The Spring 2019 undergraduate survey contained some results that we found surprising. Things that we might have taken for granted, were not always quite as we thought they were. This is one of the significant benefits that large surveys provide—we learn things we did not know. In particular, one group of comments jumped out at us. To the question, “I wish the library had…” respondents told us that they wanted:
“More popular books for pleasure reading.”
“A bigger non-fiction collection.”
“A larger romance novel section.”
“A couch for a quick nap.”
What surprised us was that we already provided all those things – or thought we did. There was obviously a gap between what we supply and what our users were—or were not—finding in our libraries. One comment in particular encouraged us to think about what we might do:
“I wish there were bright labels for the different genres.”
Over the summer, in response to these comments, we have rearranged part of the second floor of Smith Library to create a ‘ReaderSpace.’ Immediately on the right as you enter Smith, the space shows off all the new fiction and non-fiction titles we buy. Additional display shelves feature literature classics as well as titles that have won significant literary awards, such as Nobel or Pulitzer Prizes. The following map shows the location of the collections:
Now you can sink into a comfy couch and be surrounded by books! Check out the finished space:
“Genrefication” in the Readerspace…
We are also encouraging reading by identifying books using bright labels, as our survey respondent suggested, to identify seven literary ‘genres.’ Genres serve to group together works that share the same form, style or purpose. Our seven genres include: fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, realistic fiction, romance and science fiction. Stickers fixed to book spines, aided by new signage, will help readers to find book titles in genres they ‘like.’ In addition, these stickers are being used on books on the third floor, allowing readers to further extend their list of reading ‘likes.’
zzzzz … and we have also moved two sofas into the ReaderSpace, encouraging readers to read … or … nap!
Learning Commons Genres
Work over the summer in the Martha Luck Comer Learning Commons has tracked that done in Smith Library. Six new genre stickers now help with the identification and finding of specific types of Young Adult (YA) fiction, including: YA fantasy (which includes YA horror), YA historical fiction, YA mystery, YA realistic fiction, YA romance and YA science fiction. Each genre has designated shelves within the bookcases in the center of the Learning Commons. Along the back wall are two further collections: New Books (books from all YA genres published in the last year) and Graphic Novels.
Of course, the many comfortable sofas in the Learning Commons are still in place for readers or nappers!
-Blog post by Andrew Fair, Evening Reference Librarian.