Photography is very important to Kevin Lopez. He has been taking photos since he was a child. When he joined LaGuardia, he was excited to pursue his passion and find some solidarity. But there was no structured group that catered exclusively to his lifelong love. “It was a good idea to start a Photography Club […]
Aaliyah Basant said she must constantly wrestle with distractions. Sometimes it is her cell phone and sometimes the chores at home.
“I have so many things that can easily distract me in my room, so it takes me so much longer to do my homework in my room,” said Basant, a second-year student at LaGuardia Community College.
She longed for a quiet space. It became increasingly clear to her that a library would be the perfect place for her.
Since she started her education in Fall 2020, she has been relegated to virtual classes. That created a fraught environment where learning was constantly interrupted. Every time her cell phone pinged; it became difficult for her to return to her homework.
It was during this despair that hope came in the form of a virtual library. “My professors said that there is a virtual library for me to use and to get student resources,” she said.
She was filled with excitement. Even during the pandemic, the library continued to provide resources and support for students such as Basant who felt isolated and needed help.
Christopher McHale is a librarian and an assistant professor who works at the LaGuardia Library and is committed to helping students achieve their goals.
McHale said that college students remind him that we are all learners, including himself. “I feel so fortunate enough to work at a place that is just for continual learning, and I love interacting with people,” he said.
McHale has learned about making the library more accessible to students by providing a hybrid option due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I know during the pandemic, I very much missed moments like this where we can have a kind of simple face-to-face. But you know, throughout the whole process, I think something we did really well with the Library Department is we stayed open and available to students the whole time,” he said.
McHale made the virtual library accessible to students despite the shift to distance learning. He said that he communicated with students through the chat feature that students have in their My LaGuardia accounts.
Each LaGuardia student has a librarian to chat with in the My LaGuardia portal in the “My Librarian” section. “So, I did meet with lots and lots of students like one-on-one through chat, so it was just kind of visual based there then of course Zoom and I [sic] one of the things I do here as well is organize workshops,” said McHale.
The library continues to provide resources to students in a hybrid format to make studying and homework more accessible.
Scott Norton is a second-year student majoring in New Media Technology. The first time he went to the school library, he felt “at home.” It was in December 2021.
He had technical issues with his own computer and decided to go to the school to use the computers there.
“I did go to the library because I was asking them for directions, and they gave me directions. They are very nice and helpful,” Norton added. That is when he discovered the many benefits of the library: the quiet environment and the solidarity, all of which was very inspirational for him.
Since then, the library has become a second home for Norton.