piping up library feedback blog

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Special collections as a reading room space

Published by Dipa Barua

Q. Special collections is probably one of the least professional library facilities I've ever witnessed. The "reading area" is sandwiched in between the offices of the higher-ups, the desks of the lower-downs, and a board room. This would actually be fine if the librarians who worked there didn't seem to have nothing to do, and pollute the reading area with all kinds of personal conversations and phone calls. An absolute joke.

A. Thank you for sharing your feedback.  I am sorry to hear you did not have a positive experience in Special Collections.

I share your concerns about our reading room space.  Thankfully Bennett Library has embarked upon a master space planning effort to both define the vision for the future of the Library and serve as a road map for future improvements.  As part of this project, Special Collections staff members have shared ideas on how our space might be reconfigured to better serve the needs of our researchers.  I'm pleased to add that stakeholders from across the Library recognize the importance of renovations that would help showcase Special Collections.   Your comments will also be of assistance in informing our future space plans.
In Special Collections, librarians, archivists, and library assistants have many tasks.  One of these tasks is supervising the reading room to assist researchers and ensure the safety and security of our materials.  I completely agree that public service point staff should be focused on the tasks at hand.  I will share your feedback with our division.
Melissa Salrin
Head, Special Collections and Rare Books
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