Opinion: Students using library resources

Opinion: Students using library resources

The library is a monument to knowledge. Within its walls it holds vast amounts of information over countless topics. Students can find out almost anything at the library, yet many still wait until the last minute to complete research for school projects and never fully utilize resources available to them.

The Stark County District Library is a great source of information that can be accessed during and after school. If someone has to have research done on a topic, a quick trip to the library can provide nearly everything they need. If someone feels overwhelmed, the librarians are there when assistance is needed. The library even offers free printing and faxing to students during school hours.

“The library is a welcoming environment,” librarian Cathy Morgan said. “The librarians are always willing to help.”

But even though such a wealth of information is readily available to students, it seems that they do not use it nearly enough. If they are aware of the resources available to them, should they not take full advantage of them?

The major reason that explains why students do not use the library much is the rise of the internet. Now that the internet is used for research, people assume that books are not needed. The internet is almost always with us, so it definitely can be more convenient. However, the internet has its downsides. For instance, resources on the internet are more prone to be incorrect than ones that are put into books.

The internet is constantly changing. While this can let outdated information be replaced, factual information can also be edited.

“The internet is a great tool for quick information,” librarian Kim Ann Phau said. “But, it will never compare to what we have here. You can’t rely on Wikipedia for everything.”

Sites like Wikipedia have the ability to be edited by users at any time. Because of that, books that go through rigorous revisions before being printed can be more reliable than the internet.

The internet can also stop working or go down. Put yourself in the shoes of a student working on a project that they put off until the last minute, scrambling to get enough research in time. Now imagine how that student feels as they are browsing online for needed information, only for the internet to have yet another “unforeseen connectivity issue” or for the power to suddenly go out, stopping you from working, turning this put off project into an all-nighter.

“The internet or power can go out, but the library is open regardless of that,” librarian Angela Koehler said.

The library is teeming with useful information that can be accessed for free. While other options for research do exist, such as the internet, they can be incorrect or temporarily inaccessible. Because of these reasons, students should take advantage of the library resources provided to them.