By Rachel Hannusch
When I was a first year student, I started working at the St. Jerome’s Library and when I answered the classic “where do you work?” question the typical response that I received was “I didn’t know that there was one”. At first this didn’t surprise me, we were all first years after all.
As the term went on we became braver. Turning off our Google maps and loosening our grip on hand written directions we began to explore. By this point most of my classmates had written a paper or two, done a research project, and had accessed course reserves. They knew where the library was and were well acquainted with the printer and the fact that they could avoid buying expensive textbooks. However, there were still a few who weren’t sure what I was referencing when I said the library at SJU.
I think that this mostly stems from the common misconception that libraries are “only for arts students”. Although St. Jerome’s does have a variety of books on subjects such as Philosophy, Literature, and History, books on topics such as Science, Medicine, and Technology are a part of the collection as well. St. Jerome’s University taught Mathematics until 2014 and as a result, we have a collection of Math Textbooks which are highly coveted by the few students who know their whereabouts.
Libraries offer more than books. If you aren’t interested in the collection, items like board games, movies, and phone chargers are also lend out. SJU in particular is unique since patrons can even sign out bicycles. Thanks to a lot of planning, St. Jerome’s library will have even more to offer patrons after completing their renovations. The newly designed library will have a reading room, more desks, and spaces for collaboration as well as be more accommodating to wheelchairs and study groups. By doing renovations, the library will be able give more space to its collection, better accommodate patrons, and continue to offer something for everyone.