Collections, replies…
Thank you for the comments and suggestion.  Scopus has been under consideration but it represents a significant financial commitment and at this point we are not able to entertain a subscription.  We will continue to evaluate the product and negotiate for more favorable pricing.  VCU Libraries does subscribe to Web of Science which has many of the same features as Scopus and provides coverage back to 1965.  Thank you again for taking the time to send us your comments.  

Printing from the Electronic Theses and Dissertations database

HELLO I print copies of abstracts archived in the Library’s EDT system and use them to confirm dissertation tiles inserted into the SOP graduation bulletin. I thought the EDT screen page had a “printer friendly” icon on the page last semester. When I print copies of the abstract now, I get a print outs that show the abstract title twice in bold print. I tried two other printers in our office and they also print out as you see them. Has any other Dept. contacted your office about how abstracts print out? Is there a way to get a “printer friendly” icon placed on page so that abstracts print uniformly. I have copies of the finished product and can send them to you if you would like to review them. Thanks for considering this request. Page where “printer friendly” ICON would be helpful: https://digarchive.library.vcu.edu/handle/10156/3932

From a staff member

Jimmy Gaphery, Head of Library Information Systems replies…

Thank you for the great suggestion. The print display for the Electronic Theses and Dissertations did indeed need improvement. We have made some adjustments to improve the print display to eliminate the duplicate titles and some of the other extraneous information that was displaying. For most abstracts the printed version should now be contained neatly on a single page.


Please stagger maintenance of bikeshare bicycles in the future and don’t
hold them for a whole week prior to that maintenance, it is unnecessary
and inconvenient.

From: a first professional student

Steve Barkley, Evening and Sunday Supervisor replies…

Thank you for your suggestion about staggering bicycle maintenance. I
am sorry for inconveniencing you as we continue to develop our pilot
bike lending program.

We are trying to work within the schedule of the RamBike coordinator,
and therefore needed to make sure that the bikes would all be available
at once for him to perform maintenance. We have had them on hold since
Monday night because, given their possible loan period of 48 hours, they
would all be returned by Wednesday night and ready for a tune-up in the
morning.. In the future we will suggest a staggered maintenance
schedule to ensure continued bike availability and to avoid
inconveniencing our patrons. Thank you again for your suggestion.

Restrooms and Doors

I am a new student at the School of Nursing and have been using the
Tompkins-McCaw library much this summer. I will to use TML into the
forthcoming semesters. However, I have a few observations, The Men’s
bathroom on the main floor has been in a state of disrepair since late
May, whether it is the lack of cleanliness, broken fixtures or the poor
plumbing, there seems to be a real contradiction in terms here given the
fact that TML is used by mainly future healthcare professionals. It
would be nice to see this part of the facility improved.
My other suggestion is that the door leading from the main floor to the
stacks be fixed or replaced. I am not sure if it is the hinges or the
pneumatic hinge at the top of the door or the door just not being
aligned correctly but every time it is opened or closed it serves as a
distraction to all who are within earshot to both those in the stacks or
those on the main floor. I am sure this is a simple repair or
replacement and it would go a long way to removing a distraction from
the library.
Thank you for taking these suggestions into consideration.

From: an undergraduate student

Jodi Koste, Head of TML Resources and Operations, replies…

Welcome to VCU and thank you for taking the time to submit your suggestions. The doors to Stack Level C are old and quite noisy.  The high humidity of the summers plays havoc with our older doors.  We have submitted a request to VCU Physical Plant to make adjustments so that the doors will close more quietly.

The restrooms in our aging building are also a challenge. They are cleaned nightly with some limited mid-day service. Our staff periodically inspects the facility along with the University’s contractor administrator for housekeeping services. We realized that the restrooms are not always up to the standards maintained in other buildings on the MCV Campus which must meet requirements for clinical facilities. Nevertheless we do try to address both cleanliness and facilities issues in our restrooms. If you encounter future problems with the restrooms, please report them to the TML Service Desk and we will do our best to resolve them. We do hope to renovate and update our restroom facilities in the future.

