Piping Up

SFU Library Feedback

Reserving Laptops in Advance

July 22nd, 2016

Q: I need to borrow a Dell laptop from the library for a conference presentation at Harbour Centre. Is it possible to reserve one in advance, and can you supply a cable connector for the projector?

A: Thanks for asking. You can borrow a Dell laptop and cable connector from Belzberg Library for your presentation, but this equipment cannot be booked ahead. We generally have laptops available so just come into Belzberg before your presentation. Laptops and connectors can be borrowed for 4 hours and need to be returned before the library closes. Belzberg Library hours are at: http://www.lib.sfu.ca/about/branches-depts/belzberg/about/hours and further information about borrowing laptops at any SFU Library is at : http://www.lib.sfu.ca/borrow/borrow-materials/laptops-equipment/borrow-laptop Please don't hesitate to conact me if you have any further questions.

Karen Marotz, Head, Belzberg Library

Self-Checkout Kiosks for Reserves/Holds

May 11th, 2016

Comment: Every time I scan my item (after scanning my Student ID card), the on-screen message indicates to push the item forward. No matter which way I try to 'scan' or 'swipe' my book, an error message pops up to scan again, until the kiosk prompts to have a library attendant scan the item for me. Even a library staff member who attempted to use the kiosk was unable to successfully scan the library material.

These self-checkouts are inefficient if the students ultimately require staff to check out items for them. I would like a response from someone as to what actions are being taken to rectify the 'bugs' in these self-checkout terminals.

Answer: Sorry to hear you have had problems with the self checkout. Sometimes the barcodes on the books are not legible but overall people do use them on a regular basis.

Books from the Hold shelf cannot be checked on the self checkout machines. That is not a bug but designed so on purpose to prevent anyone taking someone else's hold material.

Scott Mackenzie, Manager, Access Services/Loans

Accessing ArcGIS Software

April 6th, 2016

Q: I am trying to access the SFU Library GIS Software page and keep getting an "access denied" message when I follow the link from: http://www.sfu.ca/itservices/technical/software.html

I am trying to see if I can access the ArcGIS software as an SFU post-doctoral researcher in Biological Sciences. Please advise.

A: It turns out the link on the software download page is incorrect. I have notified IT Services. The correct link is listed here: http://www.lib.sfu.ca/find/other-materials/data-gis/gis/software-arc-gis

On this page you will find "ArcGIS for desktop 10.3." Click on it to download the software. You will need a license file. Click on "ArcGIS single user license file" on the same page to download the license. I hope this helps.

Neal Baldwin, Manager, Library Computer Operations

Cables for New Android Devices

March 30th, 2016

Q: Since the libraries have no shortage of Lightning Cables for the newest iphone users, I think some USB Type C to Type A cables should be invested in for those of us who now own newer android devices, and require this new type of cable. When will this happen? It's only a matter of time before they will all be switched over.

A: I have discussed this with the head of loans and he has agreed this sounds like a good idea. I will be ordering approximately 6 cables for checkout during my next cable order sometime in April. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Neal Baldwin, Manager, Library Computer Operations

Mac Computers and Feedback Systems

February 4th, 2016

1) Concern: Many of the Mac computers on the main floor (3rd) of the Bennett library don't work. Some have keyboards that are broken and others won't let the user log in. This isn't just one or two computers, it's more like seven or eight. Perhaps some sort of feedback system could be arranged for library users to report "broken" computers.

2) Request: Could python3 be installed on the Mac machines? Python2 is already installed, however, some of the syntax is different and I'm far more comfortable writing in python3.

Reply: Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Although the Library Technicians strive to provide exemplary service, unfortunately the Mac machines fall out of our jurisdiction. IT services looks after the Mac machines on the main (3rd) floor. I have passed on your request to them at its-help@sfu.ca. Regarding your comment about some sort of feedback system. Currently, available feedback systems we have in place are:

If you have a suggestion for another feedback system not in the above list, please let me know and I will consider it as I am always looking for ways to improve service to our clientele.

