Bellevue College’s Library Media Center, located in the D Building, is one of BC’s most popular student resources. With an expansive electronic database available on and off campus containing thousands of periodicals, journals and magazines as well as the books on the shelves-not to mention a knowledgeable and helpful staff, the LMC is the place to go for research papers and schoolwork.
When it comes to their fiction section, however, many students believe the LMC’s stock is somewhat lacking. When asked whether or not the LMC was a good resource for finding books to read for fun, Yuni Hara, a student and frequent user of the LMC, said, “Not particularly,” and further commented that she got her reading material primarily from Half-Price Books. Yvonne Worden, another student, echoed Yuni’s sentiments and said that she preferred to use her Kindle. While the LMC is undeniably useful for academic purposes, it’s usually not the first place students go for fiction.
Reference Librarian Nicole Longpré offered an explanation for this: “Our library’s purpose is to support [BC’s] curriculum, so we buy books and other materials that really are directly supporting a class you might be taking…We actually don’t have a lot of people asking about fiction, at least directly to us.”
Becky Trunbull, a circulation specialist in the library, added, “It’s pretty easy to get to the catalog from the public library [from our library computers]. Our librarians are really super with that–if you need a book or…just want to read a particular title, they’ll help you find it.”
The accessibility of the library might surprise some students; according to Longpré, getting a book into the library is easier than students might think. To get a book into the library, students just have to speak to a librarian, either in person or via email. There are some guidelines the library follows for which books they choose to buy, but Longpré stressed the importance of student influence. “Send us an email, give us a call. We just really want to hear from you.”
According to Trunbull, most of the new magazine subscriptions the library has purchased were student requests, and just this past week, Longpré spent a day updating a section filled with somewhat dated material after a student brought it to her attention. “We’re always buying new books,” said Longpré. “[The library] is constantly being updated. We’re constantly getting rid of old things and trying to replace them with new things. It’s pretty much a continuous process. It never stops.”
Not all students are dissatisfied with the fiction section; one second-year BC student who asked to be anonymous said: “When I first checked out the library I was surprised by how many of my favorite authors I could find there. I actually made a game to find the most obscure authors I knew of.”
While the LMC might not be most students’ primary choice for reading for fun, the friendly librarians are open to requests and are committed to helping students. “We try to make it a welcoming place,” said Trunbull. “We would like to see every seat filled, not just 90% of them.”
Students with further questions about the library can call (425) 564-6161 or visit the LMC website at http://bellevuecollege.edu/lm