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Archive for Tuesday, August 18, 2009

KU Info expands its services on campus

Watch and listen as KU Info director Curtis Marsh talks about the KU Info booth near the bus stop across from Bailey Hall.

August 18, 2009

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Curtis Marsh, KU Info director, is pictured at the recently reopened KU Info Booth at the bus stop across from Bailey Hall on Jayhawk Boulevard. Marsh says that despite the booth’s small size, it has all the necessary amenities and functionality of the KU Info office in the Kansas Union.

Curtis Marsh, KU Info director, is pictured at the recently reopened KU Info Booth at the bus stop across from Bailey Hall on Jayhawk Boulevard. Marsh says that despite the booth’s small size, it has all the necessary amenities and functionality of the KU Info office in the Kansas Union.

Sometimes, the questions are a little odd. But they get answered anyway.

Matt Enriquez, a senior from Topeka who works for KU Info, once was asked for 10 political figures’ phone numbers. He provided the information but was curious why she wanted to know.

“It was a bizarre question, but I answered it,” Enriquez said.

Starting last school year, the longtime KU Info institution began offering students and others an additional location to pose their queries — the KU Info Booth along Jayhawk Boulevard.

After a recent face-lift, the booth — which once served the same purpose decades ago — was again open for business.

Curtis Marsh, director of KU Info, said the booth needed a new roof, a steady foundation with new walls, windows and a technology update to serve the KU community faster.

“It is really fun to see it revitalized,” Marsh said. “But we couldn’t have done it with out the university’s support.”

Contributors to the reopening of the KU Info Booth were the University Daily Kansan, the KU Student Senate and KU’s Provost Office.

“It was a combined effort to refurbish and financially support KU Info,” Marsh said. “We really lucked out; we found the right people at the right time.”

The reaction to the reopening of KU Info was outstanding, Marsh said. An average of 200 questions were posed there each day at the booth, in addition to questions that are asked by phone and e-mail.

KU started the service in the 1970s to help control rumors during times of riots and protests on campus. But now, KU Info serves a more broad purpose.

Marsh admits there are some oddball questions. Those include, “What does the 57 stand for on the Heinz ketchup bottles?” and a perennial favorite, “How many trees are there on campus?”

According to Marsh, 90 percent of questions asked are KU-related. It’s that other 10 percent that tends to be more random.

To help the KU community, KU Info also has a database on its Web site — www.kuinfo.ku.edu — which includes information about the university. There are questions in the database that are recently asked questions, and there is also information in the database of questions that is at least 20 years old. Resources that were once available to KU Info aficionados in the past are now available via the Internet.

During the school year, KU Info is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the main location in the Kansas Union. Employees of KU Info staff the booth on Jayhawk Boulevard from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. It also is available by calling 864-3506, by texting 66746 with “kuinfo” in the question or by e-mailing from the service’s Web site.

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