Neal Baldwin, Manager, Library Computer Operations

Disruptive Closing of the Fraser Library

January 14th, 2016

Comment: I was in the library studying for finals on November 26th before the closing hours got extended to midnight. That evening I was using the computers and the library was closing at 9, but at 8:45pm the lights at the computers were all turned off and stayed off, making me feel both unsafe and apprehensive, as well making it very difficult for me to see my notes and to wrap up my studying in the next 15 minutes. I'd like to suggest turning off some of the lights, but still leaving on a few so people can see and still wrap up their work as well as be aware of their surroundings for safety.

At 8:54pm that night, a girl walked around with a horrendously disruptive cowbell announcing that "the library is now closed," and when myself and another student pointed out that the library didn't close for another 6 minutes, she spoke to her colleague behind the loans desk and then started walking around and saying "the library will close in one minute." I packed up my things because at this point I had literally been left in the dark and was having an incredibly loud bell waved at me, so there was no chance that I could finish wrapping up my exam prep. I went to the gentleman at the desk and pointed out what happened, that we were being kicked out early, and he said it was because they had to leave by 9pm. I understand that the employees shifts probably end at 9pm and they want to leave, but I should be able to stay and finish my work between 8:45-9pm because the open library hours are until 9pm. I would also like to state that the cowbell is incredibly brash and disruptive, and the constant ringing of it as the employee walks around the whole library creates the feeling that they are trying to drive out the library users. Perhaps a simple announcement could be a better method.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my feedback. 

Reply: Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry that you had an unpleasant experience at our library. We are committed to providing a safe and comfortable study space for all students. The library does not have a PA system; our noisemaker and lights have served as visual and auditory signals of the library's closing time. We have heard your concerns and will make changes to our local practice. We will implement turning our lights off and on every 5 minutes starting 15 minutes prior to library closing, and will also find an alternative and less disruptive noisemaker.

Soo Oh, Loans Supervisor, Fraser Library

Availability of SAS Statistical Analysis Program

January 14th, 2016

Q: I am registered in STAT 342/341, a course that requires students to have access to the SAS statistical analysis program. There are no computers in the tutorial rooms but we are required to use the program during tutorial. I would like to request that SAS be installed on the laptops available at the library. I am sure that I am not the only one to benefit from this as the program is used throughout health and social sciences, and business.

A: Unfortunately we cannot install SAS on the laptops, as it uses up a very large amount of space on the disks, and the laptops are under resource constraints that the desktops are not under. We are aware of the issue and we will consider this request when we specify the configuration of new laptops during our next upgrade cycle. In the meantime there is another statistical package installed, SPSS that you could use. Thank you for your feedback.

Neal Baldwin, Manager, Library Computer Operations

Volunteering at the Library

September 9th, 2015

Q: I am very interested in doing some volunteering in one of the university libraries. Are there any positions available?

A: Thank you for your interest in the SFU Library. We don't currently have any openings for short-term volunteer positions at the library but information on other on-campus volunteer opportunities is available here (note: most seem to be long-term rather than short-term opportunities): https://www.sfu.ca/volunteer/students/on-campus-volunteer-opportunities1.html.

Hope Power, Acting Head, Information & Instruction                                                               

Returning Library Book

September 8th, 2015

Q: Is it possible to return a library book at all three SFU library locations?

A: Yes, as long as they are not Reserve items, SFU books can be returned to any of the three campus libraries.

Scott MacKenzie, Head of Loans Division

Shout Out to Librarian Mark Bodnar

July 30th, 2015

Q: Just want to give a big shout out to Mark Bodnar. I went to see him about APA Style the other day and he was very knowledgeable and helpful with this topic. Mark was very approachable and friendly, he seemed passionate about what he is doing and showed a true interest in helping me with my issues. Glad that SFU has people like Mark who is great at what he is doing. Thanks!

A: Thanks for taking the time to let us know about your experience working with Mark the other day! It's great to hear such positive feedback directly from a researcher. We've passed on your comments directly to Mark as well. Much appreciated.

Hope Power
Acting Head, Information & Instruction