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Beating the Beatley Maze

Comm 310: Feature Writing
Traci Wrighton
The service-oriented feature either instructs the reader on how to do something or compares options within a particular category and assists the reader in choosing among them. Each begins with a "hook" that draws the reader in, followed by brief, tightly written paragraphs that frame the subject. Students follow Associated Press style and are asked to produce error-free copy for publication in campus or other newspapers.

This fall there is one place where freshmen and upperclassmen will experience the same moment of utter confusion—the new Beatley Library. But it doesn't have to last.

Freshmen will be puzzled because they are altogether unfamiliar with Beatley.

Upperclassmen may think they know where they're going, but they will soon find themselves disoriented because the layout has radically changed since the completion of LeFavour's renovation and expansion.

Both groups will need help to find their way in this glittering new structure and to get the most out of the wealth of resources now available there—starting with how to ask for help and whom to go to for it.

A simple orientation before you get there will help you to make the best use of your time within Beatley's walls.

Call Number — Almost all the books in the circulating collection are organized by the Library of Congress call number system. To locate a book or non-print media item, especially the reserved material for classes, the library staff will need a call number.

Catalog — Call numbers are found in the online library catalog. To access these numbers, go to and bookmark it in your Web browser to save yourself time in the future.

Group Study Rooms — Instead of only three group study rooms on the first level, Simmons students now have 14 rooms on all three levels. These rooms fall into three categories:

  • Network access only (eight)
  • DVD/VHS & Projection (four)
  • DVD/VHS/LCD TV/Camera (two)

All the group study rooms have access to the wireless network and provide dry-erase boards for illustrations, but only five rooms are equipped with technology for projection. The study rooms are a great way to watch assigned videos with classmates. Don't just bring your notebook; popcorn will set the mood for a great discussion afterward.

Two rooms have built-in cameras to capture your group activity. Beatley Library doesn't facilitate conference calls, but motivated students should be able to arrange Web conferences using Skype, software that free-calls among computers.

  1. Search for the rooms in the library online catalog with "Title" as your parameter and typing "group study rooms." Note: Using just the singular form in the "Keyword" option will only pull up two types of rooms.
  2. Always put in an end time—not just your start time. The default end time is 30 minutes. If you don't change it, you risk being kicked out of your room just after getting settled in.
  3. Remember your room number, and immediately contact your group members. The circulation staff is not going to want to give out that information.
  4. Once your room is booked, you should see the time and duration in your library account. The only thing left is check in at the circulation desk, pick up your room card, and borrow any dry-erase markers you might need.

Media Collection and Media Viewing/Listening Room — All videos and DVDs have moved from Media Services to the ground floor of Beatley Library. The collection features instructional videos and historical documentaries, but students looking for diversions can select an Oscar-nominated film like Volver (2006) or a cult TV show like My So-Called Life, (2002).

In a change from past practice, students cannot book the study rooms over the phone or in person at the circulation desk. Booking can only be done now online through your library account using your campus login and password. But booking the room is quick and easy using the following tips:

Students can watch assigned films in the new viewing room located next to the circulating media collection. There are 22 stations equipped with computers and players for DVD and VHS media. The circulation desk will loan out earphones to students who need them.

Compact shelving — Maximizing its new space, the library has placed the ground floor collections on compact shelving that moves on command. The Library Science collection uses compact shelving, too.

Push the green arrow button pointing in the direction the shelving should move. If it doesn't move, either a person or a footstool is in its path. The shelving's sensors won't allow it to move when an aisle is occupied.

If the aisle is empty and the shelving still refuses to budge, punch the red button in the middle to reset. If you still get flashing red lights, it's time to ask for help from the circulation desk.

In the library there are three essential places that every student should know: the circulation desk, the reference desk, and the technology desk. Each desk is responsible for assisting students and faculty in specific areas.

Circulation Desk

  • access to the circulating collection (books and media)
  • access to materials reserved by professors for their classes
  • getting the copiers to work for you, not against you
  • access to group study rooms

Reference Desk

  • direction to the Simmons Library database that fits your need
  • access to specific databases for graduate student use
  • access to the Reference collection (which does not circulate)
  • assistance with the microfilm reader
  • assistance with the online RefWorks bibliographic tool

Technology Desk

  • access to the Simmons wireless network
  • access to laptops and electronic equipment used for study
  • assistance with operating nearly every machine in the library (EXCEPT for
  • copiers and the microfilm reader)
  • access to guest cards for printers (when you forgot your ID and your paper is
  • due in 15 minutes)

In 30 minutes —

  • Getting reserve material:
  1. Have the call number ready and written down.
  2. Know your limit: for copying, you're allowed up to three items at one time.
  3. Return item to circulation desk counter top. Using book drop slot risks earning a fine.
  • Using the library copiers:
  1. Have cash ($1 bills/change) or Simmons ID loaded with money ready.
  2. Remember, those free points on your Simmons ID are for printing only, not copying.
  3. Don't show fear.
  4. Get help.
  • Finding a book:
  1. Have the call number ready and written down.
  2. Note the location from the same page you got the call number.
  3. Know how to read a call number.
  4. Get help.

In 2.5 — 3 hours —

  • Book your study group room online.
  1. In the library? Grab a yellow tip sheet either from the circulation desk or at the Web stations (the computers that only have Internet access).
  2. In your room? The library's home page has a "How Do I?" tab that answers frequently asked questions.
  • Tell your group members the room number.
  • Go early to catch a computer with a printer and avoid the rush of procrastinators.
  1. All three floors have computer stations.
  2. There are empty carrels. If you don't want to lug your laptop, borrow one from the technology desk.\

Half/whole day —

  • Have research questions ready.
  • Know the location of the library's collections.
  1. Books with call numbers A-PQ are on the second floor. Oversize books are here too.
  2. Current periodicals (2007 publication), Library Science, Reference, and reserve materials are on the first floor.
  3. Bound periodicals, Children's Literature, Media, and books with call numbers PR-Z are on the ground floor.
  • Get help from reference librarians in person or through online live chat.
  1. Just because there isn't a person physically at the reference desk doesn't mean no one is available to help.
  • Bring snacks.


  • InterLibrary Loan
  1. Need more time to read that reserve book? Check the book's availability ( — online catalog for libraries worldwide) at another library and order it through ILL.
  • Databases
  1. Troll the databases and print up convincing evidence in the comfort of your pajamas.