Piping Up

SFU Library Feedback

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

Access to Ebsco Host

July 9th, 2015

Q:  How do I gain access to Ebsco Host?  I've tried everything suggested but to no avail

A:  Ebscohost is the name of the platform/company for many different databases covering a wide range of subjects. SFU Library has access to over 60 different databases from the company EBSCO. I'd suggest starting with Academic Search Complete, a comprehensive database covering a variety of subjects. You can access it at this URL:  http://cufts2.lib.sfu.ca/CRDB4/BVAS/resource/13848  If Academic Search Complete doesn't satisfy your information need, I'd suggest clicking on "Choose Databases" to see what other EBSCO host databases are available, in case there is a subject-specific one that might fit your information needs better.   You can also try other subject-specific databases by choosing a subject from the drop down menu of databases organized by subject - usually the top ones will be listed first.  http://cufts2.lib.sfu.ca/CRDB4/BVAS/ 
 or consult the library's various subject guides for assistance:  http://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/subject-guides/ 

Please contact us again if you require further assistance. http://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/ask-us/

Sandra Wong, Electronic Resources Librarian
Collections Management Office

Linux Books

July 9th, 2015

Q:   I was looking for a Linux book that told me how to use the tar command to look inside a tar archive; I would also like a book  
that describes Linux partitions. In looking through the catalogue, I noticed that you only have 3 Linux books; I have about ten in my personal library. I would like to see a bigger selection of Linux books in the library.

A:  Thank you for your message and your suggestion to buy more books on Linux. We definitely have more than 3 books on Linux - if you search the library catalogue by Subject 'Linux', you will get more than 970 results.  For 'Linux partitions' you may want to try the book "Embedded Linux primer" http://troy.lib.sfu.ca/record=b5745469~S1a (section 9.1.1) or LinyxBible http://troy.lib.sfu.ca/record=b6196320~S1a (see the index at the end of the book to find discussions on 'partitions'). I am sure there are others too. 

I will be more than happy to purchase any specific books on Linux that you think are important but missing from our collection - just let me know the titles, and I will order them.
Ivana Niseteo, MA, MLIS
Liaison Librarian for Linguistics, Humanities, French & French Programs
(FASS), Engineering, and Computing Science
Bennett Library, Simon Fraser University

Issue with ProQuest ebrary site

July 9th, 2015

Q:  The ProQuest ebrary interface does not appear to be working properly (for me, at least). After logging into the  Library through my SFU account, the ebrary page opens, but then continues to act like it is loading over and over again, and does not respond to requests  when I click on the Download title button. I am not sure if this is a problem for other users, but I continually have problems trying to access/download ebooks from the ProQuest ebrary site.

A: Have you tried clearing your browser's cache, cookies and browsing history. http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser's-Cache  Also - when you say you're logged in - do you mean you are off-campus or using wireless and have authenticated with your SFU ID and password to access Ebrary, after choosing one of these links:http://cufts2.lib.sfu.ca/CRDB4/BVAS/resource/12946   
In order to download an e-book, you have to further login via the Ebrary login, which is separate from your SFU ID and password.
If you do not have an Ebrary account, you will need to create on https://site-ebrary-com.proxy.lib.sfu.ca/lib/sfu/newAccount.action 
Please be advised that the personal information you disclose to Ebrary (in creating an Ebrary account) may be stored on servers located outside of Canada. No personal information about you is collected by or for the University. Canadian privacy laws do not apply to personal information you provide directly to Ebrary. 

Let me know if you continue to have problems accessing Ebrary e-books.  It would be helpful to know whether you're on campus or off-campus, your type of computer and the browser you're using to help us determine what the problem might be. 

Sandra Wong, Electronic Resources Librarian
Collections Management Office

No A/C in SFU Bennett Library

July 9th, 2015

Q: To whom it may concern.  The weather inside the library is really inconvenient. I think that the air condition system does not work appropriatelly. Also, you can see some individuals are having their meals inside the library and in this really inconvenient condition some spicific smells can distract you easilly. 

A: Unfortunately there is no air conditioning system in the Library and certain areas will get very warm as the temperature outside increases.  The best suggestion is that you look for a study spot near a window to get a bit of airflow.  There are opening windows in sections of all floors except Floor 5.
We have an open policy regarding eating in the Library, as long as the food doesn't disturb other users.  If you find that food smells or sounds are disturbing you, feel free to ask the person to put their food away.  And if you're not comfortable asking the person yourself, please let the staff at the service desk at the Library entrance know about the situation and they will talk to the person.
Food and drink policy - http://www.lib.sfu.ca/about/policies/food
Elaine Fairey
Associate University Librarian, Learning & Research Services