Head Librarian, Lorraine, shared her experiences with us as a librarian in AUT library.
1) What’s the most difficult area of the library?
-Navigating around the library and finding relevant resources. We have information on how to source books but it is still difficult.
2) Management system
The team in the library is involved with selecting books, placing orders, paying invoices, cataloguing, showing people how to find information, preparing library guides, and managing an organization. There are 65+ staff managing. The library doesn’t design it’s own systems.
The new building WG will be a collaborative building space with couches and places for group work etc, there will probably be less traffic through the library. We find at the moment there is a lack of quiet study space and space for individual work, therefore the new building will provide extra space.
4) Disadvantages of digitalizing books
-some people favor reading paperback books for pleasure, however digital books are available 24/7 and may be a better source of information , a way of the future.
5) How often do books not get returned?
Quite a lot. And if the book that isn’t returned is in demand it can take quite a while to get another copy, which is a hassle for other students wanting to use the book.
6) Physical space will always be needed
-The library is the hub/heart of the Uni
-There is an opportunity to expose people to other things outside of the subject that they study
-Although there is a lot online, people will still need a place to go
6) Is online better than books?
Online it is easy to cut and paste /highlight/add videos for further reference . It’s also more work for the librarians to have physical books because of labeling the books etc
7) What do your staff complain most about?
-keeping up to date ( skills)
-New information and demands from students
-The same questions being asked by students. There is a Q & A section where the most frequently asked questions are answered however people still ask.
8) How are disabled people cared for in the library?
There is a designated staff member for disability help. Tailored for each individual whether they have physical or metal disabilities.
9) Printing services and IT are not connected or involved with the librarians
Benefits on co-design. We have tried to have collaboration with students before through AUSM, however it didn’t seem to go as well as we’d hoped.
11) Do you think it would be more beneficial to have more than one entrance in the library?
For the physical collection it is more desirable to have more than one entrance, however over time as the physical collection declines, the entrances may not be needed. The new building will also be a ‘hub’.
12)The computers in the library are looking at being removed all together and for students to have their own laptops. However computers will be available for loan from loan central
13) There is a need for group space and group work areas in the library. Other libraries have sound proof booths, however ours aren’t so soundproof.
14) Information has changed. Information is richer, more interesting and content has changed. Books – VHS – DVDs – Internet. We don’t hanker on the type of information, it’s the information that counts.
15) There will eventually be a need for storage outside of the library for old books.
16) What is the libraries essence?
-respect and value for knowledge
-access to knowledge
-if there are no books (everything is digital) it is difficult to visualize the space and whether we need it.
17) What’s your desired vision?
-Build a case to keep the library, even if there aren’t any books in there.
-Create a sense of space and belonging in that space where there are lots of people working together