Library Services

2004 Suggestions

Subject: Coke Machines

Suggestion: Need to keep drink machine full.
Response: Your comment was forwarded to Campus Services & Coke Representatives. There are plans underway to add more drink machines to alleviate the problem.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Cell Phone Usage

Suggestion: Recently, I have noticed an increase in the frequency of distractions within the Library due to cell phone use. Does the Library have a cell phone use policy that is currently being enforced?
Response: If only we could <institute a policy>. There's a problem in instituting a policy that we can't enforce. If this type problem persists, you have two choices - either ask the offender to quiet down (politely) or you must move to another location. I know these aren't necessarily the preferred solutions. If the offending person is in a quiet area on levels 1, 2 or 3, please report to the nearest public service desk or office for help. John, I'd be happy to hear more suggestions from you!
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Laptops

Suggestion: Checking out of laptops is a good improvement to library services. I realize the 2 hour period helps ensure everyone has access to this resource. However, the 24 hour wait is somewhat extensive. I would like to suggest a method to improve the circulation of laptops. I don't know if there is a waiting list when all laptops are checked out. I usually see a sign saying that laptops are not available. On checking out a laptop, the clerk at the circulation desk can enter the number of the laptop and the time due for return (plus 10 minutes for student error). This can be done with a simple excel or word table. When a student wants a laptop but none are available, he or she could put his/her name on a waiting list. The clerk can give an estimate of when the next laptop is available and the student can check back then. If the student does not return within 10 minutes of that time, then the computer can be available to the next person on the list. This would also enable a student to "re-check out" a laptop if no one else has requested one. Students, who are seriously interested in using a laptop , would sign up and can check back later when a laptop is returned. I am sure this can be done more quickly using your database, since there is a record of when the laptop is checked out. However, just in case you are unable to do a search or sort by checkout time to readily access this information for students, the above method using a table might work.
Response: Thanks for the suggestions! Let me clear up a misconception - there is no 24 hour waiting period although we don't allow you to immediately renew a laptop. We recently purchased ten additional machines and now have a total of 30 available for student use. We'd like to see how the increased number or machines affects the volume of use & requests. At this time, we don't foresee reserving laptops because of the increase in staff time & intervention to run such a service but thanks for your interest. Please feel free to send us your comments or ideas!
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Smoking Policy

Suggestion: Move the smoking area. Patrons must run the gauntlet to get in, and folks with allergies (particularly during this season) are greatly annoyed. Perhaps a smoking area could be designated BELOW the footbridge, outside Level 3? Or the back of the Library, facing the Thurmond Institute? For goodness' sake, don't put them on the reading porches.
Response: The smoking policy on campus is being discussed at higher levels & we will determine our policy based on those decisions. In the interim, we have moved ash urns away from the front doors to discourage smoking in that area.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Coke machines

Suggestion: Am relaying a suggestion from a patron while he was purchasing a coke from the level four machines. He suggested to keep the coke machines stocked especially at night when students are in here studying at 3am-ish hours. He said he went to another building to get a coke. He recommended that it would be a win-win situation where coke makes more sales and students can purchase cokes.
Response: Your suggestion was forwarded to the local Coke representatives & Campus Services.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Noise on lower floors

Suggestion: I have been coming to the library for my past 3 years at Clemson. I have always used the library to study and have never really had a major problem with noise. Lately I have been having a problem with noise on quiet floors. The problem has mainly been limited to fraternities who have designated their pledges to use the quiet floors for study halls. I think its great that fraternities require their pledges to attend study hall, but the fact is that majority of these students do not use them time to study. The study period usually last 2 hours so they enter and spend 30 minutes talking and the last 30 minutes are talking. They usually settle down for a hour but there is always whispering, if you can call it that, for that hour. It is a problem for those of us who are studying, doing homework, or whatever we are doing on those floors. I am wondering if assignments can be made for fraternities and other organizations who have a study halls to utilize classrooms and prohibit them from using the quiet floors because it is starting to become a growing problem and many students are starting to voice their concerns.
Response: Thank you for reporting this problem. Effective immediately, a security guard will patrol the lower floors more carefully to deter noise. If you again note such a problem - go to the nearest service desk (Reserve & Media level 2 or Circulation level 4) and ask for assistance.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Scantrons

