Library resources and support

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A photo looking down an aisle in Campion Library, showing shelves of books along each side and chairs beside windows to the right.
Cozy up with a book (or twelve) in this calm Campion corridor.   Holly Funk

Learn which hidden gems Campion and Luther library staff have to offer students 

While many students spend all their on-campus library time on one of Archer Library’s many floors, neglecting the other libraries on our campus can mean missing out on other free support and opportunities.  

Campion Library, for example, can be found on the second floor of the Campion Building across from the main chapel. Christina Mackinnon, a student assistant for Campion Library, said it is normally a very calm place to work. “Honestly, in our library, everyone’s pretty quiet,” she noted, “and generally pretty considerate. I’ve never had a difficult client. I know that’s probably a boring answer, but it’s true.” 

A student assistant role mainly involves sorting books and organizing shelves. While they aren’t qualified to offer help on research or citations, they spend lots of time helping students find the resources they need for essays and term papers. “We don’t have the authority to give advice on, say research, if a student has a question regarding research or citations, so it’s mainly just organizing the books on the shelves, doing shelf reading every night to make sure that everything is in order,” Mackinnon said. “It tends to get busier at the end of the semester when research papers are due.” 

When asked about the most underrated library resource, the student assistant noted that reference books tend to be the least engaged with. “People just tend to refer to them online rather than coming into the library. You also can’t take those books out, so that’s probably also a main reason why people don’t gravitate toward them so much.” 

Mackinnon continued, noting the benefits of using the reference books in Campion Library. “I’d say maybe it’s easier for you to flip through if you’re looking for something really specific. The other day actually, we had two people sitting down that had like five different reference books on one particular topic that they were going through. So maybe for comparing information, […] I’d say if you really know a specific topic that you’re looking for, then it is probably easier to come in person and be able to compare whatever information you find.” 

She noted the library also has writing resources that are especially valuable for first-year students, and that the library has a couple genre strengths of note. “This is a good place to come and just find out where all your resources are,” Mackinnon stated. “Also, if you want to find particular topics of books, a lot of our books are religious-based or history-based.” 

When asked about her experience as a student assistant, Mackinnon said “I love the environment and I like organization, so I like the process of actually going through our books and organizing and seeing what we have. That’s what we do the majority of, especially as a student assistant. So yeah, I think that’s what I like the most. The people here too are just really kind and great to work with, so that’s a huge perk.” 

Another library more than worth the short walk from Campion’s is the Luther Library, located on the first floor near the stairway to the second floor. Library Coordinator Carla Flengeris has been supporting students through their academic work for some time and is intimately familiar with the most common student needs. “The most popular questions are how to find books or articles about their essay topics, how to cite in the three main citation styles. We get asked a lot about ‘I found this source online but I don’t know if it’s scholarly or academic or not. How do I tell if it’s too popular to be used in a university-level paper?’ I’d say those are the three most library-related questions.” 

Flengeris also noted a few topics she wishes students would ask for support with and information about more often. “We have a lot of really cool databases, a lot of cool streaming media and music access that I think maybe a lot of students don’t know about,” she noted. “I wish we could get some more questions about that kind of thing. Here at Luther specifically, we have a new podcasting studio and some new technology. […] Librarians are pretty good about staying informed and staying up-to-date on technology, so yeah, just questions like that.” 

While the library coordinator shared information on the podcasting studio and databases for this article, a student in the library approached the front desk where the interview was taking place. We paused the interview to give them the opportunity to interrupt with questions, but they said they just wanted to listen in on the interview so they could also learn the information. It’s safe to say that students are interested in these supports and services, some just need the opportunity to learn. Librarians provide this beautifully.  

In order to learn more about the podcasting studio or to book it, all students have to do is chat with a Luther librarian. “An hour, two hours, however long you think you’re going to need,” Flengeris said, “and we recommend that people have a script and kind of a plan before they get in there so that they just need the time to record and edit.” 

Regarding databases, the library coordinator explained they have resources for music, eBooks and eBook chapters, news media, journal articles, and a variety of films. “You know, educational, documentary-like films, but we also have a couple of really cool Hollywood movie databases.” 

“A big portion of the library’s budget gets devoted to that,” Flengeris commented further on the additional resources, “so it’s good to make use of those things.” 

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