Monday, March 06, 2006

Table for Two?
Since I was scheduled to work on Sunday, I had intended to do a "refgrunt" yesterday. However, an assignment in a statistics class really drove the action of the day. I was warned on Friday that this assignment was due, but I thought most students would work on it on Saturday.

At 5 minutes before opening several students waiting at the door--actually pounding the door to get in and use the reserve materials. Within 15 minutes all the reserve material was checked out and students had scattered to various spots in the building to complete the assignment.
I was left to commiserate with those who were too late and to help the circulation assistant replay to the "Do you have the reserve book?" No--it's out and none are scheduled back until 4:00 p.m. "
Occasionally someone would complain, but most took the use in stride. One student went to the Internet looking for an online copy, even though I explained that if the book is out of print doesn't mean its copyright has expired. He kept staring at the screen.

Reserve is one of those academic services of mercy, to ourselves, if no one else. Most of us have encountered the experience--usually for 40 students-- of an assignment given using a library resource not placed on reserve. Stuff of nightmares! Yes, we do electronic material and most of that burden is going back to the faculty. However, there is enough material which can't be scanned or available electronically, that we will still be creating this collection every year.

Maybe I'll find time to discuss the monergism episode another day!

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