Alden Service Desk Changes – OHIO University Libraries
Databases search and library staff infographic
Infographic depicting the growth in OHIO researchers’ searching and the decline in the number of University Libraries staff over time.

Over the summer, the Libraries will be implementing changes in our services:

  • The help desks on the 1st floor (International Collections) and 3rd floor (Fine Arts) will be removed and the spaces will be re-purposed for public use.
  • The 2nd floor (Learning Commons) service desk will offer referral, directional, and basic help services.
  • The 4th floor service desk will offer reference, reserves, checkouts, and other expert assistance.
  • We will be employing a variety of technologies to make it easy to get assistance where and when you need it throughout all seven floors of Alden Library.

What is not changing is our commitment to:

  • excellent services for students, faculty, and staff,
  • ongoing support for Libraries’ staff growth and development, and
  • improvements in Libraries’ student employee training and leadership opportunities.

Why?

The use of libraries and the way library staff do their work continue to change.  More people than ever use Alden Library, yet the number of people using the library is far outpaced by the number of people using the Libraries’ electronic content and web services. At the same time, the number of library staff has declined.

Decreasing the number of service desks in Alden Library increases the availability and flexibility of the Libraries’ staff to focus on services that demand their specific expertise, including individual consultations and working with classes in subject areas.  It also gives Libraries’ staff time to focus attention on enhancing online resources.

We are working hard to balance staff workloads and continue to adapt and improve our face-to-face services while simultaneously developing and improving online services. These changes simplify work systems, streamline procedures and workflows, and create efficiencies that give our staff time to grow expertise and resources toward the work of the future, while continuing to serve the growing number of people using Alden Library.

Center for International Collections and 1st floor Information
Q: Where will I find the Center for International Collections staff?
 A: Jeff Ferrier and his staff will still be available for your consultation needs.  Sometimes the CIC staff will be working at the 2nd or 4th floor desks and other times you may find them in their offices.  Feel free to schedule an appointment or contact anyone via phone or email.
Q: Will I be able to get help with microforms?
A: Staff will be available to assist with locating and using microform collections the entire time the 1st floor is open. Easy to use systems, such as mobile technologies and on-call capabilities, are being developed to let you notify staff when you need assistance and they will come to you. 
Q: Will I be able to get help with computers, collections, or other technology on this floor?
A:  Staff will be available to assist the entire time the floor is open. Easy to use systems, such as mobile technologies and on-call capabilities, are being developed to let you notify staff when you need assistance and they will come to you.
Q:  What will happen to the space where the desk is now?
A: This space will be updated to provide prominent display of materials related to our world-class international collections.
Reference, Learning Commons, and 2nd floor Information
Q: Where will I find the Reference staff?
A:  Chad Boeninger and his staff will still be available for your consultation needs.  Sometimes the reference staff will be working at the 2nd or 4th floor desks, other times, you may find them in their offices.  Feel free to schedule an appointment or contact anyone via phone or email.
Q: Will I be able to get help with computers, collections, or other technology on this floor?
A:  Staff will be available to assist the entire time the floor is open.  In additon to student staff available at the desk, easy to use systems, such as mobile technologies and on-call capabilities are being developed to let you notify staff when you need assistance and they will come to you. 
Q: Will anything change with the Shostack Room and the adaptive equipment and technologies?
A:  No. The Shostack Room will stay where it is and service for those technologies will continue to be serviced as usual.
Fine Arts and 3rd floor Information
Q: Where will I find the Fine Arts staff?
A: Gary Ginther and his staff will still be available for your consultation needs.  Sometimes the fine arts staff will be working at the 2nd or 4th floor desks, other times, you may find them in their offices.  Feel free to schedule an appointment or contact anyone via phone or email.
Q: Will I be able to get help with computers, scanning, and collections on this floor?
A:  Staff will be available to assist the entire time the floor is open.  Easy to use systems, such as mobile technologies and on-call capabilities, are being developed to let you notify staff when you need assistance and they will come to you. 
Q:  What will happen to the space where the desk is now?
A: This space will be refurbished and will centralize technologies in support of using the Fine Arts Library collections in the creation process.
Q:  What will happen to the collections that are housed behind the desk?
A:  They will be relocated. The media and active reserve items will be integrated into the media and reserve collections on the 4th floor.  Other items will be transferred to limited access.
Q: What will happen to the students who work at the 3rd floor desk?
A: All of these students will be offered positions working with the fine arts staff or on the 2nd or 4th floor service desks.
Other Areas of Alden Library
Q: Does this mean you’ll be opening the 4th floor overnight?
A: No. While that is a larger goal, there are still resources needed before that can happen.
Q: How will I get help in the building when I’m not near a library help desk? 
A: Easy to use systems, such as mobile technologies and on-call capabilities, are being developed to let you notify staff when you need assistance. Library staff will be assigned to respond no matter where your location in Alden.
Q: Will library staff assistance still be available whenever the library is open? 
A:  Yes. Library staff are available in person whenever any part of the building is open, including over night.
Q: Will I still be able to ask questions via chat? 
A:  Yes. assistance is available via Chat with a Librarian at all times the building is open, including over night.
Q: Will the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections still have a service desk?
          A. Yes.  Archives will continue to have a service desk to oversee their reading room during the Mahn Center’s open hours.
Q: Who should I talk to if I have questions about the help desk changes? 
A: Contact Kelly Broughton, Assistant Dean for Research and Education, for more information.