Did you know?

NEWS_Douglas College Library

Douglas College libraries

By Angela Espinoza, News Editor

“Did you know?” informs Douglas students about college services. If you’re part of a campus organization for students and want to raise awareness, email us at news@theotherpress.ca 

With finals just around the corner, now is the time to get familiar with your campus libraries. Tutoring and other student help are offered in the Douglas libraries, but New West campus’ library operations supervisor Cathy Grant discussed additional library services students may not be familiar with.

“We have reciprocal borrowing with a variety of universities and colleges across BC,” said Grant. This means Douglas students have additional options when looking for sources (list of colleges and universities at goo.gl/kGZe34). “What we always suggest to our students when going to another college or university library is to contact that library and make sure that you’re bringing in the proper ID that particular library may require.”

As students may not be using library resources until exam time, some don’t realize the library’s policies on borrowing or returning.

“[Students] can return books to both campus libraries, except for reserve items. If they borrow a reserve item from the campus that they’re at, they need to return it to that campus. There’s been some cases where the students aren’t aware of that, which may cause fine problems for them.”

Library fines are specified by what type of item is being borrowed, how long it’s out for, and for some items, their value.

“We fine on reserve items, we fine on equipment, and we fine if there’s a hold,” said Grant. If you’ve got an item overdue and a student places a hold on that same item, you’ll get fined. Grant stated the library website and bookmarks offered by the libraries, “lay out our fine policies and what we fine on, [such as] hourly fines as opposed to daily fines.”

Students should also keep in mind that fines for DVDs and VHS are more expensive.

“It’s $5 a day per item, and I think that’s what students are surprised about, is the cost with videos and DVDs. A lot of the VHS and the DVDs that we have are educational, and they can run into the hundreds of dollars, that’s why the high cost.”

As for how fines affect the student’s library account, Grant explained that fines over $10 cause the student’s library account to freeze, and the student won’t be able to take items out until the total is below that amount. The library attempts numerous ways to contact students, such as with email or via the phone. “We don’t have vast amounts of resources, so we like to try and make sure that resources are available to everybody,” Grant said.

“All books are due back on the last day of semester, because we do like to gather everything back in and make sure everybody’s record is clear.”

The library operates “on a semester basis,” so ideally student accounts should be cleared by the end of semester.

“We encourage students, if they are registered for the next semester, that if they would like to borrow over the intersession, they can as long as all material from the previous semester has been returned.”

The college libraries also try to have textbooks on hand for many of the courses, and they “make every effort to get the latest edition of materials.”

Those wanting more quiet space from other students can book any of the New West or David Lam study spaces up to a week in advance. The David Lam study spaces all offer audio-visual equipment and are on a single level of the library. Six of New West’s eight study rooms are on the second floor of the library, but only the two spaces located on the main floor offer audio-visual equipment.

“We’ve chosen not to do the same here just because of the remoteness of the study rooms upstairs. As far as troubleshooting equipment, especially at night, we don’t have as many staff on, so it would be very hard for us to get up there and help the students,” said Grant.

Finally, as there is often confusion on the library’s food and drink policies, Grant states snacks like chips and apples are fine, but, “the burger and fries [are] best eaten in the cafeteria.”