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In the Comment box of San Jose's Joint Library ...

I'm enjoying the new SJPL/SJSU joint library (named for Dr. Martin Luther King). I have some reservations about it, but this post is not about those.

This post is about the little things that the library administration can do to make my library experience a little bit better:

1) The chairs suck royally. I lose feeling in the back of my legs after about 3 hours . I see half of the people with laptops hunched over uncomfortably, and I'm one of the hunchers. It's hard to sit against the back of a chair, have a book open on the side and type with both hands at the same time. I blame the chair. At a career panel I attended at the library recently, one of the panelists who worked here said, "I won't keep you long because I know these chairs aren't comfortable ... and the public librarians didn't buy them!" Oh, gracious, please tell me that the university librarians would know better after years of observation ...

2) There are group tables with ethernet jacks and cables that have pink stickers indicating that the jacks are specifically for SJSU laptops that students can borrow, and no other computers can use those jacks for Internet connections. There are student carrels with ethernet jacks and cables for people who bring their own laptop. And then there are group tables with ethernet jacks (no cables) and no sticker -- those aren't connected. Maybe a little orange sticker ("Ethernet not available here") would be helpful to those of us who don't want to bother the information desk with our petty little connectivity problems.

3) Lockers! Don't ask me where to put them, I don't know. But lockers would be so cool. If I were working on a library science paper that required older and current periodical and monographic sources, I would have to visit the basement (Bound Periodicals), the 4th Floor (Current Periodicals) and the 8th Floor (P-Z Monographs, LC class). And I'd be lugging around my backpack, my laptop, my wool coat and scarf (hey, it's rainy and chilly and half the people I know are sick), and my bottle of agua, PLUS any resources I decide to lug with me. Then, I decide to go to lunch and visit my advisor across campus for a while, then come back to finish out the day, which means I have to take everything with me, even though I'm going to be back in an hour or so.

No no no no no no no no no. Please no.

I know there are issues of space and liability and maintenance and vending and not having someone kick the structural integrity out of a poor, defenseless locker. But really, someone should look into it. In my whirlwind self-inflicted tour of NYPL's Main on 42nd, I didn't see lockers. But I know for a fact that LAPL's Central has lockers, and they are wonderful, wonderful things!

These are just little conveniences. Take them as you will.


Yeah, #2 bugs me a lot too. I haven't been able to get connected in any of the 7th or 8th floor meeting rooms. When we have a group meeting, it would be so much nicer to have an internet connection so we can do presentations and navigate the web. Instead, I have to download everything before going to those study rooms.

BTW, this is madly tight. I like the interface. You go, girl!

Danke. I'm thinking of sending this off to Disher ... perhaps he can slip this in to the inner halls of power.