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Reciprocal Relationship Now: Let’s Use Libraries from Other Colleges

Brooklyn College students should be allowed to use other universities’ libraries, including Columbia University’s Butler Library, pictured above. PHOTO/ Alamy Stock Photo

By Michael Castaneda 

Published: October 24th, 2018

The City University of New York (CUNY) library system holds 7,500,000 books and is ranked 19th in largest libraries in the country.  As a Brooklyn College student, you can enter any library within the CUNY system with just your Brooklyn College ID. I’ve been to John Jay and Hunter Libraries. Of these two, with the exception of better library hours at Hunter, neither holds a dim candle to our scale replica of the Baker-Berry library of Dartmouth College.

Brooklynites and Brooklyn College students venture outside of the borough from time to time. As a Brooklyn College student, I found myself at the Firestone Library at Princeton University  (Yes, it is named after the family of the tire company).  I tried to visit this library, but I couldn’t. Other students from schools in Chicago I have never heard of were getting in, but neither I nor my friend from Staten Island College was able to get in. I was told that CUNY did not have a reciprocal relationship with Princeton; this meant that since Princeton University students can’t use the Brooklyn College library, we use can’t use theirs either. The same happens to be true for Columbia University and New York University.

Isn’t it about time we allowed other colleges use our library? If another student wants to undergo the journey to Flatbush, then I think they earned to right to nap in our reading room and enjoy our modern art that resembles a giant painting of the Taco Bell logo. 
Brooklyn College should have a reciprocal relationship with other universities outside of CUNY. It would cost nothing and it’s likely that our student body will benefit more from it than theirs. 
According to the January 22, 2017 New York Times article titled, “America’s Greatest Working-Class Colleges,” CUNY asserts that it transports more students to the middle class and beyond than all Ivy’s, MIT, University of Chicago, Duke, and Stanford combined. Maybe with this simple but innovative policy change, we could be ranked closer to them too.

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