Improvements

Get some cute guys to work behind the desk in the lobby of Perkins! It gets boring sitting there with nothing cute to look at.

Ans.: Better yet, alleviate your boredom by reading one of the 4 million books in this building.

Can the library convert to LC classification?

Ans.: Yes, it can. It’s as simple as putting a new spine label on each book and its paper or electronic bibliographic record. The modest cost of doing this is a mere two or three million dollars.

Close the library forever. I hate studying.

Ans.: If we did that we wouldn’t have to worry about whether Dewey or L.C. is best. There’s something to be said for that.

Is it possible to keep the reading room open 24 hours a day? Please do! My roommate is mean when he wants to sleep when I want to study with lights on.

Perhaps some music here in the Perkins lounge, especially on Friday and Saturday nights? Those of us who have our entire social life in the library, who eat (sorry), sleep and pass our daily existences here, would like some entertainment. Maybe the Jazz Band?

Move the model of the Chapel back into the lobby so people can see it!

Ans.: The Library’s Committee on Interior Appearances and the General Ambiance will be asked to study your request.

Please stock cyanide pills in case students wish to self-destruct during finals week. They’d be used.

Ans.: Last semester’s requests were for massages and rent-a-beds, etc. Sounds like the Spring semester has been a bear.

Although I appreciate and like to read the Classics, sometimes I’m in the mood (& have the free time) to read some good smut, humor, mystery, etc. book. Why doesn’t Perkins offer contemporary fiction? Surely it wouldn’t cost much to purchase used books of that kind for the overly-read Classics reader who wants to read romance or sci-fi once in a while.

Ans.: Have you come across our “light reading” bookshelf in the lounge by the Circulation Desk? This is a long-standing service that provides paperback reading of the sort you desire. No checkout required, eventual return is requested as well as your own contributions of “trash.”

The space in this room here at the front door to the library could be a splendid theater space!?…mime…

Raise or lower the security gates by about 6 inches or lots of absent-minded guys will become sopranos!

What about us who need books from the Law, BioSci, or Chem libraries. Maybe we could hire runners to get those books while we just sit around.

Why don’t you install a 24 hour keg-o-lator for relief from after-hours studying?

Ans.: You’ve missed it, then? The Rare Book Room turns on its neon signs, rolls out the pool tables and pumps up the several kegs every night at 12.

Have pens (that are attached to the table) over where you have to fill out those call slips, eh? How about a message board (cleared everyday at 8:30 a.m.) so that people can leave notes for their friends there and not taped all over the doors every night?

Ans.: To date, 3,893 pens have been put out, each lasting an average 22.3 hours prior to their disappearance.

Keep the library, get rid of the school.

There are too many books in this building. I think you should offer something more.

Please put a photocopier in an inconspicuous location. They are all are in plain sight, and it is very difficult to photocopy our boobs without embarrassment. Thank you.

Ans.: Wonderful! You’re the first person not to complain about malfunctioning photocopiers! Maybe they work depending on the subject matter being copied. You do know that Public Safety gets a video impression via the photocopier lens?

About the automated check out — good idea, but don’t get too gung ho, (i.e., don’t remove your card catalogs, and toss any way to handle manual checkouts.) If you’d planned on total computerization, talk to the Greensboro Public Library first. They switched to computer-only checkout, and removed card catalogs from some branches, then their computer broke, and ate their data so they didn’t know what books they had, anybody else had, or where a given book might be. For about a month. By the way — I’m an EE/(CP) major — I have learned firsthand that computers are inherently evil. Be careful.

Pay raises for all the employees, especially students (somewhere around $8.00/hr. or so).

Ans.: Sounds good. However, the 20% tuition increase to cover this doesn’t have quite the same pleasant note.

Non-negotiable demand: Put a change machine by the vending machines in the basement of the undergraduate library by March 12. After this date one Duke librarian will be executed for each day that you fail to meet our demands.

