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Honors, grad students get longer library check-out

BY SCOTT RAYNOR | NOVEMBER 05, 2009 7:20 AM

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Graduate and Honors students no longer have to trudge through December snow to return boxes and suitcases filled with library books before the semester’s end.

The sight of those struggling students bothered Main Library circulation supervisor Kathy Penick, so she helped institute new policies to stop it.

UI officials announced the policy change in a mass e-mail on Tuesday; it had been effective since October.

“We have transformed a lot in the past seven years,” said Amy Paulus, the head of access services at the Main Library. “The time was now allowed to give them more freedom.”

The policy extends prior limitations on graduate and Honors students, who were previously allowed a semester to hold on to books.

Graduate and Honors students are singled out in the policy because these students tend to have projects and dissertations that span numerous semesters, Paulus said.

UI freshman and Honors chemistry student Daniel Gillette said he learned about the policy while checking out books for his rhetoric class.

“I was surprised,” he said. “It can take me a while to get through those books.”

UI graduate student Chad Cripe said he needed around 15 to 20 books to write a 25-page paper but didn’t need most after December.



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“I check out enough books,” he said. “I don’t know that it affects me, but I find it convenient.”

Cripe said to return his load of books, he has to pack them into boxes and load them in his minivan.

But the extended checkout for some won’t necessarily mean less reading for others.

Paulus said students can use the library’s recall system if they want a book someone else has checked out.

Two weeks after a student borrows a book, another can request it, and the borrower has seven days to return the book.

And if demand is strong enough, the library will buy additional copies or borrow them from libraries at Iowa State University or the University of Northern Iowa, Paulus said.

The program was also not intended to ease budget woes, she said. Library officials recently announced they will consolidate four branch libraries with other, larger libraries in an attempt to cut $1 million from the budget.

Though the policy was also not intended to make renewing books easier on the library, it will likely save time for circulation staff.


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