How E books Overcome the Cost of Printed Books

Upjohn Library hopes to provide a wider and more accessible selection to K students

By Kamalaldin M. Kamalaldin

Upjohn Library Commons has been increasingly purchasing eBooks for the past eight years. The library’s eBook collection begun with the state of Michigan’s purchase of two big eBook collections: ebrary Academic Complete and EBSCOhost.

Alone, those two libraries contributed to the addition of more than a 100,000 eBooks to Upjohn’s collection.  Thereafter, the collection was supplemented by reference books from Gale Virtual Reference Library and Credo Reference. Furthermore, the library bought small, specific eBook collections from Oxford, Cambridge, and Wiley through individual package acquisitions.

Various eBook acquisition models exist. Some of these models are rental model, where the library pays an annual fee to maintain the rights to access the eBooks and provide them to Kalamazoo College students. Other models include the complete purchasing of an eBook.

Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA) is a recent eBook purchasing model being utilized by the library. Through this model, the library orders eBooks it thinks might be useful to students, but does not pay anything until and unless students use the eBooks. Thus, the actual eBook purchase is not made until a student triggers it, usually by reading the eBook for a set amount of time or printing from it. This model can enable the library to provide eBooks in an inexpensive fashion.

“[While] some schools [use DDA] really broadly, we are sort of dappling on a title by title bases,” said Leslie Burke, Collection Development and Digital Integration Librarian. For now, the DDA model is used only for “just in case” situations, in which the library checks out books that might be of interest to students, but that have not been requested yet.

The most useful application of an eBook is utilized when teachers request an eBook to be put on reserve. Provided with a link to the eBook, students can access the eBook the teacher assigns for reading 24/7, without having to sign it out. Furthermore, eBooks have no late fines and can be accessed while on study abroad, on study away, or during an internship, and can be downloaded to phones and tablets, making them more accessible than print.

Because of the limited history of eBook usage at K, Upjohn could not conduct studies on how eBooks are being used by students. Before the introduction of Library OneSearch in the fall of 2013, “a lot of people didn’t even know [K] had eBooks,” said Burke.

According to Burke, the main reason behind the slow eBook integration is the students’ and faculty’s unfamiliarity with the technology and the utilities it offers. “It is going to get more common and people will be more used to it, but there are still going to be things that people are going to want to do on paper,” she added.

Library Updates To Foster Better Environments

By Trisha Dunham

When Kalamazoo College’s Upjohn Library Commons was initially renovated and reopened in 2006, Library Director Stacy Nowicki was unsure what exactly the students would desire in terms of study areas.

Since the previous library was used so infrequently, she had a difficult time predicting how to fill the space, so most of the library was filled with identical tables and chairs. Yet, with time students’ desires have become clear, and Nowicki plans to fulfill these wishes.

Due to Nowicki’s observations and efforts, the Kalamazoo College Library will be experiencing more renovations over the next few months. The most immediate of these renovations will be occurring on the first floor near the Writing Center. Changes taking place in this area will consist of the new Academic Resource Center, new furniture, and a reduced reference book section.

The Academic Resource Center is intended to provide assistance to the biology and chemistry students, however there is an additional office within the center that has yet to be filled. New furniture surrounding this area is envisioned for group work and will comprise of the existing computers, movable comfortable furniture, and large T-shaped white boards. These large white boards are movable and can either be used for group work or as shields.

Additional workspace and part of the Academic Resource Center will form the space that the reference books occupied. Nowicki clarified that the reference books were rarely used, so a majority of them will be sold or given away in order to better utilize the space. Yet, the existing furniture on the first floor will not be lost. This furniture will find a new home either on the second or third floor.

However, the movement of furniture is not all that Nowicki has planned for the upper floors. She wants to replace the wood in the Reading Room doors with glass, in order for students to continue to have a quiet work place and maintain a welcoming environment. In her long-term plan, she hopes to fill the space directly outside the Reading Room with additional comfortable furniture and the tables from the first floor.

The west side of the Reading Room will be turned into study rooms for additional group work areas. Finally, she hopes that eventually she’ll be able to turn a lot of the windowsills on the second and third floors into window seats with room screens, for additional quiet work areas.

