There is a problem at Mercyhurst that has been bothering me for a while. This problem is our library’s lack of useful resources. Whether it is books, periodicals or software, the Hammermill Library is being left behind as Mercyhurst is making its steps toward university status.
Let me start at the beginning. Last year, two other students and I began a research project that involved analyzing articles to find the portrayal of Muslims in FOX News, CNN and NPR. Our research paper ended up being awarded at the Eastern Communication Association’s Annual Conference.
This school year, we set our sights high and wanted to improve on our work. We decided to look at not only those original three sources, but also Al Jazeera, The New York Times and BBC over a year’s time. However, none of us had a way to access The New York Times, so we made a trip to the library to see what they could do for us.
After talking to a research librarian, we found out that the library only has microfilm of The New York Times, dating before 2007. Microfilm would not be compatible for the software needed for the program, not to mention we need articles from 2010-2011.
The employee looked at the online databases as well and found nothing. The librarian then suggested we could change our dates so we collect articles prior to 2007.
Since we do this research competitively for a renowned organization, I was taken aback when she told us to change the dates to accommodate the limited resources the library has to offer us.
My problems do not end there; I am also in Intermediate Arabic II. When checking out the Language Lab on the third floor, I was disappointed to find that there were no programs to help with Arabic.
Putting a few language posters on the wall does not make it a Language Lab. Thanks for re-teaching me the alphabet, Language Lab posters, but that won’t help me in an advanced class.
My final complaint, for now, is that even the “new” books are copyrighted over 20 years ago. Don’t get me wrong, some of those books are wonderful staples for research, but up-to-date information and research would be wonderful.
Maybe I’m a nerd and have a strange love for information, but I am not the only one complaining about the lackluster resources our library has to offer. I have heard other students, as well as professors, wishing there was more they could get out of our library.
As Mercyhurst becomes a university, it is as important as ever to update our library and make it something a university would be proud of.