A library gives peace, it imbues knowledge, stimulates creativity. The shelves are full of books up to the ceiling, the tranquility; the study room where silence gives you focus… all that together makes it a favorite place for many of us. Here you can have your moment, dive into books and gain knowledge. Even though the digital world has taken over a big part of that, we see that books still attract, even the younger generation. And we are happy about it, says Leonie Boerkamp.
She is the coordinator of the university library since 2004 and in 2016 became manager of the book store. “The library is not only about lending books. We assist students in their search of literature, we offer data bases and we train them in the use of the data bases. We sell books they need for their studies and we offer magazines, tours, instructions and for the freshmen we organize a game to get them acquainted with the way the library works.” The library also has a member group consisting of former students, lawyer’s offices and companies who borrow books.
The book shop offers books on sale to students. “Often our prices are cheaper than when they order themselves online because we have discounted prices. It is a service we offer so when students register for a study they can order the books right away with us.” Boerkamp says the university had about 700 students in 2019 and this year they expect more.
“Students can study here in the silence room and we have a project table where small groups of students can sit together and work on projects. It turned out to be a meeting point for students from different studies which is great,” she explains.“We as university like to provide in the needs of the students because every person has their own favorite way to study. Many do not have the privacy at home and therefore the university is the place where they spend much time. We strive to make it as comfortable as possible for them. Many see this as their second home.”
The new walk
Boerkamp is ready for the ‘new normal’ or rather ‘new walk’. The library measurements: less chairs, more distance, hand sanitizer, all books are plasticized and cleaned with Lysol, two entrances each with their own purpose, controlling the number of people inside, the study room has its own entrance and fewer people are permitted. “It is challenging because we already lack space and we expect more students than last year but we will work on the basis of appointments if it gets too crowded. All data bases are available online and are accessible from home through an online learning system. The book catalogue is also digital.” Boerkamp and her staff are happily ready for the new academic year and welcome all new and returning students. “I am so passionate about books and about this library but even more about transmitting this passion to the young generation.”