Cunningham Memorial Library is arguably the most important building on campus. It is a hub of information, resources, and everything having to do with academics. There are five floors full of materials that students, faculty, staff, and community members are able to check out. The top two floors are academic-based: this is where one would most likely go for printed sources. The first floor includes browsing materials, including popular books, graphic novels, and all kinds of DVDs and CDs. The lower level is the children’s/teaching materials area, while the basement is full of academic periodicals and journals.
On the website alone, students are able to access the entire catalogue of books that are available at the library. They also have access to a wide variety of academic databases through the university, enabling them to search journal articles with ease. If a student has difficulty locating sources on their own, they are able to schedule an appointment with a librarian through the website.
Another important facet of the library is the Inter-Library Loan department. The university library obviously is not able to hold every book that has ever existed, so if a student is in need of a particular material and they are unable to locate it within the library, they can go onto the library website and use the ILL hyperlink to access a form that will allow them to specify exactly what material they need. Based on that form, the ILL department will be able to find that material and make sure it gets into the student’s hands.
Special Collections is on the third floor, and it houses all kinds of rare materials, including the letters of Eugene V. Debs himself. It is also famous for its collection of rare dictionaries. If a material that is needed is within Special Collections, all you have to do is schedule an appointment with the department and then go in to read it in a special reading room.
There have, in fact, been changes to the way that the library works this year due to COVID-19 based restrictions. The main one is, obviously, to wear a mask at all times when you are inside of the building (yes, even when there isn’t anyone else around you). Circulation assistant Zoey Carr explains some more of these changes. She says, “The main doors to the library are entrance only and the exit is through what were the south doors. Our stairs and elevators are now one way. Patrons now swipe their own IDs at the circulation desk. We are also cleaning often. Group rooms are not available: only individual study rooms.” It is also important to note that only one person should be within these individual study rooms: please do not try to fit more than one person inside of them.
In addition to the above changes, the loaning period has had some updates of its own. Carr explains, “Loan periods are currently extended to help accommodate for COVID-19.”
The library is open and able to be used; they very much encourage everyone to abide by the rules that the university has put into place.