As an English major and passionate reader, I have always enjoyed libraries. I took it for granted that one would always be easily accessible to me because up until recently one always had been. When I came to GCU, I thoroughly expected an amazing and thorough library with a wide selection of books. After all, the university was founded in 1949, so they've had time to build up such a collection.
When I arrived on campus, I went exploring. I heard that the student union's third and fourth floors were where I could find the campus library. Excited to find some good books and a good study space, I made my way up the stairs in the August heat, unaware of the location of the elevator at that time. The third floor was all computers. Well, okay that's useful, I thought and proceeded upstairs. A computer center at a university is always good to have in today's technological age.
The 4th-floor sign said the books were up there. I journeyed up, and my heart sank. Where were the books? There are some, yes, but they are mostly encyclopedias, religious texts, and psychology books. Those are useful of course, but if you're not a theology or psychology major they are hardly helpful in the academic sense. If you want to read a book for fun, well, you can throw that idea out the window.
Upon further investigation, I learned that GCU does, in fact, have books, but they are kept off campus and must be ordered to be delivered to campus. If you need something immediately, you have to go to the online library. Now, I acknowledge the usefulness of a vast online library. It is faster to search there, and easier to cite for research papers. The fact that most of our work is done digitally is also great for the environment, so kudos to you GCU. Yet, even with all those benefits, is there not something to be said for real books?
Yes, there are other libraries in Phoenix that students can go to, but not everyone can get off campus easily. As students, we have a right to a real library on our campus, available to us whenever we need it. Perhaps the issue is space. Well, Grand Construction University has plenty of building projects going on right now, why not add one more? There's a brand new recreational center now, so why not make the old one into a beautiful library?
A truly impressive campus library would have special sections for the different majors. Education students often need children's books to do lesson plans, so a section of those would be majorly beneficial to them. Giving the nursing and pre-med students their own floor filled with useful resources, such as study areas, posters, and tools would be wonderful for them. The writing and English majors would love a place to find the major authors and poets of the past. Even in a nonacademic sense, having fun novels to read or useful resources like cookbooks for college students new to cooking would be wonderful. There's been a lot of concern raised for the mental health of college students, and I think part of it is how much time we spend on technology. The thing is, we don't have a choice. If you want to succeed in your classes, you have to be on a computer for a few hours a day. In addition, for entertainment, we are far more likely to waste away watching YouTube videos because that is what is available to us. We need books, but can't easily access them.
A true campus library would also be an additional place to build community. It would be a central location where the students who may not enjoy big sporting events could go to meet and make new friends. It could be a comfortable, safe, space for those who need it. GCU is all about community, and while it does a great job at helping to build a positive one currently, it could always do more.
I understand that not every student in every major will want or use the library. I also understand that it is more cost effective to have things the way they currently are. Regardless, I believe the benefits outweigh the cost, and a new library with books will benefit more students than the current one. Please give us a real library GCU, we need it. Lopes up until next time!