Having Fun Isn’t Hard When You’ve Got a Library Card

The Gerald R. Sherratt Library:

To many students, this building becomes their home away from home [away from home?].
After only one week of the semester under my belt, I have spent many hours in this building reading over textbooks and using the large computer lab.
When people think of libraries, I feel that the image that comes to mind is books. And computers. And that is a fairly accurate image of most libraries, including the Sherratt Library.
But.
What people don’t realize is that not only can students check out books and use computers at the Sherratt Library, but they have access to many more great features. You can check out books, DVDs, films, CDs, curriculum books and kits, periodicals like magazines and newspapers, and text books for in-library use. You have access to tons of online databases, graphing calculators, digital video recorders, tripods, models and globes, a huge reference collection (that professors deem acceptable when citing sources, as opposed to other *ahem* online sources). The library is home to the Honors Commons, and the Copy Center where you can print, laminate, and bind your projects. There are even fully mediated study rooms. You can check out books from every genre under the sun (even juvenile picture books!) and read them in the beautiful Huntsman Reading Room. Or take them home. Whatevs. And if you can’t find the book you’re looking for, you have access to the ILLiad Interlibrary Loan system that allows you to check out books from libraries across the nation. And the library’s collection is growing all the time! Every week, hundreds of new books are added to their collection (there’s a shelf for new arrivals conveniently located on the first floor).

Downstairs on the garden level, there is a part of the library that is often overlooked, yet offers more resources to students. It is called Special Collections.

Tucked behind the garden level reading room, the entrance to Special Collections seems to hide from many patrons, but all are welcome.

Special Collections (SC) is the area of the library where out-of-print, rare, and expensive materials that need particular handling are kept.
When you enter the room, you come to a bank of handsome wooden lockers that you store your back pack in and you enter the beautiful Christopher/Mann Reading Room. From this central hub, different collections stem off.

You might wonder what the different collections  in SC hold.
I’ll tell you. Well, because there is so much, I’ll give you what I feel are the coolest things in each collection.

Grace A. Tanner Center For Human Values: Complete Loeb Library. A comprehensive collection of original Greek and Latin texts with English translation.

Palmer Room: William R. Palmer was a local historian. His collection is full of Paiute Native American tribal artifacts and wonderful historic photographs (which I love).

Seymour Room: John L. Seymour was a California-native who fell in love with SUU (Southern Utah State College at the time). He was a linguist, a lover and writer of opera, and a world traveler. His collection includes items relating to the humanities and fine arts, especially music, and rare furniture from around the world.

Howard R. Driggs Room: He was one of the original four faculty members of Branch Normal School (SUU) in 1897. He believed “If you can get young boys to read, that would be a great thing.” So he wrote Western-themed literature for young boys.

Michael O. Leavitt Collection: was governor of Utah, administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, and secretary of Health and Human Services. His collection includes papers from his involvement with the HHS.

In addition to all the crazy-awesome aforementioned stuff, tons of historical photographs, microfilm, SUU yearbooks, students’ theses and capstones, recorded oral histories, and recordings of SUU’s spectacular convocations are just some of the great things found in special collections.

This salt shaker was discovered near the present-day animal hospital, one of the locations of the original forts constructed in Cedar Valley (c. 1850’s) and is one of the many artifacts housed in special collections. 

Some other special things are found in the library. At the circulation desk. Like my mom.

Momma Linda: She’s pretty special, too. Say “hi” to her when you check something out.

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