Tuesday, March 06, 2007

An impression of UF libraries by a non-librarian type person

First of all, thanks to Merrie for allowing me to guest-blog on her very excellent, very informative forum, and for giving me the opportunity to talk about one of my favorite subjects, Library West and the UF libraries.
To be honest, I really didn’t start to appreciate the university libraries until I started working as a student assistant at the beginning of last summer. Working with the reference librarians has been a great opportunity to see how knowledgeable they are and willing to go the extra mile for their patrons. If you’ve ever hesitated to go up to the desk and ask for help with a project, please reconsider; no matter how arcane your question, you will no doubt find someone at the desk who can help you. And if, for some reason, they are unable to get the information you need they will invariably refer you to someone who can.
My advice:
Make the reference desk at Library West your second home and the librarians your best study buddies. They will not do you wrong.

Some more tips:

  • The Circulation desk on the second floor is a great place to start in your search because they can direct you to the places you need to go. They can also provide you with a laptop if computers in the library are scarce, and a set of headphones if you foolishly left yours at home. Be nice to your circulation desk people and be sure to say “hi” to Missy!
  • Using your own laptop in the library? You can now print to the third floor orange printer.
  • The fourth floor, if you are an undergrad who needs extreme quiet to study, is the place to go. You can even sometimes find a study carrel in which to hunker down.
  • Second choice for X-treme quietude: The first floor, which at times resembles a basement so how can you go wrong?
  • Design and film students take notice: The third floor has high-end computers for graphics and two editing suites! Sweet!
Besides the UF Libraries’ home page, Merrie’s blog is probably the best resource for new and interesting information, not just for her areas of expertise but for Library West as a whole. Her most recent post about Book Crossing is a great example of the potential of a library as community space, and I encourage every reader to explore its possibilities. She talks about the library’s potential as community arena in another post about other university and college libraries who have jumped on the library-as-community-space bandwagon (a coffee shop also doesn't hurt).
Okay, I’ve babbled long enough, back to our fearless leader of the library blogs at UF. Thank you once again.
Michele is a student, mom, and mate who enjoys helping others. When she is not working for the greater good at Library West she works on her own, somewhat neglected blogspot blog, The Accidental Environmentalist.

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