I spent my years at Pratt sitting among stacks of books, more engrossed in my studies than what was around me. By that, I don’t mean the pleasant atmosphere and picturesque rooms with big bright windows. I’m talking about what’s around me that I can’t always see, the resources I tend to overlook. For many, the wealth of information the Pratt library has to offer is talked about during high school campus tours or at the beginning of freshman year, then easily forgotten. Part of this issue stems from the lack of practical application people think the building provides. The library contains much more than most people think.
Many students are familiar with the library databases, which are great resources when writing essays or research papers. There are well over 100 databases, including popular ones such as ARTstor and subscription access to The New York Times. The film and video collection has an abundance of well-known titles, like Hayao Miyazaki’s films and, oddly enough, all four seasons of “Courage the Cowardly Dog.” If anyone is interested in learning about Pratt’s history, they can easily browse the archives collection. While perusing the library’s website, I made so many discoveries about the place. Did you know they had a blog? Surely, you knew of the shelves of periodicals on the second floor? I’ve seen countless issues of Vogue and Rolling Stone magazine, to name a few.
My favorite discovery this year is the ConnectNY resource. I never thought the Pratt library had the books I would enjoy reading. I was excited and surprised to hear that through ConnectNY, I could borrow a vast array of books indirectly through other libraries across the city, all without having to leave campus. There is also the option to chat with a librarian at the Reference Desk that pops up on the website during open hours. I get overwhelmed on websites when searching for answers because I’m never sure where to click or what link will take me in the right direction. Through the chat box, I’m able to sidestep this obstacle. I receive quick and informative responses to my questions, and I’m directed to the right links. Students can also borrow up to 30 items at a time, three of which can be from the Equipment Loan Office, which loans equipment such as cameras and tripods. For books, the loan period is four weeks, much longer than the two week period I have experienced at my local library.
I hope to make the most of Pratt library’s resources for the rest of my time here at school, and I hope that anyone who comes across this article might be inspired to do the same. Why not get the most out of your education? Maybe you’ll discover something new.
Art by Dev Kamath