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All Suggestions for Mills Library

Suggestion

(Apr 25/17) Mills 6th is too warm again, and its very difficult to find comfortable quiet study space.
Would very much appreciate if the temperature was dropped a bit!

Library response:

I am sorry, but we are not able to control the temperature at this time of the year. It is all about fluctuating temperatures outside.

The "heat" has been turned off, but the "cooling" isn't fully on since it has still been quite cool outside at times.

Our apologies.

(Apr 25/17)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 17/17) Its too cold on the third floor of mills...it never used to be this cold the entire year but
during exam season the temperatures are too low.

Library response:

Unfortunately Campus Facilities started converting buildings from heating to cooling last week, and Mills was one of the first buildings to be converted. While we don't actually have a/c running, we are not able to turn heat back on.

(Apr 17/17)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 13/17) The microfilm/microfiche stations are extremely dusty, which makes it really difficult to capture a clean image on the readers. Would it be possible to have the stations dusted more frequently? Also, the plates on the digital readers could use a good cleaning too.

Library response:

Thank you very much for your feedback. We will attend to this promptly.

(Feb 13/17)
Answered by: mcallic

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 8/16) can we please get standing desks installed somewhere as it improves health and studying

Library response:

Thanks for your suggestion. We will make sure to include some standing tables/desks as we continue to renovate and change up our spaces, but in the meantime you can borrow a laptop stand from the service desk in any of the libraries which will permit you to stand while using your laptop. 

Good luck on your exams!

(Dec 9/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 3/16) 6th floor Mills is boiling right now. Its really hard to focus when I feel like Im melting.
Please turn on a/c!

Library response:

Thanks for your message.

We have reported this problem to campus facilities services.

It is very warm in many areas of Mills.

We appreciate your patience while we get this worked out.

(Oct 5/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 20/16) The grad study room is unreasonably cold. I spent 8 hours in there yesterday and went home with
an actual chill - it took me hours to feel warm again. Today, my smartphone read the room at
15°. Please please PLEASE turn up the temperature in that room!

Library response:

Thanks for your message. This is a problem created by moving to air conditioning while the outside temperatures are still quite cool. Unfortunatley we cannot turn the heat back on. We will try to make some adjustments to call for less chilled air.

(May 20/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 18/16) Please turn the A/C on in Mills! 6th floor is a sauna!

Library response:

I am sorry, we cannot turn the heat down since it does not officially switch to a/c until early May. We will see if we can get some more fresh air flowing into this area.

We will do our best to improve the situation!

(Apr 18/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 30/16) Connecting to WiFi in the library can be extremely difficult, especially on the higher floors. Specifically the back row of desks on 5th floor Wifi just doesnt work. Is it possible to improve WiFi in Mills? Perhaps adding more routers higher up in the library or stronger ones wherever they currently are could help?

Library response:

Thank you for your note! We appreciate the feedback.

Tracking down the variables that make wireless access slow can be difficult. That's why this summer we'll be running some tests and determining if we need to approach campus IT about deploying additional wireless hardware. Thank you for your message.

(Apr 4/16)
Answered by: mcallic

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 21/16) Spaces that are labelled silent study such as the sixth floor are not being used by students in
this way. There should be a better way to monitor this such as putting cameras or something to
ensure that students are using this space appropriately.

Library response:

Thanks for your email. We agree, it would be great if everyone would use designated spaces as they are intended.

Unfortunately there aren't enough staff on duty at any one time to patrol all of our spaces, or to monitor cameras. We have provided an email address which can be used to report problems in Mills, Innis or Thode libraries. This email address is monitored at all times and a staff member will be dispatched to address the problem. We have posted this email address on posters in both the Quiet and Silent areas of the libraries.

Next time, feel free to tell us about the problem when it is happening - drop us a note at quiet@mcmaster.ca

Good luck on your exams!

(Mar 22/16)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 10/15) The 6th floor at mills has varying temperatures; It is getting unreasonably hot for some
reason. I asked around, and people feel the same. Its been like this for the past couple of
days that Ive come here. If something can be done to maintain a normal room temperature, that
would be nice. Thank you.

Library response:

We apologize for the situation - campus facilities staff are trying to figure out what is going on so they can resolve it. We hope they will identify the problem shortly, with a solution to go with it. There is nothing else we can do but keeping reporting it and asking for updates. Sorry - we know this is a very difficult environment to study effectively in.

(Apr 14/15)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 17/15) Most of the couches on the upper floors of Mills are worn through - the leather is cracked
and/or broken completely and the filling is often showing. This is unpleasant to look at but
also uncomfortable to sit on. Please do something!

Library response:

Were are you sitting? We have removed most of these couches, just recently.

(Mar 17/15)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 17/15) I was sitting at the second floor computers yesterday and was heavily disappointed by the state
of the computers. Not only are they running outdated operating systems, the scroll wheel on the
mouse wasnt working and the keyboard was sticky and looked like it hadnt been cleaned in
years - there was brown-ish dust and gunk all over it.

Library response:

Thank you for sharing the feedback on the computers. We are actively investigating where we have public computers and refreshing them around a strategy of making computing a bit more invisible. When things get older (and filthier) they are the opposite of being invisible. We'd like to fix this.

Are you referring to the computers in the Learning Commons - or near the bookstacks?

(Mar 18/15)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),mcallic

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 14/15) 6th floor mills is freezing again. It was warm yesterday but right now it is very cold. Please
turn up the heat.

Library response:

We agree, this seems to be an on again, off again problem. We report these problems to campus facilities services daily. They are trying to figure out what happens to make these changes.

Thanks for your patience while they figure it out.

(Jan 21/15)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 8/15) Its freezing on 6th Floor Mills would it be possible to turn the heat on because I can feel a
vent with cold air coming out of it and I cant work when my hands are literally frozen!

Library response:

We are on our way up to the 6th floor to take some temperature readings, then will place a service call again. Thanks for letting us know, and for your ongoing patience.

(Jan 8/15)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 24/14) The elevator doors open and close repeatedly when the elevator remains stationary on the 6th
floor of Mills. This is a nuisance on the silent study floor. Please fix this asap.

Library response:

This problem has been resolved. Thanks for reporting it.

(Nov 24/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 18/14) It is unfortunate how many students are disrespectful of the 6th floor silent zone. Every
time I use this space I have to tell students to stop talking, which is frustrating because
this shouldnt be happening. I have used the quiet@mcmaster email before, however, I wonder
if a more effective approach would be to have someone patrol the floor every hour as my email
isnt always responded to immediately. Its frustrating to have to ask this. I am baffled by
how many students do not respect the quiet zone. I was going to also suggest more posters
about how it is the quiet zone, but Im not sure how helpful that would be considering that I
have often asked students sitting next to the giant SILENT ZONE letters to stop talking. Any
help with this matter would be greatly appreciated!

Library response:

Thanks for your suggestion. We will try to patrol this area more regularly, but in reality people quiet down when they see a staff person then the noise goes up as soon as we leave. We do try to make our presence felt more regularly during the time leading up to exams, and we will continue to do this.

We appreciate your efforts to resolve the problem yourself, and would encourage you to keep doing this by speaking directly to anyone making noise, reminding them that people are choosing to be there because it is a designated Silent Study space. And please continue to send emails to quiet@mcmaster. ca.  We do try to respond to these emails as quickly as possible. 

Thanks for your patience - if we all work on this issue we might make an impact!

 

(Nov 19/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 17/14) 6th floor is very cold. Is there any way at all to turn up the heat??

Library response:

There are several thermostats in this area which have been damaged and now are not working. Work Orders have been placed to have these fixed. Once this is done we should be able to control temperatures a little better. Thanks for your patience while we work on getting this resolved.

(Nov 17/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 12/14) 6th floor mills is absolutely frigid. Is there any way at all to turn down the cooling system?
Not only is it very cold, which shouldnt be the case at this time of the year, the system is
also very loud as it blows frigid air.

Library response:

There are several thermostats in this area which have been damaged and now are not working. Work Orders have been placed to have these fixed. Once this is done we should be able to control temperatures a little better. Thanks for your patience while we work on getting this resolved.

(Nov 17/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 7/14) Hello,

There is no heat coming into the graduate student room on the 4th floor of Mills. I am
growing concerned as we are already in the winter season and its only going to get colder.
Can we please get this fixed as soon as possible?

Thanks.

Library response:

Thanks for letting us know. Most of the heat has been turned on in the building, but we suspect they forgot about the perimeter heating in this room. A service call has been placed. Not sure it will improve today, but next week for sure. Thanks for your patience

(Nov 7/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 2/14) Id like to thank the McMaster employees or subcontractors responsible for communicating the
importance of noise reduction to events in the Mills-MUSC square. This is certainly an
improvement! Thanks again.

Library response:

Glad we could help. We do try to report this when the noise gets out of control

(Nov 17/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 17/14) Can we get more plugs for cubicles in Mills (especially 4th and 6th floor)? Sometimes
its really difficult trying to find a seat with a plug nearby and we are forced to
find somewhere else to study

Library response:

Plans are underway to do this work over the summer months.

(Jun 5/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 15/14) Hello, the 6th floor today is really cold, please is there a way it can be adjusted? I
wearing my coat to study right now

Library response:

Hello - we did open the dampers yesterday to get some more air circulating when it was so warm. These have been shut but it might take a while to get the temperature back to where it should be. Unfortunately it takes a while due to the age of the building and its mechanical systems.

(Apr 15/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 3/14) One concern I have is the lack of adequate 100% silent study space in most of
McMasters libraries. Mills 6th floor is designed to be totally quiet, yet there are
two elevators that are constantly making that annoying noise that signals when the
elevator arrives at the floor. Is there any way to disable that noise on the 6th
floor? Because of the floor layout, there really is no space up there that would be
free of this nuisance.

Library response:

Thanks for sending in your comment. Unfortunately we are not able to disable these notification bells since they are used both as a safety mechanism to indicate when a car has arrived and for those users with little or no sight to indicate when a car has arrived. Perhaps you could consider using headphones while using this space to ensure total silence. 

(Mar 6/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 28/14) It will be better for commerce student if mills/innis can extend one hour on Friday.
Most of our commerce midterm start at 7pm but mills/innis close at 5:45. It is
inconvenience for us to find the other study space and only less than one hr left to
study. If the library close at 7pm, it will be much more convenience for us. I do
understand everyone wanna go home early on Friday

Library response:

Thanks for your message. We can consider this request for the fall term, since we are pretty much past the midterm exam period for this term. 

(Mar 6/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Hours, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 25/14) The Grad study room is great. However,the temperature there is so low. Is it possible
to increase the temperature a bit?

Library response:

Sorry this took so long to resolve, but we think we finally found the problem. It should be much warmer there now.

(Mar 6/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 13/14) I understand there are floors in Mills library that are for silent study but these are
often times really full making it hard to find a place to sit. This results in having
to sit on other floors where talking is allowed which is okay but yelling and speaking
excessively loud should not be permitted. Is there any way to moderate this? Its
really hard to study when you can hear peoples conversations 4 tables away!

Library response:

Thanks for your message. Given the high number of students using our spaces on a daily basis, the best we can do is try to designate specific spaces as Quiet or Silent. If students are being very loud in other areas can we suggest you ask them to keep it down? They may not realize how loud they are being. Alternatively you can try to find a seat in one of our designated spaces. A list of these spaces can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space

 

(Mar 6/14)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 6/13) I understand you have to restart the computers daily, but can you please install something on these computers to actually warn us
that the computers are going to restart and delete all of the work people spend on it, as opposed to just restarting them with no
warning.

Library response:

Thanks for this feedback. I've passed along this suggestion to the staff who maintain our desktops.

(Dec 8/13)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 14/13) Hello,

I frequently study at Mills Library in the Learning Commons area. I have found that
the temperature in this environment is constantly fluctuating. Today, November 14,
2013 has proven to be an exceptionally hot day in the Learning Commons. As I look at
the thermometer in the area at 1:42 pm, the temperature reads 91 degrees. This is not
a conducive study atmosphere. I had come to the Learning Commons this afternoon
because other areas in Mills Library were occupied. I find it difficult to understand
why such extreme temperature fluctuations frequently occur in this library. I am
hoping that this issue can be resolved in a timely manner.

Thank you.

Library response:

Our apologies for the heat issues today. The large air supply fan which services the Learning Commons area has been replaced and is just now being turned back on after being out of service for almost six months. Apparently there was a problem with the controllers when it was turned back on, so temperatures weren't being regulated. We may still have a few glitches over the next few days, but after that we should be able to predict much more suitable conditions in this area.

Thanks for your patience while this problem was being resolved today!

(Nov 14/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 24/13) As students stay to study during the extended study hours, there is no access to food
in the student centre or in other buildings. The least that should be done is
ensuring that the vending machines in Mills Learning Commons are actually
functioning. Learning commons is also generally much warmer than room temperature,
even reaching up to 86 degrees fahrenheit. As the only available study space on
campus during these late hours, it needs to be more accommodating for students as
they study, rather than distracting them with these temperatures and inaccessibility
to food/drink. Thank you.

Library response:

Thanks for your message. We do apologize for the vending machines not working. Both companies have been contacted and asked to both repair the machines and to ensure they are fully stocked between now and the end of exams. We do know how important this service is to students using the Learning Commons area to study late at night.

We are in the process of replacing the air supply fan which feeds the Learning Commons. This work has been ongoing for several months, and should be completed by the time everyone returns from the mid-term recess. The project itself has taken much longer than was originally planned. Our apologies for how warm it can get there. Thanks for being patient during the last few days of this project.

(Oct 24/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 30/13) The 6th floor of mills study is suppose to be a quiet studying place, but people tend
to come up here with their friends and treat it like a place to hang out and talk.
There are signs, but nothing is ever reinforced. Whats the point of having a silent
study, if its actually a silent study but a hang out space?

Library response:

Thanks for sending in your comments. We do periodically walk through the area and remind people this area is a Silent Study floor.  

Please feel free to send an email to quiet@mcmaster.ca when you feel there are problems and we will send someone up right away. Make sure you let us know exactly where people are talking so we can come directly to that section.

 As we get farther into the term silent study becomes more and more important to everyone. We do hope people will self-police this area as much as possible, asking offenders to move elsewhere, or sending an email to the address above.

(Sep 30/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 19/13) hi,
I have always studied on the third floor and it seems as if the desks have been
shifted. Half the study desks by the bay window do not have plugs any more and others
have plugs right by the chair instead of centered between the two desks. I had a very
uncomfortable moment with someone trying to crawl thru to plug in her laptop like
right under my desk. If someone could please look into if the desk can be shifted
back
Thanks

Library response:

Thanks for this comment. We did re-arrange the carrels in this area a little bit to prevent people from tripping over these floor boxes. We are looking at ways to move access to power receptacles to the tops of carrels as we have in other areas in the library. Hope to get to this shortly!

