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Clubs are closed but the James P. Adams Library is open

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Sophia Guerrier A&E Editor

Photo by Vanessa Coelho

There has been no better time to focus on school until now. The doors to the clubs are closed, bars are limited capacity and parties are spreading COVID-19 like wildfire. For any cautious and self-caring college student, thirsty Thursdays and weekend ragers are out of the picture for the time being. But there is a large bluestone building with white Greek columns sitting in the middle of the quad, waiting for students to walk in. That building is the James P. Adams Library.

The library is currently only allowing Rhode Island College students through the doors and checking IDs and RAVE apps to implement safe COVID-19 protocol. After receiving clearance to arrive inside, the library provides students four floors of useful and entertaining resources that most students are oblivious to.

For the avid newspaper reader, the Adams library offers print editions of various national and local newspaper publications. Stacks of The Boston Globe, Providence Journal, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are all available on the main floor where periodicals are kept. Each stack of newspaper publications has issues that date back to July which can serve as beneficial secondary sources for a research paper or simply fulfill the desire of keeping up to date on current events. Not to mention, Adams library provides students with complimentary online access to The New York Times. Through the School of Business, complimentary access to The Wall Street Journal is also provided via Both newspapers feature more stories on their websites than the print edition.

Student reference assistant, Isaiah Hopper, insists on how helpful the reference portion of the library is in aiding RIC students during research. “The entire purpose of us having the reference desk and librarians is in order for us to help you get a good foundation for your research so that you feel comfortable enough to continue on your own,” Hopper continues, “We have a long list of databases to help with any sort of subject. Psychology, the arts, any sciences, nursing. We span the entirety of any subject that anybody would want to look up.”

Students can set up a one and one appointment with a reference librarian during library hours to receive extensive guidance on a project that they are working on.

On the same floor next to the newspapers, there is a magazine rack containing every major magazine that exists today. Time, Fortune, Forbes, Rollingstone, Harper’s, you name it, it is there. A hidden gem regarding the magazines is buried on the second floor in silent study. There is a “periodicals stacks” row with every magazine title from the main floor but instead holds all the back issues dating back to a year. There you can find past issues of your favorite magazine that you may have missed.

Also on the main floor, rows of DVDs featuring classic films and today’s popular releases can be found. Along with art, war and other intriguing documentaries. DVDs may not be as popular anymore but they are still compatible with a Playstation or Xbox making them less of a hassle than you may think. Kanopy, a film streaming service, supplements the library’s collection of films and is available to all RIC students for free. Kanopy is updated frequently with contemporary films and documentaries and can be downloaded as an app on your mobile phone. If you journey to the far right-hand corner, a row labeled “YA to PZ 7.B625” will lead to the Young Adult comics section. Every volume of Dragon Ball Z and Scott Pilgrim, to name a couple, are found here and accompanied by numerous other popular and alternative series.

For future lawyers and political-science majors, the silent study floor features thousands of official U.S. government publications that can be used for in-depth study purposes. Collections from most federal departments are arranged by a classification number listed on a poster by the U.S. Government Printing Office. Over 100 volumes of Supreme Court cases dating back to the 1980s are sheltered in silent study as well. Databases are reliable, acclaimed sources for bibliography content but primary sources like the documents and texts the silent study retains are just as accessible and useful.

Lastly, the special collections and archives room directed by librarian Molly Bruce Patterson provides the ultimate “throwback” experience. Located on the fourth floor in room 413, documents and primary resources from centuries before can be found. First copies of The Anchor newspaper are stored and preserved as well as manuscripts from medieval ages. RIC’s former special collections librarian also added Cape Verdean and other international historical texts to the archives. “Really [students] should not be afraid to ask us questions. That is what we are here for, even if it is something mundane we are happy to answer it,” said Hopper.


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