Category Archives: cleanliness


You wrote:

Monday… 18:45 pm. Computer number W-246, desk was a complete mess, someone had been eating there and had left their food wrappers as well as pencil shavings all over the desk. Furthermore the monitor was locked to the hard drive in a manner which made it inconvenient to use. Another computer became available so I took that one as there was no one available to help me. Computer W-261, keyboard is filthy, has not been cleaned in awhile. Why aren’t the computers being cleaned regularly and why isn’t there more vigilance being done to ensure that students are not leaving the computer stations a mess. Also, there is a rule about eating in the library which clearly isn’t being enforced.

Thank you for writing to us. I’m sorry to hear about your combination of unpleasant experiences while using the library workstations. I forwarded your comment about the monitor to our computer technicians, and it has now been adjusted.

We do have the workstation keyboards cleaned on a weekly basis, and we do ask students to leave the library with food when caught in the act. With round the clock opening hours, however, and average entranceway traffic (or ‘turnstile statistics’) of 250 per hour in busy months like these, it would be nearly impossible for us to monitor students’ activities and workstation/keyboard status on a continual basis. We need help from all of you as well.  Hopefully this post can serve as a reminder to everyone that any messes created, and most especially left behind, have a significant impact on the experience of all library users.

Your Suggestions Make a Difference

Though we can’t  always act on each question or comment we receive, here is a quick progress report on some of  recent library developments directly related to your Suggestion Box input: 

Electrical outlets
There have been many pleas for more electrical outlets in the libraries for all those students with laptops. Though we reported that the electrical system at Webster would be upgraded and that outlets would be installed throughout both libraries over the summer, work delays beyond our control have slowed this process down. We did want to let you know that this issue is still a top priority and that the renovation work will definitely be completed this semester. Special thanks go to the CSU Library Services Fund Committee for its support and funding of this improvement project, which will result in about 800 additional electrical outlets in the Libraries.

Keyboard Languages
Though there has been no blog post about this until now, we  received requests one-on-one  that additional keyboard languages be made available on the library computers so that students could more easily write their papers in languages other than English and French.  You might have noticed in our What’s New that almost all library workstations now make the following available, in accordance with the language programs offered at Concordia:  English (Canada & U.S.), French (Canada), Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Russian, Spanish.

Dirty Keyboards
Also off the blog so far, we received comments about dirt and germs on keyboards at some of the computer workstations at Webster. We have now initiated a more regular cleaning program for the keyboards of all computers in the library,  and hope that this should improve the situation. Do note, however, that:  a) unusually dirty keyboards or work areas can always be reported to the nearest service desk, and b) computer keyboards in a public area like ours will never be germ-free, no matter how often they are cleaned, so be sure to take proper hygiene into your own hands.

Ask a Wizard
We received more than one plea to get rid of the Ask a Librarian “wizard” that popped up and flew around on public workstations at every login.  Now that the Ask a Librarian service is featured  more prominently through other avenues, we’ve decided to go with the flow and bid the wizard adieu.

What’s New With Noise
You very recently asked what new initiatives we have implemented regarding noise reduction in the library. We didn’t mention it in the post but would now like to highlight that last month, the rubber-like linoleum floor covering in the Webster library entrance area was completely replaced by carpet, which should be much better suited for the important task of noise absorption.

Thanks for your contributions! Let us know if you are curious about the status of any other items you’ve seen mentioned on the blog.