Department Blog

Suggestions and Comments

Library Computer Lab Change

October 21st, 2010 by Amy Kautzman

COMMENT: I have a complaint about removal of computer lab from the back of library which was always full. Now, there’s something else and there is only 1 person in [peak?] rush hour at this time. Please put back computer lab.

ANSWER: Center for Accessible Technologies
The new Center for Accessible Technologies (CAT) is located in Shields Library, Room 163. The CAT is the result of a collaborative effort between several campus units — IET (Academic Technology Services), Student Affairs (Student Disability Center), the General Library, and ARM (Human Resources and Safety Services). The planning and development of the center involved many interested parties from our campus community and is  one of the outcomes from the work of the Electronic Accessibility Committee established last year, with representation from campus service providers, faculty, staff and students. The committee was chaired by Professor Catherine Kudlick (History) and provided a unique venue through which a common vision for the campus center evolved.

This center is a pioneering initiative (one of a few in the country) that will position UC Davis as a model to other educational institutions in our region and beyond. The center brings together resources that used to be scattered across campus into a centralized area open to all faculty, students, and staff, with and without disabilities. The center is just at its beginning and there is more to come. It is a facility where assistance with a variety of state-of-the-art accessible hardware (e.g., large-screen adjustable height monitors), software (e.g., screen reading, dictation software), and furnishings (e.g., adjustable chairs, tables) will be available. The center will also serve as a venue where all our faculty and staff can be informed about e-access issues and strategies for greater inclusiveness. For example, faculty and staff will be encouraged to use the facility to learn how to create accessible course materials, try out accessibility hardware for their own needs, or learn how their students or colleagues use these technologies to meet their needs. Most importantly, the center exemplifies our campus’s Vision for Excellence by fostering innovation, collaboration, and exciting new opportunities for learning and teaching that will enable all of our students, faculty, staff, donors, alumni and friends of UC Davis to excel.

The CAT does have 4 computer terminals. It is open to all but priority is given to students with disabilities.

If you need to find the other computer labs on campus, check out this page:

Noise in the Library

October 18th, 2010 by Amy Kautzman

SUGGESTION: It has occurred to me that there are people in this library, UCD, who come here to enjoy a social setting which involves talking ridiculously loud and or talking on their cell phones. While I’m not against this totally, I do place concern in that the entire library is open to being quite loud at any possible moment and is most of the time. Library to me is a quiet place of learning, but common to my belief this is not what is practiced here at UC Davis. So my suggestion is this, “Please designate quiet areas around the library. It is large enough for different types of studying, people who want “QUIET,” and areas for people who are here for study group or social hour in which they could talk loudly without bothering those who want it quiet.”

ANSWER: There is an ongoing tension between those who enter the library to engage in quiet contemplation and those who are meeting classmates to engage in group study. For that reason Shields Library does have designated quiet study areas. These are located on the second floor and can be found within the Main and Nelly Branch Reading Rooms. There are also other areas that are quiet by default of their location. If you want to know where they are located, ask at our Reference or Circulation Desks.

If a group of students is making too much noise, please let us know at the Circulation Desk and we’ll have our security guard ask the group to be more considerate of others or ask them to consider moving to one of our more noisy locations.

The Library is a place of research in action and thus will never be completely quiet. But we do strive to allow for all modes of studying. Hopefully, with this knowledge you’ll be able to find a favorite spot to settle down in.

Emergency Exits in the Library

October 18th, 2010 by Amy Kautzman

SUGGESTION: Please add emergency exits to all floor maps viewable at this URL:   And also add the information to the Shields library printed maps.

ANSWER: This is a great suggestion and one that the library is currently addressing — although our response is a bit different than your vision.

The UC Davis Libraries have great maps pages:
This is where you can get information on the different library’s layout. However, we would never expect this page to be used in case of an emergency. It would not make sense to go to a library web site and try to ascertain where you are in a building in relation to emergency exits when the fire alarm is beeping. There is also the issue of ongoing building maintenance and the fact that some pathways shown on the map may be cut off during times of construction.

We do take your safety very seriously and we are developing maps that will be posted throughout the libraries for your viewing (in context) pleasure.

More importantly — it is imperative that each person take ownership and look around at their surroundings before settling in for a few hours of studying. Where are the emergency exit signs? How close is the nearest exit to the outdoors? What does one need to do to save one’s own life in case of an emergency?  We appreciate your concern with such important issues and ask all of our library patrons to be aware of their surroundings.