Published: Aug. 20, 2019

As incoming and returning students arrive on campus and our faculty make last-minute edits to their syllabi, the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries are also preparing for a successful start to a new school year. 

Our Circulation Department has kept busy this summer by gathering materials from course reserve requests filed by professors and teaching assistants from schools across campus. 

Course reserve books stacked on table.

“It can take us up to five days to get requests processed during the busiest weeks, and we don’t necessarily have all of the textbooks being used,” said Curt Williams, the Circulation, Information, and Patron Services Manager. 

Williams recommends professors visit the Libraries’ reserves catalog to view our selection before placing an order, to gauge how long it would take for an order to come in. 

Acquisitions’ main priority each summer is similar to Circulations’. Since the beginning of July, the unit has placed over 3,000 new orders for books and materials for CU Boulder faculty and instructors. 

“We are purchasing books to include on reserve shelves, acquiring ebooks that can be used by multiple students at the same time, and seeking streaming videos to be incorporated into syllabi,” Head of Libraries Acquisition Services Juleah Swanson said. “Some of the work that we do enables students to borrow or access course materials via the library instead of having to buy the materials.”

Swanson said rush orders are being prioritized by requestors. On average, rush requests take seven calendar days to fulfill.

While it’s normal for Preservation to have books from the Libraries’ general collection to repair, the unit responds to rush items that go on reserve for the semester.  

“These either need shelf prep [call number labels] and sometimes book repair if they are damaged at all,” Preservation Manager Lauren Stapleton said. “These items need to be made available to students ASAP so we treat them before treating other items.”Carts of books from Acquisitions.

The Libraries are one of the largest employers of student assistants on campus, and soon, areas like Circulation and Preservation will need to start showing students how it all works. 

Additionally, subject specialists are also making room in their schedules for 1-on-1 appointments but the classes they will teach across campus as well. 

“So far I have been invited to teach seven classes for undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Media, Communication and Information,” Social Sciences Librarian and Assistant Professor Stacy Gilbert said. “I’m excited to teach new and returning instructors and students about the Libraries, information literacy skills, and new resources.”

With the first day of classes just around the corner, we assure you that we will be ready to go! Be sure to stop by the front entrance of Norlin Library on Monday, August 26 and Tuesday, August 27 to learn more about all the ways we can connect you with the resources that will help you succeed this semester. 

We look forward to meeting you next week at the Libraries!