Department Blog

Suggestions and Comments


January 26th, 2011 by Amy Kautzman

COMMENT: Since there are two ‘men’s’ restrooms on the first floor and one ‘female,’ I think it would be beneficial and highly effective to change one into a gender neutral facility. I would much appreciate this on my own accord and I know many of peers have discussed and agreed on the matter as well. Be the change you wish to see Shields. Take the first step in eliminating binaries and providing a safe space for all students! Thank you.

Also, I think that the library should allow students to include a preferred name after their legal name (at least in parenthesis) so that they are called by the name they prefer and not a name they are trying to disassociate themselves from.

ANSWER: This is a great idea and I’m chagrined we didn’t think of it first! We are in the midst of changing over two restrooms to  gender-neutral facilities.  They will most likely be on the 4th floor of Shields Library and the lower level of the PSE Library. Signs and locks have been requested and the Library will be putting this into effect (hopefully) within the next few weeks. The Carlson Health Sciences and Blaisdell Medical Libraries already have gender neutral restrooms in adjoining buildings. As soon as we make the switch over there will be publicity and postings on our web page.

We are also working on changing some aspects of the circulation process so that a user’s preferred name will be incorporated. However, this is an imperfect system. All billing and recalls will fall back to the name by which the student is registered being that this aspect of our operations works via the main campus database. We are working to allow students to edit their own information via the “My Account/Renew Books” page, but it takes some programming and that takes time. In the meanwhile we are changing our policies and doing training. We hope to put this new practice into effect by the end of January.

Government Documents and Computers

January 26th, 2011 by Amy Kautzman

COMMENT: “I was advised by several people that UC Davis Library is a “depository institution” in that the library receives money from the US Gov’t. Unfortunately, I am unable to access information via the Internet because several of the terminals are password-protected. Please honor the bargain with the gov’t – if the library takes money in good faith, then the library should provide adequate access. Thank you.”

ANSWER: I appreciate your wanting to use government documents in your life. They epitomize what makes our country’s government more transparent than most any other nation. I would, however, like to correct a misconception of yours: a Depository Library does not receive funding in any form from the US Govt. In fact, it generally costs an institution (via processing, staffing and maintenance) to take on the responsibilities of depository status.

The UC Davis Library fully meets, by the existence of over 20 public workstations, the requirement of the depository program to make online resources available to the public.

If a public PC is being used you may need to wait to access the machine, but you will be able to get the information you need. This is not unlike most libraries, although here at UCD we have fewer limits and one does not need to sign up before using a PC. Within the next week or so, we will be placing prominent signs on the PCs so you will be better able to tell which machines are accessible to the public.

I understand your frustration with not being able to access a machine as quickly as you’d like. The UC Davis Library, however, exists primarily to support the active research of our students, faculty, and staff. Even our UCD members often have to wait to use a machine during busy times.

Here is more information should you care to read about depository status:

Plastic Bags

January 26th, 2011 by Amy Kautzman

COMMENT: Better quality plastic bags at Check Out would reduce the need to double bag.

ANSWER: Great comment. You are absolutely correct, a better quality bag would reduce the need to double bag. However, and here I’m going to turn the issue back to you – why ask for plastic bags to begin with?

Yes, it may be raining out and you may want protection for your books. But all across California municipalities are trying to outlaw the dispersal of plastic bags. We, the library, provide plastic bags only when asked. We tend to buy thinner bags because the environmental footprint isn’t as big and frankly, in these budget times, they are what we can afford.

I would invite UC Davis library users to consider providing your own bags on rainy days, just as you do when shopping at the co-op. Place books in your backpack, only use bag and use your umbrella. We will continue to provide bags in case of need. But we are not planning to move to heavy plastic bags.