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The Antelope

The Antelope

The Antelope

Libraries offer resources for individual, collaborative learning

North entrance to the Calvin T. Library. Photo by Jenna Heinz / Antelope Staff

The Calvin T. Ryan Library is funded by every student at UNK. Libraries, which house centuries of learning, information, history and truth are important defenders in the fight against misinformation. Staying in the library late at night is thought to be a rite of passage for the average undergraduate, yet I do not see many using it at all.

When I first came to visit campus last summer, one of the first things I asked my tour guide was to show me the library. I was soon disappointed to find out that it was closed due to renovations. I still remember the sad sight of the main entrance covered in a hideous green cloth. I wondered why none of the other kids on my tour gave it much thought.

Growing up listening to my older friends talking about their respective college experiences, I noticed a recurring pattern. Students seemed to use their university libraries as a supportive resource for their individual learning while also fostering collaborative learning.

There is an issue of misinformation among UNK’s student body regarding the accessibility of the library this semester. During the Blue Gold Showcase last month, library workers set up a stand in which they were handing out flyers. These flyers had “We’re still open!” written on them. The words were even written in bold and highlighted in yellow. This made me wonder if students not knowing the library was still open was a recurring issue. It also led me to wonder whether my tour guide last summer was one of those students, a victim of the misinformation. 

During the first weeks of the semester, I remember asking some of my friends if they had yet been to the library. Most answered, “Isn’t it closed?” I found the thought of students outright ignoring our kind library workers designing flyers promoting the openness of their workplace to be shocking. 

I still wonder why it is that students, mostly those who are new to campus, think the library is closed simply due to construction happening around it. I believe there is an issue of misinformation and a pattern of students not knowing where to reach out or whom to speak to when having a question. It is because of issues like knowing whether the library is still open or not that students tend to simply disregard and outright ignore all of the resources that they have at their disposal attending UNK. 

Although I am aware that the renovations in the library will eventually serve a greater cause, it is kind of sad having to see so many students miss out on this great resource simply because of mere conformity. Our library workers are kind and helpful. I would encourage anyone to pay them a visit, especially on Sundays when there are no construction workers making any noise. The collections at UNK are incredibly vast and even if you are not looking for a book or a periodical, the technology resources available to you can be very helpful as well.

Going to the library has helped me remain mindful and at peace through periods of stress. I believe every student at UNK ought to be deserving of such a feeling.

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