(Sep 24/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 28/13) Can you please stop having all the computers reset themselves at around 3 am every
night, or at the very least, not at the areas which you have open 24/7 (Mills Learning
Commons).

Library response:

Thanks for writing and sharing this with us. Alas, it's important that we cycle the machines daily in order to update the operating system and programs, and so we pick the time that statistically has the lowest traffic.

 

To help avoid losing work, there is a warning, and it is possible to postpone the restart temporarily.

(Apr 19/13)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 12/13) Hi, I have noticed that the people in the study rooms at the end of the 4th floor quiet study area are really loud these days. It is very distracting because it is supposed to be a quiet study space. Also because of the wind in the room me and my friends often feel cold while studying here. If someone can find a way to resolve my two problems I will greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. We will add some signage to the Group Study Rooms to remind students using these rooms that they are located next to a Quiet Study area and will monitor the noise when staff walk through this area.

In terms of the cool air blowing in the room, this changes depending on the temperature outside. We had complaints on Sunday that it was too warm in this area. We do monitor it to make sure there are no mechanical issues, but please do let us know if the temperature swings too much in either direction. We do want this to be a comfortable space for everyone to study in.

(Mar 13/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 6/13) Hi,
There is no Wi-fi connection on the fifth floor of Mills (past the rangers i.e. moving book shelves and close the staircase is
located) where the desks are located. i would appreciate if something could be done about it. As without wi-f i am not able to
access the internet to do my research for my assignments or even check Avenue to Learn.
Wi-fi should be avilable at any spot in any library as so much of work now is done via the internet.
Thank you! your help is appreciated.

Library response:

You are correct that there are, in fact, some dead zones in Mills where the wifi signal fades. In a building with that much concrete and metal book stacks, it's inevitable. In general, we have one of the densest wifi umbrellas on campus, but it will not be perfect.

(Mar 6/13)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 11/13) A few years ago we had floor plans for Mills, that could be accessed via the Library
Floor Plans page on our website. Since the renovations, and the changes to the
library in the past few years, the Mills Floor Plans were taken down, likely because
they were out of date. The floor plans were extremely useful in directing people who
were seeking out certain rooms from the stand point of being behind the front desk,
but as a student I also found them to be a helpful resource. Are there any plans in
putting up new floor plans? Even outdated floor plans are more useful than a lack of
floor plans.

Library response:

Thanks for the comment. Yes, we did take the ones for Mills down because they were so out of date, but we do plan on replacing them with something basic to start, then perhaps a little more sophisticated down the road. Not quite sure when this will happen, but knowing that people actually did use them provides us with greater incentive to push these out. The floor plans for Innis and Thode are current. Stay tuned!

(Feb 12/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 4/13) You really need to update the signs on the doors in the stairwell to accurately
reflect the books that are on each floor. I let it go without comment last term, but
I have wasted too much time now walking up and down that stairwell being misled as to
where I can find the books that I need. And even if you are still re-oganizing, I
dont think that it is too much work or trouble to update the signs based on the
latest state of the floors that still have books on them.

Regards,
Nicholas

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. I am sorry, we totally overlooked the signage on the interior staircase doors. We will correct this as quickly as we can.

(Feb 4/13)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 6/12) The study spaces at Mills are absolutely incredible and it was very considerate of the university to instill them; its too bad that the people using them arent. Several times I have had to either change locations within the Silent Study Area on the 6th floor even after proceeding to talk with the individuals about it. On a few occassions I have moved to the Quiet Study Area on the 4th floor, but that is hardly any better. I indicated the problem because I find myself having to go to Innis in order to use their quiet study area, and Im not even a Commerce Student. Please come up with an answer to this situation as the study areas are perfect besides these minor set backs.

Library response:

Well, first of all, we are glad you like our newly configured study spaces. We are still tweaking the Silent Study space on the 6th floor and the Quiet Study space on the 4th, by adding more signage, and soon to come, more power in both areas!

It's true that the biggest issue around these new study spaces is to make sure they are used appropriately. Library staff do walk through these areas on a fairly regular basis, but we don't have enough staff to monitor them at all times.

When someone is using the space inappropriately - usually talking, or trying to work in a group - it would be great if someone else in that study space could remind them of how the space is to be used. If there is no response, feel free to send an email to quiet@mcmaster.ca - a staff member will be dispatched to the area, so please make sure you tell us where you are - or you can talk to anyone at the service desks in any of our libraries.

We hope these spaces will be used as they were intended, but it may take some time to get people to comply. Please do your part by asking offenders to stop...we appreciate any assistance we can get with this.

(Nov 6/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 30/12) I know the computers at Mills were recently replaced, but for some reason not all of
them work. I typed in google in the address bar, and as soon as I clicked Enter it
deleted it and put the mcmaster website in the address bar again automatically. The
icon kept turning as if it was loading, but nothing happened, and this was on two
different computers. Why are links not connecting as soon as you click them? Very
slow or unresponsive connection. Also, I am lamenting that we are discarding a huge
amount of books and sending them off to Syria of all places, as someone told me
during the Spring 2012 term. It seems books are disposable, but then if we lose a
book I was told it would be $100 charge to replace, regardless of the title, with an
additional $25 service fee. Good thing I found it but these charges seem arbitrary
and out of proportion, especially if its an obscure title that may be on the
chopping block anyway. Lastly, we appreciate good librarians in the library who know
the worth of good books! Thank you.

Library response:

Please do let us know the location and, if possible, the number of the computer that had these issues. We haven't had general issues of this type and would like to address the machine with the issues.

Regarding the loading speed, this is a chronic issue that results from a combination of factors, some of which we control, others of which are beyond us. We are working on solutions, and hopefully will resolve most of the issues in the near future.

(Nov 2/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 20/12) I really like what youve done with the sixth floor! It is now one of the best study spots on campus in my opinion.

Unfortunately, there often seems to be a lack of understanding on behalf of many of the students there is as to what silent study means. I regularly experience groups of people chatting over a few study booths, people watching movies with no headphones, and even answering their phones. This gross lack of respect makes it quite difficult to work, and undermines the entire purpose of the space.

Solutions I can think of include increased patrols of the area, and or stands in front of every entrance reminding people of the rules and purpose of the floor.

Personally, I dont like spending all my time asking people to be quiet, but so anything you could do in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

Library response:

We're glad you like this new Silent Study space, and hope that you will spread the word to all your friends!

Our apologies for the delay installing appropriate signage in this area. Signs will be posted this week. We have already updated the Study Space section of the website, which can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space. A reminder that new Quiet Study spaces have been created on the 4th floor of Mills and the 2nd floor of Thode.

We will do our best to monitor this space, but due to limited staffing would ask that students first speak themselves to anyone who is not following the Silent Study space expectations. If you are unsuccessful, please feel free to send an email to quiet@mcmaster.ca. We will then send a staff member to come and speak with anyone not respecting everyone's need for a truly Silent Study space.

Feel free to continue to report any problems you may have in this area.

(Sep 25/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 12/12) the internet is very slow and the connection keeps on resetting! How can students do
research and assignments like this!?

Library response:

We hear you, but ultimately the slow network is a campus IT (i.e.- UTS) issue, not one the Library can control. It's an annual cycle, it seems, at many universities, not just McMaster: at the beginning of the semester, network bandwidth usage increases exponentially over its summer lows, and any weak spots that have developed in the meantime are exposed and become critical very quickly.

This strikes everyone, of course, students, staff, faculty, visitors, etc. We share your pain.

(Sep 12/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 12/12) The entrance gate to the 2nd floor commons has a very squeek when people enter it. Wondering if someone could get some W40 on that?

Library response:

Thanks for letting us know...we will get right on that!

(Sep 12/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jul 10/12) Hello,

The new windows 7 computers in Mills restart automatically when you try to use them
after they have been sitting in sleep mode for a while. I like the windows computers
better than the Mac computers but it is very irritating to sit and wait for them to
restart each time. Can you please fix the new windows 7 computers in Mills?

Library response:

Thanks for the feedback. I've passed this on to our computer experts, who have seen a few instances of this and are on the case. As with all new technology deployments, it's a matter of working out the kinks, which is why we got these out well in advance of the new semester when demand goes up.

(Jul 10/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jun 16/12) Fulfill your commitments. If you post Open to 5pm then do not close at 4:50pm. I just wasted an hour of my afternoon coming here only to be locked out because one of your employees wants to go home early. Thats called wage theft.

Library response:

Thanks for sending in your comment. Although our Hours of Opening do say until 5pm, they also say that we will start clearing the bookstacks, study and service areas 15 minutes prior to closing. This is necessary so that our users have time to sign out any books they wish to borrow and so that our staff are able to clear and secure the building before locking up at 5pm. I am sure you will now see the need for doing this.

http://library.mcmaster.ca/hours-info

(Jun 18/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Hours, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 23/12) All programs loaded on every computer has frequent upgrades. As a student who pays my
tuition, I assume that computers are accessible and easy to use at McMaster
University. I currently am not able to use any programs which require media streaming
to access my course pod casts because Flash Player has been upgraded. Although this
is an understandable notice, as programs are constantly and frequently upgraded, it
becomes a hassle to call IT and ask them to upgrade it and then be referred to the
Mills IT department as administrative access is required.
This issue is definitely common as I was told the Mills IT is not available during
the summer however, regardless whether IT is available or not, as a student who pays
for school, I assume and expect that services are accessible when needed. Just as
McMaster denies accessibility for grades and future course enrollment for students
who are behind on payments. Common courtesy.

Library response:

Thank you for providing this feedback. Indeed, program updates are the bane of any managed environment. We are taking steps to streamline this, not least by updating our hardware with newer machines that are more amenable to centralized management. We will be rolling out about 100 new machines over the summer, in fact.

I should point out that calling UTS about such issues will not remedy them. IT, as at any university of this size,  is not centralized at McMaster, and we run our own systems. Also, our core IT staff works year round. I believe what you were told is that the IT help desk in the Learning Commons is not fully staffed in ther summer, but this is an issue that they cannot remedy in any event. Feel free to use the suggestion box on our site to report issues like this, since then we can direct them to the appropriate staff without making you figure out the right path.

(May 24/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 19/12) The number of chairs on the 2nd floor of Mills needs to be increased. Half of the computers have no chairs because people use them to sit around one computer in a group and to sit at the study tables, leaving useable computers without a chair.

Library response: Thanks for the comment. As you imagine our loose furniture moves around a lot, throughout the building. We will find some more chairs to fill in the gaps on the 2nd floor. (Mar 20/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 12/12) Is it possible to have somebody with authority ask the people with the big speakers in front of the student center to turn their music down. I understand they are doing the homeless thing for a good cause, but the bass and noise travels through out the whole library.

Library response:

We spoke to the individuals and the volume was reduced later in the week. 

 

 

 

(Mar 16/12)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 7/12) Hello staff! thanks for maintaining a great library system! I was wondering if you could tell me if you have any book suggestion forms (online or in person?)? If you do, can you tell me how that works? if not, I was wondering if you have considered implementing one? Thanks.

Library response:

Thanks for the compliment, we're glad that you like the libraries!

We do have book recommendation form on our website that you can use. Here's the link: http://library.mcmaster.ca/php/bkrecomm.php

(Mar 8/12)
Answered by: Wade Wyckoff (Associate University Librarian, Collections)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 5/12) I write this suggestion fully cognisant of the fact that it will not be posted or responded to...I have written critical comments of the library and the management team before, and surprisingly, they have not appeared for public view.

There seems to be a serious disconnect between the library management team and the student body. A decision was recently made to undergo cosmetic changes to the library at one of the busiest times of the school year. Instead of making these changes during the summer months (May-August). Simultaneous to the remodelling of the first floor, all of the study space on the fifth floor was taken away.

While I welcome improvements to the library, common sense should be applied. Do this work during the summer - not during midterms. Moreover, stop the assault on study space! Think of the student when making decisions!

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. I am sorry you are frustrated by some of recent activities.

We took advantage of Reading Week and the expected lack of students in Mills to replace the remaining section of the 1st floor study area. This work did get completed on time, but unfortunately we ran into a technical glitch when finishing this new flooring surface, which did not get resolved until late this afternoon. We were not able to let students start using this space again until this problem was resolved. We will be re-opening the 1st floor study space again tomorrow morning. Over the next few weeks this renovated study area will be completed, with new tabletops and new study chairs.

Over the summer months we will be converting the 6th floor of Mills into a Silent Study space, housing more than 250 individual study carrels. To do this we must move all of the collections and shelving off this floor, relocating it to the 5th floor. It will take all of the summer break to get this new space ready, so in preparation we took advantage of the time during Reading Week to install some new compact shelving on the 5th floor. Unfortunately this did mean we had to remove a group of study carrels. We have tried to make as many of these available for students elsewhere, but space is tight, so we have admittedly had to put some into areas where they cannot be used.

We are sorry that these two activities appear to have impacted students negatively, but in order to get the work we need done over the summer completed on schedule it was necessary to start now. We have very small windows in which this kind of work can be done, which more often these days requires us to do some work during term time.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, but we ask that you be patient with us as we work towards preparing these new study spaces, and hope that you are pleased with the result.

(Mar 5/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 27/12) My comment is about the 2nd floor of Mills Library, both the Learning Commons and the
computer area outside of that.

First, the computers in the Learning Commons are disappearing (presumably because
they are broken). Those which remain are hit or miss as well. More computers are
needed in the Learning Commons, or more people to repair them when they arent
working.

Second, the areas are dirty. People do not clean up after themselves, and it is not
my responsibility to ensure that they do. I dont know how this can be enforced, so
the only other alternative is to have someone continuously cleaning the
tables/computers.

Third, the computers in the outside area are obsolete and as is evidenced by the
number of them that arent working, they need replacing.

Finally, all of these issues combined makes me give serious thought as to my value as
a student at this university. Working in unsanitary environments with non-functioning
equipment is not the way university should be (nor what we invest so heavily in).

Library response:

Thanks for your feedback. You've touched on three issues that are well known to us. Regarding the general cleanliness issue, there is some give and take here. As you know, the library has a very liberal food and drink policy. The upside to that is that students can feel at home and not have to give up their seat or space when hunger or thirst strikes. The downside is that it generates a great deal more trash than one typically sees in a library. Cleaning frequency has been increased to help cope with that, but it's simply not possible to have constant service to clean up behind your peers who choose to leave their messes behind. We'll do all we can, but students need to encourage each other not to make others responsible for their messes.

 

Regarding the number of computers in the Learning Commons, I've been observing that space recently and assessing what we need in that space. Often, we see the computer pushed out of the way or unplugged so that someone can use their laptop, and there seems to be no clear consensus whether we should have a laptop-optimized library, i.e.- desks with power and space, or offer banks of public computers. Casual observation could lead one to believe that the overwhelming majority of students have a laptop, netbook, or tablet, and the trend seems to be ever more in that direction. Given that, I'm not sure that more computers is the easy answer.

