Casual reading area seeks student input


The Ezra Lehman Library houses a new casual reading area that stocks popular books to be available to students.

You may be surprised to hear that aside from all the scholarly journals, classroom readings and ancient texts are books that people actually enjoy taking out; hence, the pleasure reading section of the library.

On the lower level of Ezra Lehman Library, past the study tables, area dividers and computers, in the far right-hand corner sits a cozy retreat for casual reading. There lay bean bag chairs, and a small bookshelf containing popular titles such as “50 Shades of Grey,” “Fight Club” and “The Hunger Games” trilogy.

Books from this section have a slightly shorter checkout period; they can be borrowed for 28 days, and then renewed once again for another 28 day period.

Associate dean and director of Lehman Library Michelle Foreman said this section of the library is the most popular with the books being circulated more than any other area.

For about three years, the Student Senate has had a library committee to help fund the casual reading area, which through a leasing program with the company Baker & Taylor, gets 10 books every month of 10 less popular titles.

Selections are made based on books with the highest circulation or student suggestions, which can be written on the chalk board in the pleasure reading section or requested through communication to a library staff member.

Books that are really hot items can stay in the permanent collection, which then get a plate that marks them as provided by the Student Senate.

The titles are as librarian Barbara Rotz says, “hitting the market now,” new releases considered in-demand by public readers.

And just because a popular book is not in the pleasure reading section, does not mean SU does not have it. Books may be checkedout in other sections of the library or in the Grace B. Luhrs Library.

Student involvement began with leadership from Elizabeth Cooper and is now continued by 2016 Student Senate Chairperson Olivia Straka, who is able to provide input on which popular titles are on the shelf next.

Cooper is excited about getting started with the collaboration, and met with Rotz on Friday, Feb. 15, to talk about the next 10 selections coming to SU.

In order to have the Student Senate continue to fund the partnership, student interest needs to remain high, and that means regular activity in the pleasure reading area, something in which Rotz is trying to get the students involved.

The more SU students take advantage of the casual reading area, the more they will be able to check out popular titles they want to see in the library.

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