New Public Computer Use Policy

Worried? The new restrictions placed on non students’ access to the internet reminds me of the omni present “eyes” of Big Brother. Non users would be required to “register” with picture ID and valid address to get on the internet. Many libraries do not have such a restrictive rule. What are you going to do with the data you collect about surfing habits and don’t you think this will breach privacy and raise concerns about diminishing our creative and personal freedoms? Just the notion that where I surf can be tracked places a severe limitations on my creativity and freedom. The one hour restrictions will severly impact members of the community that cannot afford but would like to be involved with the digital age. What research can one do in one hour? HSU is not being a good community member and neighbor. As a student, I sometimes would like to surf the net or do research without using my student login number. It gives me a better sense of security when I know nobody is watching what I am reading. Hope you will reconsider your new restrictive rules. Hope this complaint will show up on the blog with your answer!

Dear Worried,

We have implemented logon and registration for community users to allow members of the community to continue to be able to use our public workstations for unrestricted internet access. Many libraries, such as UC Berkeley, allow no unrestricted internet access at all for unaffiliated members of the community. The one-hour time limit is twice the time allowed by the Humboldt County Libraries whose mission is to serve the community. We have had a 30 minute time limit posted on many of our machines for quite a while, but some users have regularly exceeded this time limit. The Library’s catalog and databases are our primary research tool and they are available using the public logon.

As to your concerns about “big brother” watching your activites, the Library performs no logging or monitoring of internet useage. There are logs of network activity that are maintained by the University’s Information Technology Services. If you are interested in finding out about these logs, please feel free to contact the University’s Information Security Officer. His contact information is available on the University’s web site. While we do not want to interfere with anyone’s intellectual freedom, all use of Library Computers must comply the the Library’s Policy for Responsible Computing in the Humboldt State University Library.

Jeremy C. Shellhase
Systems Librarian

Posted in Public Computers | 1 Comment

Policy for Responsible Computing at HSU

this Policy for Responsible Computing in the Humboldt State University Library blocks resonable use related to class activity. there are better ways of monitoring who uses the web than blanket bans on every site imaginable except your own.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience, but our filtering is a direct response to student’s requests that our workstations be kept available for the resources that the Library provides to support coursework.  If you log in to a library station, the internet filtering is disabled.  There is also no filtering of any sort on the library’s 23 new Learning Commons computers on the first floor. 
Jeremy C. Shellhase
Systems Librarian

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Book Request

Book Suggestion Book Title: Traditional Knowledge Preserved:Lungkid Generation Volume I Author: Amnah Abdullah Copyright Date:2006 ISBN:9834312202 available at Category: Medical History Asian Culture Folklore Botany and herbal therapies Women and Traditional Medicine

Thank your for your interest in the Library’s book collection. Requests for purchase need to be sent on this form: 

Especially now, when our funds to purchase books are so limited, it is essential that you identify which courses would be supported by the purchase you recommend.  We can’t guarantee that we will be able to purchase the book, but we will give it every consideration.

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What’s In A Name?–Reference

The Library offers personal help to library users in a number of ways–in-person at our reference service point; and by telephone, email, instant messaging, and individual appointment.  See Ask a Librarian for descriptions of these options.  We are considering renaming the reference service point to something like “Research Assistance” or “Research Help”.  What makes better sense to you? If you have an opinion please repond using the comment option.

Posted in General, Signage | 3 Comments

Quiet Study Areas

Hi there, I have a concern with the Quiet Study Areas in the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Library. I have used the Quiet Study Areas for three years now to fulfill my need for a quiet space to do my studying. This semester, though, the areas seem to be inundated with patrons sporting the laptop computer devices. When I am trying to read or write in the Quiet Study Areas, I find the incessant clicking and typing of computers nearby to be quite distracting to my studying. I realize that patrons are expected to police noisy activity in these areas ourselves, and I do feel comfortable if someone is playing music to ask them to turn off their music. However, I do not feel as comfortable asking people to stop using their computers, or move to an area of the Library where noisy study is permitted (eg. most everywhere else in the Library but the Quiet Study Areas). I have asked a couple of people using computers to move to another location, but it feels awkward to ask one or two to move if perhaps five or six are all using computers in the areas. I am hoping for clarification of the Quiet Study Areas, and some real help for my dilemma. Thank you and sincerely, Lance Nolen

Thank you for your suggestion.  What you have brought up shows that the Library as a public place has users with vastly different study habits.  We certainly share your concerns but please allow some time for us to think about how to deal with the laptop generated “noises” –  do we need to create an area where there should be absolutely no sound allowed I wonder?  Or is it even possible?  In the meantime if you feel shy about asking people to be quiet, please ask our librarians or staff at the reference or circulation desks to help you convey the request.

