The librarian may ask for silence while studying, but the Zahnow library wanted to be heard loud and clear.
Last week marked the 10th annual National Library Week hosted by the library. Events included a free ice cream social and a book collection competition.
The Stuart & Vernice Gross Award was also presented to Jeff Vande Zande, Delta professor and author of “American Poet,” a novel about the life of Theodore Roethke.
Linda Farynk, Zahnow Library director, said she feels that National Library Week is a chance to shine a different light on the department.
“We want to show students the lighter side,” Farynk said. “It’s not all hardcore academics. It is kind of like their reward.”
The winning compilation in the book collection contest was awarded to English senior Adam Haenlein, who is also a Vanguard staff writer.
His collection, entitled “Theodore Roethke: a life and a legacy,” won the $500 prize and the recognition as the most unique set of material. One of the texts was a first edition, the first book Haenlein ever received from his father.
Although the events were meant to keep student morale high before exam week, library staff also hoped to bring more people to the library.
With the availability of online databases and other electronic books, students are given the freedom of either heading to the library for access to resources or logging onto the library’s website and acquiring access to resources there.
Farynk said she sees this as a blessing.
“Advantages do outweigh the disadvantages,” Farynk said. “When we have electronic books or journals available 24/7, that’s a definite advantage.”
Electronic resources may keep students from having to enter the library, while showing the confidence Farynk has in the student body.
“A year ago, we had about 1,000 print subscriptions,” Farynk said. “It’s less than 500 now. The online databases have access to 30,000-35,000 subscriptions and this enables us to provide much more to students.”
The online databases may be rising in number, but so are the numbers of people who enter the library every year. Since 2007, the gate count of people entering the department has risen by more than 150,000.
Not everyone feels the same way about the library and its success with students. Cara Cole, social work sophomore, said she believes the physical resources could be used to a greater extent.
“I think students don’t utilize it as much as possible,” Cole said. “Especially not the reference desk. They go out of the way to help you.”
As a former employee of the Zahnow library, Cole said she understands the convenience of having materials online.
“People depend on the electronic resources when there aren’t physical ones available,” Cole said.
Brady Crandall, computer sciences sophomore, understands the importance of electronic resources.
“There are too many people at the library,” Crandall said. “I prefer to study by myself and resources like databases help me do that.
As long as there is an exam to cram for, there will be a quiet place for people to study and obtain scholarly help, according to Farynk.
“When I see how busy this place is it’s gratifying,” Farynk said. “It’s a positive, comfortable environment.”