By Christian Loeffler
What is the toll on student academics and lifestyle after over half a year without the library?
Timothy Kelly, professor of history, stated that the full effects of the library being closed are “just coming to fruition.” According to Kelly, large research papers will be due in upcoming weeks and students are getting their research materials through Interlibrary Loan, a system that allows students to borrow books from other libraries for a limited time.
“We’ll have to see. [Interlibrary Loan] might work seamlessly or it may not. I’m not sure,” Kelly said, in regards to concerns of students receiving materials on time.
“Books can be physical or digital,” he said, explaining that online sources may be easy to quickly access but that some books “can take three or four weeks” to receive.
“I found [Interlibrary Loan] pretty reliable,” Michael Mondock, senior history major, said. He explained that all of his books arrived within or around a week.
Another senior history major, Michael Doelling, also stated that a book he had to get for his thesis took about a week and a half.
Doelling said that some issues were “initially solved last semester.”
He explained that at the end of last semester, Karen Kehoe, assistant professor of history, helped students select library books that might prove useful for senior research over the summer and through the academic year.
Doelling stated that choosing books early on was good for students who had prepared early on thesis topics and texts, but that it was a matter of “just picking random stuff you think might work” if a student was not yet exactly sure of their topic’s direction or what resources would be good.
He also said that the physical library allows students to browse and often find materials they “weren’t even looking for,” which often helped the process.
“This is the year where the library would have been most helpful but now it’s gone,” Doelling explained, in reference to his senior year. However, Doelling stated that the teachers do help in providing a lot, such as getting students the resources they need.
Mondock stated that projects in courses outside of senior research have been difficult even with Interlibrary Loan and that they require additional planning.
“I feel like my professors have had to limit the research projects because of our lack of access to the library,” Mondock stated.
Students reported that finding study areas on campus has also been vexing.
Doelling said that there are few study centers on campus and that the Alfred Study Center is “cramped” and “hot.”
Mondock, who is a commuter, stated that some commuters like to “set up base” at one of the library stalls for the day, but that is currently not an option. Also, Mondock said, other study areas on campus are more often come-and-go types of locations that lack the tranquility of the library.
“[Dupre] is too far away for me,” Mondock stated, explaining that not only is going so far an inconvenience, it is also not a place of comfort for non-STEM majors.
“[It] is kind of like having my home renovated,” Mondock stated. “I have to adjust my schedule around it [and] the way that I am doing things. It feels a bit uncomfortable at the moment […] like part of my home isn’t available.”