Virginia Wesleyan offers some surprising perks to students. When students research a database, article or book, they limit themselves to the same sources. Hofheimer Library and IT Services have access to much more, and here are some sources that go beyond article searching databases.
- Mango Languages: it is a program where you can learn a variety of 72 Languages, including Chinese, Polish, Arabic and Greek. It is found on the library website under databases. To have access to it, one only needs to enter the school email address, create a username and password. For those who are busy and think they do not have time to sit down and learn a new language, there’s an app. By downloading the Mango app on any smartphone, you have direct access to it from anywhere.
- Kanopy: it allows students to watch hundreds of educational videos or movies. Found under databases on the library tab, this website contains up to date visual media including documentaries, independent movies, business, health and science videos. Some interesting movies available are Ida, an Academy Award winner, and The Phone Call, a short film starring Sally Hawkins and another Academy Award winner. If you are interested in science rather than entertainment, popular documentaries include Synesthesia, Cracking your Genetic Code and Life on Earth: the Secrets of Evolution.
- Flipster: it gives students access to free magazines. This is also found under the databases link on the library website, on the right hand side. It has the latest issues of news and politics, lifestyle and sports magazines. Currently Flipster has The Atlantic, Backpacker and Outside.
- Dell Computers: for those students who own a Dell laptop IT services can not only repair any issues your computer may have, they can also install free software. The ones available now include, Office 365, Mathematica, and SPSS. Students can receive installation directions just through emails. The software offered can be pretty expensive, so it is best to take advantage of this perk while still in school so it can remain on laptops even after graduation.
- 3D Printer: Located past the circulation desk at Hofheimer Library is a 3D printer. Usually it is used for math classes, but there is a sign-up sheet to reserve hours to print 3D objects. Circulation Supervisor Kathryn Williams she says “the printer is accessible to anybody. You do not have to take the class, you just have to already know what you’re doing.” There have been issues in the past, but she explained it is because it is very precise, “When something prints it goes out of alignment and if we don’t catch it, it won’t print correctly,”Williams otherwise students have full access to it.
- Request Books and DVDs: On the bottom portion of the library quicklink there are two buttons where any student, faculty or staff can request a book or movie for the library to purchase. Requests can be of any kind, leisure reading or leisure movies. It is very rare that the request will be denied since the library is trying to expand its assortment and the arrival time only takes about a week. This way you can watch any newly released DVD, saving money and time.
- iPads: available at the library for school projects. There are two and students can borrow them for a maximum of seven days.
After discovering these small but useful hidden treasures, students were asked students if they were aware of these perks and if they will now take advantage of them. Junior Alexis Green, replied “No, I wasn’t aware,” about programs such as Kanopy or Mango Languages. When asked if she would use them now, Green said, “No, because I don’t have enough spare time to learn another language.”
Opposite of Alexis, Junior Charlene Santos, enthusiastically says “If I had known about that I would’ve taken advantage of it. I would take Tagalog, French and German.” When informed of the other languages offered, Green said, “Offering something like that for free is like having access to the Rosetta Stone. I think it would come in handy for students looking to study abroad.” The app download was of equal interest to her: “I hope they send me emails with constant reminders. If I don’t get consistency I’m going to forget about it.” she even suggested a school incentive: “It’d be nice if when you download it you get a free cup of coffee at Starbucks.”
These perks have been here for years getting little exposure to the student population. It is time to take full advantage of them while we can.