When one thinks of a library, images of ancient, dusty shelves filled with neglected encyclopedias and no real pizazz are conjured up. Here at Sonoma State, the library staff wants to change the connotation from one of apathy to one of excitement- and they need the student body to help them.
Through an ongoing improvement plan the SSU staff wishes to change the current state of the library to one that aids the student body more efficiently. To achieve this goal, Librarian Karen Brodsky and Instruction Coordinator Felicia Palsson have organized a series of open events where students can contribute any ideas they may have for the library, as well its website. These events will feature free food, drawings for prizes and information about the student advisory board, which is open for members at any time.
Why not just throw some renovations down on paper and call it a day? “We don’t want faculty to determine the future,” said Palsson, “we want students to!”
Palsson emphasizes that all ideas are accepted; from improvements in study spaces to technologic installments to vending machines, input is needed. This won’t be a routine upgrade; accommodations must be made for innovation.
“What will libraries need to be like in the future?” said Palsson.
The budget and time frame for this project have yet to be determined. First, there must be a starting point, but until then the sky’s the limit.
The Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center opened its doors in 2000 and replaced the previous library inside Ruben Salazar Hall. It currently features over 400,000 hard volumes on 50,000 feet of shelving as well as 750,000 electronically accessible titles. There is an art exhibition gallery, which is constantly rotating with specialty installments from different departments on campus and three floors of varying noise levels to accommodate students’ preferences.
“All people focus in different ways,” said Brodsky. “We want to accommodate everybody.”
The structure cost $41.5 million, including a $5 million donation from author Charles M. Schulz and his wife Jean, an SSU alumni. They intended for this money to benefit technological innovations, not just bricks and mortar.
Brodsky has been with the SSU library for over 15 years and remembers when the site opened 14 years ago. “Think about the technology available in 2000,” said Brodsky. “Where are we now?” The library has always maintained a non-static state, trying to maintain a firm grasp on any kind of advancements that might help students.
Brodsky emphasizes the importance of student involvement. When asked if she had any improvement ideas of her own, she said her opinion really doesn’t matter. “I could come in and say ‘We all need iPads!’ and then students would say, ‘No, we don’t want it that way. We really hope that students want to help.”
Music major Haruko Matsuda had a few ideas to contribute. “During finals week, I think snacks should be passed around to every student who is studying because the vibe is very stressful and people are in the library literally until the next day. I think it would help students retain information if they have sugar in their bodies to keep them going.”
Hutchins major Casey Putvin thinks they should change the hours on weekends to accommodate students and their longer projects. “They should also apply the printing policy in the tutoring center to the library (The first 10 printed pages are free).”
If you are interested in having your voice heard, the information for the events are below. Everyone is encouraged to contribute an idea, no matter how small it may be.
Wednesday, Jan. 22 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 23 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 28 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 29 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 4 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 6 2:00 p.m.
Schulz 2022 (second floor in the technology study rooms)