Library Installs LCD Information Screen

Gleeson Library installed a new LCD in the library a few weeks back and a number of questions have come up about how we got it (thanks Dean Cannon!), how it works and how we decide what content is displayed.

Dean Cannon charged the Gleeson Public Services Council with the project in 2007. After much deliberation and consideration of the possible impacts to service, locations, atmosphere (a TV in the library? sacrilege!!), possible content, costs etc. etc., the council chose a location near the main entrance to the library in the Geschke Learning Resource Center.


Once we had a location and ideas for content, we selected a 46” Sony Bravia. If you are considering an LCD for your department/library, there are many good sources for info on hardware out there – a good place to start with product reviews is CNET and they have tips on the LCD vs. Plasma issues we found very helpful. The Sony Bravia was also recommended by folks in the USF Classroom Technology department.

Content (a Keynote slideshow) is stored and accessed via a Mac we have attached to the LCD via HDMI. The Mac is on the USF ITS network, so content can be managed from just about anywhere.

We also pulled coax (USF cable TV signal) to the LCD and we have shown a very limited amount of broadcast content (e.g. 2008 Presidential candidate debates with the audio off and closed-captioning on). We are considering broadcasting graduation ceremonies for folks who can’t get a seat in Saint Ignatius Church.

Content is focused on library events and programming and has been selected informally by the council with input from Dean Cannon and the Library Leadership Team. Examples include a summary of the library instruction courses being taught for a given week, updates on exhibitions in the Thacher Gallery and other library events/updates. All of the content was created by Randy Souther in Gleeson’s Reference and Research Services department.

Randy, you rock!

At the moment, Public Services Council does not have a formal process to chose content – but we will. If you are on campus and would like something added, you can start with an email the any of the librarians currently serving on the Public Services Council.

Shawn P. Calhoun – Access Services
John Hawk – Rare Book Room
Karen Johnson – Systems and Reference & Research Services
Locke Morrisey – Reference and Research Services
Vicki Rosen – Distance Learning and Reference

Thanks for all the feedback so far and please keep the ideas and comments coming!

11 thoughts on “Library Installs LCD Information Screen”

  1. Hey Shawn, Thanks for this good write-up of the new LCD display in the lobby. A little note – the display just premiered the 1st of this month Feb, (although it probably feels like months to the committee), in case people are wondering.

  2. Hey Shawn, Thank you to the Public Services Council for this addition to Gleeson. When I enter the library, I personally appreciate the information screen’s posh, dynamic interface, which perfectly highlights our role as the information center of the University. Many people cannot always seek out info about our new services, or programming — not to mention our world-class collections and databases. The Gleeson Information Screen is a fantastic, modern way of introducing our patrons to our quality resources. [..and streaming University programming and national political events: a nice reinvention to information acquisition at the library!] It’s sweet bling to our already terrific (if underrated) library. Congratulations!

  3. The LCD display is a nice addition and will help us promote our support of teaching and research at USF. Nice job PSC.

  4. Although I recognize the relative merits of having a TV screen with pertinant library information so close to the circulation desk, I wonder what has happened to the beautiful artwork that once was up on that same spot on the wall. Is the piece of art hanging somewhere else in the library? I’m concerned about what this may symbolize in the University’s prioritizing of fast-and-ready technology over recognition of our Jesuit, Catholic tradition.

  5. Marybeth,

    While I can’t speak to all of your points, you should know that the library consulted with Fr. Tom Lucas S.J., a professor with the Visual Arts Department and the curator of the Thacher Gallery, on the removal of the art work.

    While I do not see this as an either or choice on the part of the library – technology or Jesuit Catholic tradition – I sincerely thank you for your candor.

    Shawn P. Calhoun, Chair, Gleeson Library Public Services Council.

  6. The Library’s primary mission is to support the teaching and research at University of San Francisco. Secondarily to this mission, is our effort to make sure that our community of scholars and students are aware of Library programs and services. The LCD helps us to do this. In this outreach, we are meeting the Jesuit Catholic tradition of service and helping to fulfill the mission of this institution: “Educating Minds and Hearts to Change the World.”

  7. Congrats on a project well implemented. The power point has to be one of the best I have seen.

    As a student, I would love to see the presidential debates on the screen, preferably with the sound. Is there some way to broadcast the sound in the room so that it can be picked up on an FM frequency? What about convincing KUSF to do a simulcast so that students can use FM headphones (checked out from the desk, perhaps?) to get the sound, and the LCD TV to get the picture?

    I have missed most of the debates this year because I live off campus and do not have cable service in my apartment. Offering CNN to students could be a very valuable service!

  8. Hi Sara,

    We had the Texas debate on the LCD – but without sound… However, we did have the closed captioning on. I’ll look into the simulcast idea and repost if I find anything promising.


  9. Dear Sirs:

    Based on your experince, which of these alternatives is better:
    – To locate the screen behind a loan counter or circulation desk.
    – To locate the screen in a room or place where the users have the possibility to have a seat, not only to watch the screen, but also to read or study.

    Thanks in advance for your response!!

    1. Hi Viena,

      I’m not sure there is a best place. Location depends on whats important to you and your customers. For the most part, we use our LCD for promoting library events etc., so a location where most folks could see the screen works for us. One idea we considered – putting the LCD on a mobile cart. That approach could give you more flexibility than a fixed location. I hope that info helps and good luck with your project!

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