Friday, March 30, 2012

Actions as Votes

The Provost and I have a standing weekly meeting, and this week an unusual topic came up. Our library is fortunate to have Academic Services in the library building. This is win-win. Students and other patrons going to see Disability Support Services, for example, walk through the library. They see us. Patrons using the library see the Writing Center. Foot traffic has increased since the move (and the sum total of our traffic together is greater than it would be separately), as we in the library and Academic Services reinforce and support each other.

The Provost informed me that on Sunday night someone, a patron, we suspect, moved a chair across the first floor, from the desk of a Career Services employee to a study room. The Provost knows this because the Director of Career Services mentioned it to her, who told me. Both the Director and the Provost are concerned that a patron would go into staff space for a chair, move it, and not replace it. I share this concern, but I have a different take. I think the patron just voted, just told us that our furniture, which does tend to move about at times (and is usually replaced), is not up to snuff. That someone would take a staff chair through three rooms, over 80 feet... that, to me, is a data point. It says something.
Food for thought.

*Speaking of voting, it's ALA election time. Please inform yourself and vote.


  1. Our students move furniture around all the time. The only time I mind it is when they move things from floor to floor. Even then, the only reason I mind it is because it's awkward to move it back. To me, moved furniture is a sign of comfort and shared ownership... so I usually like it when students move things.

  2. Agree with you, Jacob! The person who moved that chair voted and we should pay attention to what their actions mean. Thanks for sharing.