University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Mar 3, 1958

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Array MINUTES of meeting to discuss Open House, Feb.-March 1958
March"3 , 1953* /^f^;
h <^.,
Present: Dr* Rothstein, Mr* Harlow, Fliss O'Rourke, Miss Mercer,
Miss Alldritt; Fir. Bell, Miss Dwyer, Miss Scott,
Miss Fugler.
Dr. Rothstein wished to have comments to present to the final
meeting of the University Open House Committee which is to be held
Mr. Harlow said that in general he thought Open House had been
very successful; he had heard only good comments about the Library
exhibits. They were well spread out so that there was not too much
crowding to see them, and people welcomed the opportunity to sit
down on the available chairs—very few places had seating accommodation.
Traffic. The only direction to traffic was by signs, and the
tendency to keep to the right at the main Library entrance brought
most people up to the south side of the Flain Concourse where there
were no exhibits.  Student guides in the front hall were not always
on hand, and more guidance at the front door would be useful.
Directions should be put on an easel just within the entrance.
Perhaps more people would have visited the book stacks if there
had been a clear sign indicating that they were open.  Signs on
tripods command more attention than those stuck on the wall or
placed on table tops. Flistakes in signs left staff to remedy
deficiencies at the last moment, and it was agreed not to have
Mamooks do the sign work next time.
Signs on  Displays.  Lettering on labels was small, not easily read
rTrom any distance. A single, short descriptive statement about
each book exhibited might be more effective, or perhaps one important book might have a full explanation.  Staff on duty at displays
should be well informed about the material and about library
Program. Perhaps a printed or mimeographed leaflet might be provided for visitors to pick up, giving information about the displays
and possibly also about library services. The invitation to join
the Friends of the Library was taken by some people to be an invitation to become a borrower.
Staff Schedules and Supervision.  The schedule was worked out by
Fir. Stuart-Stubbs who tried not to schedule anyone for as long as
three hours without a break.  Occasionally "floaters" were not found
when needed, and perhaps next time they should be stationed in one
place. Two persons, rather than one, are needed for the microfilm
and map displays. An information desk, just inside the entrance to
the exhibit room, would probably be more useful than at the
Reference service desk.  The student assistants selected by Bill
Bell were excellent. &7
Some of the books were handled a good deal and some minor damage
was done. Books with ribbons across them were left untouched, but
this makes a less interesting display for the viewers.  It was
recommended that hereafter anything which is valuable or rare not be
exhibited in the front of the display and that books be shifted from
time to time. Once an exhibit arrangement had been disturbed, new
supervisors coming on duty found it very difficult to restore the
original design.
Motif. Future displays should perhaps concentrate on a particular
subject so that some central theme would relate them.  The use of
plants and flowers should be considered.
Space and Arrangement.  About 20 tables were used for the displays.
It was suggested that in future the reading rooms be left in their
normal condition and exhibits be set up in the front hall, with good
lighting to show them properly.  The new wing will alter present
conditions and may present better locations for the purpose.
The concourse looked very bare as visitors passed through it, and
some "spot" exhibits might be desirable in each room. Mr. Harlow
would prefer to have library service continue during Open House,
but Dr. Rothstein pointed out that the University is officially closed
for normal use then, and that it would probably not be possible to
have staff supervising displays and also offering service at the
public desks.
Should Library Continue Displays? Arrangement of exhibits takes a
great deal of time for an occasion of so short a duration.  There was
actually not enough time between the closing of the Library at noon
on Friday and its re-opening at 5 p.m. to get all the work done,
though it was completed before the official opening ceremony at 7:30.
There were very few delays and everyone involved cooperated to
the fullest extent.
Mechanics. Two, staple guns are needed to speed up mounting of
displays. Perhaps some of the plywood panels could be put together
ahead of time. The poor sign work (misspellings, wrong sizes and
colors, etc.) has been reported to the Open House Committee.
Budget.  The very limited amount of money available necessitated
skimping in a number of ways: there was not enough paper to put aprons
on the tables, nor any pliofilm to cover some of the material;
good-looking tacks were too costly to buy in quantity.  It may be
possible to get a larger amount from Open House Committee next time
(the money is provided by the University),
Refreshments for Staff? Most people felt that when the job of mounting displays was finished they would prefer to go home; a few thought
that a coffee party might have been welcome.
Departmental Displays in Library.  Exhibits by other departments of
the University in the Library were slipshod and uninteresting, and
in the future they should be eliminated or more closely checked by the
Library. Special Events.  The opening ceremony on the Library steps was very
effective. The VOC rock-climbing displays, on the front of the
building should perhaps be eliminated.  The re-enacting of the
Pascal experiment by the Physics Department was highly successful.
The handsome tower erected by 2nd 3^ear Architecture students on the
Main Flail was very effective both by day and by night, when it was
Publicity by newspaper, radio and television was very good
indeed, and even the weather stayed fine.
Visitors. Mr. Harlow guessed that most of the people who come to
Open House are interested but probably not very well informed about
what they are seeing; their questions should not be treated in an
offhand way, and great care should be given to the replies.
The official figure for visitors to the Library is 9227.
The meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.


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