Author: Lillian Gardiner. GEd’11
You know there are libraries on campus, right? Well, there’s this big one called Van Pelt-Dietrich Library that I think you should check out the next time you visit Penn. All you need to gain entrance is your Penn ID card. Obviously, the library houses an impressive collection of books, but it also offers so much more.
If you know where the “button” is, or the quad, or the LOVE statue, or even Dunkin Donuts, then you can find Van Pelt-Dietrich. Once you’ve found it, here are my top 5 ways to utilize this amazing, free resource:
5. Movies: With nearly 18,000 movies available on DVD, Van Pelt is bound to have something you want to watch. It may not have every title, but check here first and get your movie for free before Netflixing it or buying it off Amazon. Enjoy classics like The Princess Bride and Casablanca.
4. Periodicals: Not only does Van Pelt receive daily newspapers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, it also carries regularly published journals from all over the world. Peruse the periodical section for specific subject matters in a number of different languages.
3. Foreign Language Magazines and Tools: You’ve been telling yourself for years that someday you’ll pick up your Spanish again. You’re not alone. Although I have yet to find a copy of People in Espanol, I’ve worked on my vocabulary and grammar skills by reading articles in Spanish and German. Just 10 minutes a day helps spark my memory.
2. Photo Archives: Search the vast database of image archives by artist, geography, or subject. This is particularly useful when there’s a painting you’ve seen but can’t recall the artist, or when you discover a genre that strikes you and you want to see what else has been created in that vein.
1. Very Comfortable Lounge Chairs: I’ve heard that Van Pelt offers the most comfortable chairs in certain pockets of the library, guaranteed to make you fall asleep. Not that I’ve ever done this. But if you feel the need to rest, there are numerous floors on which you may find a lone chair or quiet area to “rest your eyes” (and hopefully not awake with your mouth wide open).