Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Library is Alive

January is usually a slow month in academic libraries, but not here at The CW Library. Students are using the Library for individual and group study. Math students have a strong presence in the Library, and use the large group table on a regular basis. Individual researchers are using the library for quiet study. It is nice to actually witness a balance of students working at the computer terminals and at the tables with notebooks spread "old school" style.

A recent class assignment has forced many students to read The New York Times Book Review for the first time, as they must find books that were reviewed by the NY Times in any year. The research involves uncovering a pot of gold related to finding books, learning about authors, and what can be found in the newspaper.

In one of my most recent research consultations, a student, "Mary," introduced me to a book by Barbara Kingsolver, called The Bean Trees. Barbara Kingsolver is her favorite author, and that particular title was one she admitted she won't forget. After a half hour of searching in the NYT online archive, we found a review of The Bean Trees that was published in 1988. Our second step was finding the book in The CW Library. Ironically, the copy we found was donated to the Library by Karen Smith. The student spoke so highly of the book that I'm planning to read it next. I'm allowed to check out books too, right?