Our new website!

We’re excited to announce the soft launch of our re-vamped Library website. We’ve spent a lot of time talking to students, thinking deeply about our content and about what people want from the Library website, and working to make sure everything works and all the information you need can easily be found, and we think our re-vamped website is a real improvement!

Of course, it’s only an improvement if you think so, too. We need your feedback. We’ll continue to make changes over the next six weeks and your opinion is important to help us understand what works for you and what doesn’t! Leave a comment below, or email the Web Services Librarian, Laura Krier, at laura.krier@sonoma.edu.

Posted in Website | Leave a comment

Get Articles from Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a stellar research tool, and it gets even better when you link it to the University Library.

If you’re logged into Google, you’ll see a Settings link at the top of the page.

Image shows the links at the top of Google Scholar page, with Settings link circled in blue

In the left-hand navigation menu, there is an option for Library Links. Search for “Sonoma State University,” and it will appear as an option below the search box for you to select.

Image shows the Google Scholar settings page with Sonoma State selected.

Now, when you search for articles using Google Scholar, you’ll see a “FindIt@SSU” link for articles that we subscribe to in the library.

Image shows Google Scholar results with FindIt@SSU links enabled.

You can also save links you discover to your Google Scholar library, find articles that have cited the article you’re looking at, find other versions, find related articles, and more.

Image shows a Google Scholar search result that has been saved to a user's library

Make sure you’re using Google Scholar to its fullest capacity by adding the University Library to your Google account.

Posted in Tips and Tricks | Leave a comment


Thanks to everyone who participated in our Design Your Library events. We got some great feedback, and you really helped us in re-thinking the design and functions of the Library website. We’re excited to start implementing some of your ideas!

We’re also happy to announce the winners of our fabulous grand prizes!
The winner of a $25 Wolfbucks Card is Lacinda Moore.
The winner of a Sonoma State University sweatshirt is Kaitlin Humphreys.
And the winner of our grand prize, a shiny new Razor scooter is Natalie Sampo.

If you haven’t already contacted the library to pick up your prize, please send an email to laura.krier@sonoma.edu.

We’re always looking for feedback and information from our students to ensure that we’re offering the best services we can for you. If you’d be willing to take some time out of your day to chat with a librarian, I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee (or tea, or a cookie, or a doughnut, or whatever your preferred snack break treat is). Just send me an email or leave a comment on this blog post. And please pass the word on to your friends if you think they’d be interested.

Thanks again to everyone who gave us your time, great ideas, and energy.

Posted in Design Your Library | Leave a comment

Design Your Library Website: Card Sorting

No, not that kind of card sorting.

One of the keys to building a useful website is to organize information in ways that people understand. And one of the best ways to find out how people understand your site is to do some card sorting. Card sorting activities reveal how people group, sort, and label tasks and content in their own minds, and it can be very valuable in figuring out how to structure a website.

We’ll be doing some card sorting during our Design Your Library events over the next few weeks. But if you can’t make it to an event, you can still participate! Yes, you can play along online with our exciting online Design Your Library Card Sorting Game!

Playing our card sorting game online also makes you eligible to win one of our fabulous prizes, so what are you waiting for? Tell us how we should organize our website, online or in person. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Posted in Design Your Library | Leave a comment

Design Your Library Space

Join the Conversation! Design Your Library Space 1.22.14 @ 5:30 pm Schulz 2022 Food and Prizes!

What do you think the future Library should look like? Do you like our lighting, our furniture, our study rooms? What should we change? What should stay the same?

Bring your imagination and creativity and come to Schulz 2022 this Wednesday night at 5:30. We want your input as we re-think the use of space in the building.

Are the spaces big enough? Are they comfortable? Do we have enough computers? What do you wish the Library would provide?

Come tell us! And… get free food and a chance to win awesome prizes!!!

Posted in Design Your Library | Leave a comment

Design Your Library

A combination of phrases including Design Your Library, Tell The Library, Make, and Create

Have you ever thought, “If the library only had…”? Now is your chance to tell us what you want to do when you’re using the library, whether in person or online.

The University Library is asking students to share your ideas about the library of the future. Through a series of brainstorming sessions and creative activities you can provide us with essential feedback as we begin planning for the coming years. How can the Library spaces better serve your needs? What would make the website easier to use? What kinds of applications or online tools do you want to use to make your academic life more efficient? What do you think the library of the future should be?

