I am a senior at VCU and I have noticed that the housekeeping needs a boost. I see the staff empy trash cans periodically throughout the day, but the library is extremely dusty and the ventillation system needs to be thoroughly cleaned..probably every few months. With the relatively warm climate here in Richmond and the thousands of people who pass through the library daily, I think more steps needs to be taken to keep the allergens down and the germs down. One of my main concerns regarding keeping the germs down is for staff to clean the keyboards and mouses on the computers more often! I hardly ever see anyone clean them, and I get tired of going coming to a computer just to be grossed out and having to either move or use my handsanitzer + napkin combo to clean them off before I can even use the computer. Another concern is the noise level, especially in the B-8 computer lab. If I'm not mistaken, there are signs in the room that ask patron's to be quiet and considerate of others, yet almost every time I have been down there, there are at least 3 to 5 people talking loudly on their cell phones or talking loudly to each other. That is very annoying and distracting. Even though JBCL needs some improvements, I applaud the library staff who do their job well to ensure that things run smoothly here at VCU.
From: an undergraduate student
Jeanne Hammer, Associate University Librarian for Administration and Policy Development, replies...
Thank you for commenting on the physical conditions in Cabell Library, which have been passed on to managers in Facilities Management. VCU contracts with private firms to provide housekeeping services, and unfortunately due to budget reductions in previous years, the level of service and performance standard were cut back. For example, carpet cleaning is now done annually vs. bi-annually. Also, the contract company’s performance relative to the contracted service level is evaluated about six times per month by VCU Facilities inspectors. The company is penalized only if they score lower than 75 points (based on 100 points). We share your concern about housekeeping standards, but because of budget constraints, there is little that can be done other than ensuring that the housekeeping firm performs to the level of the contract.
Regarding the HVAC system, we have been assured by Facilities Management that filters are inspected daily and changed as needed. Again, due to budget constraints there is not regular cleaning of ductwork.
The VCU housekeeping contract does not provide for cleaning of keyboards or the work surfaces around the public computers. During inter-sessions library staff do clean all keyboards thoroughly. However, because of your and other students’ comments, we recently assigned one of our hourly workers the task of inspecting all Cabell Library keyboards daily and cleaning the ones that most need attention. We hope this will make a difference for you and your fellow students.
Lastly, we encourage students to alert library staff if you see overflowing trashcans, spills, or any other housekeeping situation that requires immediate attention. We will be glad to contact Housekeeping and report the problem. Thank you again for your comments and suggestions.