Computer automatic logoff

Comment: The computers automatically logging off after they have been idle for more than 5 minutes is very annoying and frustrating.
Answer: We understand your frustration. Here’s what happens: after 5 minutes of inactivity, the computer issues a warning that it will log off the current user in another 5 minutes. This amounts to 10 minutes of inactivity, which generally means that the computer has been unattended for all that time. This is a big security issue, since during this time someone else could use the computer and anything it connects to, like the internet, under the user’s identity. However, even though the timeout is unlikely to change, we will make an effort to better inform our users. Thanks for your comment.

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Cell phones

Comment: Some are very disrespectful and inconsiderate of others. You shouldn’t be allowed to talk on your cell phone [in the library].
Answer: In fact, CUL does have a cell phone policy that gives some guidelines about cell phone use in the library. But you’re right: ultimately we depend upon our patrons to follow the policy, and on other patrons to speak up if they see someone abusing it. We’re not always around, so feel free to ask your neighbor to conduct a cell phone conversation outside or in a public area, or to let them know if their vibrating cell phone is driving you nuts.

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Caffeine

Suggestions: 24 hour coffee shop in the library! Energy drinks in the vending machines!!
Answer: Are you sure you need more caffeine? But we, too, appreciate a good cup of coffee. Our long-term plans include a coffee shop, but we can’t guarantee that it would be open all day and all night. And we’ve referred your energy drink request to the staff person who handles the vending machines, so look for an update on that later. Thanks for the suggestions!

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Computers on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors

Suggestion: please put signs by the computers on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors that they are intended for catalog use, not for reading articles, doing email, etc.
Answer: actually, we do not restrict any computers in the library in this way. The public computers on the upper floors of the library are available for anything that’s not illegal or restricted by the SMU computer use policy. We do realize that it’s aggravating when you can’t locate a computer on an upper floor to do a quick catalog lookup, so we are constantly evaluating the numbers and locations of computers available. If you have a smartphone, you might want to try the mobile version of our library catalog.

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Electrical outlets

Suggestion: you all could use some more plug adapters.
Answer: don’t we know it! We are ordering more. Unfortunately, the age of the building limits the number of outlets available.

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Step stools

Suggestion: get taller stools [for the bookstacks]. I’m five feet tall and I can’t reach!
Answer: our stacks maintenance folks are inventorying our stools, and we will be ordering more. In the meantime, if you can’t reach something, just ask the folks at the circulation desk and they’ll be happy to assist.

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Study room paint

Comment: I miss the colorful paint in the study rooms. :(
Answer: Well, this just goes to show that you definitely can’t please all of the people all of the time. We have had, over the years, many complaints about the brightly colored study rooms, so when we recently had the opportunity to repaint them, we went with less shocking colors. Thanks, though, for your comment.

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Study room reservations

Comment: I think there should be a consequence for people who reserve study rooms and don’t show up during that time. Someone else could to use that study room if there was a way for the person who reserved it to cancel or notify the library that they don’t need it anymore.
Answer: We do encourage everyone to cancel their study room reservations if they end up not needing them. On our web reservation system and in the email confirmation you will find, “If you no longer need this reservation, please go to your Calendar in Webmail , click on the reservation in your Calendar, click the Delete (X) button at the top, and click SEND to complete the cancellation.”
However, if you find a vacant study room, you are welcome to use it until a student with a reservation shows up.

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New website

Suggestion: Don’t change the website in the middle of a semester when people are trying to write papers!!
Answer: we’re sorry if this has been a problem for you. We thought about it long and hard, and finally decided that improvements (and this is definitely an improvement overall, in our opinion) should be welcome, even if inconveniently timed. Obviously that was not the case for you, and we apologize. We hope that by this time the ease of use of the new website has overcome your objections. Thanks for expressing your opinion.

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Food

Question: The only place that students can eat a snack is in the break room in the basement. Is there ANY possible way the rules could be changed to allow eating on all floors? All I’m asking is to have a snack, but if it’s a full meal, then they would have to go to the basement.
Answer: Here’s news: we have changed the rule as of this semester. Take a look at our new food and drink policy on the CUL website at http://smu.edu/cul/info/policy/food.asp. Briefly (but be sure to read the whole policy), we allow most foods in most parts of the library, with the obvious exception of DeGolyer. (Did you notice that the “no food and drink” signs have disappeared?) Of course, we expect all of our patrons to clean up after themselves and to report large spills so we can take care of them. So eat, drink and be responsible.

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