Suggestion:Scantrons should be free.....because tuition is too high.
Response: This is probably a issue to address to the University Administration rather than to the Library. We simply stock our supply vending machine with items that are useful or heavily requested, and scantrons are one of our top selling items. The philosophy behind not giving scantrons to students for their tests and exams is beyond our purview. You might send a letter or e-mail to the President expressing this opinion. Thanks.
- Jens Holley, Head of Resource Sharing & Copier Services, 656-5177

Subject: Copiers

Suggestion: Why did you move the copiers out of the side room where everyone enters & it is already loud? Now it is loud on multiple levels & inconvenient. Good planning?
Response: The main reason we moved the copiers was because of the HVAC renovations last summer. We needed to have the copiers accessible during the time period when that side of the Library was closed off. However, over the years we have had a number of requests from patrons who wanted copiers on each floor, rather than having to lug everything up to Level 4. We used this as a test run to see how it worked. We have had a number of positive comments on the new arrangements, and requests for even more machines. We'll try to distribute them better, and find ways to minimize the noise level. Thanks.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Faculty copy machines

Suggestion: Please fix the faculty copy machines. During my last few visits only one has been working and it's quality is poor.
Response: Yup. And it's getting worse. The machines are so old that the company is having trouble replacing their parts. We have a new copier lease in process that will include replacing the old faculty copiers with new machines and a new means of using them. We hope to have them in place sometime this spring, which will eliminate the problem. Thanks.
- Jens Holley, Head of Resource Sharing & Copier Services, 656-5177

Subject: Ordering ILL for Faculty

Suggestion: I work for a faculty member & I am a student. Is there a way that I can order articles or books for him online?
Response: I assume that you are talking about Document Delivery and not Interlibrary Loan. For Document Delivery, the best way to do this is for the faculty member to grant you access to his/her ID and password, and have you then order the books for him/him under that ID and password. This keeps everything clean and in order. Some faculty will do this and others won't. Another possibility would be to send e-mails directly to, stating the situation and what it is you want. Document Delivery will try to accommodate you if possible. If you need more information, please call Document Delivery at 656-5186 and we'll try to help you with what you need to do. Thanks.
- Jens Holley, Head of Resource Sharing & Copier Services, 656-5177

Subject: ILL Formats

Suggestion: Please add to your ILL online request page the different formats for requesting sources. Currently, it appears that only books and journals can be ordered. But can you other options like video and other formats. Thanks!
Response: Actually, there are only two types of request: those where you want the actual item (regardless of what it is), and those where a photocopy or other reproduction will do. We are adding wording to the introductory page of the forms to try and help alleviate this problem. In addition, we will be bringing up a new ILL system in a couple of months that should address this problem and more. Thanks.
- Jens Holley, Head of Resource Sharing & Copier Services, 656-5177

Subject: Vending Machines

Suggestion: Want protein bars and protein drinks put in vending machines.
Response: Your suggestion was forwarded to the Director of ARAMark who is responsible for the snack machines. Thanks.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Smoking

Subject: Library PC's

Suggestion: I think you need to put computers on the other side of the tables on level 4. They have been really crowded lately and I can only imagine the hassle of getting a computer this fall when school starts back.
Response: Thanks for pointing out that we've been remiss in letting the public know what's going on. I'll have a sign put up immediately explaining that the situation is temporary. We are awaiting additional furniture for the computers on Level 4 that should arrive by August 5. When it arrives we will immediately replace the rest of the computers on both sides of the tables. The new furniture will allow for more work space per computer and make the crowding even less than it was before and we will have that in place before the start of the new semester.
- Beth Helsel, Systems Librarian, 656-3039

Subject: Smoking

Suggestion: Is the balcony of the 4th level a smoking area? I suppose it's not for smoking, but somebody did it.
Response: Smoking is permitted on the south side of the balcony. Appropriate signage is on the way. Thanks.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Noise