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Renewing laptop computers at Cabell Library

Can someone please post detailed rules about loaning and renewing computers? I know the basic rules of one a day loan and one renewal. However, it seems everytime I make a trip to renew the computer, there is a new rule. This time it was “no renewal when the computer being renewed is the only one or last one available”. Really? really? I was still working on that computer! I have a right to my one renewal regardless if it’s the only one or not. I know I have to share it with everyone else and I don’t mind doing that… after my time is up. So please someone, for my sanity, put up clear and concise rules that I’ll be happy to follow.

from: a professional student

Teresa Doherty, Head of Circulation and Information Services, replies…

As you are aware, laptops are in very high demand in Cabell Library, and our students compete for this limited resource. We recently reviewed our usage statistics, and with input from students, we have changed our check-out procedures to make them available to more students. There is no longer a restriction of one laptop loan per day, and there is no longer an automatic renewal option for laptop loans. Library staff are allowed to make an exception for a requested renewal when there are other laptops available for loan. However, if the laptop you are returning is the only one that can be offered to other patrons, you will not be allowed to renew it. The laptop check-out webpage and check-out privileges webpage will be updated to reflect this change.

VCU Libraries is pleased to partner with Technology Services to offer laptops to our students. Earlier this semester, the oldest laptops, with which we started the pilot loan program more than five years ago, were replaced with newer models. Additional older laptops will be replaced over the summer. If you have questions about our technology loans, including laptops, headphones, headsets, iPads, e-readers and more, please feel free to contact me directly at mtdohert@vcu.edu.

About security guards at Cabell Library

My friends and I were studying on the 4th floor at one of the large tables at around 7 pm. One of my friends put her head down to rest her eyes for a few minutes when one of the security guards (John) came by and woke her up and rudely told her that we are not allowed to sleep in the library and that she would need to leave if she wasn’t studying. We were all sitting at a single table and two of us were awake to watch all of our belongings so there was no risk of theft. Therefore, I don’t understand his reasoning for waking her up and speaking to us in such a manner. As students who spend the majority of their days studying, I feel that taking a 10 minute power nap is perfectly reasonable. If this is not an official library policy, then I feel that the security guards should be informed so that such instances do not occur again.

From: a graduate student

Jeanne Hammer, Assistant University Librarian for Administration and Policy Development, replies…

Thank you for bringing this situation to our attention. You are correct that a nap while studying is perfectly reasonable. Our security officers for the evening shift and overnight hours are fairly new to Cabell Library and still learning. Clearly there is a misunderstanding about our Use of Library Facilities policy which does not prohibit sleeping, unless it somehow became disruptive. The security officer may have misinterpreted our concern that a sleeping student’s belongings are at risk of theft to mean that the library does not permit sleeping. We will clear up this misunderstanding.

Restrooms in Cabell Library

I am hesitant to give this suggestion, but it must be done. I love VCU libraries and spend most of my study time here. I think Cabell is great, but the restrooms are worse than most truck stops. In fact, the first floor bathrooms are the most befouled on campus (yes–even compared to the “facilities” in Shafer or the Commons). Granted, I can only speak for the ladies room, but the bathrooms are so disgusting they are often unusable and frequently lack paper products late in the evening. Usually, the basement and 4th floor toilets are usable. I have never experienced this problem at the MCV library. Thank you for providing 24 hr service; it truly makes a difference.

From: a professional student

Jeanne Hammer, Assistant University Librarian for Administration and Policy Development replies…

Thank you for bringing to our attention that the restrooms need additional attention in the evening hours. We will work with the new contract housekeeping company and the VCU contract administrator to increase the level of service between the day shift and the night shift cleaning.

Request for extended library hours

MAKE IT 24/7!!!

From: an undergraduate student

Mary Ellen Spencer, Head of Research and Instructional Services, replies…

I’m happy to let you know that VCU Libraries will expand its around-the-clock service at James Branch Cabell Library beginning March 18. Learn more about this new service by reading Library News. And thank you for posting your suggestion to our blog!

Surge protectors and extension cords for loan

Surge strips or extension cords should be on loan during high traffic times, such as during midterm and finals studying!

From: an undergraduate student

Jodi Koste, Head of TML Resources and Operations, replies…

Thank you for your suggestion. At the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences you will find surge protectors/extension cords available for loan for use within the building. Stop by our Service Desk to check out this equipment or to learn more about the items available for loan when you are working in the library.