Most of you reading this are enrolled at Trinity, and that means one of your first stops as a prospective student was the Coates Library. For many of you, that was the first and last time you set foot in that building willingly. Whether it’s too far away to be a viable study spot or the smell of books gives folks the fear sweats, some people just swear off entering the library. I’m here to tell you why those people are missing out on some great services as well as a significant chunk of their tuition money.
Seriously, Trinity spends a lot of paper on the paper you’re not using, and not using the library is tantamount to leaving a big bag of cash on the shelf. I work at the Coates Library Help Desk, and I’ll be your guide. First of all, it’s amazing that the help most people actually need is a big arrow pointing to the library itself. We at Trinity have one of the finest academic libraries I’ve ever been in, so you’re all covered when it comes to research on government documents, rare books or materials on subjects ranging from quantum mechanics to the etymology of question marks.
Seriously, we call the floors full of books “stacks” for a reason: There are literally tons of books slowly aging, begging you to pick them up and suck the sweet, sweet knowledge from their pages.
“But wait!” you say. “I’ve gone to the library for a book and they didn’t have it. Coates sucks!” After you finish reeling from the weight of your ignorance, I think I can help you. There’s a service called Interlibrary Loan (ILL) that allows you to reach your grubby paws into the vast expanses of the Internet for any book you could ever desire. Simply by asking your local help desk employee how to work the WorldCat site to find your books, you can order tomes from libraries all across the country at no cost (forget the $50,000 tuition for a moment) to you. Wait the seven to ten days, and you’ll have a copy of the newest manga or Nicholas Sparks novel neatly wrapped in a yellow tag.
But even forgetting the vast collection of traditional and interlibrary loan books at your disposal, you can have a full-on media binge without spending a dime by browsing the extensive collection of movies and music available on DVD and CD. Imagine you have access to a free combination of Blockbuster and a record store, but everything is free and the store isn’t hopelessly bankrupt.
In conclusion, the library is your path to free education, entertainment and spiritual enlightenment. Just don’t mess with the library staff: We control your late fees.