Orientation: Stewart Library offers more than books

For many college students, visiting the library means getting a book for a report due in the next few days, furiously cramming before an exam or finding a quiet place to take a nap. But there are also many other resources available at the library to make college a bit easier for students — and maybe a little cheaper, too.

Interlibrary loan is a utility available to students if Weber State University’s Stewart Library doesn’t have a book or article available. Students can request books or articles, and the campus library will borrow the items from another library, with options throughout the state and the nation.

Misty Allen, the interlibrary loan coordinator, said that interlibrary loan is a great resource for students, especially those doing research or working on their graduate degrees.

“No library can own every single book that’s out there,” she said. “It’s just not feasible.”

Having the ability to borrow from other libraries increases the number of books available to students.

The interlibrary loan service is free to students most of the time. Some articles or books on specific topics are difficult to get and might have to come from across the country. In these cases, the library may ask the student to assist monetarily.

For students writing research papers, Joan Hubbard, a WSU librarian, suggested that students talk to a librarian who specializes in the area being researched.

“If you need help with a paper you’re writing, you can make an appointment with a subject librarian, and that person will work with you on a one-on-one basis to find really good sources for that paper,” Hubbard said. “This is something that our subject librarians are really thrilled to be able to do for students.”

Media viewing labs are another service the library provides. Several rooms are set up with every major gaming console, DVD and VHS players, and CD, cassette and record listening stations.

Allen is also the media lab coordinator at Stewart Library. She said the computer science department initially needed video games and DVDs available to students after it began offering a certificate in game design.

Though the majority of material in the library’s viewing labs is educational in nature, the library also has a collection of popular video games and movies. Allen said the media lab can also be used as a quick stress-release location before a test and can be a cheap and easy date idea.

“We do have a lot of people come in on dates, because students are poor and it’s a good goof-off,” Allen said. “We have lots of students come in and use it after tests just to release some stress.”

Sandi Andrews, the circulation services manager, said one resource students may not know about is the picture and chapter books and core curriculum materials for children available for checkout. Curriculum kits are also available for checkout, full of manipulatives and lessons that reinforce lessons taught in school.

The circulation desk can provide answers to questions regarding anything about the university, Andrews said. For example, the circulation desk staff keeps maps of the university on hand for giving directions or looking up classroom locations, and are willing to answer any questions students may have about the campus.

Hubbard and Andrews said they would like students to see the library not just as a place to study and learn, but also as a gathering place for friends. Because of the many resources available, students can do more than just book-learning at the library.