SIUE’s Lovejoy Library is centered around helping students and faculty obtain the resources they need to succeed academically. To achieve this goal, the library is undergoing many changes and taking on different projects throughout the semester.
Recent renovations on the first floor provide students with more seating, and a new quiet study room is projected to open this week. Library faculty already see an influx of students enjoying these renovations.
“We are noticing that a lot of the seating is full and that every computer is being used,” Interim Assistant Dean of the Library Juliet Gray said. “There’s lots of activity in the library throughout the week.”
Beginning on Sunday, the library will be open until 1 a.m. Saturday through Thursday, whereas before it closed its doors at 11 p.m. Now it opens at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings. The library decided to implement these extended hours after obtaining student feedback.
Sophomore applied communication studies major Adejoke Adanri, of Normal, Illinois, plans to make use of the new extended hours and thinks the library is a convenient place to study that meets student study preferences.
“I think most people know that in the group study areas it will be a little louder, rather than in here [on the outskirts of the first floor] where most people like to study by themselves, so I think it’s nice to have a designated area in terms of how loud it’s going to be,” Adanri said.
In addition to providing a place for students to study, the library also offers a variety of resources for research. The databases found on its website are open to students, faculty, staff and anyone who conducts research in the building. Digitized archives and special collections are available to everyone through Lovejoy’s website. The I-Share system allows SIUE students to have books from other libraries in the system sent to Lovejoy at no cost.
All of the resources Lovejoy provides are designed to aid students as they move through their college experiences at SIUE.
“The faculty in the library work collaboratively with the teaching faculty to make sure that the online, book and journal collections in the library support the curriculum of the university,” Gray said.
Lovejoy also employs subject librarians that are particularly knowledgeable in specific academic programs or schools. These subject librarians are a valuable resource for students.
“I would recommend that anybody working on their senior research project come to the information desk on the first floor of the library and find out who their subject librarian is, or they can also get that information online from the library’s new redesigned website and contact that person to sit down with them and get some help on their research,” Gray said. “That’s what we are here for, and that’s our first priority — to help students.”
In addition to the new renovations, the library has also been working on taking university materials and converting them into digital formats that anyone can access via its website. One such project is the digitalization of old copies of The Alestle.
“In my specialty, you focus on materials that are unique,” Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Stephen Kerber said. “Obviously The Alestle is unique to SIUE, so nobody else is going to invest their resources in preserving The Alestle, but we preserve it … As a source for research it contains tremendously valuable historical information about the history of the university and particularly from the student perspective. That’s why it’s important to students because if you don’t do that, that’s lost.”
For the librarians, knowing their work helps its users is rewarding.
“I think most librarians enjoy helping people find the information that they need, so that’s a very good feeling,” Kerber said. “It’s particularly satisfying to me when people use the stuff that I curate, particularly in reference to the university, because I’m trained as an academic historian, so I identify very much with people who are doing research, so that makes it even more enjoyable for me to help somebody else do historical research.”