Many students think of their college library as a place for studying, often into the wee hours of the night. Few students are aware, though, that their library actually offers FREE resources for a fun study break or two… or three. Having worked as a research desk assistant at my undergraduate college library, I understand how underutilized these fun, money-saving resources are. So, I want share some of the library’s best-kept secrets.
Libraries = Netflix, For Free
College libraries often have copious amounts of movies in their stacks. Now, I know what you’re thinking: your library just has stodgy old documentaries about topics like the Helvetica font. While it likely has plenty of academic films, some of which are pretty interesting, it also has numerous Hollywood movies that were box office hits. English, film, and theater departments use anything from Star Wars to Harry Potter in their studies, so libraries have them on hand. I once checked out Shark Attack 3: Megalodon — that should give you some idea of the variety available.
Beats for Your Next Party
Your college library has tons of music in every medium for you to check out. There’s no need to spend any money on iTunes or elsewhere to create your next playlist. And just like with movies, your library’s catalog isn’t limited to Mozart and Beethoven. Lady Gaga has academic value, too; her music is changing American culture in its own way, so it’s likely at least one professor at your college has requested her music and that your library complied.
Pop Culture News
Go ahead and cancel your People or Cosmopolitan subscription and just rely on your library. They likely have regular subscriptions to some of the country’s most popular magazines. Pop culture has academic value, so professors want to be up-to-date on, say, the latest fashion or social media trends. Some colleges might even have digital subscriptions.
Video Games and Other Media
If you’re a gamer, this might be surprising, but your library might even have video games for you to rent. Mine did! If your laptop was down, the library had some you could rent. Headphones, calculators, art pieces, historic documents and numerous other forms of media could be checked out for student use, academic or otherwise.
And it Gets Even Better…
If you’ve done some research into your library’s resources and there’s something you want that’s not available, don’t get discouraged. Almost all libraries are part of a consortium or network. WorldCat is one of the largest: it spans the entire planet, which means a world of library resources are available to you. Your library is also probably part of a locally-based library sharing system. Either way, explore what other libraries you have and make use of their materials.
The moral of the story is this: Do some research into what your library has to offer. You really never know what you’re going to find. Who would have thought a college library would have Halo Wars?
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons