EDITORIAL: The Wonders of Campbell

This editorial discusses Rowan's Campbell Library. Photo via Sports Editor Brianna Mac Kay

Here at Rowan University, there are quite a few overlooked gems that some students might not know about. 

Like how one of New Jersey’s best diners, Angelos, is merely steps away from campus, or how there is a Unified Sports club in which students can volunteer for. But of all the most overlooked campus perks, The Whit Staff feels Rowan’s Campbell Library is perhaps the most overlooked gem of all.

It is assumed that most students know of Campbell Library, as it is along the university’s busiest street, however; the current construction on the expansion of the Chamberlain Student Center is blocking the side of the building along Rt. 322. This inconvenience not only eliminates the front entrance, but also the easy accessibility of Campbell from the student center and the sidewalk along the street. 

While many Rowan students know there is a library, the fact that it is being blocked off has made it extremely difficult for those who don’t have classes on that side of campus to find their way in – and affects new students’ ability to organically find the building. 

Campbell isn’t a stop on open house tours which doesn’t help the library become an iconic feature of Rowan’s campus in the same way that the Holly Pointe Dorms or the student center does.

Putting aside all the reasons why students, especially incoming freshmen and transfers, may not know about Campbell Library, a majority of students do know where Rowan’s library is. However, many are still unaware of the resources this building has.

Admittedly, even The Whit Staff didn’t know all the Campbell Library had to offer the students of Rowan. Now that we do, we know just how valuable it can be, not only to academic success, but as a place where students, faculty and guests of the university can learn more about Rowan and its robust history.

Specifically for students, Campbell Library has various study rooms on all four levels of the building that can be rented out for study sessions, group projects and more. This is one of the more popular resources at the library.

According to Nancy Demaris, supervisor of Access Services at Campbell Library, there is more than just study rooms for students of the Rowan community to utilize.

“Some of the resources that I think the students don’t know about with the physical spaces is that we do have computers that are accessible to the students and the staff and actually the public as well. We also have a large archive selection which goes back to the beginning times [at Rowan University] of 100 years ago that we’re coming up on celebrating,” Demaris said. “We have librarians who are staffed here to help with research and The Writing Center is here as well.”

Abigail Hummel, one of Campbell’s library assistants, told The Whit that Rowan has a program called “Interlibrary Loan.” If a student wants a book and Campbell doesn’t have it, they can order it from another library to Campbell thanks to the program. 

In recent years, there have been additional features added to the library’s resume. Despite the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic did put most of the library’s resources on pause, Demaris credits the creativity of the staff at the time which allowed them to create virtual workshops for Rowan students. 

These workshops are offered on a range of topics, which include everything from using Adobe apps to finding historical sources throughout the semester. According to Campbell’s Public Services librarian, Andrea Baer, the total number of attendants for these workshops have gone up since hosting them virtually in 2020, growing from 144 in fall of 2021 to 260 in spring of 2022. 

So next time you find yourself walking the path behind Campbell Library, don’t be discouraged by the construction. Make sure you stop in. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something else in Campbell that The Whit hasn’t discovered yet. 

For comments/questions about this story, email the.whit.rowan@gmail.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.