By Jubilee Gonzales
The Riverside City College Digital Library Auditorium is the “home away from home” you might think you know, but what lies within the depths of the massive building has remained a mystery to most students.
Numerous RCC students have come and gone without discovering the vast variety of resources and services available to them. Public Services Librarian Jacqueline Lesch was all smiles as she guided a library tour.
“Libraries are accessible to everybody now and that part to me is really amazing that it provides equal access so that you don’t have to be of any particular status in order to be able to have access to the information that you need,” she said. “It’s just there for you, you just need to come and use it.”
Some of the services students are aware of include access to computers, printing, making photocopies and checking out books. However, there are over 100,000 titles in the book collection throughout the district and students can borrow up to 20 books for three weeks.
Students can also check out laptops at the front desk for two hours or a week, making them able to borrow laptops if the computers aren’t available or to take home if they don’t have their own.
There is also a creative media center, an enclosed room where the available computers have various video software and programs pre-downloaded for use.
Lesch also mentioned the lounge area where students can come and use in the library.
“It’s a food-friendly zone so that you don’t have to leave the library if you need to just relax,” she said.
RCC student Julian Morales was one of many who was unaware.
“I always threw away my food before I went in because I thought it wasn’t allowed,” he said.
There is also a teleconference room, which could be used if people needed to have meetings across the districts, so they wouldn’t have to drive off campus.
A free cell phone charging station is available where phones can be plugged into the built in chargers and put in a locker-like compartment where they’ll stay until taken out.
RCC student Yesenia Guillermo recalled hearing of something similar.
“I believe this is helpful because phones are essential,” she said. “There are days your phone is low on battery and can’t find a place to charge it at.”
Workshops and orientation classes are also offered to help students get an overview of how to do research on the computer for assignments.
“It’s not like you have to click a card to come in, you can just walk in. We want you to be here,” Lesch said.
Guillermo, like most students, usually goes in to do homework, study or kill time between classes, unaware of the other resources the library offers.
“I go to the library often. Maybe four times a week and even Saturdays,” she said.
Lesch explained that the library is in the process of determining the needs of the students and how the library should continue to change in the services and resources it offers.
“We don’t really do a good job advertising ourselves or promoting ourselves, but we’re trying to work on that as well to get the word out about what we have to offer,” she said.
RCC student Vanessa Preedandon said she believes the library is a crucial part of the school.
“Considering that it provides multiple resources for research and a quiet place to study,” she said. “The services they provide make it an ideal place to study and concentrate or host study and tutor sessions.”
Similarly, Guillermo said she thinks it is tremendously important.
“It is a place that supports students and offers them tools and access to many things,” Guillermo said. “It is so important to RCC I feel like they should make it bigger to allow more students to go.”
Ultimately, the library is a valuable resource that’s a big part of RCC’s campus. The role it plays was best defined by Lesch.
“Almost like a home away from home. A lot of students come here and it’s their safe place or refuge.”