I am a BA student graduating in the spring. I love the Concordia library and have been a frequent user, but there are three main things which have sucked. It might be relevant to mention that many others have the same complaints (but don’t care enough to post something). I happen to hope that the library experience at Concordia can improve and reach Platonic perfection!
1. Sometimes items returned in the evening or at night appear as returned the next day – this seems to be random as sometimes books returned together register as returned on different days. In my experience, library staff was sometimes hostile when I have had this problem – very suspicious and suggesting that even though I was lying, I would get a one-time exception (it happened several times). Clarification of when the day ends in terms of accepted returns or amelioration of the system would be great; as it is, it is a hit or miss situation, like customs duties on shopping online.
2. There is no information on when or how library access changes upon graduation. By no information, I mean that I personally have had no communication detailing the process, nor was I able to find anything on the library’s website. Therefore, if there is indeed information, it is quite well hidden. Upon asking an employee a few weeks before graduation, I was given some general information but was told to expect a communication with the exact date (I never got anything). As it turns out, the days that library privileges end was yesterday, May 19th, even though my
student status will not change for at least another week. Syncing up the two dates might be helpful. If
this is not possible, sending some kind of notice, or at least making the information visible on the site
might be a good idea.
3. Late fees are too high given that renewal periods are not very long, the number of renewals is limited, and whatever system is used to keep track of returns is unstable. Students are discouraged from checking out too many books and if they need to do so, prefer to borrow from McGill.
As an aside, the Grey Nuns Reading Rooms is amazing.
Thank you for your comments.
Items returned after staff desks close: Items that are returned to the book drop after the service desk has closed will get checked in the next morning, but they should be back dated to reflect being checked in the day before, so you should not receive a late notice. If you do, please contact the Circulation Desk at Vanier or Webster where you borrowed it and let them know.
Please note that if you return your item *after* the desk has been opened for the day, and it was due the previous day, it will be considered late. Your item, in summary, should be returned before the due time emailed to you at checkout.
Re: access to the library post-graduation. You are correct that we have not, in the past, notified people that their library access will change upon graduation. We could probably do more in that regard and we will discuss ways in which we can do that. In the meantime, here is a page that describes the library services you can get as an alumnus:
Please also take note that, with the move to the new SIS, we are still fine-tuning expiry dates for our students and we know that there were some issues with users expiring earlier than they should have this term; we apologize for this error and are working hard to correct this issue.
Late fees, borrowing policies: The library tries to craft its policies in such a way that they will ensure access to our collection for as many patrons as possible; late fines are, (rather unfortunately!) a tool that we use to try and ensure access to as many users as possible. We feel that the number of renewals is fair as is the loan period; undergraduates can potentially have a book for 126 days if the item is not requested by another user (initial loan plus 5 renewals of 21 days each). Undergraduates are allowed to borrow 30 items at a time and we find that this suits the vast majority of our users.
Thank you again for your feedback, it’s always useful to hear from our users how our policies are working (or not!) and we certainly use this when considering changes to our policies.
And congratulations on your upcoming graduation!