SE’s library enacts changes

Group of college Students using the Library's Study Area
The group study area on the third floor allows students like Rebecca Riisness and Stefan Kells to collaborate without fear of being shushed by a librarian.

Story By: Amanda Anderson

Contributing writer

The Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library has recently introduced several changes to benefit students, facility and staff, and many of these changes are based on feedback received through a survey last semester.

The survey was conducted by Dennis Miles, technical access and public services librarian. According to Miles, every person with an SE e-mail account received the survey.

Surveys are conducted annually, and they last the entire month of April. Last spring, there were 114 responses, according to Miles. “We listen to and take seriously all the comments,” he said.

One of the new features based on the survey responses is that the second floor is now a quiet floor reserved for studying, and the third floor is now for group studying. There are two white boards on that floor, and markers and erasers can be check out at the circulation desk.

Colege student being able to study in peace
Sarah Lowe enjoying the tranquility offered by the library’s new quiet study floor.

There are also a few more computers available to students this semester. According to Kathryn Plunkett, digital information literacy librarian, some of the computers on the first floor that were previously open to the public are now only available to students. There is now only one computer in the library available to the public.

“We do focus on the students,” said Plunkett. “That is our main focus.”

The library also offers a textbook reserve program. According to Plunkett, this program “has been overwhelmingly successful,” with over 400 uses in the month of August.

The program allows students to check out textbooks for two hours at a time. The book cannot leave the library while it is checked out.

The library has also made several changes to its website. The online research guides have now been updated, and there is a blog on the homepage with library news and updates, said Plunkett. There is also a chat box feature on the library homepage where students can ask questions whether in the library or off campus. To check out all of the new and updated features, visit the library website at

In October 2009, the library’s website was recognized as Website of the Month by the American Library Association. According to Plunkett, the new website was launched in August, only two months before receiving the award.

Photos by Alisha Loyd