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Updates at the library this fall include a fivefold increase to the number of items students can check out, new furniture on all the floors, and iLearn workshops.

In previous years, students could check out 50 items, with the exception of Honors College students who could check out 200. Now, all students are able to check out 250 items.

Kabel Stanwicks, the head of Access Services, said that some students were reaching the item limit, prompting the fivefold increase.

“We bumped it up to 250 so that we’re not asking [students] to return materials so they can get more or make exceptions on a case by case basis,” she said.

The old circulation policy differed slightly across undergraduate and graduate students. Students moving from an undergraduate program to a graduate program had to adjust to the new policies for the graduate program.

“It was a source of confusion at times, so we’re just making it simplified and streamlined for everyone,” Stanwicks said. 

Even though students might check out more items with this higher limit, students do not have to worry about accessing an item they need. Stanwicks indicated that students can use the recall procedure which has long been in place. If an item is already checked out, students can request it through the library catalogue and the patron with the item out must return it within two weeks, which helps “ensure fair and equitable access to the collection.”

Another change was chair replacements, which span all floors of the library, providing library-wide access to chairs on wheels. In the collaborative zone on the first floor of the University Library, the tables and lounge chairs are also on wheels.

“It was difficult for people to create these comfortable, collaborative spaces, so getting some chairs that are on wheels will hopefully make it a lot easier for people,” Stanwicks said.

In the collaborative zone, transfer student Noor Minhas studies frequently with fellow political science major Lauren Molloy.

“I feel like the chairs should be better,” Minhas said, explaining that although the wheels allow for horizontal mobility, she wishes they moved up and down more easily.

Michael Liu, a computer science major, lounged in the collaborative zone with Michelle Zhang who is majoring in business and biology.

Referring to one of the round tables not on wheels, Zhang said, “This table is a bit short. You can’t really use it to write.”

Liu indicated that the other tables, the taller ones on wheels, were great for using computers and textbooks.

On the upper floors of the University Library, there were many outdated wooden chairs, according to Stanwicks. These have been replaced with easily wheeled chairs.

In addition to new furniture, there is also a new name for the workshops the library offers, iLearn workshops. Speaking Digitally is a workshop that David Dickinson, Interactive Media Center Training Specialist, is introducing.

Speaking Digitally will focus on how to create digital presentations like webinars and other online speaking opportunities, according to Stanwicks.

There are a number of other workshops, all ranging between one and two hours. Workshops fall under the categories of digital images and adobe photoshop, graphic design, audio and video, and research strategies.


Elise Coombs, a Syracuse native, is the editor-in-chief of the Albany Student Press. She is the co-Vice President of the UAlbany Mock Trial team, a member of Presidential Honors Society, and a peer mentor for the pre-law section of Writing and Critical Inquiry. After her time at UAlbany, she plans to go to law school and become a First Amendment lawyer.

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