New students don't have to be intimidated by the KU library system. Although it may seem overwhelming, it can be the key to a successful school career.
Want to know which is faster, the cheetah or the leopard?
Curious about what different scholars thought about Chaucer?
Dying to know what song made Barbra Streisand famous?
The Kansas University library system can provide the answers.
Although it may seem overwhelming at first, when used properly, the library system can be a student's best source of information.
The information is stored in literally millions of volumes.
Consider this fact: There are 3,193,850 books in the KU library system, said Mary Hawkins, assistant dean of libraries.
A few other numbers to ponder. The system has 33,047 subscriptions, 634,948 government documents 302,332 maps and 1,816,613 photographs.
That's a lot of information -- so much so that KU's collections on the main campus in Lawrence and at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., rank 16th in size among U.S. public universities, Hawkins said.
To aid students in finding information, the system provides on-line computer cataloging and is connected to a national link-up that allows students to find and request material the KU system doesn't have available.
It's as easy as checking out a book.
To take a book from any of the libraries, students must present their KU identification card, which entitles them to free access to the system.
However, students will be held responsible for damaged or misplaced books, Hawkins said.
In addition, they will be fined for overdue books -- a penalty that just this year went up more than 50 percent.
As part of the first major overhaul in the KU library lending code in 15 years, students will be charged $15 as the maximum fine for an overdue book.
A distinction will be made, however, between overdue materials on short-term loan and past-due materials checked out from the reserve section.
The fine for books on short-term loan less than one week will be 50 cents an hour. For research loans of less than a week, the overdue fine will be $1 an hour.
Other changes in the lending code include:
- Extension of the loan period from four to six weeks for undergraduate students and borrowers unaffiliated with the university. Faculty and doctoral students will continue to have a four-month loan period.
- Overdue notices will be issued by the library the 10th day after the due date, rather than the 15th. Borrowers have 30 days after the due date to return or renew the item.
- Fines for long- and short-term loan items will be capped at $15 rather than $5. The minimum fine on a long-term loan will be $5, with 50 cents each day after the grace period expires.
- Books on long-term loan will be eligible for recall from another borrower after the item has been on loan one week. Current policy permits recall after two weeks.
The above modifications will affect all libraries in the university library system. These include Watson Library, the main library on the Lawrence campus, and several smaller libraries on both the Lawrence and medical center campuses.
Satellite libraries on the Lawrence campus include:
- The Anschutz Science Library. It was opened in 1989 and houses 373,100 volumes and offers computer access to scientific databases on compact disk.
- Gorton Music Library in Murphy Hall. It features a collection of phonographic recordings dating from 1896 to the present.
- The law library in Green Hall. It houses legal volumes and information on court cases.
- Murphy Art and Architecture Library. It's in KU's Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art, and it houses numerous books and Asian art and photography history.
- Spahr Engineering Library houses a 64,865-volume collection that covers aerospace, civil, electrical and computer engineering.
- Spencer Research Library which houses one of the nation's foremost rare book collections. University Archives and the Kansas Collection are in Spencer.
For more information or to get acquainted with the library system, Hawkins suggests contacting the individual libraries for schedules and tour information.