Mary Lou Berry Retiring this Week

April 28, 2008

Mary Lou Berry will process her last interlibrary loan request for us on May 2, when she retires from employment at SDSU. Ms Berry has been resource sharing with other libraries since June 2000 and during that time has processed nearly 58,000 requests–over 7,000 every year! (For a photo of Mary Lou with one of the more unique items she was able to find for a patron, click on the Interlibrary Loan under “Categories” on the right.) 

She has done an outstanding job and helped build a strong, positive reputation for Briggs Library. As one recent graduate and frequent interlibrary loan user described us: “…the most student friendly, most helpful, most professional entity on campus!” Others have recognized the importance of Ms Berry’s work to their own research: “I have requested quite a number of interlibrary loan items for my research, teaching and other scholarly activities,” wrote one faculty member. “I can also tell you that these interlibrary loan items contributed significantly to my successful winning of two grants…” Another wrote that he has “co-authored 4 conference papers, one journal article, two proposal drafts and many teaching support materials…these would be impossible to achieve without university ILL support and Mary’s hard work.”   She’ll be greatly missed by her co-workers and by many students, faculty, and researchers across campus. We wish her the best of times and a long, happy retirement.


Cell Phone Use in the Library

April 15, 2008

Comment from an SDSU graduate student received on April 15 2008:

I was studying at a table in book stacks this morning, 1000am to 1230pm, and during this time 14 students talking at full volume on their cells phones walked past me. I think it would be reasonable to wholly ban cell phone use in the library. If a student or library employee, as the book reshelvers use them too, needs to be in conversation with someone, they should go to the Union or anywhere else on campus. There is no reason whatsoever to allow cell phone use in Briggs–not even in the lobby. The world will not end if someone is forced to cease use of their phone, and the library should be a place where one can get away from the noise.

Our response:

I’m sorry you were disturbed by people talking on their cell phones this morning.  Actually Briggs Library has had a policy regarding the use of cell phones for several years.  That policy states:

Cellular Phones, Pagers, or Other Audible Electronic Devices

It is essential that an environment conducive to serious study and research be maintained in the library. 

Cellular phones, pagers, and other audible electronic devices that could inhibit the concentration of library researchers must not be used in most areas of Briggs Library.  These devices should be turned off to prevent potential distractions. 

Cellular phones may be used discreetly only in the following areas: 

  • The Library Vestibule (main floor, between the two sets of doors)
  • The Library Lobby (main floor, between the entry doors and the reference area)
  • Group Study Rooms (when no one in the group objects)
  • Individual Study Rooms

Laptop or notebook computers may be used in the library, but the sound should be muted.


Exception: Library employees may need to use audible electronic devices in the course of their assigned duties.  Such use should only occur to the extent necessary. 


This policy should be posted throughout the building and we will check to make sure those policy statements are still posted and replace them if necessary.  When we notice someone using a cell phone we try to inform them of the policy.  I will forward your suggestion to the Dean of Libraries for his consideration.


Again, I’m sorry for the inconvenience. – Clark Hallman, Head of Public Services


Celebrate National Library Week 2008!

April 15, 2008

Members of the campus and community are cordially invited to attend the grand opening of the new Recent Fiction Collection at HM Briggs Library. The event is free and open to the public and will be held from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 17th in the Reference Room on the Main Level of Briggs Library. This new browsable collection includes more than 1,600 recent fiction titles (with more to be added each year) and covers a wide variety of genres, from science fiction to mystery.

The grand opening of the Recent Fiction collection is part of the library’s broader celebration of National Library Week 2008. National Library Week will be observed April 13-19 with the theme, “Join the circle of knowledge @ your library.” Throughout the week, visitors to the library can view a National Library Week display and enter to win one of two $25 Barnes & Noble gift certificates to be given away during the Recent Fiction grand opening. The library also has a National Library Week Guide of the Month available online at: .

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.

Flickr on by the Library

April 9, 2008

HM Briggs Library now has a presence on Flickr, an online photo management and sharing application. We plan to use this cool piece of technology to promote our services and materials to the campus and community, and to network and collaborate with other libraries and library professionals. It’s also a great way for members of our distance community (distance students and faculty) to get to know the ‘visual’ aspect of the library and to see our friendly, smiling faces. We hope you’ll stop by and add us as a contact on Flickr. And who knows, someday when you’re far away from SDSU, perhaps you’ll find a small joy in knowing you can be “in” the library any time you please.

Check it out:

The place to be, HMB!

Laura M Wight, Reference Librarian

Request to Add a New Journal Subscription

April 2, 2008

Comment from an SDSU graduate student received on April 2, 2008:

I know journals are expensive, but maybe consider purchasing Ecological Modelling, especially with so many students in the GIScCe.

Our response:

Unfortunately a subscription to Ecological Modelling would cost more than $4500 per year.  With a static budget the library cannot afford to add access to this journal.  The Directors of the Regental Libraries in the state have been working together to increase library funding.  This push has not yet yielded additional funds. We will retain your request and if additional funds become available adding this title will certainly be considered. – Mary Caspers-Graper, Head of Technical Services