The Stewart Library: A resource for students

The Stewart Library on Weber State University’s Ogden campus is considered by many to hold a wealth of accessible information.

Ruby Licona has worked at the library on and off since 1990. Currently, she is an associate professor and a reference and instruction librarian.

“We still have students who come up here and say, ‘I’m graduating and this is my first time ever in the library.’ You wonder how they made it through without the services we provide,” Licona said. “Truly, the library can help you with a good 75 to 80 percent of your classes.”

Between the library website and the reference desk staff, students have access to numerous tools. In addition, there is a class, now a graduation requirement, available for students to learn all of the library basics.

“As a result, we are now getting students in at an earlier stage,” Licona said. “Though they don’t come out of the class being absolutely perfect researchers, they are aware of the possibilities of what the library can do for them.”

The class is Part D of the TBE requirements. Licona said one resource she is sure students aren’t as aware of as they should be is the availability of laptop rental.

“If all of the computers are in use, students can check out a laptop downstairs at the circulation desk,” Licona said. “They’re set up with WiFi access, and you can use them anywhere in the library.”

The library staff is available to help students from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Hours differ Friday through Sunday.

“We’ll bend over backwards to help you get done; we just won’t ever do it for you,” Licona said. “There’s a whole world out there and we try to connect you to it.”

Apart from the resources, the library offers study areas for both groups and individual students. The entire upper level of the library is devoted to quiet study. Both the basement and first levels have desks large enough for group study.

Amelia Wilcox, a WSU graduate, used the library as a study area during her time at WSU.

“I do feel that spending time studying in the library was beneficial, because it provided me a quiet place to work on homework and study my class materials,” Wilcox said. “I spent, on average, eight to 10 hours a week studying in the library my freshman year.”

Joan Hubbard has been the university librarian for 18 years. Contrastingly to other assumptions, Hubbard said she thinks the library is a well-known and well-used focal point on campus.

“I do think most students use the library resources,” Hubbard said. “They may not come to the library all of the time, but I do think they use our online resources. We do know of some students who don’t. There are exceptions.”

Whether students are avid or infrequent visitors, Hubbard stressed that student suggestions are crucial to library improvement.

“We seek and welcome suggestions from students,” Hubbard said. “There is a suggestions box off of our home page, or there is a physical suggestion box on the second floor by the TV and restrooms. We’ve implemented a number of suggestions students have made.”

According to Hubbard, a key thing to remember is the service students can expect there.

“We want to convey to students that the library is a very welcoming place,” Hubbard said. “We are here only to serve students.”