Library rumors debunked

Alyssa Sperrazza, News Editor

For anyone who has had to print a twenty-page research paper, the rumor that the library may start charging students for printing was probably unwelcomed.  However, students can breathe a sigh of relief for now–those rumors are unsubstantianted.

Printing will remain free and library hours will be extended at the Mabee Learning Center. / Laura Hickman, The Bison 

“There are no current concrete plans to charge for printing, nor has anyone actually proposed it,” announced Paul Roberts, vice president for information integration and CIO dean of library. 

Changes to the library have been the talk of campus recently, with many people hearing and passing along different stories.  The only changes that are occurring as of now is something all late-night owls will celebrate: longer hours.

“SGA has worked with Dr. Roberts of the Library and the administration to extend library hours to 8pm on Friday night,” said SGA President, Hunter Doucette. The bubble (front room with vending machines) will also be open 24/7.”

This is good news for students who want a quieter work environment than the Geiger Center.

“Some security cameras had to be installed and those went in last week,” Roberts said.    “[Card access] is the next phase that has yet to be done.  The only holdup on that is that the doors have to be specially made in order for that to happen.  We hope to have that done this semester.”

This part of the library will be open for students during later hours. / Laura Hickman, The Bison 

Security and accessibility are top priorities for OBU to provide for students and the library is working hard to ensure they have both.

“The library is there for students,” Roberts said.  “That is the whole reason why we exist.”

In order to help students efficiently, the library has distinct goals that are kept in mind always.

“We have three thematic goals,” Roberts said.  “The first is ubiquity, which means we want all of our services and resources to be available in platforms that students find convenient. So you don’t have to actually come to the building to get your needs met. Next is community and collaboration. We want to be a place where students can gather to work on things that they hold in common, so whether it’s research groups or student groups. The third is conversation and curation which deals with archival materials that we hold uniquely.”

The staff works hard to ensure students have access to all the research materials they need in order to succeed.  And the luxury of free printing is one many students in the state of Oklahoma do not have.

“We’re one of only two universities in the state that provide free printing that I know of,” Roberts said.  “I do, however, think that our current model of free printing is not sustainable.”

With students in mind, the library is looking into options that would not affect students drastically, should printing fees eventually come.

“We have asked faculty to reduce the amount of printing required of students and have also investigated options for more ubiquitous printing,” Roberts said, “but this would require an off-setting printing charge as one of multiple complicating factors.”

As of of now, students can rest easy and begin to enjoy extended hours in the library.  Library hours are extended on Fridays until 8pm, so students can trick themselves into thinking they’ll get all their homework done before the weekend.

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