Demystifying The Library: Special Collections, Archives, Stress-Free Zone
Kent State's University Libraries is the place for student success and research. It's a makerspace. It was also recently voted "Best Place to Study" by the Kent Stater's Best Of polls.
On top of that, it's a repository for journals, books and historical and rare materials. This might be the most traditional function provided by the library in this series so far, but it's anything but ordinary.
Kent State Today takes a deeper look into University Libraries in a three-part series about Demystifying the Library for students. Part one was about the Student Multimedia Services, and part two covered Student and Research Success. Part three is about destressing and what you can find on the first and 12th floors of Portage County's tallest building. Take the elevator up and into the past ... and then: dogs.
Special Collections & Archives
Located on the 12th floor, Special Collections and Archives holds and preserves primary sources and materials that aid in research and teaching programs in her unit.
But what exactly is an archive? Cara Gilgenbach, associate professor and head of Special Collections and Archives, explains what the library sets aside for research and teaching.
“This department in the library has collections that include rare materials, unique materials or collections that would be difficult to reproduce as a whole,” Gilgenbach said. “Archives is a term that refers to noncurrent papers and documents about a person, organization or an event that have enduring historical value.”
Gilgenbach and the other faculty members in her department also hold instructional sessions for a variety of classes. These sessions provide hands-on experience for those needing to use the archives for upcoming research projects. Although these programs are usually planned by a faculty member, students can also book an appointment for their own interests.
“So, say you would like to see some rare books or medieval manuscripts,” Gilgenbach said, “you can contact us and say you would like to come into Special Collections and see what is available.”
Special Collections do not only exist solely on the 12th floor. The Marovitz Special Collections and Archives Gallery on the first floor holds artifacts from the collections, giving library patrons a glimpse into what is available on the 12th floor.
Stress Free Zone
In time for finals will be the upcoming Stress-Free Zone, from 1-3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11 and Tuesday, Dec. 12 in the Harrick Garden Room. The library will provide snacks and beverages, relaxing and fun activities like crossword puzzles and coloring, 3D pens, and therapy dogs! All free of charge and aimed to help students relax.
University Libraries Is So Much More
"Additional departments operating under University Libraries’ administration that serve the campus community and beyond with their high levels of specific expertise also include LaunchNET Kent State, the May 4 Visitors Center and the University Press," said Ken Burhanna, professor and dean of University Libraries.
"I encourage you to take the time to explore the areas that we covered, as well as the numerous other services and spaces that weren’t mentioned," Burhanna added, "such as our four branch libraries – architecture, fashion, map and performing arts – that have something for everyone, not only the students and faculty in those academic departments."
Banner photo “Esplanade Walkway,” Kent State University Libraries. Special Collections and Archives, accessed November 17, 2023, http://omeka.library.kent.edu/special-collections/items/show/76.