Suggestion: My only complaint is that the library was noisy. Some of the employees were as loud as the noisy students. The employees were talking loudly with the students.
Response: Thanks for the suggestion. We'll pass along your comment to library employees.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Hiring Student Assistants

Suggestion: The Library jobs which are posted on this site. I really doubt whether you people consider applications from this. I dont know on what basis you people select the applicants. If it was first come first serve basis, I always do that on the first day when the application shows up. But never got a call. If it was on the GPR, I have the maximum. From what I have realised is you people give jobs to those who are recommended by the current graduate students working there, which I guess is unfair.
Response: To the best of our knowledge, all supervisors follow these procedures:

  • The Libraries fill student assistant positions first with available work-study students (CWS), as assigned by Student Financial Aid. When the supply of CWS students is exhausted, units will post all student assistant vacancies, following the procedure outlined below. The Libraries follow all applicable university hiring guidelines and mandates. It is expected that those hiring students will apply normal hiring practices to their decisions, basing the decision on verified qualifications of an individual. All branches of the University Libraries follow the same procedures.
  • Each vacant position is posted a minimum of three days on the Libraries Web. Blank application forms are linked to each job posting. The student must submit a separate application for each position in which he or she is interested. The Unit head or supervisor will screen applications. Unit heads or supervisor will make contacts, screen applicants and make job selections. All students interviewed should be notified of the hiring decision(s).
  • When there is a posted position, all applications are screened. The order of receipt is not considered. May receive from 40 to 80 applications per job posted. Three to five candidates are selected for interviews based upon qualifications for the specific position.

- Response from unit heads, Cooper Library

Subject: Large Tables

Suggestion: It would be really great if there were larger tables on the quiet floors. In most cases I am usually referencing back between several books and notebooks while doing homework. This would really be benefical to the students who need quietness to study. There are some large tables on the 3rd floor, but the absence of power outlets make those tables less desirable.
Response: Thanks for the suggestion. Have you used the study lounge on level two? Or is it too loud? I'll be rearranging some furnishings this summer & I'll consider your request. We also hope to add more outlets & network in the building so look for improvements in the fall 04.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172


Subject: Vending Machine
Suggestion: Please tell the Coke Man to stock diet sprite.
Response: Your suggestion was forwarded to a Coke representative.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Ejournals
Suggestion:The manner in which the electronic journals are now listed is incredibly non-user friendly. The previous manner in which they were listed made it easy to quickly find the journal you desired. A simple alpabetical order in which there are sub alpabetical catagories was nice (ex J of A, J of B etc etc). Trying to get the link to the journal of the american chemical society is much more difficult now. Before it was simply the J of T link. Now you have to sort through all the j's to get to it.
Response: The new EJournal display is indeed a pain. The quickest work around, at the present time, is to search for "american chemical" with "Title contains all words". This is faster than scrolling. We are working with the vendor to change several aspects of the display that are not to our liking. We swapped sources to this outside company to decrease the time it takes to make URL/holdings changes from three to six days to about sixty seconds. We are trying to balance the ease-of-use aspect we had with accurate information about the title we should now have.
- Gordon Cochrane, Electronic Services Librarian/Web Manager, 656-1535

Subject: Catalog Access
Suggestion: I waited 15 minutes for a public computer so I could check and see if the library had a book I wanted. You need to have a computer dedicated to the library catalog. It's frustrating to have to wait to do library research when students are playing games on the computers.
Response: We have added two workstations on level 4 on high tables at your request. Hope this helps. We are also adding 60 lab machines on level 5 during the Christmas break.
- Beth Helsel, Systems Librarian, 656-3039

