THE WAY I SEE IT: Falvey Library should get back to books

Caity Donohue

Every now and then, my friends and I play the game of “If you became rich and famous in the next 10 years and donated some of your newfound fortune to Villanova, what would you put it toward?” 

It is hardly surprising that instinctively, a few friends immediately mention the basketball program. 

A few of us take longer, mulling over our choices: the various clubs we are a part of that we feel could use some aid and the common refrain of college students everywhere: improving the dining options.   

I know exactly what I would pick. Today is a typical Sunday for me, and in order to get any work done at all, I have to exile myself to a table on one of the silent floors of the library. I prefer a little bustle, but the library has always offered a silent escape for when I really feel I need to sit down and punish myself for my inevitable procrastination. 

Hence, I am sitting in the library and staring off into space in the general direction of the loaded bookshelves — bookshelves that stretch generously across three floors. As I scan the titles, I recognize that I would not pick up even one to read casually. These are “research” books, dusty tomes that are probably only uncovered when someone is struggling through a senior thesis.  

So much of the information we discover for our coursework is on the Internet these days. 

We have a multitude of material at our fingertips — ready to read, ready to order, ready to use.  In fact, we so rarely need to spend time looking through book after book that often when we are required to do so for a course, at the very least we are frustrated and inconvenienced. At worst, we do not even know where to start. Frequently, I have to head straight to the circulation desk for help. 

Since I am generally only at the library to do work in silence, I equate the entire building as some sort of prison where I am often sentenced to long nights of tedious work and avoiding sleep as if it were end of the world. 

Therefore, the vision in my head hardly compares to the happy thoughts I have of the public library in my hometown. 

It’s a hang out of sorts where I can spend a relaxed hour among the shelves, debating between classics and contemporary fiction with my $1 library card.  

With a movie rental service available on campus, it seems contradictory that we do not have at least a small section dedicated to the rental of books in our library on campus. 

I was once directed to the table with what is considered contemporary fiction, but unfortunately I found my options a little limited with most of the books on display from a popular series I had already devoured some time ago. 

My craving for a good read unfortunately went unsatisfied.  

When I found myself thinking of college as a little girl, I imagined the libraries on the campuses of the Big Ten, with which I was most familiar. My parents mentioned that the university they had both attended for graduate programs had more than one library, each of them large and well-tended, and specific to areas of study. 

I imagined mahogany wood and gold-gilded ceilings in my college library — a refuge from a busy campus, equipped with comfortable chairs to curl up in, or a floor with tall windows and boundless tables for the student body to study at.  

Obviously, I had a very vivid imagination. Today, I have a more realistic hope for the library. 

I would love for it to become an attraction on campus, a spot where the tours stop and families look around with obvious awe, and finally for it to be better equipped with real reading material.  

——————–

Caity Donohue is a sophomore English and secondary education major from Northbrook, Ill.  She can be reached at [email protected]