 

That brings me to the third issue, that being computers out of order or obsolete. You are correct that the PCs in Mills are dated, and we hope to replace them with new computers over the summer. That said, when we do have staff time to check the status of public computers, we often find that "out of order" actually most often means that the computer has been unplugged (typically by someone looking to power their own device; see above) and simply needs plugged back in. Much as with cleaning, we simply don't have the staff capacity to check every computer every hour to see if it's plugged in. The other main reason we see for an out of order sign is a missing keyboard or mouse. In some cases, they have simply been moved to another computer (we recently found three sets attached to one computer for who knows what purpose), but in others they have been stolen. We do our best to remedy these, but the number of mice and keyboards we consume is somewhat staggering. It goes back to my earlier point about responsibility. We don't want to police food and drink nor our computers, forcing users to reserve time, limiting the amount of time one can have, etc. Simply by writing in, you've identified yourself as the kind of student who cares and is responsible, and for that I commend you. We need to find ways to encourage others to join you. 

(Feb 27/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 21/12) Why is google not the default search for firefox address bar? This is very annoying

Library response:

I'll pass this on to the staff who maintain those machines. Thanks for the feedback. 

(Feb 27/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 1/12) Mills Library, on the 4th floor where there is designated Quiet Study space (where you are not to have any talking, cell phones, food/drink or laptops) is actually terrible for keeping quiet. I understand that Mills in general is probably not the recommended place to be if one wants actual quiet space to study, but a lot of the times, I (and others) have no choice as other libraries are full or too far to go to for simple study time. Please, (I dont know if this is already something that is enforced or if it is just ignored) could reinforcement be made that these designated spots need to be legitimately quiet? It is incredibly difficult to study with other distractions, even more so when these places are expected to be quiet. Many times, students have tons of other places to go to talk or study together yet they choose designated quiet spots. Especially the room that is supposed to be 100% no laptops, talking, etc. on the fourth floor. Any reinforcement (so that I and others will be able to actually peacefully study) will be greatly appreciated. I understand that it is not the staffs fault (I definitely do not put the blame on staff or people that supervise certain floors etc.) that others are talking, but maybe by enforcing it a little stronger, being strict on the rules, people will finally get the point.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We do have staff patrol through the Silent Study room on the 4th floor on a fairly regular basis during the evenings, when we usually receive the most complaints, and while there they try to do a walk through of the larger Quiet Study area. As you note, the real problem is lack of study seats in the libraries, so students are sitting anywhere, not choosing their study space by the type of space as it has been designated. 

We are working on adding more study space to the libraries. Just last week we re-opened the 2nd floor of Thode Library which now has 400 seats intended for individual study only. More than 2/3's of these spaces have power. We are hoping that students who want quiet, individual study will gravitate to this area, leaving the 1st floor of Thode for group study. 

Additionally, for next fall we plan to have the entire 6th floor of Mills designated as Silent Study. This area will be furnished with carrels, not tables, to help keep the area Silent. 

We ask for your patience as we re-purpose some of our spaces. We do understand how important Quiet and Silent study spaces are for our users, and we are doing our best to provide these.

 

(Feb 2/12)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 25/12) Many areas of Mills have weak or no wifi service, in addition to having very few
outlets on upper levels. As study space is already difficult to find at peak times
like midterms and finals, it would be very helpful to perhaps provide powerbars, more
outlets form the ceiling (like those at Thode) and increase the wifi strength
throughout Mills. Thank you!

Library response:

Thanks for sharing your experience. You're correct that there are dead or weak spots in the wifi umbrella in Mills. Many of those are unavoidable, particularly on floors where there is a high density of metal shelving, which wreaks havoc on any number of signals. Mills generally has one of the densest wifi nets on campus, and currently there are no plans to upgrade the network.

 

Power is another area where we're highly aware of the situation. As you've probably seen, there are numerous additional power outlets in Mills, particularly on levels one and three, but in general where we can, we do put out more power. It's the "can" that's the issue. It's an older building, and there's only so much one can add before exceeding capacity in certain areas. That applies to installing the ceiling dropdowns. We do that when we renovate spaces, but it comes at a cost and cannot be done globally.

 

I was speaking with some students in a meeting today about both of these issues and might add two other thoughts. One is that the demand for wifi in Mills is particularly high since campus, in general, does not have ubiquitous wireless, as do many campuses in Ontario and further afield. I do what I can from my position to lobby to change this; I suggest to any students who will listen that they join in the chorus. For me, wifi is no longer about convenience nor fun; it's my lifeblood. No network means a greatly impaired ability to work effectively. The other thought concerns power. I feel the pain of every student I see seeking a power outlet, having gone through the same quest in countless airports and hotel conference spaces. What finally freed me from that was ditching my laptop for a far less expensive netbook. Sure, it's not as capable as a laptop in some ways, but in others it's a dream: lighter, smaller, and with battery life well in excess of eight hours. As I've gotten used to it, I find it harder and harder to remember why I had a laptop.

(Jan 26/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 19/12) The iMacs on the 2nd floor of Mills look lovely from afar. However, once I sat down, I
noticed lots of fingerprints on the screen. The dirt is a lot more apparent on the
white keyboard and mouse as well.

Would it be possible to have these commonly shared items cleaned? Thanks!

Library response: This is on our radar, just a matter of getting it scheduled and having someone to do it. Thanks for the reminder, though! (Jan 19/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 8/12) Hi so last year (term 1 of 2011-2012 term) I noticed that there was no internet (wifi
was VERY VERY weak and unreliable and the ethernet ports were not working) in 4th floor
study rooms of mills library. I had expressed this concern last year and was hoping
that it can be fixed. Much thanks.

Library response:

Sorry to hear about the problems you were having with the network. Two staff members checked signal strength in the study rooms on the fourth floor (402, etc.) today and the signal strength was strong and steady. It may have been a transient network issue that caused the problem. These tend to occur predictably at the beginning of each term when usage spikes.

 

You are correct that the wired ports do not work. For a variety of reasons, we encourage students to use the wireless network.

(Jan 9/12)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Follow-up Comments:

oh perfect! thank you so much! will be booking rooms again now! (2012-01-10)

Hello again. So we are in L403 right now and the internet we are getting is still very slow. We measured the time it took to load a web page and it took 2.5 minutes to load one web page. I am currently using my smartphone to post this which, sadly, has even faster internet than what we are receiving on our laptops. We dont have internet speed problems anywhere else that it is available on campus. This problem happened all throughout last year. Not just at the beginning of the terms just to add. I hope this can be resolved. Thank you. (2012-01-12)

I just checked the speeds personally and found them acceptable. Your reports make sense to me, however, and I suspect that what happens is that when the large quiet study fills up, the bandwidth gets hacked into many small pieces, which degrades speed dramatically. We do not maintain the network in our building, but rather UTS, so I will pass this information on to them for potential resolution. D. Askey (2012-01-13)


Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 13/11) RECOMMENDED ACQUISITION: JOURNAL OF MORAL PHILOSOPHY (BRILL).
APPLICATIONS: philosophy; sociology; education; bioethics; humanities

Library response:

McMaster has online access to current issues of this journal via Swetswise

http://library.mcmaster.ca/catalogue/Record/1848072

Scholars Portal is working to correct an issue with the ejournals A-Z which prevents some titles from displaying in the list.  We believe this problem started on Sunday, and we hope they will have it resolved very quickly.  Right now, the 'Journal of Moral Philosophy' is only visible from the catalogue.

 

(Dec 13/11)
Answered by: Janice Adlington (Collections & Information Resources Librarian)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 28/11) The 6th floor of Mills is frigid! It feels like the air conditioner is on. Some students have gloves on!

Library response: We did go check and the whole room is registering at 70F, which is within the allowable range, or at least two high for us to report as a problem to campus Facilities Services. Several thermostats were turned down, so we did turn these up to see if this helped. Part of the problem is that it is not that cold out, for this time of the year, so the system is not calling regularly for heat. We will continue to monitor the temperatures on this floor. (Nov 28/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Follow-up Comments:

The temperature does feel a bit better now. Thank you for monitoring it. (2011-11-28)


Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 28/11) The library is so cold! Cant the heat be turned up?

Library response: Some areas may feel cold, but this is because it is really not that cold outside, so the system is not calling for heat regularly. We have been receiving comments from people, and will continue to monitor the situation. (Nov 28/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 28/11) PLEASE put the heat on in the library. I am sitting on the 6th floor and it is very cold. Perhaps there is a draft from the old windows? There is a heating vent beside me but it is not on.

Library response: We did go check and the whole room is registering at 70F, which is within the allowable range, or at least two high for us to report as a problem to campus Facilities Services. Several thermostats were turned down, so we did turn these up to see if this helped. Part of the problem is that it is not that cold out, for this time of the year, so the system is not calling regularly for heat. We will continue to monitor the temperatures on this floor. (Nov 28/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 1/11) Please take more care to enforce the law of no smoking within 9m of the buildng

Library response: Thanks for submitting this comment. We have a great deal of difficulty enforcing this policy at the tower entrance to the library (southeast corner); not so much at the main doors on the north side. We would appreciate everyone who notices someone smoking too close to the doors to ask them to move back. We will do this when we come across it as well.  (Nov 2/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 1/11) I love the fact that there are places for silent study in mills, like the 6th floor. The only problem is people do not know what silent means. Would it be possible to have staff patrol silent study areas to remind people to be quiet?

Library response: We do try and patrol these areas, but often the noise level rises again as soon as the staff leave. We are working on creating more truly SILENT study spaces, with doors, which make it easier to monitor. The only area we currently have like this is on the 4th floor, down the ramp on the east end, room L405. Perhaps you would like to give this area a try? Thanks for being patient with us as we continue to re-purpose our spaces. (Nov 1/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 25/11) It is extremely frustrating that many of the computers do not have Microsoft Word
installed on them. Any time I try to open up Microsoft Word, there is always an issue
where it just does not open up because:
a) its not installed
b) notifications asking you to install specific programs in order to load up Word

I do not understand why the computers cannot be maintained regularly and
consistently; It is a complete waste of time when you have to switch from computer to
computer in order to find a properly working computer.

I would really appreciate it, if someone could look at this issue.

Thanks.

Library response:

Thank you for providing this feedback. As always, when reporting issues with computers, please give us a machine number so that we can locate the specific computers.

 I check with my crew, and can provide the following information:

- We don't have MS Office available on all public machines for budgetary reasons. It is installed on all machines on level 2 in Mills as well as on all machines in Thode and Innis.

- When using a Mac that has MS Office, you will see the customization screen pop up where you can enter your initials, as is typical with a first run of newly installed Office software. This occurs because we run programs to clean the computers between users.

- This should not be occurring, however, on PCs, so if it is, please let us know exactly where and we will investigate.

One thing we could do to make things more uniform and less troublesome would be to replace MS Office with Open or Libre Office. Would that be a viable solution for you? 

(Oct 27/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 7/11) Would you be able to bring back the lap lending service?

Library response: Thanks for your question. As I wrote earlier when asked this question, it is a matter of financial and personnel priorities. Reviewing recent entries in the suggestion box, it's clear how many demands are placed on our computing infrastructure, and we have to make some hard decisions about where we best spend our resources. (Oct 7/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Follow-up Comments:

I dont understand why you are stating that you have to reallocate your resources, because we already had the laptops. You did not have to go out and purchase laptops in order to create the lending program. What happens with those laptops now? Will they just be recycled or will they sit in some storage room? It does not make any sense to me, why you would remove the laptop lending program, when clearly, majority of students needed. (2011-10-25)

Ill clarify a few points so that you can hopefully understand the decision better. - Yes, we already had a stock of laptops, but the Mac laptops in Thode were nearing end of life and are off warranty. Replacing them would have been a significant capital expense. - The costs for running such a program extend well beyond the cost of the laptops. As with nearly any activity run by the university (or any organization for that matter), staffing costs outweigh materials costs at the end of the day. Keeping a fleet of public-use laptops in working condition is not a trivial task, and we had to dedicate the better part of a full staff position to that one activity. As with many university units our budget is tight, and we frankly need his services in other critical areas. Its not an easy choice, but such choices have to be made. - The laptops will neither be recycled nor just sit in storage. Hardware never goes unused for long, and they are being redeployed in other ways to support our services and programs. - That a majority of students desire such a program is far from clear. Certainly, there is a group for which it was a key service, and weve heard from a handful of individuals from that group. The MSU survey showed a clear preference for another priority. Beyond that, we observe that a clear majority of students have their own technology, so it is more important for us to provide wireless networking and printing services for them, for example, than to loan laptops. I agree with anyone who asserts that we need a level technology playing field for students, but disagree that the library is the place to meet that need through a lending program. D. Askey (2011-10-26)


Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 1/11) Is it possible to turn off the music that keeps constantly playing at odd times during the day when the library is closing. Not only is is incredibly distracting, but annoying as well. Or at the very least, restrict it to the rest of the library, not the Learning Commons as its open much later than the rest of the library. Ive been sitting here, for 20 minutes trying to focus but to no avail. It would be very much appreciated if the music would not play everytime the rest of the library is closing, or at the very least decrease the volume!

Library response: Thanks for submitting this comment. We play this music to help us clear the building, and over the years many students have told us they like it. What you have alerted to is that with the change in the use of some parts of our buildings we need to figure out a way to continue using the music as a means to help students exit the building, while at the same time not become a nuisance for students who choose to stay in the Learning Commons area. We will consult with out a/v technicians to see if there is a way we can isolate the Learning Commons so that this music is not played during closing. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. (Oct 3/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 29/11) So I went to study in mills learning commons today and it was FILTHY. There was food everywhere, ketchup and other sauces on keyboards and mice. This is my 4th year at MAC, and this library gets filthier every year. I did not use any of the available computers(there was like 3 free) because all had food on the desk and I am not going to clean up after some one. Some one needs to do something about this, maybe ban eating in computer space. What kind of an impression would this library give off to visitors??????

Library response:

Thanks for taking the time to submit your comment. We do agree that at times our study areas get quite messy, especially near the end of the day, after the daytime custodians have left. At night, the custodians are there just to keep the washrooms supplied and to empty main garbage containers.

As you are aware we do allow eating and drinking in the library. Unfortunately it is not possible to ban eating in certain areas, since we wouldn't have the staff resources to enforce this type of a regulation.

We are working on increasing the type and number of garbage and recycling containers throughout all the libraries, in the hopes that students will clean up after themselves if there is a nearby container.  Additionally, we have posted a "Be kind to your fellow students...please use the garbage/recycling bins" slide on the backgrounds for the public computers and the digital signage in Mills.  If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to send them to me directly - pottier@mcmaster.ca

 

 

 

(Sep 30/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 28/11) Computer #30366 in Mills second floor- PDF reader not working!

Library response: Thanks for letting us know! We'll check on this.
(Sep 29/11)
Answered by: Wade Wyckoff (Associate University Librarian, Collections)

Follow-up Comments:

this should be working now. (2011-09-29)


Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 16/11) Hello
the internet in the campus begin at this semester become very slow, you have to
reload a page couple times some times does even display. and also the PDF software
not working well. it tells me use PDF escape ever since i try to open some PDF file.
it either does not display or its tell me too big to open and get a premium. I wonder
how to do research in library if cant read big PDF file.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. Yes, at the beginning of the semester the network certainly does get hammered as everyone comes back on line. The network backbone is operated by UTS, and bandwidth is of course finite. We do what we can to optimize within the libraries, but many of the issues are campuswide in nature.

 

 Regarding the PDF issue, it would be very helpful to know where and when the issue occurred. All of our public computers have numbers assigned to them. If you can share the number, we can investigate.

(Sep 16/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 15/11) Hello,

The internet at Mills Library seems not to work, the message of The connection was
reset displays every time you go on to a new website or link.

Library response:

Thanks for letting us know. Unfortunately, with about 200 public computers in the building, this doesn't give us enough information to troubleshoot the issue. The problem appears to be isolated, as we have had no other reports of network outages.

 

All of our computers have numbers assigned to them. If you have issues like this, I'd recommend reporting them at a service desk, specifying the computer number, since that will lead to faster resolution.

(Sep 15/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Follow-up Comments:

Hi, The problem is not isolated, several of the dell computers on Mills second floor have this issue. (2011-09-19)

Please provide at least one machine number, so we know where to start. The second floor alone has scores of computers, most of which have functional network connections, so we need to know where to look. Many thanks! D. Askey askeyd (2011-09-19)

Computer #30447, my fellow students on my right and left had the same problem with their computer of the connection was reset so that tells you it surely is not isolated. (2011-09-21)

Thanks for providing a machine number. We can investigate. (2011-09-21)

the computer indicated here (and others in the vicinity) seem to be working fine today - occasionally there may be temporary outages beyond our control, but in this case all is well now. braggd (2011-09-22)


Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 12/11) Many of the Dell computers on the Mills 2nd floor are simply not working. And some of
the ones that do work have very slow internet to no internet at all. Therefore, it is
very hard to get a seat on a computer during the day because students are saving
seats at the computers that work while they go to class in fear that they wont get to
a computer when they return. For a start Computer # 30366 and 30440 are not working
at all.

Library response:

Thank you for bringing those two machines to our attention. Over the summer, we purchased a large number of new computers for public areas that we will be rolling out over the next couple of months as we get them configured. This will allow us to retire some of the older, crankier machines, as well as those that have just given up the ghost.

The network issue you experienced was caused by a hardware failure on a central system that regulates Internet access for our public machines. The problem has been remedied, so network performance should be much better now.

I'm curious: how are students saving their seats while they are in class? Are they actually leaving their personal items unattended? I would strongly advise them against doing so, but perhaps they are using another method that you've observed. 

(Sep 13/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Aug 23/11) Can someone please clean the keyboards/mice of the computers in the Learning Commons
(Mills 2nd floor)? The Apple computers all have white peripherals and it looks like
they havent been cleaned in years, most of them are covered in brown dirt and they
look disgusting. They should be cleaned before the new students come in September
because it looks/feels disgusting when using the keyboards and it is probably
becoming a health risk. A few Lysol wipes should be able to remove this dirt. I am
not joking about how disgusting this looks, and Im surprised no one has brought this
to the library staffs attention. Cleaning up the keyboards regularly will go a long
way in improving the librarys image and making students want to use this learning
space, because the facilities are actually quite good other than the dirt that has
built up on the computers over time. Thank you.

Library response:

Thanks for the feedback. This cleaning gets done periodically, and was a bit overdue this time around. Based on your note, we have it scheduled to be done before classes start. 

(Aug 29/11)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Aug 17/11) The fact that there is a TV broadcasting *with sound* in the entrance/new book display area is a problem. It is not evident how to turn down the volume, and the Circulation workers say they dont know how to turn down the volume. This area of the library has seating that is very inviting for reading. The sound from the TV is distracting. Furthermore, the hum of that sound is audible on the entire floor. (Mind you, Im writing this in August, when the library is a quiet place to which to retreat to do some reading and study - which I realize is not always true during the academic year.) Anyway: there are noise issues that one can control, and those that one cant control. Given that this is a library - a space for reading and study - please dont add unnecessary noise pollution to this space.

Library response:

Thanks for your message. Sorry we are just seeing it now.

We do try to keep the sound on both our digital displays low or off. I will make sure all staff know how to do this. Unfortunately the louder "hum" is from the beverage vending machines. This happens when as their compressors kick in to make sure the drinks stay cold, but then goes off again.

(Sep 19/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 22/11) Just thought you should know that GV 505 .M35 1997 and GV 1787 .T35 2003 are either not checked in as the database says or are improperly shelved.

Library response: Thanks for letting us know. We'll check on the whereabouts of these two items. (Mar 26/11)
Answered by: Wade Wyckoff (Associate University Librarian, Collections)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 2/11) One of the ceiling lights in the laptop friendly room on the Third Floor has been broken for ages. Sitting under this light, I have to strain my eyes to see my books and it gives me headaches. Of course I could sit elsewhere, but there are already so few places in Mills to plug in my laptop. Please fix this light if possible. Thanks.

Library response: Thanks for letting us know. We will look into this right away.
(Mar 2/11)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 16/10) During peak exam time there are not enough study spaces. I realize some space is being taken up due to the renovation in Mills but some of it should be cleared up if possible.

Library response: We agree...study space is really tight, especially around exams. We are slowly renovating most of our spaces to help create the much needed study space. Most recently we just added 25 carrels to the 6th floor as a new Silent Study space. Please be patient with us as we continue to transform our spaces (Dec 20/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 16/10) There is a lack of study space when the library gets too full. Clear items for more study space.

Library response:

We agree...study space is really tight, especially around exams. We are slowly renovating most of our spaces to help create the much needed study space. Most recently we just added 25 carrels to the 6th floor as a new Silent Study space. Please be patient with us as we continue to transform our spaces.

(Dec 20/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 23/10) You guys are awesome!

Library response: Thanks!  We do try.
(Nov 23/10)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 15/10) Please allow sshing on mac via terminal.

Library response: SSH is available through the terminal, by simply typing ssh UserName@HostName.
(Nov 16/10)
Answered by: periard

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 19/10) I was wondering why there is no clear general contact information WITH the extensions to the front desks for the libraries. I checked the MAC website, no extension found there, I even googled and still nothing. Even the McMaster operators at the switchboard cant put me through directly to the front desk, instead they give me ex:22010. And when I call, I always just get voice-mail (even within hours of operation). How are students supposed to contact resources if there not available? Its frustrating because its SO simple include EVERY extension on a website... but its not done, and if it is somewhere its extremely hard to find it on the library website. So, what is the actual extension for Mills front desk and where can we find this info?
& for the future please have a CLEAR and FULL contact list visible on the library website

Library response: Thanks for your suggestion and we're sorry you were having difficulties getting in touch with us.  Here is the link on the library website which provides you with all of the front desk extensions for Mills, Innis and Thode:  http://library.mcmaster.ca/contact/dept-directory

The extensions are all called "Library Services" and in some cases a different extension is provided depending on whether you want to chat with someone about circulation, research help or interlibrary loan.

The other extension that you mentioned (22010) which was where the McMaster switchboard was sending you will also direct you to the front desks of the libraries by choosing the various options (i.e. for Innis press 2, for Thode press 3, etc.)

What I suspect might have happened is that you were calling after hours in which case those front desks are not staffed and the phone likely rang for a period of time and then went to a voicemail.  Another possibility was that the desk was simply very busy with lineups of patrons and were unable to make it to the phone.  I hope this helps to clear up any confusion you had regarding phone number extensions in the library.  If not, please let us know!
(Oct 25/10)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 6/10) I am a level 4 student at McMaster University. I used to study at mills library because there were so many sits were available all the time. I found the number of desks (slient study room and in general) were not enough for the students previously, however, after the renovation on the 4th floor (the big study room and the small quite study rooms near the group study rooms), now students have nowhere to study. The library is for the studenet, not for the offices.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We do realize how important it is to be able to provide a variety of types of study space. As you can see, we are in the process of renovating most of the study spaces at Mills which unfortunately will mean that at times we will have less of some types of spaces. We are working diligently to try to maintain the current number of study seats during this time but at times we are going to be off a bit. Please be patient with us during this time.
(Oct 12/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 9/10) I would like to know why silent study rooms are being replaced or eliminated especially at Mills. I believe the one on the first floor was donated by a graduating class 50. I dont see how a donation can be undone. I have spent much of my first 3 years at McMaster in that room and demand for seats was always high. I really like Mills library and cant understand why the students who use these rooms arent consulted before they are eliminated.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We do understand the importance of Silent Study spaces. We are in the process of renovating most of the study spaces at Mills which unfortunately will mean that at times we will have less of some types of spaces. At the moment, there are no Silent Study spaces. Be assured we will be re-creating these elsewhere in the building, but as we are in flux at the moment it is not yet possible to say exactly where these new spaces will be created. (Sep 10/10)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian),Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Aug 25/10) If you are going to shut down the entire first floor for renovations, please continue to provide circulation services–it is a library, after all, with books and physical reading materials, not just computers!–and indicate where those services can be accessed, both in the library and on the website. A sign indicating that the first floor cannot be accessed is not sufficient; nor is it sufficient only to provide self-serve checkout stations, particularly in the effort to retrieve ILL requests, etc.

Library response: Our apologies...the signage was misleading. We meant to indicate that the lobby area was unaccessible from the main elevators. We will try to be clearer next time. (Sep 10/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jul 18/10) It may be due to the renovations, but its been this way for as long as I can remember: The 4th and 5th floors of Mills are hotter than Hades! I know those are pretty quiet floors, but it would probably encourage more people to take advantage of the total silence if it werent an inferno up there.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. I am glad you are finding it relatively quiet on these floors. We have had some maintenance issue with some of the fans feeding this area which is why it has been warmer than normal.

We are also working on some air balancing issues with the New Media Centre which has been recently constructed on the 4th floor. We expect things to improve this week.

Thanks for your patience.

(Jul 19/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 21/10) More/Large 24-hour study areas during exam period. Learning Commons is not large enough considering the demand.

Library response: Thanks for your comment, and yes, we hear you! We are repurposing many of our spaces and will keep this in mind as part of our planning process. No promises, but we will do our best! (Apr 21/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Hours, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 7/10) Please stop converting QUIET study areas into group study areas or staff offices. We are losing all the QUIET ZONES!

Library response:

The library is undergoing many renovations at present which can often result in many of our spaces being redefined.  To help address this problem, during the current exam period, we have designated the Mills Learning Commons as a Quiet Study area beginning Friday April 9th, running through to April 28th. Take a look at the news item we posted about this earlier today.

 We will be undertaking several more renovation projects, which will invariably affect various study spaces, but at the end of it all we hope you will be pleased with the mixture of study spaces we are able to provide. We are attempting to zone the various types of space available - you can learn more about this @ http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space.

(Apr 7/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 7/10) Tell people that printers print double-sided. Saves paper!

Library response: This is an excellent suggestion.  We are actually addressing that very concern right now. As part of a university wide change, printing in the libraries will be going through a switch to a new system. This new system will default to double-sided (or duplex) printing. We hope to have the new system in place for the Fall semester. (Apr 15/10)
Answered by: Shawn McCann (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 10/10) its quite apparent that the reason why we would want Thode to remain open much later now (and during exams) is because of the fact that there is no noise control in the Learning Commons at Mills library.

So once again, we ask - is there ANY place in the library where we can QUIETLY study after midnight?

Library response:

We are currently in the process of addressing the noise concerns in the Mills Learning Commons.  Please stay tuned for more information in the upcoming weeks.

Update: take a look at the news item posted today (4/7/10) where we announce we are designating the Mills Learning Commons as a Quiet Study area during the spring exam period. 

 

(Apr 1/10)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library),Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Hours, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 23/10) hi, I have a great song to request when Mills closes. Who can I bring the CD to? When will you guys play it?

Library response: Please send your song suggestion to Steve Waters in our library facilities department.  waters AT mcmaster.ca (Mar 1/10)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 23/10) This is a library. I come here to work and for quiet. The noise level has increased over the 6 year period that I have been using this library. I have seen people play football & soccer on the second floor several times. Little is done by staff to control the noise and students are left to confront each other creating a lot of tension between students. Something needs to be done. Libraries at other universities are NOT like this.

Library response: You will be pleased to learn that we are designating the Mills Learning Commons as a Quiet Study area during the spring exam period. Take a look at the news item we posted on the library website to learn more. (Apr 7/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 28/10) this is for ALL libraries - but esp Mills. Why are there NO recycling bins for cans/bottles? EVERY NIGHT I see bottles placed on top of the newspaper recycling bins because people are trying to do the right thing (recycle) but of course janitors see this as a mess and end up throwing these plastic bottles in the garbage - what a bloody waste.

Here we are trying to hammer in the benefits and responsibilities of recyling and then the ENTIRE school has next to ZERO facilities to help the process. There are NO bins on the upper floors of Mills and I am sure the same thing goes for every other library. All the bins are downstairs but people are not prepared to take their trash downstairs (and I DO NOT blame them).

Please GET RID of the ample garbage bins on the upper/first floors of ALL the libraries and place MORE recycling bins (lets practice what we preach, shall we?)

Library response:

Thanks for your email. You are correct. We don't have enough recycling containers on the upper floors of Mills. We have recently undertaken a survey of all the refuse containers in the building and are in the process of finalizing a plan to keep garbage and recycling containers in all areas. Coming soon! Thanks for your patience.

We will take a look at Thode and Innis as well to see how we can improve the situation in those locations as well.

(Jan 29/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 26/10) So helpful! Love the staff. Could you please get wireless internet connection to speed up? Only Complaint. FASTER WIRELESS!

Library response: Thanks for letting us know about this problem. We are following up on this with UTS and will report back when we hear from them. (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 13/10) Overall Mills is great! But I was wondering why none of the burnt out lights are ever replaced in the 1st floor silent study room?

Library response: Sorry to take so long to respond, but I hope by now this issue has been rectified. We do try to watch for burnt out lights but somehow we missed these. Thanks for letting us know. (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 13/10) Where are all the quiet study rooms going? And Why do we NOT have a 24-hour library/study area? (i.e. QUIET study area)

Library response:

We are in the process of renovating many of the spaces in Mills and at the moment we are down in the number of quiet study spaces we can provide. We are working to make sure we have the correct balance of group, quiet and silent study space by the time we have finished all the renovation.

We are also working towards having the Mills Learning Commons open 24/7 all term. Not sure about the timing for this, but this plan is in the works!

(Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 11/10) The first floor ladies washroom is awful. It badly needs an overhaul.

Library response: We agree, and we are working on it. The broken hand dryer will be replaced and relocated during Reading Week this term. Then we will have the entire room painted and cleaned up. Thanks for taking the time to remind us this needs to be done! (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 11/10) It would be nice to have a digital microfilm reader on the 3rd floor as well as the basement reading room (which is only open 9 to 5, M to F).

Library response: Good suggestion. We are in the processing of creating a Digital Lab on the 1st floor of Mills which will become a larger Digitization Centre including public access services. I have added this to the list of equipment to consider for this area. We expect this work to be done by next fall, if all goes according to plan. (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 6/10) Mills should be open 24/7 all 365 days a year!

Library response: We hear you and we are working towards trying to keep the Learning Commons open 24/7 all term.  (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Hours, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 15/09) The Apple iMacs sport absolutely gorgeous high resolution displays, but the default desktop background on all the iMacs is chunky and gross! Why not put up a high resolution shot of McMaster in its fall glory to show off our campus AND get the most out of what is surely a massive investment?

Library response:

Thanks for the suggestion! We agree that the iMacs have awesome displays and we wish we could take better advantage of them. For now, all our desktop backgrounds are generated from a single source, so we have to use a resolution that works on all library displays. The other complicating factor is that the resolution on the iMacs can be changed by anyone using them, so it's hard to determine the best resolution for the desktop images.

We're definitely aware of the issue though and won't give up on finding a workable solution!

(Jan 31/10)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 10/09) The learning commons is roasting. I walked in and felt like I was going to pass out. Please turn the heat down. If we turn the heat down students will be more alert and more productive, also, we could use the money we save to raise the wages of the underpaid librarians.

Library response:

The temperature in the Learning Commons does vary quite a bit, depending on the temperature outside, the time of day or night, and the number of people in it.

We do report when it is too hot or too cold to our campus facilities people. Sometimes the sensors think it is too cold so it cranks the heat, then adjusts itself again once things are balanced again. We will continue to work with them to make things more stable.

(Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 26/09) I am so disappointed with the study spaces available in Mills. I am tired of sitting on the floor because all the seats in the quiet areas are taken and those that available dont have plugs for the computer. I noticed there is a wireless sign on the 5th floor, there is no internet up there! Also can you please tell me why the previous study space on the 4th floor has now been replaced by empty bookshelves and the study space moved by the elevator? How is anyone suppose to study considering the noise level there? The library needs more actual quiet study areas, not group study tables, but areas that are quiet and provide plugs for computers.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. As you have seen we are in the process of renovating many of our spaces which has resulted in a temporary reduction in many of the different types of study spaces our users are seeking. We are committed to finding the correct balance between group, quiet and silent study spaces, but we are not there yet.

We are looking into the problem of intermittant wirelss access on the 5th floor. Many of our wireless problems are due to the high number of users in our library every day, which is why we are working on the transformation of our spaces. We will work with UTS to see what the problem on the 5th floor might be.

(Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 10/09) There is not enough space for quiet study. The third floor and above should be reserved for quiet study ONLY. This is a library and therefore students should treat it like one. If they cannot, even though they are adults, I think it needs to be enforced by the staff.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We are attempting to zone our study spaces to help our users find the type of study space most appropriate to them, but we need to undertake a few more renovations before we can find the right balance of group, quiet and silent study space. We ask for your patience while we work on this transformation. (Jan 28/10)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 4/09) Is there any way to better soundproof the office next door to the third floor study room by the elevators/water fountain (the
one that used to be the extension of the existing study room) ? Sometimes it can get pretty loud in there if the people in the
office start talking, to the point where even with ear plugs I can still hear them. This is my favourite study room on the entire
campus and its the place where I do the most productive work. I dont feel right commenting to the people in the office as I do
not feel it is my place and am concerned about the reaction I might receive. Any suggestions or help would be greatly
appreciated.
Thanks!!

Library response: Thanks for the suggestion. We will take a look at this space and see what we can do about reducing the noise coming from the adjoining room.  (Nov 4/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 3/09) The library should have its own coffee shop because Tim Hortons and Williams close a little early.

Library response: Thanks for the suggestions about the coffee shop.  The Reactor Cafe opened in Thode when we renovated recently, but there's currently no coffee shop in Mills.  We'll keep that suggestion in mind. (Nov 3/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Follow-up Comments:

There should be a coffee shop. (2009-11-03)


Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 26/09) I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for providing the chat option for library assistance. It was extremely helpful, and comforting to know that I am able to speak with someone to help me if I come across a road block while researching no matter where I am. The individual I spoke to helped me very much. Thank you for providing such a useful service.

Library response: Thank you so much for your comment!  We are very pleased to know that you find the service helpful.  I will pass along your comment to staff in the library who are responsible for the chat service.  Thanks for taking the time to write and give us this feedback. (Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library),bannisl

Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 11/09) If you are going to insist on allowing eating and drinking in the information commons please add more garbage and recycling bins near the work stations--the library is a mess! The unsanitary condition is surely not helping to stop the spread of H1N1 and other illnesses. I do not enjoy going to a library computer and having to move other peoples left over food wrappers and drink containers, not to mention dealing with spills on the keyboards.

Library response:

You are correct. We definitely need more garbage and recycling receptacles in these areas. Our challenge is find an appropriate container which meets fire code! We are working on this and hope to have something in place shortly. Thanks for the reminder.

 

(Oct 19/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 30/09) leaving the learning commons open serves NO purpose. Noise level out of bloody control, food everywhere, garbage spilled on desks, music playing from laptops, iPods, iPhones and its getting worse. Students are looking for places to STUDY (NOT hang out) on Sat. nights. So the question is: Is there a place to STUDY during the late night hours? i.e. (after 12 a.m.)

Library response:

Sorry, at the moment this is the only area open for late night study.

Might I suggest you remind those around you that your purpose for being there is to study and ask that they keep the noise down a bit? Why not suggest they use headphones? We do require this in Regulations Governing Personal Behavior( http://library.mcmaster.ca/policies/behaviour). We will see if we can raise awareness on this specific issue through some of our other news devices.

Also, as far as the area being dirty, additional custodial services have been arranged to make sure this area is kept cleaner in the evenings and on weekends.

(Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 29/09) Hi,
This suggestion is regarding the Computer region on the second floor. It has turned into an absolute social area where its becoming very difficult to work. Also, many students (like myself) bring their laptops into this area. Would it be possible to add little holes in the desk to secure our laptop locks? I understand that lost property is our own personal responsibility, but having to pack up your laptop to go to the washroom across the hall is a little irritating. Thank you!

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. We realize it can get quite loud in this area, but we have provided quieter areas for students to use elsewhere in the buidling. Take a look at our new "Zoned Study Space" guide to find the space which will work best for you - http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space

Great idea about providing something to tether laptops to. We did try this in the lobby of Mills, but have found not many people use them. We will see if there is something a little easier to use which we could test out in the Learning Commons area.  Thanks for the suggestion

(Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Aug 11/09) Can we please teach those using the library to respect, by keeping quiet, the learning opportunities of others. Notwithstanding the trend toward group learning in the library, it is important to treat the space in general as a sanctuary of peace and quiet, for thinking and reflection. Please lets figure out how to cut down on random noise by speaking gently, whispering and being aware of others around you. [print suggestion entered by library staff]

Library response:

As I am sure you are aware the use of the library has changed dramatically over the last few years, and very few areas are now quiet. One thing we have attempted to do is to zone the various types of study space in our libraries. We would encourage you to find the space that meets your personal needs the best @ http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space

Additionally, we have created the Guidelines Governing Personal Behavior (http://library.mcmaster.ca/policies/behaviour) which we do expect users to abide by, but it is sometimes a challenge to enforce these guidelines.

(Oct 29/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian),Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),bannisl

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Aug 10/09) You should have an online electronic suggestion box on the front page of the library website. [print suggestion entered by library staff]

Library response:

We actually do have an online suggestion box!  We're currently working on redesigning the suggestion box and once the redesign is finished, we will be pushing the link to the library homepage.  For right now, you can access it from our contact page: 

http://library.mcmaster.ca/contact

(Aug 10/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Aug 3/09) I suggest that you should reconsider restricting food and drink consumption in the library as the library is becoming saturated with grease and coffee stains.

I would be interested to learn about the reasons why food has been allowed in McMaster Libraries as this policy does not make sense to me. It seems to me that one reason might be to get students into the library, which smells more of a marketing gimmick than a strategy for higher learning.

Library response:

Thank you very much for your comment.  We decided to allow food in the libraries (except in areas such as the Silent Study Rooms) because we wanted to make our users' lives easier.  We thought that people should not be forced to get up and leave the building, interrupting their study time, just to eat a snack.

It was not a way to attract students to the library.  In fact, during peak times, library spaces are already used very heavily and we don't feel we need to give people reasons to come and use these spaces.  You are already doing that!

While we appreciate your comment, it is unlikely that we will change our food policy at this point in time.  However, the cleanliness of our spaces is important to us.  I'm going to pass along your suggestion to our Associate University Librarian in charge of the building and facilities.

UPDATE (response to comment): Thanks for your comment and I apologize for the confusion.  You have identified a page with information that conflicts with the "Regulations Governing Personal Behaviour in the University Library".

I hope to have the page you identified updated shortly to reflect the new policy regarding food in the University Library.

UPDATE 2:  The outdated policy has now been removed.

 

(Aug 7/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian),bannisl

Follow-up Comments:

From the General Regulations for McMaster University Libraries Found on the Library website E. Food, Drink and Smoking Smoking and eating are generally prohibited anywhere within the perimeters of the campus libraries. The consumption of beverages is allowed only in public lounges and study areas, and only from nonspillable, reusable containers. Also, the reason Mills is so busy is that it has become a social gathering place (with people talking loudly on their cell phones, surfing porn on the internet, and so on). It is refered to by students as Club Mills for a reason. (2009-08-17)

there are HOPELESS rules in place everywhere. On the one hand, food is not permitted in the computer labs (because of the computers). Then, on the other hand, the libraries DO allow food while working on computers. is HOPELESS even the word for such a rule? not sure... either FOOD IS allowed near computing facilities or FOOD IS NOT....so WHICH IS IT??????? someone care to explain the rationing behind these COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS rules? (2009-09-30)

The computer labs on campus you are referring to are administered by University Technology Services (UTS) and the computing areas in the library are administered by library administration. If there are differences in the rules of use for these different computing areas, that would be the reason. (2009-10-01)


Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 26/09) Regarding the abused computers in Mills:

I am glad that there is going to be maintenance. However I do feel that these incidents are not inevitable. Currently they are,
because there is no respect for community property. Im sure that there are many reasons for this, but a good way to help fix
the effects is policy and enforcement regarding food in the computer area. I dont eat around computers, and I dont feel
tempted to as is the case for many other reasonable-minded, mature students. Therefore it should be possible for others to
behave this way too. Could the information assistants who are maybe 20 metres from the area not walk around the work
areas a few times a day and ask people eating and drinking to do so elsewhere? This would not only prevent those people
caught from causing damage to property for which everyone has paid, but also it would let others know that its unacceptable
to act in such a way.

Thank you.

Library response: Thank you for your thoughtful comment on this matter.  We struggle daily with finding the best solutions to issues such as this in the library. Often, those who are using the library have very different opinions on food with some voicing strong opinions in favour of having food allowed anywhere within the library and others strongly opposed to this idea.

For many years we did not allow food/eating in the library buildings, but lifted these regulations at Mills, Innis, and Thode within the past couple of years.  Much thought and preparation went into this decision including adding extra garbage and recycling bins and also increasing the frequency at which spaces are cleaned.  Lifting the food restrictions was one way in which we wanted to make users' lives easier.

Currently, we don't ask staff to monitor the eating of food at these stations because we do not have a policy which prevents people from doing so.

You would clearly like us to reconsider this policy or devise other ways to create a library environment where users are respectful of both the equipment and other users' needs.

To be perfectly honest with you, we are unlikely to implement a more restrictive food policy in the near future.  We have created food free zones in some library areas, but that being said, we don't believe we have tapped all of the ways in which we can help to create the best environment which is satisfactory to all of our users.  Thank you for contributing to this discussion and we welcome any of your ideas on how we can create such an environment. (May 28/09)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian),bannisl

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 26/09) Its a shame that the new computers in Mills are so filthy and abused. The one on which Imtrying to write this has clearly had
coffee spilled on it and so its space bar isnt working properly (the Imtrying wasnt a joke, thats actually how it came out).
Why isnt there more enforcement? I see someone sitting at the information desk day after day, especially during the regular
terms. Maybe the person there could every half hour take a quick walk around Club Mills and make sure nobodys eating or
drinking around the computers. I dont mean to be flip, but it would literally take five minutes. Its especially necessary
during the regular terms, and wouldnt hurt during the summer too.

Thank you.

Library response: You're quite right, the public computers see such a high volume of use during the school year that such issues are inevitable. All public machines in the libraries undergo a thorough cleaning every summer and I'm happy to report that the cleaning crew started on the computers in Mills yesterday (May 25th). Hopefully they'll get to that sticky space bar soon! (May 26/09)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 11/09) With the advent of the summer term, there need to be new rules implemented in the study spaces in Mills Library. While I am aware that the second floor is not designated as a quiet space, students more often use this space as one now that the traffic has diminished considerably in the library. This being said, it is very bothersome when a few students choose to talk loudly on the computers when the students around them are studying. Why should the rules defer to these loud students who choose to make their conversations public? Again, I realize that the second floor is not a quiet zone, but how is it fair that one or two students get to dictate the use of the library space for everyone else?

I would also be interested in obtaining information about why so many of the study spaces in Mills have been converted to group study areas. Is this decision reflected in the mission or mandate for Mills library? Does it reflect a larger trend in Canadian universities? Was the decision to convert the spaces based on student demand? Making this information available to interested students might allay some of the concerns voiced on this feedback page about adequate study space.

Library response:

We do not make any attempt to keep the Learning Commons side of the 2nd floor of Mills quiet, but you will usually find the Research Help side is quieter.

We would encourage you to choose the type of study space most conducive to your studying style.  We are working on zoning various types of Study Space throughout our libraries. More information can be found at  http://library.mcmaster.ca/study-space.

Like many other libraries in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada, we have created many new "group study" spaces since more and more of our users are working more collaboratively these days. We do realize there is a need for both Quiet and Silent study spaces as well, which we continue to work towards providing more of.  

The library is currently undertaking several construction projects which have temporarily changed up some of our study spaces but we have a plan in place to re-define study space types for the fall.

 

(Jul 3/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 27/09) There should be a computer in Mills designated as a printing station so people can
jump on and quickly print documents.

Library response:

Thanks for your suggestion. Mills has a number of quick-access stations on the 2nd floor (opposite the Research Help Desk and in the Learning Commons) that are intended as quick look-up and printing stations. Access to each machine is limited to 5-minute sessions. These machines can get quite busy during term, but the idea is that you shouldn't have to wait more than 5 minutes to access one.

Hope this helps!

(May 26/09)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 22/09) This is in response to a comment from February 13 2009 re: misuse of the quiet and silent study areas. I fully agree with this comment and even worse is the fact that students insist on eating full meals in the quiet and silent study areas. Not only is this noisy and distracting but they also get their greasy mitts all over the place making the study rooms even less attractive to those of us there to actually work. I dont understand why library staff do not enforce restrictions against eating in the libraries and information commons. I routinely see coffee, etc spilled on to keyboards and tables. Eating in the library also threatens the libraries collection of print materials, which Im sure you are aware of. On many occassions I have seen staff turn a blind eye to this sort of thing--why?

Library response:

Thanks for taking the time to send in your comment. The main reason we have designated Silent Study rooms as no eating and no laptop zones is because of the noise people make while eating and keyboarding and our users have said this can be quite distracting. As you will know our library regulations were changed quite some time ago to permit eating in most other parts of the library so staff are not being asked to monitor this behaviour elsewhere.

Unfortunately we do not have enough staff to patrol this space on a regular basis, but we will respond to complaints about eating or noise, if you bring these to our attention at the time. We do remind people they are in a room which does not permit either and ask them to stop or to move elsewhere.  You are welcome to take any complaints to the main service desk on the 1st floor, where they will ask a staff person to come to the room to enforce the regulation.

(Mar 23/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Follow-up Comments:

okay, but what about the damage food and beverages cause to expensive equiptment such as computers (this is why food and drink are not permitted in other computing facilities on campus)and the print collection? Were the librarians lying to us years ago when policies against eating were in place and the library actually provided a pleasent work environment? (2009-03-24)


Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 19/09) hi there - the new signs posted in the Mills Silent rooms are clearly not working. These rooms need to be patrolled to scare everyone into not even THINKING about using their laptops, cellphones, etc in these rooms.

also, is there any chnce one of the floors at Mills can be converted into a Silent floor (eg floor 3 or another floor). As people head for the library even on a supposedly quiet 3rd floor you all of a sudden hear loud yelling and people thinking they are free to use cellphones, etc..BUT THE NOISE CARRIES all over the floor, completely defeating the quiet nature of the area. so a silent floor would be appreciated where cellphones, iPods, etc..are mandated to be shut off when on the floor.

thank you for your assistance.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We do try to patrol the Silent Study room on the 3rd floor of Mills when we are in the area, but do not have sufficient staff to do this on a regular basis. We will always respond to noise complaints so feel free to come to the main desk if there is a need to enforce the regulations in that room.

Having a separate floor for Silent Study is something we have talked about but would require the movement of most of the collection. We do realize the need to try to zone study space in all libraries and will be attempting to do this even more over the next few months.

As we move closer to Exam Period we will be zoning the library into more Quiet Study areas. Signs will be posted approximately a week before exams begin.

(Mar 20/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 19/09) There is not enough chairs in the second floor of Mills library during peak hours.

Library response:

I know it may appear that there are not enough chairs, but the real problem is that they get moved around a lot,between the Learning Commons and the rest of the floor, especially at this time of the year. Please know that there are enough chairs for every planned workstation and table on this floor. We spend an hour every morning putting things back!

(Mar 20/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Follow-up Comments:

Thank you for the quick response. As a first year student, I am overwhelmed by the size of libraries Mac has to offer and enjoy the quiet study areas found throughout the library! :) (2009-03-23)


Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 2/09) I feel frustrated by the loud music and continuous announcements that are made prior to the library closing. If the library is open until 5:45 then please give us the courtesy of being able to work until then.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. While we understand the announcements and music may be somewhat disruptive, they have proven to be quite necessary in getting our users prepared to get packed up and ready to leave the building when it closes. When we start clearing the building many people have not made any attempt to leave which means the staff must then start pushing them to do so, which no one likes either. We welcome any suggestions to make this process better! (Mar 5/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Hours, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 13/09) There seems to be NO difference between silent and quiet study areas in ANY library. In fact, can someone explain why there isnt a WEBPAGE devoted to DEFINING the differences between Group, Silent and Quiet study areas?

FYI, the 3rd floor of Mills is SUPPOSED to be Quiet and Silent, but RARELY ever is. In fact, just the other day you could hear a GROUP talking or discussing some project right OUTSIDE the SILENT study rooms. So logic would entail that that noise carried over into the Silent rooms and they werent silent anymore.

As well, once again the library needs to CLARIFY what exactly Quiet means and what Silent means. Students are constantly bringing in their laptops into the SILENT areas and are typing up reports, chatting on messenger - THIS NEEDS TO BE PROHIBITTED NOW. It is understandable if they are VIEWING their laptop to study but logic needs to prevail here. Enough is Enough.

Maybe students should just book the group rooms for silent study because we dont seem to be getting it at the Library.

thank you.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We realize it can be very difficult to find the appropriate type of study space you seek depending on the time of term, etc. We have tried to provide a summary of the types of study space available in Mills - this can be found at http://library.mcmaster.ca/study.

Great suggestion about providing a definition of how each space is intended to be used. We will work on this and add this information shortly. We will also look into people using laptops in the Silent Study areas. As you know the signage on these rooms prohibits the use of laptops, cell phones, etc.

It is difficult to control how students use the open areas of the library so may I suggest that you ask students who are working as a group outside a Silent Study Room to keep it down, or ask a staff member to help with this. Just like you these groups are also looking for an appropriate place to work.

As we move closer to Exam Period we will be zoning the library into more Quiet Study areas. Signs will be posted approximately a week before exams begin.

(Feb 13/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 10/09) This comment is in regards to the Mills fourth floor silent study area L411 the Research Reading Room on South Side. I was recently studying in this area and was quite disturbed by the amount of noise (typically I can deal with a little bit of noise but this was very much out of hand). I then requested through the need help just ask option that someone be sent to quiet down the students. I was then informed that this level is no longer a quiet study section. So, either I was misinformed or the library is falsely still advertising that this is. Is it a study area? And what is the policy in regards to keeping it quiet for those who actually want to use it for that? I found the library staff very unhelpful, when typically they are wonderful.

Library response:

Thanks for your comment. We did receive your comments concerning noise in the 4th floor study room several times through the IM service. When staff came to locate the cause of the noise they could not find any specific source, and they did check several times.

Please note that the large study room on the 4th floor is designated as Quiet, not Silent, although I have been told that the signage is not very effective. We will address this right away. We do patrol the building several times each evening and do try to respond to direct noise complaints as quickly as possible.  The only Silent Study space currently available in Mills Library is on the 3rd floor, rooms L307-L309. Perhaps you would find this space more suitable for your needs.

(Feb 11/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 21/09) These are minor (yet persistent) annoyances.
1) Most keyboards have one or both legs snapped off, so you cant prop up the keyboard.
2) Also, many of the mouses wheels are dirty so its pretty annoying to scrolling. Id clean them myself but they dont seem very easy to open.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. We do try to make sure our equipment is in good condition, but sometimes things slip through the cracks! We'll certainly make sure we have someone check out both the keyboards and mice and clean & repair them as required.

Thanks again for letting us know!

(Jan 22/09)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 19/09) The sixth floor of Mills library really needs some TLC. More than once, I have been prohibited from taking out a book which I really needed because someone is stretched out, sleeping in the stacks. While I understand the need for a place to unwind at school (who doesnt!), the sixth floor should still be treated as though it is part of a library, not a hotel. I have noticed that the number of people sleeping on the floor is significantly less on the lower floors- isnt there a way to enforce this uniformly? I access most of my books from the sixth floor, and I know many other students in my discipline who do the same. The computer catalogue is also in a really awkward spot- is there any chance of putting the computer up against the wall like on the other library floors? The organization/maintenance of the other floors is really great- I would just like to see the same care given to the sixth, please! Thanks a bunch.

Library response:

Thanks for your comments. While we can't do much about where people choose to sleep, you can always ask them to move if you need access to the stacks and should feel free to do so. I do expect you find more people slumbering on the 6th floor since it tends to be quieter.

We will look into where the catalogue is placed to see if we can find a more suitable area. Sometimes this floor can be difficult to lay out since it is only a small part of a larger area.

 Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

(Jan 23/09)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 17/08) Overall I love this library - its great. But I was unhappy that the 1st floor silent study room was converted. The third floor one is too claustrophobic. I have heard rumors the other 1st floor study room is going to be removed. I hope this is not true.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We do realize it can seem a little cramped in the third floor room, but it is the best we can do at the present time. We are constantly working on repurposing our existing space and have heard the requests for more silent study space loud (or should I say quietly) and clear! We will continue looking for solutions to this problem, but can't promise anything specific at this point. (Dec 17/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 8/08) Hi,
I have a mjor concern with the learning commons centre at Mills Library on the second floor. While I do appreciate that the centre is larlgey group-work focused and that there will be chatter; my concern relates to the over-use of computers for patrolling facebook, chatting online, watching videos and listening to music. It is still a learning commons and while I am not sure what the solution to this concern would be, I feel as though the people accessing the learning commons for academic reasons are at a disadvantage. I constantly have to listen to someone playing music, or sports games on their computers with the sound on. Not only is it distracting, but I feel as though it is a misuse of the equipement and the centre. Is there anyway that more attention could be paid to the work that is being completed at the commons? I have noticed this issue since I graduated from McMaster a year ago. The centre appears to be more of an entertainment grounds than a space for learning!.
Thank you for the consideration.

Library response:

Thank you very much for your suggestion.  You're right that this space is meant to be an area where people can be a bit louder than in other areas of the library.  However, you bring up some good points about the noise created by people watching/listening to music and videos.  We are going to look into some ways to encourage people to use headphones in these situations so that their activities do not disturb others.

We also encourage you to let a staff member know if you are being disturbed by noise and they will ask those creating the disturbance to keep the noise level to a minimum.

(Dec 15/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Follow-up Comments:

If you are looking for computers in a quiet area try the computer labs on the second floor of BSB! (2009-01-21)


Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Dec 6/08) Last Thursday afternoon, I could not find a couple of books in the stacks, so I asked Unable to Locate forms at the Mills Circulation desk. The Circulation attendant, most likely a temporary worker, advised me that these forms were unavailable at the desk, although they would be found on line. Yet, when I went home and looked online I found that these particular forms can only physically be obtained in the Libraries. Apparently, the Circulation attendant gave me inaccurate and misguided information. I believe the heavy use of improperly trained, nonprofessional (temp) personnel is a cause of disfunctionalities in library usage. May I suggest that the staff librarians should both spend more time training the temps properly and monitor the quality of the temps services more closely. Please, advise how can I alert the Library to the issue of 2 unlocatable books, short of returning to Mills.

Library response: Thank you very much for your suggestion and I'm sorry to hear you had such trouble.  The "unable to locate" form is indeed online available at the following link:

http://library.mcmaster.ca/forms/unabletolocate

I'm also copying your suggestion to the acting Director of Learning Support Services, Lynn Schneider, so that she can take any action required in regards to your comments about staff training.

(Dec 9/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Follow-up Comments:

Was that link even clicked on by anyone? It clearly says that the form is available only at the library and not online. (2008-12-10)

UPDATE: In the past the unable to locate form was not accessible from off campus locations. Due to this suggestion, we have decided to change this and make the form accessible both on and off campus. We are taking immediate action to make this happen and you should see a change in effect fairly soon. (2008-12-10)

FURTHER UPDATE: This form is now available from both on and off campus. Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian) (2008-12-12)


Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 26/08) Professors often assign the same few essay topics to everyone in the class which often leads to one student signing out many of the books on this topic. Not all professors put the books on reserve. Would it be possible to limit the amount of books a student is allowed to sign out?

Library response: There is currently no limit to the amount of books which can be checked out by a single borrower.  However, you can recall books that are signed out to other borrowers by clicking on the "Check Availability" link, then the "Checked Out" link in the catalogue and you will be notified when the book is ready for you to pick up.  In addition, you may also want to search for journal articles on your topic as they are often a good source for essay topics.  Many articles are available electronically.  Drop by the Research Help desk and the staff will be happy to help you find suitable articles and other materials on your topic.  I hope this helps. (Nov 27/08)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 26/08) The heat needs to be turned on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th floors more often. It gets very cold while working and seems as if the air conditioner is on. Thanks!

Library response: Thanks for your message. Unfortunately we are often at the mercy of the outside elements. Sometimes it can be as simple as a change in which way the wind is blowing to affect the temperature in the building. We do monitor the temperature throughout the building and will report problems to the campus facilities group if we go belong the standard as laid out the campus policy. We do know that we switched from cool water to warm water several weeks ago, so there is no chance the a/c is still on, but let us know when it does feel cool! (Nov 27/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 25/08) Hi,

I am thankful for the quiet study spaces that are provided at Mills. Unfortunately, I dont find them quiet at all. Although there are signs posted,there is always noise from people socializing, eating and using laptops. Is there anyway for the library to enforce the quiet in quiet study?

Library response: We hear you! We are changing the signage on the Silent Study Room to indicate that there is to be no talking, eating, cell phone or laptop use. We will do our best to monitor the room but feel free to let us know if there is a problem and we will talk to those who are not helping keep the room free from noise. (Nov 27/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 22/08) Given I pay almost $15,000 a year in tuition, do you think that you could provide somewhere to study on a Saturday night?
The Learning commons at Mills is a disgrace. Food everywhere, cellphones ringing, dudes playing music from their laptops-
this is a joke. I get to hear all about some freshmans Friday night instead of getting through my assignments, and now I pay
$5 parking for the privilege.

It is inexcusable that a major research university has nowhere to get work done on a Saturday night.

Library response: Thanks for your comment. We will follow up with the security guard who is on duty in the Learning Commons on Saturday night to make sure he/she understands that one of their responsibilities is to monitor the noise in this room, including asking people to use headphones when listening to music and other audio files on their laptops. We will also look into getting additional garbage receptacles placed in this room. Unfortunately there is no other library space available to study in in the libraries on Saturday nights. (Dec 15/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 7/08) Noise control on the second floor computer region please. Why is a region with so many computers being used as a social meeting place by certain ppl? There are not enough computers equipped quiet study areas in the library. Computers today are in fact being used for quiet study thus it would make sense to designate these areas (at least some) to quiet study. Thanks kindly.

Library response: Thanks for your message. We can see that some users will find the Learning Commons quite busy and noisier than they may like, but if you go across the hall to the Research Help side of the floor I think you will find it is much quieter. There are lots of desktop computers in this area as well as many powered areas for laptop use. (Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 7/08) It is too loud on floors where silence should be enforced such as the 4th. Perhaps enforce silence where individuals go to study. Thank you!

