Libraries aid in the education of the younger generation and encourage reading and literacy skills. Other than schools, libraries are one of the only public places that are solely devoted to learning and studying. The library is a unique space in which anybody can show up and learn, free of charge. It’s a mass storage of knowledge and free resources, right at your fingertips.
For us Lasallians, we are fortunate enough to have the Henry Sy, Sr. Hall to call our library, but there’s more to this building than meets the eye. Cold air conditioner, wide couches, free internet, free outlets for charging and free computer use are just icing on the cake. These perks that come with the Learning Commons are just some of the things to encourage students to go to the library, but should not be the sole purpose for students to go there.
These days, libraries are no longer limited to just books, either. For new, state-of-the-art libraries such as our very own Learning Commons, there are also vast collections of audio and video media and e-sources. With these in hand, the library becomes not just a place for predated facts, but a place of up-to-date and relevant sources just waiting to be unearthed.
Unraveling the Learning Commons
Knowledge is power. However, in the present age, our version of “knowledge” has become confined to what we need to know – the answers to the exam tomorrow, the latest news in and around the campus, the little things we prioritize like song lyrics or our crush’s cellphone number. Knowledge has become something we limit to our comfort zone, it becomes fleeting and sometimes even trivial. Thus, the need to expand our knowledge is deeply needed to substitute trivial thoughts with relevant information, and also because of the fact that humans are naturally curious beings. But then again, why do we need to know things that don’t concern us, anyway.
This is where the library comes in. With nine floors of resource materials, it’s a vast collection of knowledge that even the most avid reader couldn’t finish in the span of his or her college life. We’re not saying you have to read all these books; we’re just saying a book is the equivalent of ten webpages – or more. The information you get from books is complete, connected, and has an interesting habit of sticking to your mind once it’s been read.
Time to find out just what the Learning Commons has to offer. Because a look at the DLSU Library website already holds this information, we’ll mention only briefly what kind of materials you can find in each floor of the library:
- 5th floor: Actually, this is unmentioned in the Learning Commons’ website. However, it’s necessary to mention the famous “bean bag place” in DLSU. Always near full during the day, this is where most students go to sleep – that is, relax after long, tiring hours of class.
- 6th floor: Library lobby, IMS (AV equipment units), Systems Services, and Director’s Office. Now famous for its Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf branch (so much more accessible than the one in Archer’s if you’re from LS or Yuchengco) and the fact that you can bring in food – as long as it doesn’t get anywhere higher than that.
- 7th floor: Information-Reference and part of the Circulation-Reserve Collection. Also to be found here are computers for Internet use, group tables and discussion rooms. Don’t forget, it’s also one of the two floors that have photocopying services!
- 8th floor: Circulation-Reserve. Don’t want to read academic books right now? You’ll find a great selection of novels and collections of short stories around here. The floor also includes a Faculty Corner, a study area and conference rooms for those big-scale board meetings. One thing to be noticed here – one of our authors’ favorite spots in the library – the lamp-lit area by the Circulation section, close to the Quiet Room, which is a good place to check out if you want somewhere where you can really focus (there are also Quiet Rooms on the 10th and 12th floor, for your information). Be warned, though: when they say Quiet, they mean it.
- 9th floor: Periodicals. A good place to learn what the library has to offer besides books. If the information in books is too outdated for you, newspapers and journals are definitely much more relevant to the times – and much more fun to read. (But then, being a newspaper, we may be biased on that.) Also here are a small computer area for Web use, the other photocopying station, and an outdoor reading area – for when you need a little bit of fresh air to concentrate.
- 9th floor, Mezzanine: Filipiniana. Because you can never have enough nationalism, the library dedicated an entire floor to the Filipiniana references – and rightly so. Here’s where you can go to learn more about Philippine culture, and therefore develop your national pride as well, especially with the exquisite local artifacts around you.
- 10th floor: Archives (partial collection). Feeling particularly Lasallian today? Why not check out some history – try looking at the archives in the 10th floor, where you can learn just about anything about DLSU’s past. This is also where you’ll find student publications and various theses from graduates, undergraduates and faculty.
- 11th floor: The secret, soon-to-be-available 11th floor! While about two-thirds of the place is still off-limits as it’s being prepared for more archives, the small spot where students can go to study is awesomely quiet – perfect if you want somewhere private to discover inner peace.
- 13th floor: Special collections. To reiterate what we said about the Filipiniana section, you can never have enough Filipino pride. More proof, if it is necessary, can be found in the special collections, where you find works of many great local artists and writers. If you ever need inspiration or simply a place to refresh your nationalism, this is where you ought to be.
You’ll notice that’s a lot more than just books. It’s also a lot more than instant, specific information. Maybe that’s good for our generation – maybe we need to know a little more than just what we need to – because the thing is, we never know when we might use and appreciate the extra knowledge a library has to give us.
Like any book, the Learning Commons are open, full of knowledge, and – because they’re ours – free. Let’s take advantage of the fact that we have an excellent library, with up-to-date information and relevant research right at our fingertips. Lasallians, take a trip to the Learning Commons today and pick up a book – you just might be surprised at what it could teach you.