Library is haven for Pierce students

With just over four weeks into the semester and midterms around the corner, some students are scrambling to find and exploit any and all resources to help them pass their classes.

But there is one campus resource that probably is not exploited enough: the Pierce College Library.

The three-level library contains over 87,000 printed books, over 20,000 electronic books and it has an electronic database with 30,000 plus journals, magazines, periodicals and more to choose from, according to librarian Paula Paggi.

It seems like the library may hold all of our answers, literally.

The only item currently enrolled students need in order to check out books and periodicals is a Pierce student identification card.

With the I.D. card “students may check out a total of ten books at a time with a maximum of five on one subject,” per the library’s regulations. “Books are loaned out for two weeks at a time and renewed up to two times.”

Aside from the vast collection of books to choose from, the main floor of the library contains a slew of other resources.

Students can also find a computer lab, a reference area, a periodicals index room and multiple study areas including four group study rooms and 150 individual study carrels.

There are also four librarians on staff, including Paggi– who has been a librarian at Pierce for five years– that are ready and eager to help students find whatever it is they are looking for.

The library is the perfect place to not only find research and study tools, but also to find a quiet place to sit and relax in between classes.

For students on the go, or for those who can’t find extra time to stop by the library, the facility offers an interactive website.

The site allows students to search the database for anything they may be interested in; they can also renew checked out books online without visiting the library.

Still with all these resources, some students prefer to go into the library and find their own way like child development major, Karina Flores.

“Well, I kind of don’t ask for any help, I just go in and do my own little thing,” Flores said. “[I go in] to get a book or use the computers, but not as much. I usually just do it at home.”

Perhaps with the highly anticipated new Library/Learning Crossroads Building scheduled to open in Spring 2013, students will be more enthusiastic about using the resources offered by the library.

The 90,000 square foot, two-level facility will house the original library’s entirety on the second floor.

“We’ll have more seating. We’re going to have more open tables,” Paggi said. “It’ll be more comfortable that way, more user-friendly; physically, it’ll be twice the size of this existing library.”

Equipped with twice as many seats and study areas that students will be able to reserve beforehand, the library will also have more computers available and better Wi-Fi access.

Students will be able to comfortably settle into the library to study, research or just relax while they wait for their next class to start.

Pierce also offers Library Sciences 102, a course geared to help and teach students about the full capabilities the library’s website has to offer.

However, this class is only offered every other semester due to budget cuts.

“People want [this class] more often, it’s a required course for the media arts department,” Paggi said. “Research is so critical for those students who know about Google and the Internet. But understanding databases, doing that evaluation, and seeing the differences is a skill to be learned.”

Also included in the innovative building is a food court called “Food for Thought,” the first floor Faculty Resource Center, Technology and Distance Education Development, Service Learning Program, First Year Experience Center, Student Computer Commons, and the Center for Academic Success, according to the college’s Master Plan.

With the existing structure and the upcoming unveiling of the library’s new home, students can find plenty of resources to help them pass their classes this semester.

“I think [students] will find it to be a real haven to study or do their research,” Paggi said.

For more information regarding the library, including business hours and loan and renewal guidelines, visit http://info.piercecollege.edu/library/.