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What's New: Mergers and Moves and Renos, Oh My!

eNews Edition: Fall 2022

Contributed by Kathy Dabbour, Associate Dean

In response to the University Library’s Mission, which emphasizes user-focused services and innovative physical spaces in support of student success, faculty scholarship, staff resource needs, and the greater CSUN community, projects to consolidate public services, simplify access to collections, and renovations to expand collaborative and quiet study spaces were recently completed or are nearing completion.

Mergers and Moves…

Student workers at the Guest Services desk at CSUN's University Library
Student workers at the Guest Services desk at CSUN's University Library

Unlike most academic libraries, for many years the CSUN University Library had three separate service points located on two different floors for main collection checkouts, Interlibrary Loan services, and course reserves. In February 2020, just before the campus pivoted to remote instruction due to COVID-19, Interlibrary Loan’s (ILL) service desk was closed, and pickups and returns of borrowed materials moved to the Guest Services desk, located in the lobby, which also serves as the checkout desk for the main collection. Additionally, ILL and Guest Services created shared workflows when the Library had no or limited open hours during the peak of the pandemic, which continues today, including circulating library materials via self-serve, touch-less outdoor lockers, and culminating in spring 2022 with the formal merger of Interlibrary Loan with Guest Services to consolidate student employee budgets.

By early summer 2022, Course Reserves, which includes textbooks and other readings for CSUN students enrolled in specific courses, were moved from the 4th floor east wing (Reserves, Periodicals and Microform--RPM) to the Guest Services desk on the 1st floor. This collection, along with the Library’s small collection of current print periodicals, and a microform reader/scanner were moved from RPM to the Learning Commons, located on the Main Floor, which are now also maintained by Guest Services.

While RPM employees, who are now known as Course Reserves & Curricular Resources, no longer have a service desk, they continue to support the CSU’s Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) initiative by processing existing and new library materials, including textbooks purchased using a CSUN Campus Quality Fee (CQF) grant, to put on reserve, which provides many students access to no-cost course materials. Interlibrary Loan employees maintain their separate office on the main floor, and while they no longer have a service desk, they still assist students, faculty, and staff with their inter-library borrowing requests in support of research and curricular resource needs. The consolidation of these three service desks into one provides users more efficient access to needed materials and cost savings for the Library.

…and Renovations, Oh My!

Due to the move of "Reserves, Periodicals & Microforms (RPM)" collections to the Main Floor, the Library had an opportunity to expand quiet study space seating on the fourth floor, for which it was awarded a CSUN Campus Quality Fee (CQF) grant. By spring semester, there will be several free-standing, semi-enclosed, individual study “pods,” some of which will be wheelchair accessible, and some with built-in power, in the newly renamed "Quiet Study Lounge," located on the 4th floor east wing.

Along with central funding to perform a major shift of the Library’s main collection to occupy the third and fourth floors only, earlier this summer, the Library used the second of two Campus Quality Fee (CQF) grants to remove shelving from the 2nd floor core, and purchase additional flexible study furniture, much of it with built-in power. This completed project was designed to meet growing student demand for more collaborative study spaces.

Finally, while not related to the Library’s programmatic needs, the largest most complex renovation project by far over the past year has been the repair of the Library’s south portico, which includes the removal of pavers, waterproofing and re-paving the portico, replacement of portico balustrades hung above the north/south entrances, and improving drainage and landscaping. This project remains in progress through the end of fall semester, with access to the Library from the westside only, subject to change; and access to the Library's Lockers from the eastside only.