Monday, August 02, 2004

Alice back from the Big Apple

All three of your faithful bloggers have been scattered the past week.
  • Alane is in DC.
  • George is in Chicago.
  • I was in New York.
I got the best deal of the three. My husband works for Columbia University, making gadgets for scientists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. So while we were in the area, we took a tour of the Morningside campus.

The Library Tour
The woman who led our tour, an undergraduate ready to begin her junior year, led us to the Butler library with great gusto. She readily explained that the library was the place to be--and that anyone who is anyone at Columbia spends untold hours in the physical library and on their Web site.

If her presentation was any indication, I'd say academic libraries are still a big hit with students. Here are a few excerpts from the tour:

"Oh yeah, we can bring food and eat in here. It's convenient--there's a coffee bar/cafe in the basement when you get hungry. Sometimes people even order pizza to be delivered to their study carrel!"

"We use eBooks a lot--and digital collections. We're totally wireless. The entire library is a hotspot, so you can take your laptop to the stacks and still have a Web connection."

"One of my professors made us use the physical card catalog, just to make sure we all didn't think that Web searches were the only source of information."


So all of these things: unrestricted food and drink in the library, student knowledge of eBooks, and professor-mandated use of the card catalog, make me realize how far we've come since I was a lowly undergraduate. Even graduate student, when I had to schlep all my research materials to UCL because the book I needed could not leave the library and I could not afford to photocopy it!

With this great facility and glowing endorsement from a real life college student, I am proud to say that I am now one of the newest Columbia University library card holders with borrowing privileges. All I can say is, good thing they have a great Web site! (See the cool Digital Scriptorium!)


4 comments:

Alice said...

Wanted to mention how surprised I was that there was a fund-raising leaflet for the library, right where you get your card. I guess I didn't realize that academic libraries had to do their own fund-raising, as well as publics! Ouch!

Norma said...

When I was a librarian at Ohio State, I was always puzzled or amused by student-led library tours, which usually came just before the beginning of fall quarter. They would say the most interesting and unusual things about the library--making me wonder if they'd ever been there. I recall one young student who led his group in the door, stood by the circ desk and said, "This is the library. You'll never need it except for closed reserve."

ruhan said...

Your housing estate very beautiful successful


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