Eliminate all books from the library.

Ans.: The computer people agree. Luddites don’t. Try snuggling up in bed for a juicy read on an IBM PC.

I think the reference librarians should be made to wear sunglasses so they can’t hypnotize innocent patrons.

Ans.: Innocent of what? Pencilling in the Readers’ Guide? Turning down page corners? Dropping an open peanut butter sandwich on page 23? Beware — they know!

I just got nailed by the entire top shelf of the NY Herald Tribune, down in the sub-basement. I’m not pleased! I am very sore! How ’bout putting some of the heavier books on lower shelves?!

Here’s a great idea: Put a small piece of colored fluorescent tape on the spines of books in the stacks, color-coded to floor, shelf or call #. Then, to find misplaced or misfiled books, go through the stacks (with lights out) with a portable ultraviolet light. Misplaced books will light up like a beacon if they’re not among like color-coded books.

Ans.: This idea, along with the one suggesting impregnation of books with varying amounts of radioactivity for inventory by Geiger counter, has been submitted for consideration to the Library’s Institute for Novelty and Surprises. An initial report follows: “Zounds, this may be a better mousetrap! … Alas, the mathematical calculations raise some doubts. It would cost, for treatment and maintenance of each book, about $.50, x 3 million volumes or 1.5 million dollars. Most importantly, our firefly population’s sexual orientation would be irreparably confused as droves of them would seek to mate with the lit-up books.”

Library tours be irrevocably eliminated and the future mention of the phrase “library tours” be made illegal.

Ans.: Graphoanalysis reveals this was written by a tour leader. The irregular spacing and tilt of the letters, suggestive of nervous debility, is the result of facing, alone, over 200 frantic freshmen in need of a tour, at 5:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

How about new upholstery for the chairs in the Gothic Reading Room? Nixon-era polyester plaid in exotic golds and oranges doesn’t go very well with Tudor Architecture! Maybe you could donate the old fabric to the Museum of Man-Made Fibers in Enigma, Georgia, which would garner fame for Duke and maybe get some new contributions for the Capital Campaign.

Ans.: A few Duke Trustees, we are told, share your disdain. The aesthetics may improve as a result. Your imaginative comment will be shared with Jerry Campbell, the University Librarian.

How’s about some soft muzak in this here foyer area? Sometimes the giggly girls and chip crunching drive me crazy and we all know the therapeutic effects of muzak.

Ans.: Why not kicker muzak or acid muzak? Maybe a juke box is the answer. People could select the background sound they want and the Library would enhance its book budget.

Free the bound periodicals!

Ans.: Under glasnost, major improvements in the condition of these dissidents of the sub-basement gulag have occurred. Familial visits are now permitted and on occasion, certain terms being met, escorted visits to other parts of the university are permitted.

Bring back the Big Beers in the C.I
a) smaller beers mean more clean up
b) smaller beers does not guarantee sobriety
c) we know where Bob lives and we plan to take action.
SASB (Students against small beers)

[Bring back] big beers. . .

Ans.: Rumor has it that anyone completing a freshman tour gets a 32 ounce ration. Is that why the numbers taking our illustrious tours are greater than the number of the class of `90?

Let’s see some more skin on those reference librarians!

I think the Hide-Away should be moved closer to the Library — y’know, the landing between the 3rd & 4th floors … An ideal way to blow off steam.

Ans.: Sorry, but this space has already been allocated to the post Spring break tanning booth concession.

Many times I’ve noticed that during the peak of my studying I have to go to the bathroom. This is a real pain. Could we have bed pans installed in the carrels (stacks) for us lazy people?

Ans.: Bed pans can be picked up at the Circulation desk for free. Toilet paper is $25.00 per roll.

Put this book somewhere so it’s not so easy to sit down in the lobby wasting study time.

Ans.: Better yet, no more final exams.

