Latest service and space updates: VCU Libraries COVID-19 response

New This Semester: makerspace and more on the MCV Campus, plus expanded hours, Science Hub drop-in hours and more

August 26, 2019

Change is always in the air at VCU.  Here are a few items of note that are new for fall semester 2019.

New media-rich spaces on MCV Campus

Later this fall, likely in October, Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences will open new spaces and services. The new makerspace will house 3D printers, Virtual Reality (Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Pro) and a 3D scanner. The new audio studio will offer two Rode Procaster microphones attached to an audio workstation for recording podcasts, interviews and other audio projects. A new video studio will be set up as a "one-button studio" to allow for easy video recording with pre-set sound and lighting. 

More new spaces

All group study rooms at Tompkins-McCaw are being updated with fresh paint, carpeting and other upgrades. Refreshed study rooms will be opening on a rolling basis as soon as possible. Also new at Tompkins-McCaw, a new faculty-only study space is opening on the second floor near the group study rooms. Entry will be via keycard.  

Expanded hours on MCV Campus

Effective Tuesday, Sept. 3, Tompkins-McCaw will open weekdays (Monday-Friday) at 7 a.m., rather than 7:30 a.m. to be more responsive to the schedules of patrons on the health care campus. 

Science Hub student hours

New this fall semester at Cabell Library are regular, drop-in hours for STEM students in introductory courses. Faculty members from math, chemistry, biology and physics will offer joint “open hours” at Cabell on Wednesdays 2 to 4 p.m. and Fridays 9 to 11 a.m. Students from introductory courses are invited to drop in for answers to questions, problem solving, tutoring and mentoring and, more simply, getting to know their teachers. 

Book return at Cabell

Cabell Library has an external book return that is always available. The stainless steel bin is located in one of the floor-to-ceiling windows facing Cathedral Place and the lawn. Just south of Starbucks, it is near an accessible ramp and stairs up to the plinth level. Patrons can return books at any time, whether the library is open or closed. 

Laptop lending kiosks

Previously located near the service desks, automated laptop kiosks are gone for good at Cabell. Need to borrow a laptop? Go to the Information Technology Support Center on the lower level in Cabell Library. Tompkins-McCaw will also retire laptops for loan early this semester. 

Walk-in writing coaching

The VCU Writing Center again will offer service hours at the libraries. No appointments are needed; just walk up and ask for help. 

    • At Tompkins-McCaw: Aug. 28 - Dec. 8, Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays 3 to 7 p.m.  
    • At Cabell, The Writing Center will offer two sessions, on Sept. 7 and Nov. 2. Times will be announced. 

New Lost and Found system for Cabell   

Crowdfind is a new online lost and found system, which provides a visual inventory of items brought to library staff in Cabell Library. The Student Commons and Parking and Transportation also use Crowdfind, so if you don’t find your lost item in our inventory, check theirs. If you find an item in the library, bring it to the Information Desk and libraries staff will add it to the platform.  

New name for hospital library 

To better reflect its function and mission, VCU’s consumer health library--the former Community Health Education Center--has a new name: VCU Medical Center Health and Wellness Library. While the name has changed, the focus remains unchanged: providing patients and their families with health and wellness information that is vetted by a medical librarian, up to date and easy to understand. The library, located in the hospital’s Gateway Building, is open to all 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. 

Civil Discourse podcast

Tired of partisan bickering and over-heated political discourse? Into this fray steps VCU Public Affairs Librarian Nia Rodgers and VCU political scientist  John Aughenbaugh, Ph.D., with a podcast that explores how government can and should work without the rancor of partisanship but rather with understanding and expertise. Find it on Scholars Compass or wherever you get podcasts.

Long Thanksgiving break

This year brings a change to VCU’s academic calendar. Instead of two reading days just before midterms, there is now one reading day in October and a new fall break in November that means students will have the entire week of Thanksgiving off. There are no classes the week of Nov. 25. For those who remain on campus, the libraries will be open that week. 

Discounted Adobe Creative Cloud Suite

VCU has negotiated a deeply discounted rate for students interested in using Adobe Creative Cloud, a powerful collection of some 30 applications including Photoshop, InDesign and Premiere Rush that can facilitate digital literacy, storytelling and creative problem-solving. In addition to providing access to the full suite of applications, Adobe CC tools will be incorporated into various classes in schools such as the School of Business, Wilder School, Robertson School and da Vinci Center, enabling students to practice digital skills as part of class assignments and projects. The VCU student rate is $60 for a year or $30 for six months compared to up to $360 annually if you have an individual contract. Need help? Contact the VCU IT Support Center.

VCU Libraries offers the Adobe Creative Cloud at Cabell Library on all public computers in The Workshop on the lower level at Cabell and in the Multimedia Collaboration Room at Tompkins-McCaw. In addition, computers in its new makerspace will have this package. 

The Monroe Park Campus: Smoke- and tobacco- free

The MCV campus has been tobacco free since 2010. Now, all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, are prohibited on Monroe Park Campus/VCU property. The directive includes buildings and vehicles, except for outdoor areas specifically designated with a sign for smoking and other tobacco use. The new policy applies to students, faculty, staff, contractors and campus visitors. For more information No smoking is allowed around Cabell Library, on the Compass or in the adjacent green space. 

The following locations are currently designated smoking areas on the Monroe Park Campus. 

  • Behind the Well (815 S. Cathedral Place)
  • Behind 700 West Grace Street
  • On the east side of Shafer Street Playhouse, between Shafer Dining Center and Ritter-Hickok
  • VCU College of Engineering, West Hall at the end of the breezeway next to Pine Street
  • VCU College of Engineering, East Hall at the steps on the west end of the crescent drive on the north side of the building
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