by Kelsey Baum

With personable staff, free tech support for students, and endless tips to score you an A+ research paper, the Addlestone Library Information Desk is a valuable asset to the College of Charleston. Located at the center of the first floor of the library, the desk operates daily to assist students with research and technology questions.

Considering Information Desk staff answer a lot of the same queries repeatedly, The College Today has compiled these frequently asked questions in one place for your reference.

From free student perks, to individualized research help, and even some sound life advice, here are the Top 5 Reasons to Visit the Information Desk:

Evan Berry and Jared Seay. (Photos by Heather Moran)


1. The staff helps students download a free version of Office 365 to their laptops.

Tired of lugging all of your books to the library just to make an Excel spreadsheet on one of the computers? Want to write a paper in Word, but don’t have the program installed on your laptop? Well, look no further than the Information Desk to help you save time and gain access to these helpful resources.

According to desk staff, the one thing that students at The College are least aware of is their ability to gain free access to Office 365, which includes Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more. All it takes is a quick trip to the Student Computing Support Website which lists five steps to install these programs on your laptop. As always, if you run into any trouble during the process, the Information Desk staff is happy to help.

2. The staff is always working on new innovations for the library.

The library rotunda is always housing something new and exciting, which can leave students guessing what could be next. Jared Seay, reference librarian and head of media collections, has some big ideas when it comes to innovations in the library.

“Eventually, I would like to help create a library-themed escape room,” says Seay, “because I think it would be a fun and hands-on way for students to learn about the library through clues.”

The big picture, in Seay’s eyes, is to incorporate more fun into the library in general, so students can have a more interactive educational experience.

3. Librarians provide one-on-one attention to recommend the best research sources.

Have a research paper coming due but no idea where to start? The Information Desk has you covered. In fact, they’re practically begging for you to come in and ask them questions that will steer you in the right direction. According to Seay, it’s great when students come in without having knowledge about what they want to research, so he can advise them most effectively.

“Research consultations are extremely important in getting students started on the right foot, and us librarians are here to help in that process,” says Seay.

Each student at CofC has access to a library liaison who is available for a 30-minute research consultation at the push of a button. To find the liaison best suited for your research topic, visit the Addlestone Library Website, where you can also schedule a research consultation. If you want to get a head start on your research, also be sure to check out the Library Guides to browse through nearly 400 databases.

4. You can discover multiple ways to print your assignments.

Still aren’t sure how to print a document, but are too embarrassed to ask for help? You’re not alone. One of the top questions asked at the Information Desk relates to the printing troubles that students run into. Here’s the lowdown on how to print from a library computer, from your laptop, and even from your smartphone.

To print from a library computer, select the server “CofC-CloudPrint” and click “Print.” Then, go to any printer labeled with the name of a planet, enter your MyCharleston credentials into the print release station, and click on your document to print it out.

To print from your laptop or phone, visit the Student Computing Support Website to find the setup directions that best suit your type of device. Before you begin this process, always be sure that you are connected to the “eduroam” wireless network, as you cannot print from “cofc-guest” or “MyResnet” networks.

5. The staff offers some great life advice to students.

Now that you’ve had your research and technology questions answered, it’s time to think about the bigger picture. College can be stressful, especially when all the exams and papers begin to pile up. Support Desk Technician Evan Berry ’02, a CofC alumnus, tries to see things from a student’s perspective while helping assist them with questions, so he understands just how they would want to be treated.

“I look for that which is worthy of respect in every person that I help at the Information Desk,” says Berry, “because I know they all ultimately want to be happy.”

Berry also won a 2017 ExCEL award for excellence in customer service for all the great work he does while assisting students in the library. When asked what advice he would give to CofC students to help them be successful, he offers:

“I always see students in the library that seem to be in a rush, so I would just advise them to slow down and enjoy being in the moment,” Berry says. “That’s how students will make the most out of their college experience.”

Kelsey Baum is a senior from New Jersey studying Communication and Italian Studies at the College of Charleston. She is also a member of the Martin Scholars Program and a freelance writer for Her Campus.