Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Life, the Universe and Everything

My primary job is to wander the Library, take naps and let you know what is going on in the Library (not necessarily in that order.) But of course, being a cat, I am capable of much more. For example, if you need some tips on law school survival, the Reference Librarians have all survived Law School and have agreed to act as my consultants.

So, if you needed some guidance on Life, the Universe and Everything, just Ask the Ernster.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

From the suggestion box

*Applause* Suggestions are overflowing from the suggestion box; keep 'em coming! We want to hear your ideas and concerns. Here is the first installment of comments and responses :

1. We need more staplers! (Or variations on the same theme).

Ernster's Answer : Staplers are endangered species in any library, not because they get stolen, but because they are broken with amazing frequency. Please report any broken staplers to the circulation desk, and we'll have them fixed or replaced as necessary. We'll also be adding staplers to the computer labs as an experiment. In the past, we've found that the proximity of staplers to computers directly relates to the strength of the virus kill-the-stapleritis. Consequently, we have positioned staplers such that we're able to more quickly identify problems before the virus reaches its lethal stages. However, based on demand, we'll again attempt to house staplers in the labs, and assess use.

2. We need to have a garbage can next to the staplers at the circulation desk.

Ernster's answer : Hm. The case of the mysteriously disappearing garbage can. Every few days, we do indeed put a new garbage can in this area, and it promptly disappears within the week. We've set our sleuths on this problem, though, and hope to have it resolved shortly.

3. Various comments on the new table locations, some commending the move and some requesting a return to the former configuration.

Ernster's answer : As you can see by the varied comments, this is one of those issue where users have a wide variety of views and preferences. Based on general usage and an assessment of current comments, the new arrangement serves users better than the former arrangement.

4. Drinks! Why can't we bring drinks, like coffee in cups from Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, into the library?

Ernster's answer : Ernster loves coffee as much as the next cat (even though it's NOT good for him)! We don't prohibit bringing drinks into the library, but those of you who remember the former splotchy, stained carpet will undoubtedly realize why all drinks need to be in permanent, spill-proof containers. As just one illustration of the problem, look to an incident in the computer lab during the most recent exam period, where a soft drink in a non-approved container was spilled. The spill was unreported, and we were fortunate that it was found and cleaned before the stain had a chance to set.

5. Enforce the talking policy/make clear where the talking areas are.

Ernster's answer : How about meowing areas? Signs should be posted prominently throughout the library today and tomorrow.

6. Add temporary outlets (power).

Ernster's answer : We are exploring this option, but there are a few complications, not the least of which are (1) power constraints (even if we added 100 power strips, the current wiring may not be able to handle the demand); (2) tripping hazards (temporary power = extension cords and power strips. Where we can do this safely, we'll try. )

7. LexisNexis should add named folders for printouts.

Ernster's answer : I've forwarded this request to the LexisNexis representative for consideration.

Great suggestions everyone!

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Suggestion Box

As you may or may not have noticed there is a suggestion box on the Circulation Desk near the staplers. This is another way for you to tell us suggestions, concerns, issues or whatever you think about the law library. These comments are read as the new seating in the Fortunoff Reading Room attests. Dropping a comment into this box is also a good way to vent even if we can't really solve the problem.

The Suggestion Box can function as a community forum and be fun. Boalt Hall at Berkeley is famous for the Book kept on the library counter in which students write whatever occurs to them. They fill several books each year with comments, and Uncle Zeb (an ectoplasmic entity) responds. The books have been kept and apparently law alumni like to visit the law library and read the books from their years in school.

So, come on and tell us. What is on your mind?

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday, January 31, 2005

Journal Finder

Have you ever had a citation to an article that was located in a journal that wasn't available in paper here at Hofstra. Well, it might be available online, and there is an easy way for you to find out. You can find your answer in Hofstra Library's Journal Finder.

First go to the University Libraries Home Page. Then click Journal Finder and you will be taken to the Journal Database Search Page. From here just type in the name of the journal you are searching for or use the browse feature. If the journal you are looking for is available in any of the databases that Hofstra subscribes to (except Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw) the information will appear here and you can click right into the database and access your article.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

Monday noise report

Things are fairly quiet on the compact shelving front. On a scale of 1 to 10, the noise level in the classified section (lower level) is around a 2 today. But be prepared; the contractors have notified us that tomorrow will be a significantly noisier day.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat