OU Library Keeps Pace as Campus Expands, Adds Staff & Revamps Presence on Campus
The library has made great strides to continue to service students and faculty in a myriad of ways since last spring. Librarian, Eli Arnold, and a dedicated student staff have undertaken large tasks such as moving every single book within the library to reorganize and create more study space. Two new student work study hires were made in the archives adding to help smooth the process over and add to an already impressive staff of students.
The moving of all physical books took place over the summer moving out the books in the basement to offer even more study space to students. The effort was to maximize one of the library’s most important resources, its study areas for students and 24-hour room. Along with this change two new important hires were made; two new student archivists joined the staff this fall. The criteria for these positions focus mainly on library experience and schedule. The library has also increased its social media prescience to new levels. The running storyline of the Oglethorpe doll featured on Instagram has garnered lots of attention from students and staff alike.
The library also is emphasizing its programs and events along with its myriad of services beyond just a study space this summer. Current student employee, Nik Watson “I think there are a lot more resources than students realize, there’s a plethora of things available beyond just space to study in quiet.” Among these lesser known functions are the banned book week festivities. A week the library dedicates to raising campus awareness for books censored due to taboo themes. Additionally, there is also a book sale in October in which students will have the opportunity to buy discounted core books at book sale prices. The library also wants to push that it will go out and obtain materials such as books for students if they ask, within limitations.
The general attitude of the library at Oglethorpe is quite positive, many students appreciate and respect the space. When one of these students, Paul Hkyet, was asked about how the library helps himself he said “The calm here really serves as a catalyst for me personally when I get into a lull and banned book week is great as well, the museum while I guess is a separate thing is really awesome I think.” Hkyet is a sophomore film major who takes most his classes within the library and is around heavily inside and outside of class.
When interviewed librarian Eli Arnold had much to say especially when asked why he enjoys what he does saying “I just really enjoy helping students and faculty with a myriad of problems, and it’s something different daily so its never boring.” Arnold is an Oglethorpe alum himself, having originally worked in admissions but switched to the library for a change of scenery and has since found a niche at its helm. Arnold’s ambitions are detailed such as focusing on adding more student displays to increase the feel of it being their own library. Being an alumnus Arnold feels a strong connection to Oglethorpe and its history and plans to improve the library’s historical archives soon Arnold is also the academic adviser for the brothers of the Chi Phi fraternity. Arnold raved about his staff of dedicated students, going on to say “they are a group of diverse individuals who come together for a common purpose in a great way, for example moving every book during the summer took a lot of time and effort and I think only this group is capable of a task like that.”
Those interested in utilizing these resources or the library are encouraged to do so. Many of the new programs such as banned book week or the book sale are happening currently and/or coming up in October. Any students interested in getting more involved at our library are encouraged to talk to the staff or director about what they can do to help out.