Library response:

Thanks for your message.  We realize everyone is looking for a different type of study space and as a result we are actively working on creating different kinds of study space for our users.

At the moment the only Silent Study space is on the 3rd floor of Mills (Rooms L307-309). The large study room on the 4th floor is designated as Quiet Study space.

We are about to launch a new Library Directory poster which we hope will help you find the type of study space you are looking for...these will be posted on every floor of Mills in the next week or so.

 

(Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 7/08) Please get more headphones in stock. They are never available to borrow.

Library response:

Thank you for your comment. The library has only a few sets of headphones available for lending.  We have not been replacing them as they break down, largely because hygiene is a concern with multiple borrowers using them.   However, several styles of earphones are available for purchase from the vending machine on the second floor of Mills Library.  You may also prefer to bring your own personal set of headphones to use in the library.  I hope one of these solutions will work well for you.

(Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 5/08) Stop using the PA system in the library. It is startlingly loud. People are trying to sleep in here!

Library response: Thanks for your comment.  We try to use the PA system for emergency situations only and therefore use it sparingly.  We'll check into the volume to see if we could turn it down a bit and still have any announcements be heard. (Nov 6/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 30/08) Is it possible to limit the use of applications like facebook inthe library? This week I had to wait 10 mins to access a computer to print something for class. I dont think its fair that I have to wait to use the computers to do something school-related, when there are people on the computers who are clearly just wasting time. My friend says that things like facebook are banned from the computers in the library at her school. Is it possible to at least have a few computers that are used for printing only?

Library response:

We understand the frustration of having to wait for a computer to become available, especially at this time of year. However, we have made the decision to not block access to any websites in the interest of academic freedom. That is to say that some of our students/faculty members use sites like Facebook for academic purposes, so us limiting access to it would be unfair to those users. 

We do have some quick access stations in Mills that are useful for when you just want to print something. I might also recommend checking out one of our laptops from the Circulation desk.

Hope this helps!

(Nov 3/08)
Answered by: Amanda Etches-Johnson (User Experience Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 29/08) To me the responses to peoples concerns over noise in study areas is the number one concern that keeps recurring. This concern appears to continually get appeased when presented here.

The only way I propose that increased noise levels can be combatted at this heavily populated university is for library staff to periodically police the study areas. They seem to do this already, but only for people eating.

As a related concern, laptops are noisy and offensive to the student looking for quiet study space. There should be signs strictly prohibiting there use... Such a rule should also be enforced.

Library response:

Thanks for your message. The only area where laptops are prohibited is in the Silent Study room on the 3rd floor of Mills. We plan on making the signage for this room stronger and will do our best to respond to complaints about noise in this room. 

We have also created several laptop friendly areas - the large area on the main floor across from the Service Desk, on the 2nd floor in the Research Help area and a separate room on the 3rd floor - where there are lots of outlets and tabales or counter spaces perfect for using laptops!

(Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 29/08) Hello. I think the Meebo service is great, however, the one person responding to meebo and the myraid of students at the information desk delays a quick response. Also, searching the library catalogue also disconnects me to my meebo conversion, causing great frustration. Perhaps there could be more than one meebo person at Mills, in addition to the one staff member at the information desk on the second floor. Innovation at its Finest

Library response: Thank you for your comment and suggestion.  Our Instant Messaging service is normally provided by library staff who are not providing personal service on the Research Help desk at the same time.  However, there are times when a single staff member must cover both services. We try to limit the times when staff are doing both.  We are sorry you've experienced frustration searching the library catalogue while connected to Meebo.  One suggestion for you to try is to open up another tab, leaving the catalogue in one tab, and Meebo in another. This will keep your chat box live.  It is sometimes a challenge during very busy times to respond immediately to instant message questions.  However, we will continue to monitor response times and make improvements where we can. We appreciate your feedback on our services. (Oct 29/08)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 27/08) It would be FANTASTIC if Mills had more headphones that could be checked out. Currently, I believe there are only four! This kind of defeats the purpose of having a space for listening to music in the library. I personally dont find the earphones in the vending machine a viable option because a)Id have to BUY them B) I doubt theyd last (C Their sound quality is probably nowhere near to that of headphones. Thank you so much!

Library response: Thank you for your comment about the headphones.  You're right, we have a minimal number of headphones available for public loan.  We carried a larger number of headphones for many years, but maintenance of these items became a problem as they aged.  In addition, hygiene was a concern so the Library decided that, in order to solve the maintenance and hygiene issues, we would offer earphones for sale in the vending machine.  Several styles of headphones are available for purchase from the vending machine, so one of these may work well for you.  We find that many people prefer to bring their own personal headphones/earphones to the Library for use with the music equipment and computers, which you are welcome to do. (Oct 28/08)
Answered by: Lynn Schneider (Supervisor, Circulation & Collection Maintenance, Health Sciences Library)

Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 27/08) Hello,
The SILENT rooms on Floor 3 seem to not live up to their name. People are talking, eating or hammering away at their laptops. Not to mention the CONSTANT ringing of cell phones. Is there some way to enforce these rules/regulations? Thank you.

Library response: Thanks for your comments. Watch for new signs on the Silent Study room on the 3rd floor to be posted shortly. We will make it clear that this a laptop and cell phone free zone and that we consider this to be a Silent Study room, which includes no talking. Once this is done we will do our best to respond to noise complaints. (Nov 11/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 27/08) I was wondering if the library could purchase the film Shake hands with the devil. I am aware that we have the documentary and the book. Thanks.

Library response:

Thanks for the suggestion. As you said the library does own the book and the documentary is available through the Lyons Instructional Media Centre. We did pass your recommendation along to Lyons. We do not purchase films for private viewing in the main library.

(Nov 25/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 20/08) Give us back our silent study rooms PLEASE! There are always people talking upstairs - its not the same as being closed in. PLEASE!!!!

Library response:

We did re-create the Silent Study rooms on the 3rd floor of Mills at the east end of the floor. There are approximately 85 carrels in an enclosed room in this area. I think you will find this space will give you the quiet you are looking for!

Response to Comment:  We are going to strengthen the language on the signage for this room to make it clear this is a conversation, laptop, cell phone free zone. We hope this helps. We will then do our best to respond to noise complaints. 

 

(Oct 20/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 20/08) I received a huge amount of help from a library staff member in the Research Help Dept. She assisted me in a matter that was clearly not in her job description and I thank her.

Library response: Thanks for letting us know! (Oct 20/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Customer Service, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 12/08) I think...no, I know...that things at Mills are now out of control. The library has become a virtual entity; it is everything else but a library. Eating and drinking are now commonplace. What a ludicrous policy!!! It is a ludicrous policy because the said allowed activities adversely impact silent study areas. I have had to suffer inconsiderate [people] who insisted on eating potato chips in the Mills. Can you imagine having to listen for 30 minutes to, not just the munching sound of the his mouth, but the sound of a repeatedly ruffled bag????? After the [person] consumed two bags of chips, he insisted on having a conversation on his cell phone. Thats when I had had enough and told him to be more considerate of others. And then the grease that is everywhere: tables, study carrells, keyboards. The keyboards are also contaminated with mouth germs from people who insist on eating their cookies while operating a computer. Maybe [you] should take a long sit and a long gander some time in the Mills and observe these actions. And the carpets. I have never seen so many large spill-stains in my life in one building. Whats next in the library? A cafeteria? A games room? [...] When you creat conditions whereby one person is allowed to distract 30 or 40, something seriously wrong with the implemented policy. [...]

**some information was removed from this comment since it identified a specific individual

Library response:

Thank you very much for taking the time to write to us.  We're sorry to hear that you are upset about food being allowed in the libraries.  The feedback we've had about this issue indicates that some are extremely happy that they are allowed to eat during the hours they spend studying in the library and others are unhappy about having food in the libraries.

We encourage all library visitors to be respectful of one another and to try to keep eating noises to a minimum.  However, we've also created 'Silent Study' areas in the libraries where we ask that people do not eat any food (or use laptops or cell phones). These silent study areas are located in Mills (rooms L307-309, Innis (Silent Study Room) and Thode (3rd floor).    If someone is eating in one of these areas and bothering you, please alert a staff member.

We are making every effort to keep the library clean.  We've added extra custodial staff, tables are wiped down on a daily basis, hand sanitizer is available at service points and we do our best to keep the keyboards and carpets clean.

We're always trying to improve and appreciate your comments and ideas as to how we can do so.

 

(Oct 22/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 25/08) Where have all the silent study areas gone? This IS a library! Noisy roommates make it hard to concentrate and it would really be nice to have one safe study refuge. Thank you!

Library response: Thanks for your email. We do realize how important silent study space is for many users. We have moved the silent study spaces to the 3rd floor  (L307-L309) in an attempt to remove this type of space from the busy lobby area.  We hope you enjoy this newly created space. (Sep 27/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Follow-up Comments:

Hello people, I am wondering whether the very gorgeous reading pavilion in the Health Sciences Library is meant to be a quiet study zone. There seems to be confusion about this. At times it is very quiet, at other times people make no attempt to speak in whispers. Would it be possible to put up clear signage about what the noise/silence level is meant to be? Thank you for your time and for your response. (2008-10-02)

REPLY: The Heersink Reading Pavilion in the Health Sciences Library is not a silent study area. In fact, it is part of the upper floor Learning Commons, which is why there are glass doors on the lower level and an open balcony to the upper level. The silent study area is towards the back of the library, is clearly labeled, and has a sign indicating no conversation or cell phone use. There is also white noise in this section. We started a campaign this fall to remind our users to be respectful of the shared space, which includes a number of points specifically around noise levels. Staff have commited to helping to enforce our regulations, so if you find that people arent respecting the silent study area rules, please let a member of the library staff know. Liz Bayley, Director, Health Sciences Library (2008-10-02) (2008-10-15)


Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Sep 17/08) I would like to suggest to the Mills Library to invest in a Manga collection. Manga are very popular and are amusing to read. The Universitys students will also benefit academically from manga because the department of religious studies offers a course called Religion and Popular Culture in Japan which discusses and analyzes Japanese pop culture and religion through manga and anime.

Library response:

We have added some graphic novels and similar items to the new Popular Reading collection in the Mills Learning Commons. Unfortunately, they haven't gotten much use, so I suspect we haven't chosen the right ones.

If you have some titles in mind that would be good additions, please use the form on the Popular Reading webpage (http://library.mcmaster.ca/popular-reading) to let us know!

(Sep 18/08)
Answered by: Wade Wyckoff (Associate University Librarian, Collections)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jul 9/08) I appreciate the facilities, the staff is great, and the resources are
abundant, but I always feel like Im breathing dirty air. The air is
always stale, especially in the winter (no circulation). Actually it feels
like Im working in an outhouse. Its 2008, air circulation should not be
a problem, at least not for $6000 /year tuition. Please resolve this
matter ASAP.

PS. Please note that air quality (E.P.A.) considers the air inside a home
(with circulation) 10 times more polluted than outdoor air. Why are you
killing us? Please follow up with a resolution, as Ill be discussing this
matter with McMaster University Vice President.

Library response:

Thank you for your email. We do try to respond as soon as we get complaints about air quality, but in some cases there is not much which can be done.

Normally the percentage of fresh air being circulated in the library is in the 20-30% range, dropping no lower than 10% but can be up to 80%. When the addition of outside air would dramatically improve our inside air (for example a heat wave outside when the heat is still on in the library) we would request that Campus Facilities Services open the dampers wider to permit more outside air to come in. During a particularly bad cold snap we would request that the dampers be closed significantly to help us keep the library warm. We do need to keep in mind that all fresh air has to be conditioned before being circulating, so the more fresh air brought in the more work the HVAC system must do. In addition, the library uses a forced air cooling system (not a/c) which does not include any humidity controls, so some days in can feel quite sticky, depending on what is happening outside.

There can also appear to be problems with air circulation at times, depending on several factors, including where you are in the building, whether maintenance is being performed on the fans, etc.  Monthly maintenance is done on each of the 30 fans which serve Mills. Each fan requiring service (filter changed, belt replaced, etc) must be shut down to do this maintenance. Finally, Mills library has had four additions to the original building, each of which required a new HVAC system to be sync'd with an existing system, which is always problematic.

Please do continue to report these types of problems to us when you notice them and we will do our best to remedy the situation. 

(Jul 14/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jun 18/08) Hi,
Mills has started renting out calculators, which is great. However, they are in-library-use only. It would be great, if they could go out of the library, in case students forgot to bring their own and needed it for exam purposes. It would really be helpful.
Thankyou for your time.

Library response:

At this time, Mills Library has only 3 calculators that are available for 2 hour loans.  As most exams are over 2 hours in length, the loan would accrue a $2/hour fine.  However, the calculators can be removed from the building as long as they are returned with the 2 hour time frame.  We are removing the stickers that restrict access to the library for your convenience.

 Hope this helps.

(Jun 19/08)
Answered by: Donna Millard (Director, Library Services, Social Sciences and Humanities)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jun 18/08) Hi,
I just wanted to make a suggestion for more headphones. Currently, there are very few and each headphone is signed out for long hours so others do not have the opportunity to use them. So, more headphones please!
Thankyou

Library response: Thank you for your comment.  Our headphones we have for public loans have a couple of issues with them.  One is of public hygiene and the other is the expense of repairs/replacement.  So, we have provided access, through the vending machine on the 2nd floor in the McLay room of the Learning Commons, to several different styles of headphones for you to select from to purchase.  This way hygiene is not an issue and you can select the style of headphone you would prefer. (Jul 8/08)
Answered by: Donna Millard (Director, Library Services, Social Sciences and Humanities)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jun 11/08) Overall I would say that the library is fairly efficient for the students. However, I have a couple of really easy suggestions to assure that the staff assists, rather than conflicts, with Mcmaster Students. Firstly, if you have a large sign stating that the library closes at 5pm, close the library at 5pm (not 4:45). If the front desk closes at 4:45, but that in large print (rather than having it lie within the fine print-no one will read that if the large print is explicitly declaring closure at 5pm). Secondly, please fix your book recall system. Many of the students working over the summer are in dire need of specific literature. The system currently in place is not completely successful at recalling. Thirdly, the entire concept of having some books accessible online for 5 mins is rather absurd. E-books should be available for an indefinite time. Fourth, some of the staff has not been trained properly. I have been charged for returning a book on reserve too late, when in reality, a staff member didnt scan the book in the right manner. Really just some simple ideas that would help relieve some tension, and assure satisfaction among library users.

Library response:

 Thanks for taking the time to make so many suggestions.  I'm going to pass all of these along to different people in the library since they involve a number of different library operations.


Update:

Thanks for your comments about the closing signs in Mills Library. When we prepare to update these signs, we will certainly take this suggestion into consideration. In the meantime, our library hours on our web page give full details about openings and closings, and the closing tapes which start playing 1/2 hour before closing warn our patrons about the clearing of the stacks and study areas starting 15 minutes before the building is closed.

