Palm Desert campus library now open for students


Photo courtesy of Jin An-Dunning. College of the Desert’s Palm Desert Library.

The Palm Desert campus library has reopened for the fall 2021 semester; all other COD libraries are closed until further notice. The library is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday through Saturday; it is physically closed. However, on Friday, the virtual hours are 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., where assistance from a librarian or a staff member is available via chat or phone call at 760-773-2563.

The library is full of resources and services aimed at helping students succeed. “At the end of the day, we just want to help our students succeed, so anything that students need or need help with, we’re there for them,” said Department Chair of Library & Distance Education, Jin An-Dunning.

An-Dunning spoke on the in-person services at the library. “We’re running the free snack pantry, and we’re just so happy to provide it. That’s being funded via generous funding right now by Guided Pathways, which is an initiative here at COD,” she said. “The other thing that we have that’s great in-person is that we have free printing right now. We have free printing. We have snacks and some reserved textbooks. Normally we have a copy of every textbook for every class here at COD online and in-person and those, for now at least, are accessible in-person only.”

Although the physical library has reopened, the virtual services remain in place. The Virtual Library & Student Resource Guide is “the most popular library guide right now” and was created as a response to COVID-19. “In response to COVID, we created the quick directory so that students could have one place where they could access quick information that they need,” An-Dunning said. “For example, when Beeps [CafĂ©] said they were reopening, we put links to Beeps as well as the orders and hours. We have quick email addresses and contact information for pretty much every department. And a lot of this is placed here, interestingly, based on student requests. There’s also Canvas and Zoom tutorials, information about the student laptop plan, so this isn’t just about the library per se. It’s about resources to help students succeed no matter what they need.”

An-Dunning shared how the library services have been impacted as a result of COVID-19. “In some ways, we’ve changed our operations. So, for example, for obvious reasons, we are much more available online,” she said. “Our virtual services like the virtual workshops, the guides that we’ve created were in response to our new environment. We’ve also found funding to get students access to other new databases–for example, Films On Demand, Feature Films for Education, Kanopy. And now we have a couple more databases that are coming which are the MLA Handbook as well as Digital Theater Plus. In addition, another resource was ProQuest Ebook Central which not only is a repository of over 180,000–I think at this point almost 200,000 books–but also includes some of the textbooks that students need completely for free just with their COD username and password.”

Multimedia databases such as ProQuest Ebook Central, Films On Demand and Feature Films for Education are available within the virtual library, which “are similar to Netflix resources” that “allow students to get access to the documentaries and other things that faculty might assign to them.”

“Films on Demand is a repository of documentary videos with a layout very similar to Netflix,” An-Dunning said. “All you have to do is go to the library website, click on the link, sign in and you can see documentaries from some of the top documentary makers in the world and a lot of HBO movies. The other one is Feature Films for Education, but that one is more for Oscar winners and Blockbuster films; this is where you go for some of the more entertaining films that might also be educational.”

The library also offers workshops, and “a lot of faculty are offering extra credit” for attending one. Some of the library workshops include Introduction to Library Services, Intro to Basic Research and Google Hacks. “For the first month or so when the demand is the highest, we’ll have scheduled workshops where we’ll pre-schedule them and students can sign up for them,” An-Dunning said. However, this week, students can request a workshop or a one-on-one research session with a librarian via the Library Workshops Signup Form. “For now, workshops are all virtual. However, next semester we’ll probably be looking at offering some in-person workshops again,” she said.

Students also have access to Chromebooks available for free, semester-long checkouts on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is recommended to call the library to check the availability of the Chromebooks.

Photo courtesy of Jin An-Dunning. College of the Desert’s Palm Desert library.

M. G. Maloney, a faculty librarian, recommends that students visit the physical library. “The library was renovated and it’s a really beautiful, clean, safe space for students to come and hang out or study, and not many students are there right now, so it’s a good space to get some studying done. And it’s been really quiet too, so I would encourage students to come to the physical space if they feel safe,” she said. “Also, we do have print collections. We have a children’s collection, picture books, but also a lot of different texts. Students often don’t know that their library card is just their student ID card. So if they want to check out any books that’s all they need.”

The library staff encourages students to reach out to them, emphasizing that they are there to help. “We can help direct students to other departments and resources that they might not have known about,” An-Dunning said. “No matter what class you’re taking, what club you’re in, the library is there to support you and your academic and personal needs.”

Maloney wants students to know that “number one, we’re there for them.” “The library is a space for them, so I hope that they’ll come and take up space physically in the library but also virtually through all the different resources that are available to them,” she said. “The library can be a place of possibility and curiosity, so it can be a space of building community too of people interested in all different things and the arts.”

For questions about research, citations, references and resources, students can call the library at 760-773-2560 or email [email protected]. For questions about library holds and library policies, students can contact the library specialists at 760-773-2563.