Category Archives: Uncategorized

Quiet Study in Cabell

I do not understand construction was done on the quiet floor during the school year. Now there is no true quiet floor within the library! How are those of us that use that floor supposed to study?!
From: A concerned student

Pat Flanagan, Associate University Librarian for Public Services, responds….
Thank you for your question about the Cabell Library fourth floor renovation. We regret that the timing of the construction coincided with spring semester. Our original hope was to have the renovation take place between fall and spring semesters. However, as with many construction-related projects, there were unavoidable delays, and we also learned that the project would take a significantly longer period overall to complete than we originally anticipated. Ultimately, there was no scheduling that would have avoided the renovation happening during academic semesters.

That being the case, our staff has worked closely with the construction team on site to avoid the noisiest of tasks at peak hours. The construction crew has been very amenable to these requests, and construction only takes place during normal business hours leaving the building quiet after 5:00 p.m. Also, the noisiest components of the project are scheduled for after the end of exams. In addition, we have established a new quiet study area on the second floor. The new area is identified by signs and is at the front of the building on the second floor, overlooking the bus stop and the Cathedral.

In the end, the results of the renovation are going to bring very good things to the fourth floor of Cabell. For the first time, graduate students will have a dedicated reading room, as is the case at many universities. Our excellent Special Collections and Archives department will have a badly needed rejuvenation and added space to house its important collections. This, plus added exhibit space and an improved overall fourth floor appearance, will ultimately mean a truly fine facility for the VCU community. We are extremely sensitive to the issues the construction causes for students, however, and appreciate your bearing with us as we make these improvements.

For updated information, visit the VCU Libraries Renovations blog.

Noisy 4th floor

I am on the 4th floor trying to study. People have been up here talking
all night (talking on cellphones, talking at the computers) The signs
say “Quiet Please!” but the noise level reflects the commons.
Does anyone enforce the rules?

Walter Sampson, Assistant Librarian for Policy Development, replies..

I am sorry your studies were interrupted on the 4th floor, Cabell Library by disruptive patrons. First, if in the future, if you should have a similar incident immediately report the problem to the security staff located by the main entrance on the first floor. And, report it to Library staff at the circulation desk also located on the 1st floor.

VCU Libraries contracts for security personnel from the VCU Police. Security staff duties include enforcing Use of Library Building regulations and Let me know if I can provide you additional information about VCU Libraries procedures that intend to promote an environment for students to conduct research and study.

Snack machine at TML?

What happened to the snack machine at TML?
From: anon

Jean Shipman, director of Tompkins-McCaw Library replies…
Thanks for inquiring about the Tompkins-McCaw Library (TML) snack machine’s removal. This snack machine, according to Aramark, who operates vending machines on campus, was not generating enough revenue to remain in TML. We are talking with them about other options and hope to have a resolution soon.

Lost “W Effect”

The library’s only copy of The W Effect: Bush’s War on Women is listed as “Lost”.
Any way that title could be added on ‘books to buy’ list?
From: Jessica

Karen Cary, head of Collection Management, replies…

Thank you for letting us know that The W Effect: Bush’s War on Women is lost. A replacement copy has been ordered; the title should be available early in the spring semester. Keep checking the library’s catalog and when you see that the order has been submitted, you will also be able to place a hold on this title so that you will be notified once it has arrived into the collection.

If you have additional questions, please contact me at 828-1112, or by email at

Ethernet jack problems

I do not beleve a single table on the first floor has all ethernet jacks
working. The most one will find is 3. Just a heads up.
From: Tavarris

Jimmy Ghaphery, head of Library InformationSystems, replies..

Thanks for the heads up! We will correct these problems as soon as possible. Also, we are working on putting more network plugs in other locations of the library.

Missing Jack Kerouac

The only copy of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is missing. Any chance that can be added to the ‘books to buy’ list?
From: Jessica

Kevin Farley, Collection Librarian for the Humanities, replies…

Thank you for letting us know that you were unable to find Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (the library’s copy is missing). A replacement order for this title will be submitted before the end of the fall, 2005 semester — but please note that library orders take longer than orders from individual customers. This title should be available, however, early in the spring, 2006 semester. Keep checking the library’s catalog, and when you see that the order has been submitted, you will also be able to place a hold on this title so that you will be notified once it has arrived into the collection.

If you have additional questions, please contact me in the Collection Management Office of Cabell Library, at 828-1112, or by email at

Poster-sized printer

That big poster sized HP printer that is in the TML – when will it be operational? I have a class in which we have several groups that are required to do posters. This would be a great help!
From: David

Jodi Koste, Head of Resources & Operations at Tompkins-McCaw Library, replies…

The large format printer in the Instructional Media Workshop at Tompkins-McCaw Library will be available in the near future. We are in the last phase of testing, preparing documentation, and establishing fees for printing. Watch the VCU Libraries web site for an announcement about this new service.

