Department Blog

Suggestions and Comments

Noise, noise, and more noise!!

October 30th, 2012 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: I wrote a comment about a year ago about the intollerable amount of noise in Shields Library. As a 3rd year PhD student, it is unacceptable to not have a quiet place to study in this building. Please let me know what you have done to address this issue in the past year; I recommend creating a designated Graduate Reading Room (ID required) here at Shields like they do at UCB.

ANSWER: Geeze! I agree. Shields undergrads can be loud and social and not always polite when it comes to sharing study space. We get this complaint quite a bit and while I usually don’t repeat questions — this is worth discussing.

We have put our guards on notice that noise is to be addressed, especially in our quiet spaces. I have had signs placed throughout our quiet areas and we have developed a plan for re-arranging furniture so that large tables are not in the vicinity of study carrels. Honestly, who thought it was a good idea to mix them?

Reality check — some students (not many) are rude and we don’t have enough staff to move tables throughout Shields, a huge building. But we have a plan.

Additionally — we put out a survey to our grad students asking specifically what works and what needs improvement. We want/need your feedback. If we can get enough positive feedback we may be able to designate spaces more tightly.

On another tact, we are partnering with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) on library improvements. I’d like to encourage you to also communicate with them so that they understand this is an ongoing issue. They are working with us to improve the library and if they know about your complaints they’ll be able to help carry them forward.

Your complaint is a serious one and I am thankful you raised it again.

Noisy Chairs

October 30th, 2012 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: Could the chairs be fitted with non-squeaky pad, wheels or other materials to help avoid noise. (over time, no hurry) Thank you.

ANSWER: Great idea. We are in the midst of gathering lots of feedback from all of our users. In fact, if you received a survey email from us I hope you filled it out!

We have heard this same suggestion in the past and I am hoping we can act on it in the next 6 months (pls don’t hold me to that date). It is a wildly huge project, considering the number of chairs we have in Shields alone. But it is a project worth considering and it will be considered. Thanks for sharing it.

Copy/Print/Scan Machines (Yuck!)

October 30th, 2012 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: How about some proper maintenance of your copy machines? You charge more than commercial copy centers but the copies are CRAP!!

ANSWER: First of all, I’m really sorry that you are this frustrated and I hope that you went to one of our desks to get a resolution to your problems. When possible, always come to us before you get to the point of total frustration (which is easy to reach when papers are due and classes are crazy and one more thing just breaks your last nerve).

The Copy/Print/Scan machines work pretty okay, which is not the same as super fabulous. They can be complicated and (you’re right) are not as cheap as other places. We have put up all sorts of information to assist you and have the best price possible. Our machines are provided by Reprographics, a campus service that does not make much, if any, money off of your copies being that people don’t copy or print like they used to. Therefore the copy prices can’t go down.

What I would like to ask you — and all other users — is this: when you have issues with a particular machine let us know. But we need details! So, either go to a library service desk or write an email to Please include the machine number and your problem. Also include your personal information or copy card number so you can be reimbursed when this is called for.

We try (seriously) to make this service work. Some parts of life are not fun; microfilm, copiers, taxes — but they are sometimes necessary. Help us help you!

Make it simple!

October 3rd, 2012 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: You’re so complicated!!

ANSWER: I’m going to act on the premise that the author of this note, found in our Suggestion Box, is referring to the Library and not to me.

I’m sorry that many students feel that libraries are complicated but the reality is that some important skills in life take time to learn and master. The ability to do deep research and apply critical thinking skills is something we expect all of you to learn while you’re here.

The good news is that we are here to help you. We have lots¬† of ways for you to come in (physically or virtually). We exist for one reason — to ensure our students, faculty, and staff can access the resources they need in order to succeed.

Check us out:

Also, if you can think of a way to make the library more welcoming, send us a suggestion.  We are listening.

Can we get ebooks in the UC Davis Library?

October 3rd, 2012 by Amy Kautzman

QUESTION: The UC Davis library should consider investing in OverDrive digital e-book lending. To be honest I’m not sure what the cost is to the library, but I’ve seen it used at other university and community libraries. (Including the Yolo County library for that matter.) This can really help students with the cost of books for class, and is also a great service for students who take time for pleasure reading. I personally make use of e-book lending whenever given the opportunity, but the library could also lend audio books, which would be a great service for visually impaired students.

Just my thoughts!

ANSWER: Brilliant suggestion!

We already get a good number of ebooks, mostly in the sciences.
We are in the midst of talks for moving into ebooks for the other subject areas but it isn’t as easy for libraries to get ebooks as it is for you and your kindle. But we expect to begin ordering within the next month or so.

In the meanwhile, if you get a moment — this NPR story will help you to understand how difficult it is us for us to provide ebooks. While this story (only 3 minutes) is mostly focused on OverDrive and public libraries, it will help you to understand that we dealing with a problematic business structure.

Thanks for taking such an interest in your library!