A tale of two libraries

The move to Monmouth can be jarring to some. This is especially true for many people from bigger cities. I’ve commonly heard the compliant around campus that the Monmouth/Independence area is boring.

I know that when I went from living in Salem to near-permanently living in Monmouth, I went through quite a bit of culture shock. I can only imagine how others must feel. But take hope! There are several underutilized places in town that offer a wide range of entertainment, and the best kind to boot. The free kind.

I am, of course, talking about going to the library.

There are two libraries immediately available to Western students. One, the on-campus Hamersly Library, has resources available to check-out with a valid student ID. The other, Monmouth Public Library, is located at 168 S. Ecols St. across from the post office, just behind Little Caesars Pizza. It is no more than a twenty minute walk away from campus, and about a five minute drive. Here, you must provide proof of residence in order to be issued a library card to check out materials.

A picture of the entrance to the public library
A photo of one of the entrances to the Monmouth Public Library

Both Hamersly and the Monmouth Public Library have sizable selections of reading material, for scholarly needs and for pleasure. Hamersly is does not have a particularly large just-for-fun reading section, but most recent bestsellers can be found there, as well as popular books from past years. Monmouth Public Library is the better place to go for pleasure reading, with both a wider selection and a greater range of genres, including a section devoted to graphic novels and comics.. Additionally, they have a quite impressive array of audio-books for those people who prefer that sort of thing.

For those of a more cinematic inclination, both facilities also sport sections devoted to movies and television. At Hamersly, as should be expected, one will find films of a more academic nature, but there are many gems hidden here, if you are willing to look for them. The film section is located in the far right corner of the second floor. The Monmouth Public Library film section is more up to date, with new releases being regularly stocked, as well as DVD season collections of television shows like Doctor Who and Big Bang Theory. On top of movies and television  the Public Library has a selection of music—on CD—available.

Both Hamersly and the Monmouth Public Library have an abundance of resources available, be it for a weekend movie marathon in your dorm, for a fun book to read in the evenings, or for making an inspirational playlist to listen to while you do your homework.

Hamersly Library is open 7:30 a.m. to midnight on Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m.  to  6 p.m. on Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Monmouth Public Library is open 10 to 8 Tuesday through Thursday, 10 to 6 on Friday, and 10 to 5 on Saturday. Both libraries have a wonderful staff that is always more than willing to answers questions and help in any way they can.

By Bonnie Wells

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