More than just books

October 28th, 2009 by Sarah Laleman Ward

When people hear the word “library” they generally think “books.” That makes sense, since  libraries have traditionally dealt in print materials. Heck, the word library is even descended from the Latin “librarius” which means “of books.”

But a twenty-first century library like ours has so much more to offer. Yes, we still have books – a LOT of them. These days, though, you can’t judge a library by the number of books it contains. In fact, it is a gross underestimation of the scope and breadth of our collections to limit it to one number. I digress – that’s a topic for another day.

Reading materials aside, the Hunter College Libraries also allow you to check out and use other things. Below are three examples of the non-book variety. Check them out – because you can!

1) At three of the Hunter Libraries (Main (Wexler) Library, Social Work, Health Professions), you can check out laptop computers. There are some that check out for a three-hour period within the library, and there are some that check out for a whole day, so you can take them out of the library! At the branch campuses, only the three-hour loan is available. Follow the link above for more information and policies.

2) The Main (Wexler) Library and the Health Professions Library (Brookdale Campus) will be offering graphing calculators for check out as well. The calculators, which are Texas Instruments model TI-83 Plus, will be available for use within the library for a three-hour period for all your graphing calculation needs. Check the library policies page for the most current information.


3)  Thanks to a generous donation from the Class of 2009, the Main (Wexler) Library is now the site of the Hunter College Charging Station. What does that mean?? It means that there is an area of the library on the 2nd Floor that is designated for the charging of electronic devices such as laptops, cell phones and MP3 players. Look for the signs with the yellow triangles and lightning bolts. But it’s more than just outlets – the Legacy Gift from the Class of 2009 allowed for the purchase of 7  “charge pods,” which are devices that allow you to charge up to six gadgets at once. Having trouble picturing it? See the images below from the dedication ceremony. You can check out the charge pods at the Reserve Desk on the 2nd Floor. Policies and forms can be found here. Thanks to the Class of 2009 for keeping Hunter energized!!


Dedication of the Hunter College Charging Station


The charge pod, in the charging area.


The charge pod, up close and personal.

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2 Responses to “More than just books”

  1. Tod Bucher Says:

    This sort of nonsense, the neglect of books and emphasis on the battery life of cell phones, laptops, and mp3 players, is exactly what will bring the demise of the library as a valuable institution. Libraries once served as site where a scholar, student, or just someone looking for a quiet place to read could find solace from the noise and technologically induced solipsism of the world. Now, thanks to the neglect of the library staff in enforcing a cell phone ban and the complete disregard of any concept of the sanctity of library silence by students, we have constant cell phone chatter (on phones freshly charged by the library’s new charging station, no less!) in places once reserved for the study of books and other print media.

  2. Sarah Laleman Ward Says:

    Tod, I am sorry that you feel this way about our library and what we have to offer. Let me reassure you that we are not at all neglecting books in favor of technology. The point of this posting was to make our users aware that we provide access to much more than books, as do the vast majority of contemporary libraries. At Hunter, we still provide quiet areas for study and research, as well as ample print resources, but we also provide other valuable services to meet the needs of our various groups of users.

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