Libraries are meant to be places of isolation and should be void of creativity and collaboration, said no one ever. If you are struggling to focus in O’Neill or feel like the “Noise Police” will admonish you for coughing in Bapst, then try one of the alternative libraries at BC: the Educational Resource Center (ERC), located in Campion Hall. Its facilities and amenities are geared for faculty and students in the Lynch School of Education (LSOE), but anyone is welcome to study and work there. The ERC simply has an optimistic, serene atmosphere that is conducive to accomplishing the work you need to do to succeed.
The ERC may be closer to Beacon Street and on the farther end of Middle Campus, but it is very accessible. One needs only to enter the main entrance of Campion, go through the lobby and you’re there – it is located on the ground floor and has a beautifully done stained glass window enhancing the cheery entrance. During finals season, the hours of the ERC are the following: Sunday 12pm-8pm, Monday through Thursday 9am-10pm, and Friday 9am-5pm. For more information, call the ERC at 617-552-4920 or visit the website of BC Libraries.
Now, the amenities of the ERC are plentiful and very useful. Specific benefits that are unique to the ERC include an interactive technology room for student use, and a 50-seat multimedia classroom with tables and display areas for methods courses and other programs. Additional amenities include self-service scanning, children’s trade books and literature for the K-12 curriculum, an Ellison die cut machine, laminator, color printer, textbooks, K-12 software, and various forms of multimedia meant to enhance educational opportunities for LSOE.
Even if you are not in LSOE, the ERC is a great place to do work. The staff is very helpful, there are never long lines for the printers, and the computers are up-to-date. In addition, there are ample tables with comfortable chairs that create a spacious, relaxed atmosphere, as well as study carrels distributed throughout the ERC. In a similar way to the Social Work Library, you usually do not have to walk around for ten minutes to find a chair. Its education-focused atmosphere may motivate you enough to start your ten-page paper today and not wait several days to rush through it.
As always in reviews, one must acknowledge the negatives of the chosen library, i.e. the ERC, but there are not many to speak of. Perhaps since it does not have the multitude of volumes of materials that O’Neill does, you may not find that book on Renoir paintings you need for your art history class. In addition, because the ERC is located in the LSOE, you may encounter primary-school aged children who are learning from LSOE students, so the ERC may not always be completely quiet.
However, the ERC is one of the best places a LSOE student can put what they learned in the classroom to practice via teaching a primary school student in a library setting. Other than a mild noise level every now and then, the ERC is golden and is a valuable asset at BC.
Based on my criteria of amenities, functionality and location, I believe the ERC is one of the best libraries at BC, no matter what school you are in. Therefore, I give the ERC an excellent rating of 8.9 out of 10.