Colorado State’s Dean of Libraries let students eat cheese

Haleigh McGill

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On Thursday, Colorado State University’s Dean of Libraries Patrick Burns was joined by associate deans to discuss with the students what they love about Morgan Library, and also potential opportunities for improvement.

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Channeling President Andrew Jackson’s event in 1837 that went down in history as the Big Block of Cheese, a sizable block of cheddar with the Rams logo carved into it was provided for students to munch on while sharing their opinions and feedback with the panel of deans in the lobby of the Morgan Library.

The Big Block of Cheese invited students to snack and socialize. (Photo credit: Haleigh McGill)
The Big Block of Cheese invited students to snack and socialize. (Photo credit: Haleigh McGill)

“People don’t ordinarily get a chance to talk to the deans,” Burns noted. “It’s a venue to have conversations with students, and to learn from them.”

Crowds of students came in waves to get their slice of the Big Block of Cheese, and many of them had suggestions for the library that the deans were happy to discuss. CSU junior and history major Kim Selinske commented on the increased student traffic during weeks of academic stress, namely finals week.

“I think more seating options with more available outlets [would be a good improvement],” she said. “During finals week, it becomes a sort of battlefield to get good seating with plugs.”

Although the majority of the feedback was very positive, Associate Dean Meg Brown-Sica shared what students wanted most to see change or grow.
“Wi-fi, seating, some suggestions for technology, white board availability, expanding hours and navigation of the website are the biggest suggested areas of improvement … there were no complaints about the staff,” Brown-Sica said.

When it comes to potential changes on campus and student-feedback surveys conducted at the University, many students often wonder: will the changes work, and will something actually be done about our feedback?

According to David Ramsay, the library’s Director of Strategic Relations, the dean can use the library’s monetary assets to better cater the library to the needs expressed by students.

“The dean has control of the whole library budget,” Ramsay said. “He can get feedback through informal surveying, and figure out how to implement it.”

The informal, lighthearted atmosphere of the Big Block of Cheese drew in many students to what appeared to be largely beneficial conversation, both to them and to the deans of the library in the way of improving the overall library experience.

Collegian Reporter Haleigh McGill can be reached at news@collegian.com, or on Twitter @HaleighMcGill.

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