Sweet, glorious summertime!

We’ve made it through another semester! Congratulations to all of our graduates!

If you’re going to be around for the summer, here are our summer hours for all of your studying needs:

Maymester Hours (Effective May 9 – May 29, 2015)
Monday – Friday: 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm


Summer Hours (Effective May 30 – August 8, 2015)
Monday – Thursday: 7:30 am – 7:50 pm
Friday: 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm


Intercession Hours (Effective August 10 – August 22, 2015)
Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday- Closed

Exceptions to summer semester hours:

Saturday, May 23 and Monday, May 25: Closed for Memorial Day weekend

Friday, July 3 and Saturday, July 4: Closed for Independence Day weekend

Monday, August 17: Closed from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm for Convocation

Regular library operating schedule for fall will begin on Monday, August 24.

We are still working with the librarians on the Highland Crest, Livingston, and McGavock campuses to determine their summer hours. This blog post will be reflected to update those hours when they have been determined.

And last but not least, enjoy  a few pictures from the therapy dog visits on May 4 and 5.





Have a great summer!


Thigpen Library celebrates National Library Week

From April 13 to 17, members of the Thigpen Library staff celebrated National Library Week with a variety of activities.

On Monday, library staff members performed random acts of kindness by giving out free candy to students.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we offered students the opportunity to be a “Librarian for a Day,” which included a behind-the-scenes tour of the library. Four students participated, and they each had positive feedback about the experience. Our first two participants were Onak Akuai, an engineering and counseling major from Gallatin, TN and Timothy Gann, a university studies major from Gallatin, TN.

Onak Akuai sitting at the reference desk
Onak Akuai, librarian for a day

Onak said that seeing the librarians’ offices surprised him the most. “I knew most of them but didn’t know that each of them has his or her own office,” he said. He also said that it was interesting to see different rooms in the library and that he enjoyed seeing the most interesting things that I has seen since starting his time studying at Vol State!

Timothy Gann sitting at reference desk.
Timothy Gann, librarian for a day

Timothy felt that the librarians can be extremely useful due to their access to so many things. He was surprised that there are a lot of spaces in the library that most students don’t get to see. “The overall relationship that the librarians have with each other seems to be a very happy and driven one. I’m glad I took up the offer. You’re all very sweet people who are constantly looking to help the students,” he said.

Our third participant was Gayla Collier, a mass communications major from Gallatin, TN.

Gayla Collier sitting at the reference desk
Gayla Collier, librarian for a day

Gayla learned that the library keeps catalogs of everything at Vol-State. She was also surprised to learn that the library has a presentation room where students can practice their speeches. (Librarian sidenote- to use the practice presentation room, see a library staff member at the upstairs circulation desk).

On Wednesday, Jenny Hernandez, a pre-physical therapy major from Gallatin, TN participated.

Jenny Hernandez sitting at the reference desk
Jenny Hernandez, librarian for a day

Jenny was surprised to learn that there is so much more to being a librarian than just checking out books. “Librarians work just as much as any other profession,” she said. She was also interested by the archives since there is information from Vol State dating back to the 70’s!

We appreciate all of our participants and are glad that they enjoyed the experience!

On Thursday, students received free headphones, and on Friday, the library had a Game Day in the Rochelle Center, which included refreshments, board games, and two ping pong tables.

We also had a whiteboard poll set up all week to ask students what they like most about the Thigpen Library.  Check out the pictures below to see the highlights from the week.

Whiteboard poll answers
Whiteboard poll responses
Whiteboard poll response people are awesome here!
Whiteboard poll response
Whiteboard poll responses peaceful place to come and study, friendly and knowledgeable staff
Whiteboard poll responses
Two students focus on a game of chess during Game Day.
Two students focused on their chess game during Game Day
Four students playing ping pong
A four-person ping pong battle during Game Day
Two students posing after a game of ping pong
Posing after ping pong during Game Day

The activities were a fun break from the end-of-the semester stress, and all of us here at Thigpen are grateful for everyone who celebrated the week with us!

One simple way to guarantee your feedback about the library is heard

Library Director, Sarah Smith, joins the blog today to share information about how the library staff responds to student feedback.

As the director of the Thigpen Library, I am always seeking ways to improve services and resources provided to Vol State students. So, I get really excited when students contribute their suggestions for the library, whether it’s through one of the library’s Tip Jars (located downstairs at the Reference Desk and upstairs at the Circulation Desk), verbally to a staff member, or in response to our informal surveys.

One of the two tip jars in the library. Photo credit: Librarian Mike Hitzelberger
One of the two tip jars in the library.
Photo credit: Librarian Mike Hitzelberger

I’m very excited to report that the library actively responds to student suggestions. For instance, one student commented about the need for computer station sanitation to prevent the spread of disease. Voilà! Students now have easy access to disinfecting wipes placed throughout the computer lab area so that they can sanitize their computer station before use.

We also respond to students’ need via observation. For example, we noticed that many students wanted to use the large reading tables for study, but also needed access to an outlet to charge their laptops at those tables. The library came up with what students have called a “genius” solution – attaching outlets (including USB charging ports) to the tables.

A group of students using the charging station while they study
A group of students using the charging station while they study

A request that has been received from a few of our students is for the library to stay open 24/7. Good news: we already are! The library’s online collections can be accessed by any Vol State student, staff, or faculty member 24/7, and these include millions of full text articles and more than 200,000 online books and videos. Additionally, our LibGuides provide instruction on the use of the library’s resources so that students can get the help they need to use library resources at any time.

As far as the physical building remaining open 24/7, there are many reasons why the idea is not feasible. I’ll name a few of the main reasons for not staying open for any 24 hour period on a regular basis: non-residential campus, security concerns, huge costs (at a minimum guess, $150,000 extra) to hire staff, and the Gallatin Campus itself officially closes at 11 pm. Perhaps the best evidence for not staying open 24/7 is the lack of demonstrated need for those hours: during our extended hours near exam times there are never more than a handful of people using the library between 10-11 pm; unfortunately, there are only a handful of students here at closing each night during our regular hours, too. I know that there will be a few students who will remain unsatisfied with this response and so I encourage these students to speak with me directly.

Sarah can be reached at 615-230-3412 or at Sarah.Smith@volstate.edu.