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We've had a fantastic response since we launched our online suggestion box in January 2008. We know we haven't always been as quick as we could have been in responding to your suggestions, but we're currently implementing strategies to improve our response time. Please keep your comments coming -- you help make us better!

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10 Recent Suggestions

(Oct 24/19) The grad study space is fantastic, but there arent any phone chargers. Could you put a bank of phone chargers in one of the lockers thats missing a key, or something like that?

Library response: Thanks for the suggestion - we will see what we can do to find a charging unit which might work here. Glad to hear you like the space! (Oct 25/19)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)
Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink

(Sep 25/19) The water bottle fill station is filling very slowly and the sensor doesnt seem to be working well either

Library response: Thank you for letting us know about this issue. I will submit a work order to have it fixed right away. (Sep 26/19)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)
Categories: Other, Health Sciences  |  Permalink

(Sep 3/19) Hi, Ive used Lexis Nexis through the McMaster site for a number of years to access the New York Times online. Recently Ive been asked for a login and password. And sometimes Im able to log in to the Nexis Uni (?) site. Can you please advise if the Librarys subscription has changed or what the optimal way is to get to the New York Times online? Thanks.

Library response: Hello - Yes, in August, the library's subscription to LexisNexis changed from LN-Academic to "Nexis Uni", a move initiated by the vendor. The interface is quite different, and some sources have been removed (and added), but you should still be able to access "New York Times" articles via Nexis Uni. The following link from the catalogue http://discovery.mcmaster.ca/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1362249?lang=eng leads to our subscriptions, and may be the best place to start. I hope this helps, but let us know if there are ways to make this easier! Best, Janice (Sep 3/19)
Answered by: Janice Adlington (Collections & Information Resources Librarian)

(Jul 23/19) There are many study spaces with plugs near them that never seem to work! Please address the issue ): Examples include the ones on the third floor columns + fourth & fifth floor walls (near the windows)

Library response: Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We found several tripped breakers in these areas when we went to investigate, so most of these outlets are now working. Please do not hesitate to message us again should you find others which are not working. If possible provide us with specific locations so we can try to resolve the issue. (Jul 25/19)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)
Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink

(May 4/19) I was very disappointed to see today that the Health Science Library will be closed every weekend (along with every other library on campus) over the summer. I find this to fall embarrassingly far below the standard of services expected at a world- leading medical school. It is well known that medical students and residents do not follow the traditional University calendar and often have many exams (ALL Royal College exams, MCCQE etc) taking place during the summer months. As such, the Health Science Libray plays a vital role to medical learners at McMaster, as residents and medical students continue to study, learn, teach, and work. I would also underscore this fact by highlighting that there are NO other dedicated study spaces at any of the other major teaching hospitals across the city. As such, the library has remained the only place for medical students and residents to study, collaborate, and advance their clinical knowledge. A quick online review demonstrates that this thrifty approach is unique to McMaster. In fact, there is no other medical school in CANADA that closes its health sciences library on weekends (this includes a review of all 14 English language medical schools health science libraries). This is for good reason - the medical community including medical students, residents, and faculty depend on the library as a space to work year round. In an era where our medical school has received some of the largest philanthropic donations in Canadian history, I find it puzzling that the very heart of any univerisy, its libraries, would be a place the University would try to pinch a few pennies. I wonder if the medical school/students, PARO resident representatives, or Post Graduate Medical Education, were consulted when this decision was made?

Library response: Thank you for sharing your concerns. Unfortunately, the Health Sciences Library budget has been showing a deficit for the past several years. We have worked to balance our budget by cutting some of our services (including weekend hours) and cancelling journal titles. We have recently received some additional funds to prevent the cancellation of additional journal subscriptions, but no additional funds were provided to cover staffing costs. We continue to provide 24 hour access to our online collection and we hope this will help you with your information needs. Please feel free to contact me directly if you wish to discuss your concerns in more detail.  (May 7/19)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)

Follow-up Comments:

I think that people would prefer the library stays open on weekends rather than having a few extra journals. (2019-10-28)


