Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Will JCU library expand it's databases?

From the suggestion box:

Whilst I do understand the need for certain finances and demands, I feel that the JCU library would benefit from expanding it's online resources and databases. In particular, by expanding the general fiction and non-fiction genres and connecting to databases such as BorrowBox and OverDrive fiction and non-fiction collections. Even connecting with programs such as those at QUT (http://libguides.library.qut.edu.au/az.php?s=4702), such as those where one can borrow from other university libraries if JCU does not have the resource one may be looking for. I really believe that if JCU could expand their library collection as a whole to include more resources of different medias from all sorts of genres, students may feel more inclined to use it not just for academics, but for every point of interest. The university of which I previously attended had a broad range of resources and databases which every student could access and which, as a whole, benefitted the library and the university in numerous ways. I may just be a young, far too up to date student but I'm most probably not the only one with this idea and I would only rave about it if such a expansion could be made to the JCU library. Thank you for your time in reading this and regards.

Library response:

You are correct that finances and the requirements to provide information resources for learning, teaching, and research requirements are the main drivers and highest priority when the Library makes decisions on purchasing online resources and databases. We do purchase a selection of general fiction and non-fiction each year although these are normally in print, as well as a selection of films.

When making purchase decision we also take into consideration online resources and databases that are already freely available from other sources. There are a number of resources available on open access or via national and state libraries which supplement the information resources the JCU Library provides directly.

One example is BorrowBox which is freely available to all Queensland residents through the local public library network. It is a straightforward process to register online to gain access to eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines. I have included the link to CityLibraries Townsville registration form, however let me know if you are not in Townsville and I can send you the link for your local library.


Thank you for your suggestion. We maintain a desiderata list of resources suggested for purchase and you can also send in requests using the Purchase Request form.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Room bookings - On the half hour

From the suggestion box:

 Sometimes people wish to meet from say 9.30 to 11:30 and we would need to book the room from 9 till 12 to make sure it is available but we can't do that because the room booking is on the hour, and we can't book more than 2hrs at a time. Also, it would be good if we could book two hours at one time, rather than going in and out of the system.

Library response:

We are aware of the issue you raise about the Meeting Room Bookings System forcing 'on the hour' bookings. We agree it is an issue and we asked the vendor to add it to their development queue prior to going live with it. They said it was on their development list, as is the ability to book sessions of variable length rather than in one hour blocks. If you are interested in why we changed the booking system read on - if not delete me now. The previous system (MRBS) was open source software running in-house on a Linux server and required a fair bit of systems knowledge to maintain, knowledge which pretty much sat in one person’s head, mine. The original developer (and the community of users) were no longer developing the system and the security risks increase over time if software isn’t constantly tweaked against new threats. We are increasingly moving our systems into the cloud to reduce costs, improve functionality and to avoid internal network issues (planned and unplanned) and getting uptime as close as we can to 100%. The new system (part of the same suite of products that brings you LibGuides and our chat reference service) has the advantage of not requiring any in-house hardware or software maintenance nor any systems admin expertise, so now we can spread responsibility for maintaining it to more library staff so that if I get hit by a bus the system won’t fall apart. It has a number of advantages over the old system and a couple of disadvantages (the chief one being what you inspired to provide us with this feedback). I will let you know when it the developers implement this improvement (or more likely you’ll discover it has suddenly appeared one day). Many thanks for your feedback, it is much appreciated,