Something old and something new

(Photo: Avi Jacob)

(Photo: Avi Jacob)

New King’s librarian Jennifer Adams is hoping to make students more aware of the library’s resources so that they can be more accessible.

One of the main resources the library has to offer is Adams herself, and she wants to be available to help students both one-on- one and in the classroom.

“There wasn’t as much teaching and learning going on, and that’s what I hope to increase,” she says.

Director of FYP Neil Robertson is highly supportive of making Adams a more accessible resource for students. He says that because students today have been brought up in a world of technology, they’re more familiar with connecting with a virtual reality than a physical one.

“The idea that the library itself is going to be reaching out to the students rather than asking them to reach out to the library is a great way of helping to build those bridges,” he says.

Adams says she wants students to still be taking advantage of the online collection, but those resources haven’t always been easy to navigate.

Second year Early Modern Studies student Becky Cooke says she found the online collection easier to use once she went in and talked to the librarian, but knows not all students are going to do that.

“I think making the online things a little more useable would benefit a broader range of students,” Cooke says.

Cooke thinks students should be taking advantage of the library’s resources mainly because they make a great companion to FYP.

“I found myself going to the library often to do research on some of the ideas discussed during FYP to gain a better understanding,” she says.

Cooke also used the rare books collection in the archives for help with her research paper, and Adams is hoping more students will become interested in doing the same.

(Photo: Hannah Daley)

(Photo: Hannah Daley)

There are around 16,000 rare books in the archive, including medieval manuscripts and a miniature copy of The Divine Comedy. Adams says materials such as these could be used to support FYP.

“I think students would be amazed to see what the books actually look like from the 1500’s,” Adams says.

Robertson is also thinking of ways FYP students can be introduced to the collection.

“In a way, we’ve got the best rare books collection east of Montreal, and yet it largely remains behind closed doors in the basement of the library,” he says.

He suggests they might introduce an evening talk so that students get a sense of what he describes as a treasure on the campus.

Currently, online materials are accessible at any time by students, and the rare books collection can be viewed by appointment only.