By Rachel Beecher
Due to the close proximity of Grand Rapids Public Main Library and Grand Rapids Community College’s Library and Learning Commons, students and faculty sometimes confuse the two locations, according to various library staff members. While both institutions are excellent resources and are easily accessible to GRCC students, the services offered vary due to student need and certain safety protocols during this current pandemic.
For instance, GRPL is currently in phase II of its pandemic plan. The buildings are closed to the general public, but they do offer holds pick up with curbside service, free printing, MeLCat, Book Bundles, 24 hr WiFi outside all buildings, available digital collections 24/7, e-books, e-audio books, streamings movies, TV shows and music, as well as free educational resources from anywhere. Visit this website for up-to-date information, GRPL Reopening Phases and Services.
Meanwhile, the GRCC library is currently open, but for only GRCC students, faculty, staff, and with reduced hours. During the pandemic, the college library offers in-person circulation assistance with laptops, hot spots, webcams, and headset check-outs that last all semester long. GRCC students have access to the first floor for study tables, computer lab, textbook reserves, and can ask staff to retrieve items from the second floor. GRCC faculty can check out laptops, printers, monitors, and place textbooks on reserve for students to access. Visit the GRCC Library website for more information.
The GRCC library has a unique collection that matches the curriculum at GRCC. Students have access to over 150 databases, millions of academic e-books and journal articles, as well as faculty librarians, to assist students with their research via chat, email, Zoom, and/or text. If you are planning to visit the GRCC campus, be sure you are feeling healthy, fill out the COVID-19 return to campus form prior to visiting, social distance, sanitize your hands, and wear your mask(s) correctly covering both your mouth and nose, this way a staff member can safely assist you.
While GRCC’s collection and services are tailored to the college students’ needs, the GRPL caters to the overall community, offering free memberships to all current GRCC students, online services with curbside pickups, free membership to all eight of the Grand Rapids Public Libraries, a wider selection of books, resources, databases, Wi-Fi, hot spot checkouts (available as of 2/8/21), resume help, free printing, and access to virtual events.
Visit this GRPL site to get a library card started. Live outside of the Grand Rapids area? No problem, as long as you attend a college within the city of Grand Rapids you can sign up to access and utilize GRPL public resources.