Reading

An East Carolina University student reads a print novel in Joyner Library.

Staff from Joyner Library and Sheppard Memorial Library discuss the libraries’ summer reading and literary resources available to East Carolina University students and the Greenville community.

Ronnie Woodward, communications specialist for Joyner Library, said there is a section of scholastic books for young adults within the Teaching Resources Center in Joyner Library that students can look at any time throughout the summer.

Some books labeled under popular reading are strategically placed near the Starbucks in Joyner Library, Woodward said, in order to attract students who are walking into the library or grabbing a coffee. He said electronic textbooks, although not as popular during the summer, can be useful for many students on campus.

“That light reading or themes or popular or new books collection we just got in, we try to put in that area because we know there’s gonna be a lot of ECU students and maybe it will catch their eye and they’ll wanna check out one of those books,” Woodward said.

The checkout process at the circulation desk is made easy for students to utilize, Woodward said, and librarians and other staff members are willing to assist those who need further assistance or help checking out books.

Woodward said the close proximity of coastal North Carolina makes books that highlight a beach scene or calm setting a popular genre for college students during the summer.

“A lot of people like to read while on vacation or at the beach, so they might like to read books that connect them to that type of surrounding scene,” Woodward said. “Also, our new titles are fairly consistent in popularity throughout the year.”

William Gee, head of Circulation and Interlibrary Loan in Joyner Library, said there is always a large collection of books available in Joyner, and many of them are featured throughout the year. He said the Circulation Department and the Teaching Resources Center display a variety of topics and genres, particularly each month.

The Circulation Department features staff picks, Gee said, which are random books recommended by Joyner Library employees. He said there is a bookcase between the circulation desk and Starbucks that features books, as well as a standing new book display, where books that have recently arrived at the library are displayed.

“Also, in that reading room we have what we call the popular reading selection, which are a lot of books that are deemed to be kind of popular interest, they’re not the typical scholarly kind of books that we have in the rest of the library collection,” Gee said. “They’re more for just general reading.”

Gee said there isn’t a specific reading list for the summer, but many staff picks displayed during the summer months would be appropriate. He said students, faculty and staff can check out books for free from the library, and those in the community who are interested in using Joyner can pay an annual membership fee of $40 for access.

The reading room also features a display of mental health books, Gee said, which are useful for college students, especially due to the negative impacts of COVID-19. He said the room offers a lounging area that features books on various topics, such as Native American History Month, Black History Month, Women’s History Month and more throughout the year.

“It’s just a space with some soft seating, some nice chairs and windows, and then all of those bookcases as well in that front space right beside the lobby entrance of the library,” Gee said.

Amber Winstead, librarian at Sheppard Memorial Library, a library located on Evans St. in Greenville, said Sheppard does not have a specific reading list, but graphic novels are typically popular during the summer.

Students or individuals from the community do not need an appointment to utilize resources through the library, Winstead said, and are welcome to walk in during library hours. She said the library provides resources such as the internet, computers and research materials.

“So there’s free internet for college students,” Winstead said. “There’s the computers and things like that. There’s a lot of research-based things that you can access through our website, like NCLive.”

Winstead said college students writing research papers and working on similar projects or assignments throughout the summer can benefit greatly from these resources.

There is also a wide selection of fiction books, Winstead said, which tend to be popular with many college students and are used for leisure reading. During the academic semester, she said many ECU students, especially within the teaching field, utilize resources from the library.

“We have a lot of resources for them (students) when they’re looking for things for their classes. We’re able to help out a lot with that, we get that of course more during the academic year than during the summer,” Winstead said.

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