Remember being five years old when getting your first library card was the ultimate privilege? The second I could successfully scribble my name I hurried to the public library to collect my license to literature. Indulging in a pile of picture books, I proudly strutted out the door with more than a month’s worth of reading. As the luster of the card wore off, late fees accumulated like dust on overdue books, and my library card was pushed carelessly into the depths of my nightstand.
After a strange turn of events into the lives of broke college students, we backtrack to the library. When you’ve grown tired of the aura of procrastination that always seems to resonate in Club Hillman, head across Schenley Plaza to the main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. With an array of resources, study nooks, snacks and an outdoor garden, a Carnegie Public Library card is (literally) priceless.
1. Carnegie Library cards are free. Must I continue? For many of us who respond to the word ‘free’ quicker than our name, this is reason enough to join the CLP club. The process is simple: bring your Pitt ID, driver’s license/state ID, and proof that you live within Pittsburgh city limits. If you live on campus or don’t have a copy of your lease, your Pittsburgh address is accessible from the MyPitt page (and a librarian can help you get to it). After registering, you receive a traditional card, key chain card, and have instant admission to their multitude of resources.
2. Ever find yourself reminiscing about late night trips to Blockbuster? Shelves of mainstream movies still exist at the Carnegie Library, and unlike the bankrupt Blockbuster they’re free to check out!
3. If you enroll in a literature class, don’t buy the books (unless you want to scribble all over them). The Carnegie Library has multiple copies of most literature. Even if the novel is checked out, one of the eighteen branches of the CLP is bound to have a copy. Their three-week loan period is typically more than enough time for a class to cover a novel, but renewal is always an option. The Carnegie Library is usually not the first place your classmates go to grab required reading, so take advantage and save on the colossal textbook bill.
4. Aside from the book and movie access, the Carnegie Library has a tranquil and cozy atmosphere, unlike the tastelessness of Hillman. CLP has gorgeous granite flooring and intricate, winding stairwells amidst layers of towering book shelves.
5. The Carnegie Library is the perfect escape from swarms of students hogging every quiet nook and cranny on campus during finals week. The CLP offers refuge, and more importantly an empty desk space during exam time. However, in order to connect to Wi-Fi you need to be a member. Your library card number grants you total access to their Internet. Happy cramming!
For more information on how to register for a library card visit this site!
Photo Sources: 1&2: Carnegie Library Facebook page, Last picture: The Author