Regarding the recalls situation, we're a bit unclear about what the issue actually is from your comment. If these are materials for a course currently in session and your classmates need access, please ask your professor to put these materials on 2 hour reserve. This ensures access for everyone in your class. If this is not the issue, please let us know.

Concerning the short viewing time for some e-books: The purpose of the 5 minute time period is to give users a quick look to see if the book appears to be something they would be interested in using for a longer period of time. If so, there is then a choice to borrow the book for a term of 1 or 7 days, or to make a request that the library purchase a copy of the e-book. Loan requests are approved within 24 hours, but often as quckly as minutes after the request is submitted. Using this system permits the library to make an additional 50,000 ebooks available to our users, something we could not do if we have to purchase these outright. Please don't hesitate to let us know if you do encounter any difficulties using these titles. You are welcome to contact our Collections Services Librarian, Wade Wyckoff (wyckoff@mcmaster.ca)

 

(Jun 11/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian),Donna Millard (Director, Library Services, Social Sciences and Humanities),Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Customer Service, Hours, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 21/08) I think you should sell earplugs in the vending machine on the 2nd floor.

Library response:

Thanks for the suggestion. The machine is stocked and managed by the bookstore, so we'll pass along your suggestion.

Update: For the time being, you can ask for a pair of earplugs at the desk on the first floor of Mills Library.

(May 21/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 21/08) This library is awesome. I rarely come but always love it.

Library response: We're so glad you took the time to share this with us. Thanks! (May 21/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(May 9/08) I have tried since late yesterday afternoon to get a PDF download from JSTORS with no luck. I have also tried to find the course reserve numbers for History 4E06E, instructor; Wesley Ferris also with no results.(the list begins at HTH....) I have, in desperation, tried to contact ANY live person at the Mills library since this morning and I am constantly dead ended into phone mail.

My sugestion is that you should fix these problems promptly and at least do me the courtesy of a call back.

[Patrons contact information removed]

Library response:

Thanks for your message. It appears that JSTOR recently upgraded its interface, and in doing so introduced some new "features". These are presenting themselves in several ways.

If you have a pop-up blocker you will appear to get an error when trying to view the pdf of an article. To resolve this, hold the CTRL key while clicking on the pdf link.

If you are on campus you may be asked to agree to the Terms and Conditions by clicking on a link. Once you accept these conditions you will be ported over to the pdf.

We have notified JSTOR to make sure they understand what users are now experiencing when trying to view a pdf article and we would hope that they will try to make improvements to this functionality.

Don't hesitate to bring any other problems with these resources to our attention.

(May 13/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Follow-up Comments:

To search for Reserves in Mills Library, please make sure you select Mills Reserve and then type in your Course code. Prof. Ferris materials are available on Reserve. (2008-05-21)


Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Apr 3/08) I feel that more attention should be payed to the sixth floor. Personally, I believe that wi-fi should be accessible to all students. Furthermore the exit on 2nd floor should be open at all times as it would reduce heavy traffic along the main corridor. Thank you.

Library response:

Thanks for your email. We agree that the 6th floor could be better used. We are continuously looking at the spaces available to us and try to repurpose them to meet the needs of our users. We will eventually look at the 6th floor, but it won't be for some time yet. As you will see at the following link, most of the rest of Mills library is wireless (http://library.mcmaster.ca/mills/study.htm).

The doors on the 2nd floor are only used when the Learning Commons is open and the rest of the library is not. It is possible that this might change in the future, if the library were funded to remain open 24 hours per day. Please note a 24/7 pilot to keep the Learning Commons open during the spring exam period will begin on April 9th and run to April 28th.

(Apr 6/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 14/08) More tables for group studying would be much appreciated since the introduction of computers to the 2nd floor has limited this kind of space.

Library response:

We've actually put out many of the group tables previously on the 2nd floor - to the 1st floor across from the Circulation Desk. 

That being said, we're working hard to find additional seats for both group and individual study. 

 This summer, we begin work on the renovation of the Thode Library of Science & Engineering.  That project will dramatically increase seating - in both group and individual environments.

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 5/08) Please invest and get security cameras in the library and catch those thefts that stole peoples cameras.

Library response:

Thank you for your suggestion. We have security cameras in the libraries and provide Campus Security with access to footage in the event of a theft.  We can't stress enough that even with security cameras in place these kinds of thefts still happen.

Personal belongings should NEVER be left unattended in the libraries! Please help us maintain a safe environment by keeping an eye on your belongings at all times.

(Mar 7/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 5/08) PLEASE do something about the noise level in this library. The quiet study areas on the first floor are an absolute joke - the noise from outside ruins any chance of getting any work done. The library essentially serves as a secondary cafeteria. Why arent there staff members enforcing noise control on all levels of the library?? Both the U of T and York University library provide this courtesy to their students.

Library response:

Thank you for taking the time to comment on noise in Mills.  We agree that noise is a significant issue - especially as we enter into the exam period. 

As noted in previous responses, the sheer volume of students entering the library each day makes noise control very challenging.  Staff do patrol the public areas and will ask uncooperative users to leave the building. 

The Library is working hard to create additional study spaces (with a mix of group and individual environments) .    

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 3/08) The HSL looks fantastic!! Any chance that Mills will get a facelift along the same lines?

Library response:

We agree that the Health Sciences Library looks amazing!

Right now we're working on a major renovation of the Thode Library of Science and Engineering.  Work will begin this summer on approximately 1/2 of the 1st floor of Thode and include two computer areas, a soft seating area and a cafe.  The full renovation will take approximately 3 years to complete.

We'll continue to renovate localized areas in Mills - as funding becomes available.   

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Mar 2/08) Despite the signs posted which declare the quiet study places as quite they are often the meeting place for group projects. Some groups talk quietly, some groups speak at a regular volume, and some groups yell over each others voices. Yet, all are equally annoying and disturbing when trying to work. If the library wishes to improve their services, resources and facilities they will do something to improve the quality of the silent study spaces, perhaps dedicating one to total silence on an upper floor and making more spaces for group study.

Library response:

Thank you for taking the time to comment on noise in the library.  We agree that the libraries are noisy.  We attribute at least part of the increase to the sheer number of students using the Library.  As the density of students in our study areas increases, the volume level naturally climbs.  As well, we notice that students' learning behaviours are changing - more and more assignments are group based.  Even those students working on individual assignments seem to prefer to sit with their friends in group environments. 

We always respond to complaints regarding noise in the study areas - and often do ask uncooperative individuals to leave the building.   But we do not have enough staff to monitor the floors at all times.  When we do, we find that the noise stops for a few minutes, then starts up again after the staff member leaves. 

We ask individuals using our study areas to exercise courtesy and keep noise levels down - especially as we head into the exam period.

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 20/08) The new arrangment of tables on the first floor of Mills does not provide for a better work environment. There is reduced seating and the long banks of tables are not comfortable to work at in groups. I prefer the old arrangement when there were individual tables.

Library response: Thanks for your feedback.  The reason we changed the configuration of this space was to increase the number of powered stations where students can use laptops in the library.  We've had many requests for more powered areas where people can use laptops.  In addition, we needed to respond to health and safety concerns because some laptop users were stretching power cords across aisles to tables.

We're trying our best to accommodate many different types of study needs and appreciate feedback such as yours to inform decisions.
(Mar 7/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 15/08) There needs to be more recycling bins on the upper floors - especially on the 4th floor. Students are more likely to recycle if there is a conveniently located recycling bin. While I am willing to walk to the first floor to recycle something when I am on the 4th floor, that is not the case for most students. Thank you.

Library response:

Thanks for your suggestion. We agree  - there are not enough recycling containers in the building.

We have just completed an inventory of all waste and recycling receptacles in Mills and will be adding more of both types in many areas, especially in the large group study areas, over the next little while.

(Feb 15/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 10/08) Although I understand that it is difficult to regulate temperature, the Learning Commons Room is always extremely cold- especially at night. I have had to continue working with my jacket and mittens at times. (Difficult, let me tell you!) Is it possible to have space heaters in the corners of the room?

Library response: Thanks for your message. It is especially helpful to know this happens specifically in the corners of room. We are working towards maintaining a balance for the temperature in the Learning Commons as temperatures fluctuate drastically outside. We will report this problem and hope that a more comfortable, constant temperature can be realized shortly. (Feb 10/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 8/08) I love the new laptop room, great idea. However, with the increase in theft, especially stolen laptops, its shocking that the designers didnt think to install loops to the desk so that people can use laptop locks. The desks dont even have legs that could be used to wrap the cord around. Hopefully you will consider installing some. Thank you.

Library response: Thanks for your email. We are glad that you like the laptop room. We are currently working on a solution whereby users will be able to tether their laptops and other valuables. We will likely give this a try in the laptop room and if it works expand it to other areas in the library. Just a reminder though - please don't leave valuables unattended in the library. (Feb 9/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 7/08) As of 1:20pm Feb 7, 2008; the temperature in the learning commons room on second floor Mills is uncomfortably warm, negatively affecting the usability of the space. Please monitor more consistantly. On Wendnesday Feb 6 I found the the space went from over hot through cold during the afternoon,which supports the need for monitoring.

Library response: Thanks for your message. We are working towards maintaining a balance for the temperature in the Learning Commons as temperatures fluctuate drastically outside. We will report this problem and hope that a more comfortable temperature can be realized shortly. (Feb 7/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Feb 3/08) Sunday Feb 3, 2008 - Its freezing in the learning commons! Please turn on the heat.

Library response: We are sorry about the cold temperatures in the Learning Commons. We received comments from several people and did contact Physical Plant right away asking that they address the problem. We are following up with them this morning (Monday)to see what can be done to make sure this does not happen again. (Feb 4/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 25/08) Please spend more money on books! I am a graduate student writing my dissertation and I constantly have to order books through RACER. Waiting a week or two to receive books hinders my research and thought processes. The books I am ordering are not esoteric or rare. They are standard sources most other libraries have. Libraries are about books! Please buy more of them.

Library response: Unfortunately the library budget does not permit the purchase of all the books which might be appropriate for a university library. What subject are you studying? You are welcome to suggest books you would like to see added to the collection, although it may not be possible to purchase them all. A book recommendation form can be found at: http://library.mcmaster.ca/cat-coll/coll/recommend.htm (Jan 29/08)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services),Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Books/Journals/Databases, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 24/08) Please ban Facebook/Youtube usage on the school computers during peak hours...people who are trying to do research cant access a computer! Thank you.

Library response: Thank you for your comments. You have raised an item of legitimate concern which has been discussed within the Library on numerous occasions. While we realize that public computers in the Library are in great demand and that students can use them for "non-research" purposes we do not feel we can remove access to sites like Facebook, Youtube or MSN since they can be used for exchanging information related to academic work. For example, the Library's research help service uses MSN as a communication mechanism for students with research questions. E-mail is another example of an application available on public computers which can be used for both academic work and social purposes. As a result we choose not to police the use of public computers but instead to depend on students to exercise good judgement with regard to how they use a shared service like public computers and to be sensitive to the needs of others. We assess our policies on an on-going basis and will adjust them in order to meet the needs of students so we appreciate any feedback from students. (Jan 24/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Computers/WiFi/Printers, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Jan 17/08) The map library is very cold! It is usually cooler than the rest of the library but this month it has been frigid! Too cold to work there, just a few degrees warmer would be nice.

Library response: Thank you for letting us know. We do try to keep the temperature at a comfortable level, but sometimes during cold snaps or warm spells, it takes some time for adjustments to take effect. (Jan 18/08)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Temperature, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 21/07) Hello! I just wanted to let you guys know that the music or whatever you call it, before the announcement is so distracting. It almost gave me a heart attack. My friend screamed! Please change it!

Library response: We're sorry we scared you. We've been using music for many years as a way to gently encourage people to leave the building as closing time approaches (usually 5 or 10 minutes before the building is officially closed). I'd encourage you to make some suggestions as to what songs you'd like to hear. We're always looking for new songs to add to the roster! Thanks for your suggestion and sorry again for scaring you and your friend. (Nov 22/07)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 2/07) You are doing a wonderful job here at the library but I think it would be superb if you have staples set up around the place for students.

Library response: We actually do have staplers located at different places around Mills library for exactly that purpose! You'll find them by photocopiers on the first, second, and third floors. In fact, its not just staplers but also 3-hole punchers, pencil sharpeners and sometimes a pair of scissors. Staff at the service desks can point these out to you if you are having trouble locating them. Thank you for your comment. (Nov 21/07)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Nov 2/07) Id just like to let you know that the jacks in room L301 (new study area on third floor) dont work.

Library response: Those jacks were actually intentionally disabled - let me explain why. The new study area on the third floor has been designated as a silent study room and we are asking that people refrain from using laptops in silent study areas in the library. For this reason, the jacks have been disabled. We appreciate your comment and plan to install covers over the disabled jacks in the new silent study room so that others don't encounter the same problem. (Nov 21/07)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 1/07) To have the suggestion box next to a display board where you post up suggestions and responses. (like there was in past years)

Library response: Thank you so much for your suggestion. We are in the process of switching over to an online suggestion box/bulletin board. We used to accept and display suggestions exactly as you described. Were hoping that the electronic format will allow for increased access (e.g. you dont have to be standing in a library in order to send us a suggestion) and allow users to browse all suggestions, rather than just the most recent ones (as was the case with the display board). The online format also allows people to add comments to our responses, which we hope will be useful. However, we will keep track of comments like yours and if there seems to be a demand for reintroducing the display board, then we will certainly consider it. (Nov 21/07)
Answered by: Catherine Baird (Marketing, Communications and Outreach Librarian)

Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 1/07) More study carrols.

Library response:

We are working hard to provide more study spaces for students in Mills and across the library system.  Given the dramatic increase in our campus enrolment, the number of seats in the library is obviously inadequate. 

 Right now we're working on a major renovation of the Thode Library of Science and Engineering.  This project will add hundreds of additional study seats into the mix.

In the meantime, we ask students to share the existing seats fairly.  We ask students to pack up their belongings when they leave the library for a class or study break.  Another student needs a place to study.

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink
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(Oct 1/07) Mills librarys hours are quite convenient - overall not bad library. However, there is no need to be rude when rushing students out of the library 15 minutes BEFORE the library is closed. If Mils is closed at 10:00pm then that is when students have the option to leave. If it closes at 9:45 then simply change the schedule.

Library response:

Given the size of Mills, it actually takes staff considerable time to close the building down.   Staff must walk through each floor to ensure that users have vacated the building.  (We don't want to have a sleeping student left inside!)  Our  posted hours indicate that "closing of stacks, study and service areas begins 15 minutes before closing."  We try to provide sufficient warning with our closing tape.

(Mar 14/08)
Answered by: Vivian Lewis (Associate University Librarian, Teaching, Learning and Research)

Categories: Hours, Mills  |  Permalink
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