I will be the first to admit that I probably do not use Penn State’s library enough. It just seems like a big maze of rooms that never apply to whatever you are looking for. But it turns out there are a lot of neat things the library has to offer that are not really noticeable until one looks around.
My travels took me from the fifth floor of Paterno to the basement of Pattee. Have no fear if you cannot find these things in the library, I did get lost. I always get lost in there.
10. The computers
Okay, so it seems like a silly thing to list. Of course everyone knows there are computers in the library, but it turns out there are computers EVERYWHERE. A lot of people seem to give up if the computers on the first floor computer labs are full. What they fail to realize is that there are computers on every floor of Paterno and Pattee, and some even hidden away in the stacks.
9. The map room
Ever wanted to figure out where Timbuktu is the old-fashioned way? There is a room in the library dedicated entirely to maps. I know, a little silly, but hey if you ever needed a map of Soviet Russia in the year 1974, that is the place for you.
8. Film/video viewing room
It is no grand auditorium, but the film/video viewing room is a great place to watch a movie. Probably the closest I will ever get to having my own personal movie theater, there are chairs, a projector, and everything else minus the popcorn. Just ask the staff to use it and you have your own private theater.
7. Global newspapers
With over 40 different newspapers from across the world, this is the way to get your news fix for the day. Especially if you have that current event due for your language class, here is the place to come to find your information from the original source.
6. The children’s book floor
Actually, it is the Education and Behavioral Sciences Library on the 5th floor of Paterno, but the only use I got out of it was the amazing supply of children’s books. It is pure nostalgia in there with Dr. Seuss and the Bernstein Bears books on the shelves. Similar to the map room, it is not really any good unless you are searching for something specific, but it does take you on a trip down memory lane.
5. Group project room
Apparently they have specific rooms across the library just so you can have a space to work on those group projects. So instead of trying to whisper in the library, yell over each other in the HUB, or figure out which dorm you are going to, just get one of these rooms in the library specifically made for group projects. It has a white board, a computer, table, and chairs all conveniently in one quiet place.
4. Rent a magazine
You know that subscription you get every month to Oprah’s magazine? Turns out you can cancel it. The library has subscriptions to almost every magazine you’ have heard of, and a few you have not.
3. Use outdated music devices
Turns out in the Media Library over in West Pattee there are spots where you can listen to your old vinyl and cassette tapes. This is really helpful for those people who think that Ipods are just a little too “mainstream.” So break out your old copy of the Back to the Future soundtrack and have a good listen.
2. Rent music/DVDs
Maybe you do not own any vinyl or just simply want to listen to a CD. Well, it turns out the library can supply you with that too. With a wide collection of cassettes, vinyl, and CDs that suit all music tastes, it is a wonder that this is not utilized more frequently. Did I mention that you can also rent DVDs? Just like your local library, this one rents out movies for your viewing pleasure. Perhaps you will even use the film viewing room in the library, ahem #8.
1. Chat/IM a Librarian
Okay, so not really an aspect of the library itself, but most people do not realize that you can actually ask a librarian about doing research, looking up books , or anything you think you need to know without ever having to step foot in the library. You can also chat from the comfort of a study corner you have planted yourself at in the stacks somewhere. Access without actually having to navigate the library might be the greatest thing of all.