Could you possibly make a post-Chronicle hand bath for those of us who read the Chronicle here in the morning and are forced to exit with newsprint on our hands?

Ans.: Post-Chronicle hand baths are strategically located in the stacks and on the floors. They’re designated by stick figures wearing a skirt or not. Wearing cotton gloves may not be a bad idea. Why the Chronicle smudges so much is unclear to us; other papers do not. Maybe you should write a letter to the Editor.

How about an electronic timer in every book that beeps 24 hrs before it’s due and keeps beeping until I turn it off — would save me mucho moolah!

Ans.: How about a string around your finger to remind you of whatever it is you’re wearing a string around your finger for. Your idea suggests a kitchen timer that operates on days rather than minutes.

Use a different brand of toilet paper in the bathrooms — something softer!

Ans.: You will be dismayed to hear of our new multi-year contract with the Cut-Rite Wax Paper Co. But think of all the savings we can transfer into the book budget.

Don’t you think it’s time for some new furniture? After all, it’s 20 years old and ugly. I sat in a sofa on the 4th floor and had to have two people lift me out!!

Ans.: You’re right on target and we are actively pursuing replacement furniture. The delay can only be accounted for thru the Salvation Army’s hard dealing. In truth, we agree and want to fund a major rehabilitation effort.

I suggest you change your policy on not releasing the names of people who have a book checked out that another person may need. I am in a difficult position. I have a book that someone else wants, but I need the book, too. I don’t want to prevent another person from doing research. But I need to do research, too. If you would release the other person’s name, maybe we could reach a compromise and share the book. Have more faith in the human ability to communicate and cooperate. Other university libraries release such information. You can save one person a lot of frustration and me a guilty conscience.

Ans.: Years ago, before confidentiality of borrowing records was strictly maintained, there were regrettable instances of impetuosity, rashness, and even harassment by students who could not control their covetousness and impatience in obtaining books they wanted. To keep the law and to keep peace, the Circulation Department’s call-in clerk, supervisors, or head will personally intercede, as has long been the practice. Let your urgent book needs be known to one of these persons and the department will do all it can to have the library’s resources shared. Only rarely are incivilities encountered in these matters.

Couldn’t you have a room for noise? There are so many quiet rooms here–sometimes I wish people were more aware of those of us who like to study in a boisterous environment.

Ans.: Interesting! How would we enforce it if the noisy study room were taken over by quiet students. Have a noise patrol? Evict anyone not exceeding a certain decibel level? Pipe in Cameron stadium noise, like muzak?

Students should dress nicer during exams and stop looking so tasteless. These sweats are deplorable to this university and should be banned from Perkins.

Ans.: A dress code for finals? Another fund-raising opportunity for the Library! Prior to entering the building anyone in sweats has to go through the J. Crew store in the lobby, on points, of course.

Yosemite Sam “Back Off” mud flaps for all Duke buses.

Ans.: Pretty tame. How about chrome nudes like the truckers do? At Duke we could add chrome basketballs or books. The possibilities boggle. Yosemite Sam and his six shooters might be best after all.

Implement a micro-computerized suggestion and answers system. Should be able to search by subject, etc… Also would be nice to be able to print out comments/answers on a particular subject. Samples of most common suggestions could be posted. Thanks for your time.

Ans.: A very interesting suggestion. At Stanford, they have an on-line catalog (SCORPIO) that allows for users entering in comments, suggestions for book purchases, etc. It is heavily used. This may be an enhancement we will want for our on-line catalog.

More naked girls parading in the stacks saying inane things like “coffee, tea, or me?” — this would be especially helpful during finals, as academia here at eruditio + religio gets trying at times.

Ans.: Did you say more? The author of the responses to these suggestions will now be found wandering the stacks looking for the ones already here.

Please put push-button phones in the library! I hate not being able to call my answering machine from here (or my parents, or anyone else for that matter on a credit card).

More telephones! I miss Mom.

 

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