By Kayla Reed
March is reading month is something you might recognize as an event that you celebrated as a kid. The month was usually filled with different challenges, prizes, and other fun activities that involved reading. Grand Rapids Community College might not celebrate the popular reading month as you might expect, but in the past, GRCC has celebrated National Library Week, and they still do even during the pandemic.
Even though it might be well into March, there is always an opportunity to read even as a student. National Library Week in the past has been celebrated by the GRCC library by handing out pizza or cake. The library would also buy a large collection of one book for the students and classes to check out. There would then be a large presentation that would be available to all students and faculty. In the future, there may be a presentation on the topic of “adulting,” and students should look forward to that. This year, some of the events have been canceled. Despite this, the library is still open to all students and faculty. There is always a place for students at the GRCC library whenever needed.
During the pandemic, the library has taken on the role of providing for students in need of technology for online classes. According to Brian Beecher, the director of the GRCC Library and Learning Commons, the GRCC library has 1,200 electronics that students can check out for an amount of time if they don’t have reliable internet or other items that they need for class. These electronics are headphones, laptops, hotspot devices, webcams, and more.
Not only is the library handing out electronics to help students succeed, but they are open for business as well. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, the library is open. Friday is the day that the staff spends sanitizing the library. Everyone who wishes to visit must wear a mask, social distance, and they must clean their station before leaving. There is also a restriction on how many people may visit at a time which prohibits study groups, but if any student needs a quiet place to study alone or needs some assistance with any school work, the GRCC library is available. The library is also a place to go if anyone needs help getting somewhere on campus or just needs a safe place to go during library hours.
If any student doesn’t feel comfortable or doesn’t have time to visit the library in person, all services and assistance offered by the GRCC library are offered online. This includes checking out virtual books and study materials, and assistance through text, Google Meet, Zoom, and email. The library is available online Monday through Thursday during their normal hours, 7:30 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. There are hundreds of thousands of books and journals online to read and use for class or just for fun. One resource students can access through GRCC is The New York Times. Students and faculty can access this news source for free by signing up through GRCC. Here is the link: https://subjectguides.grcc.edu/news/NYT
The GRCC library might not celebrate March is Reading Month throughout the whole month of March, but the library does offer its services to all students throughout the year. They want to encourage students to read throughout all 12 months and to always know that the library is there for them no matter the subject or reason.
“The library’s role might have changed a lot over this year,” said Beecher, “but our mission is that we are here to support our students through the learning processes by any resources or expertise that we might have to help them succeed through college. The important thing is, we are here to help you.”