Subject: Newspaper Access/Furniture
Suggestion: The newspapers are very difficult to look at in their new location. The chairs and table are right up next to the newspaper displays and you have to climb over people to get to the papers. You have to climb around even more because when the papers droop over the name of the paper you can't tell which one is the one you are looking for. The papers are also not very accesible to the rest of the area. Its like you have to go out the entrance. Which actually works in opposition to the exit gates. Thank you.
Response: Good or bad, we made an assumption that the furniture located next to the newspapers are positioned for that purpose (to read newspapers). We now feel that this is a popular spot in and of itself. At best, we'll make more of an effort to leave a clear walking path to the newspapers so that users have access. Thanks for the suggestion.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Cell phone noise
Suggestion: This library is ridiculous! It's more like a social center than a place to study. Everywhere I go someone is talking on their cell phone or a cell phone is ringing. How is it that this "non-smoking policy" is strictly enforced OUTSIDE the library yet there is no policy on the use of cell phones INSIDE the library?
I am aware of the "quiet" floors but these floors are regularly filled, forcing some to move upstairs. I can tolerate the conversations upstairs but I absolutely cannot stand these obnoxious ring tones (usually followed by ludicrous chit chat). I know, you say nothing can be done about this, but something can be done. Simply post signs (similar to the non-smoking signs outside) throughout the library requiring cell phones to be turned on vibrate or silent and walk outside or walk to the lobby on the fourth floor to use the phone. Better yet, why not ban cell phone usage in the library altogether. I don't see why this would be so hard to implement or enforce. Once it is known that cell phones are not allowed, people will follow the rules. I'm not sure about others but I come to the library to study and get my work done, not to socialize and talk on the phone with my buddies. Thank you for taking my suggestion and as to your posted response about cell phones, when I am studying/working on assignments, I do not have time to get up and report the offender. I simply do not have enough or energy to "tattle" every five minutes. I appreciate your time and HOPE something will be done. My grades depend on it.
Response: Thanks for the suggestion. We are considering ways of politely encouraging users by signage to set phones to vibrate while in the library and please restrict use. There's no way for us to properly police/ enforce this problem but we will do our best to encourage users. Feel free to report a particular problem to the nearest service desk.
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Computers down at 2am!!!!!
Suggestion: Put a sign up at the computers on this floor explaining that the computers will shut down at 2:00. I lost my entire paper that I worked on all day because I went to get another source and missed the guards warning. And they said it happened to someone else. DON'T LET IT HAPPEN TO ANOTHER PERSON. PUT UP A SIGN!!
Response: We are truly sorry that you lost your work. Today we have put signs near those computers saying that they go down at 2am and to save work to a floppy or CD. We're looking at this maintenance window now. The current product we use for updates and virus protection requires much greater downtime than we'd like. We will work to balance security of the public machines against their greater availability during the hours that Cooper Library is open.
- Beth Helsel, Systems Librarian, 656-3039

Subject: Online Resource
Suggestion: I was doing research for Materials Science and Engineering and found a great resource online but need university access first. I would greatly appreciate someone looking into getting access to Scientific.Net ( Thanks...
Response: We are checking on pricing. To date we do not have any information. The Library does not have any funding this year for new databases. Once we have subscription information, we will look for alternate funding.
- Peggy Cover, Head of Reference, 656-5173

Subject: Log In for Your Library Account
Suggestion: A comment regarding the library web page: The login page of the online library account ( requires two identification numbers, the Borrower and the University ID number. Now, since both numbers are almost identical up to the last digit (which doesn't exists for the UID), I do not understand why just using the BID would not be sufficient. Nevertheless, it is always amusing to see that entering the UID is anonymous (black dots instead of numbers), while entering the BID (which uses the UID) is visible. Is there any reason?
Response: You're quite right that this is not a very secure way of entering your library account if someone is looking over your shoulder. Unfortunately, the library system is ancient and the Web catalog was a late addition that was definitely not state-of-the-art. The good news is that we will have a new library system up and running by the summer of 2005. The new catalog will not only have better security for accessing your library account but will also have many better features for searching.
- Beth Helsel, Systems Librarian, 656-3039

