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Daily Bulletin

Tuesday, January 6, 1998

University of Waterloo • Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Users borrow fewer library books

The number of books and other items borrowed from UW's libraries has gone down by 35 per cent in five years -- from just under 1 million in 1991-92 to 651,413 in 1996-97. The drop in the past year was 100,000 items, some 13 per cent. Use of items in the reserve rooms is down by 23 per cent in six years, and the use of microfilm materials has dropped as well.

The statistics come from an "annual progress report" of the UW library. An abridged version of the report was presented to the senate executive committee yesterday, and the full report was made available by the president's office. In it, the university librarian offers some possible explanations for the drop in library borrowing: "Difficulty of finding local materials on the GEAC online catalogue; increased use of the WWW and finding more electronic resources; changes in the curriculum or assignments; decline in the number of new monographs acquired."

Certainly, the use of library electronic resources is way up. The report doesn't give a figure for the total use of the Electronic Library, but it does point to one distinctive part of the ELibrary, the Scholarly Societies Project, which was accessed more than 500,000 times by web users around the world. Accesses to the Electronic Data Service reached 38,000 last year.

Also up over previous years' figures were interlibrary loans (doubled in six years; last year UW library users borrowed 9,564 items, while Waterloo lent 11,970 items to other libraries) and the use of special collections materials (3,130 manuscript boxes and rare books used last year).

The report says the library spent $5,036,608 on materials last year, with serial subscriptions accounting for just a shade under $3 million of that, and books $1.5 million. In "the third major cancellation program since 1990", the UW libraries cut another 381 subscriptions. Like other UW departments, the report adds, "The Library worked its way through a 7% reduction in Operating Budget, all of it from salaries."

Doctors won't prescribe shots

Meningitis shots are for people in the 2-to-22 age range right now, says a notice from UW's director of health services, and those over 22 shouldn't ask for vaccinations and won't get them.

Free vaccinations are available on campus tomorrow through Friday for students up to age 22 and children (2 to 22) of students, faculty and staff. Clinics in the Student Life Centre will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.to 6 p.m. Friday.

Barbara Schumacher, director of health services, says there have been a good many requests from people over the age limit who want the inoculations as well:

During the Community Health Department meningitis immunization campaign, health services will be focusing the activities of our staff toward students, faculty and staff in the targeted group . . . who are deemed by the Community Health Department to be at most risk.

We understand the concern of the larger community and wish to reiterate what the Community Health Department has announced -- a successful immunization programme which is able to reach 80% of the targeted population will insure protection for all of us. Therefore, at the present time, Health Services is unable to provide meningitis vaccine prescriptions for individuals older than 22 years. Health Services is working within the parameters established by the Community Health Department and following discussions with the Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Doug Sider.

When we have been assured that the population on campus at most risk has been reached through our special clinics . . . we will review the situation in consultation with the Community Health Department and will re-evaluate our response towards individuals older than 22 years of age. Until then, we are making a plea to individuals over 22 years to please keep Health Services phone lines and appointments open for the under 22 year age group whom we are attempting to reach as quickly as possible with vaccination and for those individuals who are ill and seeking medical attention.

Proof of age will be required at the immunization clinics. Date of birth information is not on OHIP or WatCards, so students coming to be vaccinated should bring a driver's licence or birth certificate as well as those documents, health services says.

With most of the staff of health services busy helping at the clinics tomorrow through Friday, routine immunizations usually given in the white building by the pond won't be available on those days. Allergy shots will be given 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and dispensary hours will be 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Says Schumacher: "Please avoid the lunch hour from noon to 2 p.m. as our staff will be extremely limited at this time. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of the university community."

Systems professor died over holiday

[Chandrashekar] It was announced yesterday that Muthu Chandrashekar, professor of systems design engineering, died at home during the Christmas holiday break. Chandrashekar, who was 50, came to UW in 1973. He was a specialist in solar energy and headed the WatSun laboratory. His death was unexpected and details aren't known, I was told from the systems department this morning. Chandrashekar had no family members in the Waterloo area; memorial arrangements are pending.

Two students are mourned

Kristy Evans, a first-year student in arts, died December 23 in a multi-vehicle highway crash west of Elmira. Evans lived in Listowel and had a part-time job in Elmira. The funeral was held December 26.

A memorial service will be held Sunday for Kapilan Palasanthiran, first-year physics student, who was shot to death in Scarborough (Toronto) December 27. The service will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Paul's United College, where Palasanthiran lived at UW. "Students are just reeling here," says Helga Mills, principal of St. Paul's, noting that the college is a close community and people are finding it "really tough" to cope with the news of their friend's death. There have been no arrests; police apparently think Palasanthiran and two friends were mistaken for members of a gang.

On Sherlock Holmes's birthday

Every two months, the information systems and technology department offers short (1-3 hours), non-credit, free computing courses to UW faculty, staff and students. There are courses on a number of topics, including Operating Systems (such as. Windows 95), Software Applications (Introduction to Excel), World Wide Web (Introduction to HTML), Instructional Technology Topics (such as "Creating a Web Page for Your Course") and Special Presentations (Using Waterloo Polaris in the Office). Most of the courses are taught in a hands-on environment. The schedule of courses is now available for January and February.

Key control, in the General Services Complex, will be open Monday to Friday over the lunch hour from now through January 16. Hours this week and next will be 8:30 to 4:30; after January 16, key control goes back to its usual hours, 8:30 to noon and 1:00 to 4:30.

And . . . registration continues, on the second day of the winter term. So does book purchasing; I noticed a few sleepy-eyed folks waiting in the South Campus Hall concourse before 8:00 this morning. The bookstore opens at 8:30 (and today and tomorrow it's open until 7 p.m.).


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca -- (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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