Thank you,

Ray Wang
Interim Dean

Posted in Noise | 2 Comments

Catalog log-ins

About the logins needed to access catalogs… This is pretty annoying. I wish the catalog was just easily available without requring logins. Also, it would save a lot of trouble to make a new password. The current password has lots of capitals and spaces. I always seem to mess it up three or so times before it lets me login. Maybe a password like ‘password’ would save a whole lot of trouble. Thanks!

Sorry for the inconvenience with logon at the library stations.  We installed the logon system so that we could reserve machines for student use and also so that we could provide some additional features and conveniences for our students.  New security regulation from the federal government have also required that we institute logons for unrestricted internet access.  The campus system requires so called “hard passwords” with upper and lower case letters and special characters, but we’re tying to make it as easy as possible to remember and enter our public password.  Maybe we’ll try a new one soon.

We are also getting a number of our computers logged in as the public user as we open the Library, so that they’ll be available for more convenient use of the catalog and our databases.  Once they’re logged in as the public user, they will stay logged in for easy use.  Obviously, we’ve not gotten enough of them logged in every morning, but we’ll start doing more.

Thanks for the feedback.
Jeremy Shellhase
Systems Librarian

Posted in Public Computers | 2 Comments

Food in the Library – What do you think?

Present Library policy only allows food in the Food Friendly Area on the first floor of the Library. The Library is currently reviewing this policy, including: 1) leaving the policy as is; 2) creating spaces on the second and third floors where food is also allowed; and 3) allowing food most everywhere in the Library. There is also the question of what kinds of foods are permissible for consumption in the Library. We welcome your comments below.

Posted in Food in the Library | 10 Comments

Book Request

I suggest you purchase “Collett Leventhorpe, the English Confederate: The Life of a Civil War General 1815-1889″. It is authored by J. Timothy Cole and was published by McFarland in 2007 (ISBN: 0786426497). This book is an excellent study of a little known but important Civil War figure.

This looks like a good potential addition to the Library. At the present time the State, the campus and consequently the library does not have a budget so I will have to hold the request until we do. Meantime, if you need the book right away you could request it from another library using our Interlibrary Loan ( If you have never used the ILL service you will be asked to fill in a brief profile that will work for the rest of your time here at HSU.

For further help with all this, please come to the Reference Desk.

Mary Kay, Acquisitions Librarian
HSU Library (707-826-3414)

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Computer Log-ins

Having a password just to access the library book database is poorly thought out. It slows down the system to an excessive degree and creates a lot of problems. I know the excuse is “security”, but in my estimation of it, all this “security” is simply a tactic for someone trying to justify their paycheck. Not even UCLA, Stanford, or other large schools make people put in passwords just to use the libraries online catalog. Yet tiny little HSU feels the need to ratchet up security to an almost east berlinian degree.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience. We will be making sure that most of the computers are logged in as the public user in the morning, so that simple, walk up access to the catalog is available more easily. We’re in the early phases of implementing logons and will be improving our proceedures soon.

We’ve had multiple requests from students to institute a system of logons, to make our computers available for student use.

Jeremy C. Shellhase
Systems Librarian

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Print Reserve Request Form

Could you make the Print Reserve Request form available electronically? Even if it were just a digital version of the paper form that we could fill out that would make it easier to fill out, and probably easier for you to read.

This is not a bad idea. We have actually considered creating an online form for print reserves in the past, but figured that it would not be of much assistance to the faculty, since they would still need to deliver their reserve readings to the Library. Now that we have heard from a faculty member that having the request form online would make it easier to use, we’re willing to give it a try. The Library reserves staff will work on this over the summer and have a request form online in time for the beginning of the fall semester, if not before.

Wayne Perryman
Chair, Access Services

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