While You Were Away - A Message from the Dean, Dr. Edward Owusu-Ansah

Dr. Edward Owusu-Ansah shares highlights of some of the recent additions and enhancements at Cheng Library.

Dr. Edward Owusu-Ansah, Dean of Cheng Library

Summers can be quiet on campus with reduced student presence and the limited bustle resulting from that absence. But the business of serving the university and gearing up for the full return of students and faculty goes on. So it was in the summer of 2016 at Cheng Library. Librarians went about their year-round duties of providing services and shoring up the backend operations that enable those services; collaborations with and support from other university departments enabled improvements that will hopefully serve library users well as they return in full force for the fall semester.

With the support and full engagement of the department of Information Technology, the library was outfitted with more desktop computers to meet long observed demand. More than 50 computers were added on the first and second floors of the library. You will find them in carrels throughout these floors, in wired as well as wireless configurations. We also installed card access to the graduate study room on the second floor of the library to ease access to the space by our graduate students. All currently enrolled graduate students will have automatic access through their William Paterson University identification card and need no longer go through Lending Services for permission to use the room. We hope these enhancements will make use of your library easier and more enjoyable.

The departments of Capital Planning and Physical Plant Operations came to the rescue in a big way with their timely construction of new study rooms, complete with new carpet and paint. Existing rooms were refreshed. As a result of these efforts, the overall number of study rooms in Cheng Library increased from 11 to 22, an improvement we hope you will appreciate. The library also rolled out a new self-booking system for the study rooms that was successfully tested in the spring 2016 semester. We hope that the resulting flexibility will provide more seamless access to these rooms by easing the booking/reservation process. Success will require the ability and integrity of our users to observe use expectations and cooperate with fellow users to ensure proper and rewarding use of the rooms. We are confident in such an outcome. Some of the rooms will be available for walk-ins and the proportion of bookable to walk-in rooms will be adjusted based on data of actual use and patterns that are collected and analyzed throughout the academic year. The goal is to ensure that we are providing the most appropriate, efficient, and satisfactory service to our clientele.

We continued to work on improving our webpage usability and on making your experience more seamless and intuitive when you visit the library’s website. We continued our efforts to make this research resource and portal easier to navigate with less clutter that might interfere with your desire for ease of access to the information and knowledge you need to complete the academic tasks you are engaged in. We worked on essential updates and backend enhancements to improve the efficiency of your discovery.  Librarians and staff at Cheng Library analyzed and adjusted practices and protocols to better respond to your needs and facilitate a more enjoyable library and research experience.

We continued to weed our collection to improve the efficiency of your search. We brainstormed and worked with Information Technology to explore and implement printing solutions that addressed concerns we observed as well as those you reported in the past school year. We hope these efforts result in better experiences for you.  

As a new semester gets underway, we look forward to continuing our long tradition of service to our students, faculty, and community. We encourage faculty to work with us to improve student information literacy skills by collaborating with our instructional librarians on solutions and strategies toward that end. We encourage students to attend our numerous workshops throughout the semester and to engage the expertise of our wonderful reference librarians and all who work diligently within the library on a daily basis to support our students and aid their success.

We invite your input and feedback on our programs, activities, and resources to ensure we are serving you well. We hope you will engage us in a collective effort to provide better environments, services, and experiences. Student academic success is our primary goal and the support of the faculty who make that happen occupies a central place in what we do.

We look forward to the engagement of both constituencies as we work to provide the support needed to maintain a vibrant and productive academic community at William Paterson University. 

Welcome back, good luck, and let’s continue the good work together! 

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September 26, 2016