This is a library?
Bradley took first place in a Princeton Review category ranking the worst-rated libraries out of the highest ranking colleges.
The Princeton Review, a book comprised of the top colleges in the nation as rated by more than 122,000 students, included Bradley in the 2011 edition of The Best 373 Colleges for the 12th year running.
The Cullom-Davis Library, which has received third place in a past ranking, was followed by Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., and the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.
Rankings were based on student survey responses to the question: “How do you rate your school’s library facilities?”
Executive Director of the library, Barbara Galik, said she felt the rating was undeserved and out of date.
“We made some major improvements in the last two years that were not reflected in the Princeton analysis,” she said. “The last couple of years have just been a start on what needs to be done to improve the library.”
Galik said the recent library renovations should improve students’ perceptions.
“The new lighting will make a major difference for students,” she said. “In addition, there is now more study space on the first floor, portable white boards on the first and second floors for working on group projects, and the Stacks café.”
Galik said those improvements were just part of the restoration the library needs.
“I am pleased with the changes we’ve made but more can always be done,” she said.
Provost David Glassman, new to campus this past July, said he was disappointed to hear of the library’s ranking, although he had heard a poor opinion of the library had existed in the past.
“Sometimes perception lasts longer than reality,” Glassman said. “There have been a number of upgrades to the library, and being a less than efficient place for study and research is not the case.”
However, Glassman said he plans to create a task force to review holdings and special designs for study and research.
“Their job is to make sure we’re meeting the needs of students and faculty and make any necessary changes.”
Glassman said the role of campus libraries have changed, and most research is now conducted electronically.
“Libraries, for many universities, are becoming more study areas for students to work together instead of dead quiet with everyone in individual study carrels,” he said. “Our goal is to make the library more of a student destination; a place they want to go, where they can study comfortably.”
Junior management information systems major and HelpDesk employee Jeremy Daniel said the most pressing change the library needs is technological updates.
“Everything is online now, and we still have out-of-date technology here,” he said. “Teachers mostly tell us to go online and find web resources. Technologically we’re doing okay, but as a library we’re not what we should be. I mean, we have VHS tapes. Who uses VHS tapes?”
Glassman said updates are called for, but with a greater focus on study spaces and atmosphere.
“I think we can get rid of the rows of small carrels and put in study pods where more than one student can work,” he said. “We will also need to upgrade all the