By Courtney Bissonette
The Huntington Library on the Ammerman campus is utilized to say the least. Though the sad truth is books seem to be more obsolete, and the lack of books loaned hardly makes a dent in how much the library is used. The main attraction is the access to a computer, to either do work or fill time in between classes. But unless you venture up the stairs, a certain underground, or rather under the cover society exists that is unseen to those committed to the first floor. Couches, tables, cubbyholes and even at times the floor can be improvised as students own personal beds in the communal makeshift dormitory the library provides.
Sleeping patrons often unintentionally hoard their spots making it difficult for other students to find a quiet nook to do their work. This often leaves them with the choice of trying to share their quarters, waking them up and asking them to move, or continue searching for an empty spot or at least someone’s alarm to go off so they can leave.
“I’ve been in the library in need of a desk to do my work, and couldn’t find an open spot. I finally had to wake someone up, who was sitting at the single cell sort of desks and ask them to move,” said Ammerman Campus Student Ashley Corwin.
Every outlet was used; every table contained a tired soul, either using the electricity, internet access, or even the warmth of the library that their houses lacked. A normally quiet cozy student center became a welcoming shelter for refuge. When Hurricane Sandy hit, the library provided students with relief they needed, transforming the library into a safe haven for students in need.
By the time the school was reopened on Monday, over 100,000 homes in Suffolk County still were without power. At the least the library provided a sense of normalcy for students who had not been connected to social media since the first night the storm hit.
“It isn’t just not being able to complain on Facebook or Twitter, it is the fact that the world could be ending and we wouldn’t know about it because the only news source available is a newspaper or a battery operated radio if you are able to find them in the dark,” said student Sam Seigal who was without power for eight days.
The library also provided ways of students to get homework done, though the line they waited on for a computer may have been as long as the lines were for gas. Everything handed in on any other day has to be typed and printed, and you forget something as simple as a printer is lacking in your life. As the effects of the hurricane wore on so did daylight savings time, causing even less light for students to get work done without relying on candle light.
Creeping into winter, another great quality of the library is the warmth and protection it provides from the harsh New York weather, making the library all the more suitable for a place to catch some Z’s.