Overall, the goal of the renovations is to improve the library in every way possible in order to create the best and most productive study environment for the students.

Upjohn gets a makeover

Renovations in the Library’s Second Floor to Accommodate More Study Room

Work in Progress: Michelle Choi, Mira Swearer, Ana Waxer, and Sarah Levett sit around waiting for a room to open up in Upjohn Library.

By Kamalaldin M. Kamalaldin

Built in 2006, Upjohn Library Commons was designed to accommodate the increasing student capacity at Kalamazoo College. However, since the former library that Upjohn replaced was not as popular among students, K did not have insight as to how future students would use the newly built library. New plans are accordingly being set-in-place now that the success of the library has been established.

One of those plans is the renovation of the library’s second floor, planned for initiation and completion within the coming summer. The renovation will replace the two plant-holding, carrel tables behind the Reading Room with four new study rooms.

These plans come to address the unpredicted usage of library space by students. Now, the library staff members “know that there isn’t enough study space in (the library) for people who want to study together or in rooms,” said Stacy Nowicki, Upjohn Library Director. Many students are forced to wait for the study rooms to be available for use, which can take hours. With the addition of the new study rooms, Nowicki hopes to reduce the waiting-time for study rooms, or at best, even eliminate it.

Each of the four study rooms will be able to occupy eight to ten people, and will come equipt with a projector and (potentially) a full-wall whiteboard—an experiment hoping to offer students an improved study capability and more convenience. Like other study rooms, they will be available for students to checkout at times when they are not being used for a class.

The existence of such study rooms on the second floor broadens classroom-planning options. Nowicki said, “[The study rooms] are big enough that they may be able to be used as classrooms.” This will not conflict with the study rooms’ purpose, since students mostly begin checking out study rooms after 5:00 p.m., due to current library policies.

However, to construct the new classrooms, part of the library must be sacrificed. The choice to eliminate the carrel tables was easy, according to Nowicki, as the tables (and their outdated equipment), were not really used by students. “We thought when we built this building eight years ago that those were going to be very popular, but everyone hated them,” she added.

The equipment that previously occupied the carrel tables will be placed on mobile carts and will be available in classrooms within the library.

The construction will be made through the placement of internal walls within the already-existing structure of the library, a procedure similar to the one used to build the new bio-chem resource center.

Nowicki expressed her happiness with the students’ organization of the library floors into a social first floor, a professional second floor, and a quiet third floor. Some adjustments were made to encourage better habits within students, she mentioned, and she trusts that the students will responsibly use the library, while it continues to cater for their needs.


Leaking Library

By Marquise Griffin

When it rains it pours: The Upjohn Library Commons has battled a leaky roofs and puddles in the album this quarter due to sustained heavy snowfall.

If anyone was walking around the Upjohn Library during sixth week, you may have noticed the presence of three men on the roof shoveling snow. These men are members of Facilities Management, and their job was to get rid of the excess snow piling up on the roof. Because of the extreme winter combined with the library’s flat roof, snow has been leaking through the roof and into the library.

Stacy Nowicki, Library Director, said that this winter has been “extraordinarily difficult” for the library. “The last winter I remember being this bad was the winter of 2001 and honestly, this winter has been even worse than ’01.”

Nowicki also said she wanted to give recognition to Facilities Management for getting on the roof and literally shoveling snow. “Fac Man has been great with going through the entire building looking for leaks and making sure that none of the material is damaged.”

But despite the leaking and the malfunctioning of one of the large glass doors (one of the doors has a “Do Not Use” sign because it closes very slowly) leading into the library, the building as a whole has been enduring well.

Nowicki mentioned that in addition to snow leaking through the roof, it’s been hard to keep the floors dry and clean, and fireplaces in the library have been unable to ignite. An issue with the heating-cooling system resulted in too much low-pressured air flowing through the building. Nowicki said that Facilities Management also corrected the problem.

She also mentioned that for students studying in the library, Upjohn will continue to be open as long as it’s safe for the library staff to travel.

“The library was closed on the snow days but open on the day we had a late start, and we realize how important it is for students to access the resources we provide so we will continue to monitor the weather to determine it by a case-by-case basis.”

Nowicki added that the building has endured because of the people who’ve endured it. “But I really want to thank students for being so patient about the whole process.”