I was sitting in a classroom attempting to stare through a chalkboard the first time I’d heard of Halle Library.
“No, you’re completely wrong, it’s pronounced Hailey, like Eminem’s daughter,” a student said.
Another student looked as bewildered as I and retorted, “Like hell, it’s Halle, like Halle Berry.”
Although it’s generally considered far less visually appealing than the versatile, Oscar-winning actress, Halle Library’s value to EMU students and faculty is priceless.
Halle first opened its doors to the public in 1998. That day, students lined up between Halle and Porter – the former library – and passed books in dedication.
The passing of the books from the old to the new was more than just a song and dance for EMU’s public relations personnel. It was representative of the big hand students played in insuring a new library materialized.
The students, who began advocating in the ‘90s after the old library was outgrown, were proud to make a difference. They recognized their need for bountiful resources and a quiet studying environment, crucial to their success here at EMU.
The great importance the library still remains true today. But maybe some students have forgotten Halle’s worth? While a few might have, sophomore and social work major Cody Shields has not.
“I’ve been to Michigan State’s library before, and in comparing it to Eastern’s, it was much larger,” Shields said. “But that was because State is a bigger university. I however feel that Halle is much easier to get help in.
“At State’s library it took a lot to get help, but at Eastern, it’s much easier to get the help you need. There is more of a personal touch to Halle compared to larger universities which I think helps students more.”
Every student should remember from day to day Halle Library is not only filled with students, it’s filled with the next best thing: hidden treasures.
Although everyone has a different favorite part of the library, the variety is what makes Halle Library so useful. Cody found a treasure there, and so can you. If this fall is your first semester at EMU, or if you’ve memorized so many flashcards and notes lately you couldn’t possibly recall freshman orientation, this rundowns for you:
Halle Library is four floors and covers 270,000 square feet. It’s so big EMU was able to fit classrooms, multiple help centers, an archive and help desks in it as well. There are also plenty of available study rooms and desks.
To find out how you can start checking out items, visit the library circulation desk on the first floor. For help finding specific materials, visit the reference and information desk, also located on the first floor. If the librarians and fellow students that staff these desks can’t help you, they will certainly point you in the right direction to get help.
Books & Media: First and foremost, the biggest benefit of the building would be the close to one million books it holds. They cover every subject you could need, but if should find yourself looking for something else, the library also contains a large number of periodicals, music scores, sound recordings, electronic journals, videos, microforms and so on.
Holman Success Center: At Holman, staff can assist you in developing the many skills you’ll need to perform well in school and the workplace. A tutor is available for free for most classes. You can set up a tutor in advance and have a weekly meeting time.
While being assisted, you’ll not only work on class work; you can discover your very own learning style, figure out how to structure your papers and much more.
For more information, and to set up your own tutoring time call 734-487-2133, or visit www.emich.edu/hsc.
Faculty Development Center: This little gem is for the professors. Whether you’re full-time or part-time faculty, you can use this center. It provides you with the resources you need to constantly be improving as a teacher. There you can develop more professional skills, learn about leadership, organizational skills, culture and sensitivity and even how to get the most out of the latest technology.
See www.emich.edu/facdev for more information.
Computer Labs: Some of the worst-kept but best secrets in the library are the computer labs. The labs are a very useful tool for students. Not everyone has a computer and having the ability to use them for free is a great resource.
There are designated labs on the first floor, and in the basement, but there are computers throughout the entire library that are available for use with your my.emich account.
IT Help Desk: The Information Technology desk can help those who need assistance with all things computer related. For anyone who is Mac challenged or has a printer in his or her dorm room that just will not work, help is within walking distance.
You can think of it as EMU’s version of Best Buy’s Geek Squad.
For assistance you can use the IT help desk, call 734-487-2120, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eagle Café: Now you may be wondering why Eagle Café is on here. Well, aside from the strong correlation between food consumption and test scores, which I discovered using Halle’s online journals, it’s just a great place to grab a coffee before class or avoid leaving the library to eat.
With healthy options available, booth seating and the ability to use meal plans for your purchases, it’s a student favorite. Typically the lines in the Café are also much shorter than lines elsewhere on campus.
Junior and business major Drew Crank even likes using it to study.
“The bathrooms are close and the food’s right there,” he says. “What more could you want, oh, there’s also not a ton of loud and obnoxious people. I can actually get work done down there.”
Academic Projects Center: This center offers one-on-one writing, research and technology assistance. It’s the result of the ATCS, University Writing Center, Writing Across The Curriculum and the First Year Writing Program. It’s a hybrid help center where students can go to get assistance with most any project.
This place is great in a pinch; no need set up an appointment, just walk on in and ask for help.
University Archives: The last, and most unmentioned treasure, is the university’s archives. The archives preserve EMU history. The collection includes the university’s collective research, copies of published articles, past senior theses, conference papers, presentations and more.
If you’ve lost something, like, say, a copy of that thesis you worked so hard on, or articles you’ve written for the school paper, you’ll find yourself appreciating the documentation and archive desk you rarely frequented.
No matter how useful Halle Library is, it would be nothing without the 21 librarians, support staff of more than 40, and more than a hundred student employees making the library functional, accessible and user-friendly.