Campus Young Adult and Children’s Library a hidden gem

Kevinesha Glenn, Reporter

The Young Adult and Children’s Library on the third floor of the Education Building holds a plethora of easily accessible books and resources. This library was opened in the 1970s and has been in operation ever since.

According to English professor and head librarian Patricia Austin, this kind of library is a necessity on campus.

“Earl K. Long is a research library, and so it does not serve for pleasure reading,” Austin said.

To remedy this, the Student Government Association (SGA) has made non-research additions to the Earl K. Long Library in recent years, including a movie collection and shelves for best-selling novels.

“This [Young Adult and Children’s] Library can [provide] pleasure reading for both for the children in your life and you,” Austin said. “It is an extremely popular genre in the world, and there are so many good books that could be just for pleasure reading.”

The library has a room dedicated to more than 10,000 picture books for readers ranging from one to eight years old. Its collection includes about 8,000 fiction and nonfiction books. There are also teaching materials that can be used to build teaching skills. Other offerings include shapes, blocks, board games, play money and more. These items can be checked out from the library for up to three weeks.

The library is intended to service not only education majors, but also everyone at UNO, including faculty and staff. “I would love if more staff members and students would check out books for their siblings and children,” Austin said.

Unlike Earl K. Long library, this library is run solely by volunteers. “The volunteers are the lifeblood of the library,” said Austin, who has run the library for the past 17 years. Although it is not one of her required duties, Austin believes in the library’s mission. “It is a labor of love,” Austin said.

The volunteers complete tasks such as processing books, sorting them, checking them in and out, shipping them to other libraries, and making sure they are correctly shelved and easy to find. All the books in the library are donated. “These books are essentially gifts for a funded project,” Austin said.

The library doesn’t have any scheduled events, but the administrators are looking into setting up a book display in late September. The library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

“Feel free to come use the space, and be aware of it,” Austin said. “It is a rich resource, and we have an amazing collection here.”