(Apr 22/19) This library has wonderful study space, but its absolutely disgusting. Ive arrived, first thing in the morning (8:00, when it opens) and I had to visit the ladies washroom in the lower level. I havent been here in two or three days, but the washroom looks exactly the same as it did when I was last here - disgusting. Theres toilet paper in only one stall, but its all over the floor in every other stall (covered in feces). There is absolutely no paper towel to be found and the tiniest amount of soap in only one dispenser. Theres also barely any light, and this feels like it might be to cover up how disgusting the facilities are. If I didnt have to go so badly, I would have trekked over to the IAHS building to use their washrooms. The cleanliness isnt only in the washrooms, but obviously this is the most concerning. In the silent study area, there is garbage and dirt all over the desks. I understand that its exam time and the library is used more often, but wouldnt that warrant more cleaning? As I said - its 8:00 am on a Monday, which means that nobody has been here to make the mess since Saturday.

Library response: Good morning. I've just taken a peek myself and I agree, something needs to be done. Over the past several weeks, the Library has been working closely with housekeeping services to find solutions to our cleaning issues. The Library is a large, busy space, making it difficult to keep it clean. It seems that over the long weekend our space may have been overlooked altogether. I have contacted the managers responsible for cleaning and asked them to address the issue immediately. Thank you for taking the time share your concerns. (Apr 22/19)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)
Categories: Other, Health Sciences  |  Permalink

(Apr 15/19) Hi! The Grad study room in Mills has some great high desks at the windows, but not enough high chairs to fill them - might it be possible to get a couple more?

Library response: Thanks for your email. We will definitely look into providing some more stools in this space.   (Apr 24/19)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)
Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink

(Apr 6/19) It is quite inconvenient that the library closes at 5:45 on the weekend. Shall we just stop studying at 5:45? Considering how few decent places with natural light there are on campus, this is just one more disappointment at McMaster. I dont understand why the library study areas cant be open 24 hours, as they should be at a major research university with 30 thousand students.

Library response: Thanks for taking the time to share your concerns. Unfortunately, for patient safety reasons, the HSL will never be able to provide 24 hour access without major renovations. I'm happy to share the details of the issue if contact me directly. In terms of evening hours, we have been working with student leadership to determine whether or not there is a demand for extended Saturday hours. Because we are working with a limited budget, any additional hours we add on Saturday evenings will have to be taken from somewhere else in the week. We are investigating opening later on Sundays in order to come up with the necessary funds. I hope this will help with your studies next Fall. (Apr 8/19)
Answered by: Jennifer McKinnell (Director, Health Sciences Library)
Categories: Hours, Health Sciences  |  Permalink

(Mar 24/19) This year I have noticed an increase in 2 issues that have made Thode more and more unfriendly to study in. Number 1 There has been a huge increase in the lack of respect for the quiet study areas and staff are less and less responsive to complaints. Number 2 There has been an explosion in the number of people vaping inside the library. It was bad enough when people were doing it outside despite McMasters status as a non-smoking campus but for it to now have spread to inside a university building makes it look like the new rule only made things worst

Library response: Thank you for submitting these comments.  The Library just ran its Respect Campaign to try to encourage students to be more respectful of those around them in many ways, including respecting what type of space they are choosing to study in. We will try to be more digiligent in responding to noise complaints, but can only do this during the regular hours of opening. If this is happening in the late night study period, please let the security guards know there is a problem and they will talk with the offending groups. With respect to your comment about vaping, this is not condoned by anyone. Please report these issues to the staff at the main floor service desk as soon as this happens and they will deal with it. We have been told to notify Security immediately when these incidents happen and they will come talk to the offenders. If you are unable to come to the desk you could report this kind of a situation using the noise@mcmaster.ca email address as well. Please make sure you clearly identify where the vaping is taking place and we will send someone to deal with it. Thanks again for bringing these issues to our attention. Anne Pottier, Associate University Librarian (Mar 26/19)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)
Categories: Study Space, Mills  |  Permalink

(Mar 19/19) It would be helpful if the upcoming events were more visible on the library website.

Library response: Thank you for submitting this suggestion. It as been forwarded on to the group responsible for the rework of the library's website. They are looking at all the feedback which has been received to make tweaks to the website moving forward. (Mar 21/19)
Answered by: Anne Pottier (Associate University Librarian, Library Services)
Categories: Other, Mills  |  Permalink