Sonoma State’s university library prepares for system changes, innovation lab will be one addition

An Innovation Lab, a new book-checkout system and increased resources will all be available for students at the Jean and Charles Schulz Information center when they return for fall 2017.

According to Jonathan Smith, director of library technology, a currently unused room in the second floor of the Sonoma State Library will transform this summer into an Innovation Lab. The lab will live up to its name by providing students an array of technological resources with the intent of creating a space for innovation. The resources include 3D printers, 3D scanners and virtual reality stations. 

“We hope to create a space where students from all majors can come discover and innovate,” said Smith.

The lab will also provide additional study area and is expected to be inaugurated in the fall. 

That is, however, only one of the new changes coming to the Sonoma State library.

The 23 California State Universities unveiled a plan that will allow Cal State students to rent books and media from all university libraries that are a part of the CSU system.

OneSearch, which will be available starting this summer, will connect all 23 libraries in one common catalog. CSU+ will then enable students to request books and media from other CSU’s and rent them for up to 60 days and 30 days, respectively. 

“We did a study that demonstrated that we were able to fulfill book and media requests from within the 23 CSU libraries,” said Library Dean Karen Schneider

In addition, the new system will allow students to rent books that are available in their local library for up to one semester and one year for faculty. To support the Graduation Initiative, the system will also eliminate all overdue fines.

“Small fines can really add up for students, so not having overdue fines is a big deal. They don’t get the books back in any faster and they can intimidate students,” said Schneider. “Students should not have to decide between eating lunch or paying an overdue fine.”

Since CSU+ will be operated by the CSU, their policies were created with the vision of being more student and faculty friendly. This includes being more mobile accessible and sustainable by sending all receipts via email. Once CSU+ is implemented it will become the largest public university resource sharing system in the United States.

Finally, one of Sonoma State’s library most popular resource is the laptop lending program. Since July 1, 2016, the library saw 7,000 laptop checkouts, often running out during peak hours, especially as finals come around. To meet the demand, the library is planning to add 45 laptops to the program, bringing the total number of laptops available to 65.

“I believe it is extremely beneficial for students to have access to laptops. I often work at the second floor check-out desk and our laptops are one of the most popular items,” said student and library assistant, Edith Ayala. “ We do have desktops available on our first and second floor, but many students rely on our laptops to be able to do work in class or anywhere else on campus.”

The laptops, in addition to everything else, will be available for student use in the fall.