Pearson Library is the best spot on campus


Photo by Olivia Madera

Connor May (left), Miles Ryor (middle), and Caitlin Goeken (right) meet up at one of the library’s group seating areas.

Olivia Madera, Reporter

Now that I am in my second year at California Lutheran University, I have cycled through all of the study spots on campus: the Student Union, Starbucks, outdoor spaces, and quiet places inside some of the academic buildings. I have concluded that all of these study spots on campus are not the best places for me to study, hang out with friends or enjoy some peace and quiet. The only place on campus that ended up solving my problems was Pearson Library, which I believe to be the best spot on campus. 

According to the Pearson Library webpage on Cal Lutheran’s website, “the Library has evolved from a study hall to a diverse educational environment with technology and physical spaces to support a wide range of learning styles.”

Pearson Library offers resources to students such as study rooms, the Writing Center, the Math Center, both meeting and teaching spaces, quiet study spaces and indoor and outdoor seating. The library also offers book rental services and course reserve services, which allow students to access class textbooks if they are unable to obtain one that is required for their class. 

According to the Pearson Library webpage, another service provided is the Interlibrary Loan, which “allows CLU students, faculty, and staff to borrow from other libraries if items are not available at Pearson Library.” 

Other resources include the library staff and student workers who work near the circulation desk to help students with basic questions, equipment rental services and creating a welcoming and friendly environment for all who come to the library. 

“It’s really important for the library, for us, to welcome everyone… that the space, the collections and our services are welcoming,” Director of Pearson Library Rachel Smiley said.

During significant historical or cultural months, the library provides and displays collections, particularly in the front of the library, that correspond with each month. Smiley said that in doing so, the library hopes to have students feel represented and reflected in the collections. Smiley also said that the library focuses on removing barriers to services that are provided, such as refraining from using library jargon that might be out of date so workers can come across as more friendly and welcoming to students. 

Among others, the library has an extraordinary staff of both student workers and librarians who are there to help other students. 

“It was just a really supportive environment, and all of my coworkers are super nice and friendly, we’re all friends,” student supervisor Tiffany Robinson said.

Robinson said that student workers are there to help students with basic everyday questions, directing students to places in the library and on campus, helping students check out books, and acting as the middleman for Information Technology Services, or ITS. Robinson also said there are different librarians who specialize in different subjects and are available to students to help with work such as research. 

Each area of the library houses a certain noise level, so if a student wants quiet time to study and focus, they can use one of the study rooms. If students are working on a group project or bringing classmates in, there are outdoor atrium spaces or group tables to work at. 

“We are trying to be flexible in whatever someone might need, our space can adapt and respond to that,” said Smiley.

Personally, whenever I get work done in the library or meet friends of mine there, I always feel like I belong and that there are others there to help me. Even if I end up studying alone, there is nothing to distract me in the library. In places like the Student Union and Starbucks, students are not aware that others around them are trying to study and get homework done. These places also have constant, continuous energy and noise levels that don’t feed off of or work well with each other. 

During the holiday months, the library’s student workers will also make and hang up decorations around the different locations. 

“Usually, once a month we have some sort of special event going on, whether that’s just Halloween decorations, or, if that’s towards finals, we do a lot of bigger events like a last hoorah before the end of the semester,” student supervisor Kayley Hall said. 

There is constantly something going on in the library whether it be an event, festive and welcoming decorations or must-read library collections that correspond with the different cultures, heritages and communities present at Cal Lutheran. Recently, on Oct. 25-27, the library hosted a series of movie nights for students. 

“We always do a week of snacks and goodies during finals week, and then we usually do a welcome event for the beginning of the academic year,” Hall said.  

Overall, the library has many resources that students tend not to take advantage of, or know about, that are there to help students in their years attending Cal Lutheran. Smiley said that the goals and plan for the library are to focus on community-building in and out of the library, social justice, representation, improving the library’s physical space and making information more accessible. When students come into Pearson Library, the workers not only make students feel welcomed, but they want to welcome students. This, for me, solidifies Pearson Library as one of the best spots on campus to pick for your next study or hang-out session.