By Esther B.
My college library, the Iwasaki Library at Emerson College, was invaluable both on the physical and digital planes.
Not only was it a place with shelves of books, it was a place to come to study. Yes, you can have quiet study rooms for students. However, they’re much more valuable when you can just reach up and grab a new source. Also, while hunting for one book, or magazine, or article, even just glimpsing the titles of the texts I was passing made me want to stop and grab one and open it–and, when I had more than five minutes, I did.
The library was where we came to do group projects, a place to congregate among the information we needed to complete the assignment. Just being in an atmosphere obviously devoted to thought made us more focused, and maybe even more innovative in our ideas.
They have banks of computers on which to do work. They have comfy chairs to sit and do homework on your own computer. Everyone around you is working. This is not so in a cafe.
Beyond all this, their databases of articles were indispensable. Accessing over 40 FULL databases, each with hundreds of articles, simultaneously with one search–the access to information of all sorts was not only unprecedented but necessary.
The 21st century has no patience. I didn’t spend hours with 20 print books open in front of me on a table, trying to synthesize all of the content into one thesis for my paper. I did targeted searches in specialized databases and grabbed 20 relevant articles in a matter of minutes. Thanks, library.
Not to mention, of course, all of the memories of going to the local library to read picture books in the ’90s. Matilda was my hero.