When I was checking my e-mail on October 4, I saw the library announcement, and I was
delighted to see online renewal capability finally arriving at our university. The maximum
number of books that we the students can borrow from the library and the loan periods for
checked-out books are already below standard, thus online renewal could at least alleviate
the situation. However, I was soon dismayed to find out that that "privilege"
had been reserved only for the faculty. Since I have always felt that as a Bilkent
student, I was receiving an education that competed with that at the finest institutions
around the world, I decided to check the policies of libraries at the top US universities,
using the rankings of US News & World Report magazine (details of my study may be
found at: http://www.bilkent.edu.tr/~akpinar/onlinerenewal.htm).
I was surprised to find out that at some of those schools, renewals were possible not only
through a web page, but also by telephone, email, and even fax. But I was not surprised to
see that none of the top ten US universities made any distinction between the faculty and
the rest of their community regarding renewal policies. Clearly, there is no basis for
denying this service to the other members of the Bilkent community. There is no
technological barrier; the loan privileges are already very limited, and renewal is
possible only if no one has placed a reserve on the checked-out item. I know that Bilkent
students are as responsible as the students in those American universities, and they work
just as hard (well, maybe not me). There is no reason that Bilkent students should not
enjoy the same level of reader privileges at our library.
Kürşad U. Akpınar,
Ph.D. Candidate, HIST
Response to the Letter
Dear Mr. Akpınar,
As you can imagine, a change in the BLISS program, no matter what effort has gone into
"perfecting" it, invariably causes problems when first put into use. This is
true of the recent move to allow faculty members to renew their library materials online.
Faculty are allowed to borrow the greatest number of items and their books were due on
October 6, so this privilege was extended first to them. The problems that cropped up are
being ironed out before allowing other user groups to renew online.
It is disappointing when taking a positive step to receive only criticism for not having
taken more steps immediately!
Dr. Phyllis L. Erdoğan