We’ll be hosting several events to talk about the Library building and the Library website. The kick-off event focuses on envisioning the best ways to re-design Library spaces and will take place Wednesday, January 22nd at 5:30 pm in Schulz 2022, on the second floor of the Library. Additional events will be held over the following three weeks.

  • Wednesday, January 22nd, 5:30 pm – Design Your Library Space
  • Thursday, January 23rd, 10:30 am – Design Your Library Website
  • Tuesday, January 28th, 10:30 am – Design Your Library Space
  • Wednesday, January 29th, 5:30 pm – Design Your Technology Tools
  • Tuesday, February 4th, 12:00 pm – Design Your Technology Tools
  • Wednesday, February 6th, 2:00 pm – Design Your Library Website

Oh, and did we mention? We’ll providing tasty treats, and you’ll have the chance to win fabulous prizes!

So come in and give us your feedback. Get creative and have fun imagining how to make your Library the best it can be.

Posted in Design Your Library | Leave a comment

Survey, Done

Thanks to all of you who answered our website survey questions over the last three weeks. We know pop-up surveys can be super annoying, but hearing from you about why you’re coming to our website really helps us to understand what you need. We really appreciate the over 150 responses we received from the community. They are giving us a good sense of who you are and why you’re visiting our website.

To those of you who reported problems accessing certain resources or finding information, because the survey is anonymous we have no way of getting in touch with you to help. But we have lots of people here who would be happy to help you find the resources you need, or who can fix things that don’t seem to be working correctly. Please use our Help 24/7 chat feature, send an email to your subject librarian, or make a suggestion using our online suggestion box.

Once I have a chance to dig into our survey results a little more, I’ll be sharing them here with you, so stay tuned.

Congratulations to those of you who are graduating this semester, and cheers to the end of finals! For those who are coming back in the spring, we can’t wait to see you in the library!

Posted in user testing | Leave a comment

Finding out about you

From the collection of the State Library of New South Wales www.sl.nsw.gov.au

As we begin to make plans for changes to the University Library website, we want to be guided by the needs and interests of our members. We plan to engage in a multi-pronged approach to assessment, both to understand more about how you are using our current website, and to understand how you are working and learning more generally. We want to get a better picture of your study habits, the tools you’re using to learn and to stay organized, and what you want from the University Library and the Library website.

You may have noticed that we’ve been running a quick survey on the library website, asking you why you visited the site and whether you’ve achieved your goals. We appreciate all the feedback we’ve received so far! It’s so helpful to understand what people are coming to the site for, and what you want to do here. We’ll be running this survey for one more week, and are grateful for the insight you’re sharing.

We’re also planning a series of events for the beginning of the spring semester, and will be engaging you all to talk about the library and the library website, and to participate in all kinds of fun activities, including brainstorming, card sorting, and collaborative design activities. We think these events will be a lot of fun, so stay tuned for more information!

What’s card sorting, you ask? Card sort exercise are a great way for us to learn how our members think about and use information on a web site. Card sorting allows testers to sort and cluster cards representing different parts of a website into categories that make sense the them. This will allow us to better understand how we can organize the information on our website in ways that make it easy for you to find and access.

We’ll also be reaching out to you around campus, to talk to you about when and how you use the library website, and what kinds of improvements you want to see. So if you’re approached by a librarian in the student center or the quad, do not be alarmed! We’re looking forward to getting to know you better.

We’ll also be doing more focused website usability testing as we start rolling out our updates and changes.

It’s important to us that our website is guided by your needs and is as accessible and usable as it can be. We hope you’ll be willing to share your thoughts, opinions, and ideas with us. If you have any questions, or want to be involved in any way, please leave a comment here, or send an email to laura.krier@sonoma.edu. We always love to hear from you.

Posted in user testing | Leave a comment

Welcome to the Library Lab!

We created this site to keep you updated on the web projects we’re working on here in the library. We want to showcase the development work we’re doing, share our ideas for future projects, and get your feedback. We want the library’s web services to be accessible and useful for you, to help you work better and get more out of the library, your classes, and your research.

And we’re kicking off the Sonoma State University Library Lab blog with a website redesign! That’s right, we’re re-vamping our website to make it easier for you to use. We’ll share our progress, ask for your feedback, and keep you informed every step of the way. Our goal is to put you, the members of the library, at the center of our website. We can’t wait to hear what you think.

Please don’t hesitate to leave comments here, or to contact us directly if you have thoughts, concerns, questions, or just want to say hi. We love hearing from you!

Posted in General | Leave a comment