Wireless frustrations

The lack of wireless capabilities in the library is getting
frustrating. First it will work and then it won’t. I’ve been told for several
times that you’re working on it but its still the same.
From: bob

Jimmy Ghaphery, head of Library Information Systems replies…

I share your frustrations, the wireless access in Cabell Library has been inconsistent this semester. We have been working with the VCU Technology Services to improve this since September and have recently seen some improvements. The wireless network is managed by the VCU Technology Services. For assistance with wireless connectivity contact the VCU Technology Services Help Desk at 828-2227 or e-mail to


Evening Reference Librarian at TML

There’s a need for an evening reference librarian at the medical library. The evening staff seems to be lacking in reference skills.
From: Gaya

Cate Canevari, Head of Education and User Services at Tompkins-McCaw Library replies…

Thank you for submitting your comments regarding reference services offered by the Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences (TML). We value feedback from library users and your comments are appreciated.

As you noted, reference services are not supported during all of TML’s open hours. They are offered during our peak service hours, 10:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday. During these hours, reference is available by asking at the Service Desk or by appointment. This service is supplemented by consultations via phone, email and chat.
In addition to reference services, TML offers a Library Liaison Program. Library Liaisons welcome personal consultations and are able to provide research assistance on a variety of projects.

If would like to find about more about TML’s reference services or need any additional assistance with your research needs, please contact Barbara Wright, TML Reference Services Librarian.

Lack of Security at Cabell

As a student new to the VCU campus, I am concerned about the lack of
security at the Cabell Library. Often the guards assigned seem not to be
paying any attention to who comes into the library and, as a result,
there are often a number of people who clearly have no connection
whatsoever with the university, but are simply using the building as a
place to hang out. Homelessness is a big problem and one the university
cannot solve, but I think it is a mistake to permit many unauthorized
people to use the library for non-library purposes. Can you tell me: is
the rule that anyone who enters the library needs a university ID? If
not, can anyone enter the library? If so, why do we have security guards
at all? Thanks for your attention. This is a potentially important
issue, I believe.

Assistant University Librarian for Policy Development Walter sampson replies..

Thank you for telling us about your concern to security in VCU Libraries. In preparing our response to you, we realized the Libraries’ hours requiring University ID to access library buildings had been inadvertently omitted on its website “hours” section . I have requested the appropriate staff to add this information @

You will see below that only members of the “University community” with proper University ID are admitted to the library buildings hours between the hours 10:00 pm to 2:00 am. At other times when the libraries are open, members of the general public may enter the building to use the collections and services of VCU Libraries.

Security is important to VCU Libraries. Security Officers’ duties and responsibilities are written jointly by VCU Libraries and VCU Police Security Division. Security coverage at Cabell Library is Sunday through Saturday. Two security personnel cover each shift. Sunday to Thursday shift runs from 4:00 pm to 2:30 am; Friday & Saturday security staff are on duty from 4:00 pm to 9:30 pm. When the Library is open 24 hours at the end of the semester 2-3 security officers are on duty 4:00 pm to 7:00 am. Security personnel are supervised by VCU Police under police performance guidelines. General performance issues can be address by library managers in Circulation Services. Major performance issues are reported in writing to the Security Commander.

The incidents you mentioned clearly are covered under the post description and should have been addressed by the security officer on duty. You said “…guards assigned seem not to be paying any attention to who comes in the library.” Under COMPLIANCE PROCEDURES “The security officer will be alert to members of the general public whose activity in the building appears to be suspicious or with criminal intent.” You also stated “…a number of people who clearly have no connection whatsoever with the university …simply using the building as a place to hang out.” Again, one of the officers’ duties does “not to permit individuals to loiter at the security station area.” To your concern about library users, please see the Libraries’ regulation, Use of Libraries Building. This regulation shows that faculty, staff, & students have first priority to access and use library property, resources, and services. The security officer under his/her discretion will notify persons entering or already in the building, especially if someone becomes disruptive about University & Library policies and procedures. The Libraries direct users in Cabell Library to present their University ID to access the building between the hours 10:00 pm to 2:00 am. Patrons without VCU ID card are not granted access to the Building. Users already in the Library before 10:00 pm without VCU ID may stay in the Library. However, if they leave they are not permitted to return to the building without VCU ID. The security staff are responsible for enforcing this policy.

Security personnel are asked to use tact, diplomacy, and good judgment in carrying out their duties. They are also instructed not to confront or apprehend anyone who might be trespassing or engaged criminal activity. In these cases they will notify VCU Police Dispatcher of the event, location and description of the activity.

I hope this explanation provides enough information about security in VCU Libraries. If you need additional information, clarification, or wish to submit suggestions for improving security operations, please contact me at 828-1116, or stop by my office in Cabell Library, room 201.


Walter Sampson
Assistant Librarian for Policy Development