Subject: Printing
Suggestion: I think it's wonderful that we are provided printers for free at the library. I hope this privilege isn't taken away. However, I see that people take advantage of it. Before having all students pay for copies is it possible that each student could be allotted a certain number of copies for free? Thanks for your hard work and consideration!
Response: You're absolutely right that abuse of printing privileges is what kills free printing. I believe that the Computer Center did try using an allocation software and decided against it though I'm not sure why. What I can tell you is that after repeated requests from the Library the Computer Center has agreed to add a second printer on Level 5. Perhaps we can try signage to inform users that free printing really depends on users monitoring themselves and not printing thoughtlessly (as an example, our Help Desk workers on Level 5 routintely throw away large stacks of printing that have never been picked up). Housing claims that has helped their free printing situation.
- Beth Helsel, Systems Librarian, 656-3039

Subject: Vending Machine
Suggestion: It's not convenient to have the vending machines only accept tigerstripe.
Response: We agree. Unfortunately, the machine that we have can only have either Tiger Stripe or cash, not both. It is an older machine and cannot be configured to do both. We are testing the continuing need for it now that we have the Snax and Stax store. If there continues to be a high demand for it, we will investigate obtaining a new machine that can handle both TigerStripe and cash. Thanks.
- Jens Holley, Resource Sharing & Copier Services Head, 656-5177

Subject: Email notification
Suggestion: An automatic email should be sent when a recall or interlibrary borrowing is made online so that I know that my order has gone through. I felt very agitated when I wasn't sure whether my order went through.
Response: Thank you for contacting us. When a patron places a recall or hold, we send a confirmation email once the recall/hold has been placed stating that the item has been recalled and the expected availability date. If you place a recall or hold, and don't receive a confirmation, please call or email us to check on it since there could have been technical difficulty and your request may have not went through. Interlibrary loans, at this time, are not confirmed upon receipt. However you should receive an email once the item is available. I spoke with Jens Holley, unit head for Interlibrary Loan, and was told that they are currently working on the online form so that an email confirmation is sent when the requests are made. Look for it in the near future. Thank you.
- Fredda Mealor, Desk Manager, 656-4499

Subject: Online Journals
Suggestion: Hi, I found the link to the journal of health communication (the one that is 1999 - present)--when I tried to get a pdf of the file, it asks for a userid and password. How do I access the articles for this journal?
Response: If you are accessing the Journal of Health Communication through the libraries' e-journal page, the publisher or vendor should not be requesting a password. If you are off campus you will have to put in your username and password to access the e-journals. Let us know if you continue to have a problem.
- Peggy Cover, Head of Reference, 656-5173

Subject: Staff Lounge
Suggestion: The refrigerator in the staff lounge was cleaned with no warning. Some people did not have any lunch or dinner. In the future, please place a sign on the front of the fridge stating when it will be cleaned. Thank you.
Response: We're not sure who cleaned out the refrigerator but apparently it was in bad shape....full with expired food, etc. There are now signs posted on it that it will be cleaned out more regularly so beware.....
- Teri Alexander, Circulation & Facilities Manager, 656-5172

Subject: Author Harry Crews
Suggestion: No Harry Crews in library ...should add a couple of his works.
Response: We have the following works by Harry Crews:

Crews, Harry, 1935- Blood and grits / Harry Crews. 1979
COOPER LIBRARY --- PS3553.R46 B5 1979 --

Crews, Harry, 1935- Body / Harry Crews. 1990
COOPER LIBRARY --- PS3553.R46 B6 1990 --

Crews, Harry, 1935- A childhood, the biography of a place / Harry Crews. 1978
COOPER LIBRARY --- PS3553.R46 Z463 1978 --

Crews, Harry, 1935- A childhood, the biography of a place / Harry Crews. 1983
COOPER LIBRARY --- PS3553.R46 Z463 1983 --

Crews, Harry, 1935- A feast of snakes / Harry Crews. 1976
COOPER LIBRARY --- PS3553.R46 F4 --

Crews, Harry, 1935- The knockout artist / Harry Crews. 1989
COOPER LIBRARY --- PS3553.R46 K56 1989 --

- Camille Cooper, Reference Librarian, 656-0841

Clemson University Libraries