How I Use the Library: a 2020 graduate reflects

Photo Description: VCU graduate Justice Boyd (B.A.’20/H&S; B.S.’20/H&S) poses in front of James Branch Cabell Library. Photo by Corey Lightner (B.S.’20/H&S)

VCU graduate Justice Boyd (B.A.’20/H&S; B.S.’20/H&S) poses in front of
James Branch Cabell Library. Photo by Corey Lightner (B.S.’20/H&S)

Spring 2020 VCU graduates celebrated a little differently this year. A virtual graduation was held instead of in-person and their final months of classes switched to online. Justice Boyd Hughes graduated this spring with a B.A. in African American Studies and B.S. in Psychology and shares how the libraries were instrumental in her success. See what she has to say about the libraries below:

What role did VCU Libraries serve in your college journey?

VCU Libraries provided me a space where I could go to concentrate, which allowed me to graduate. It provided me another place to go and complete my work uninterrupted for hours at a time. I could go there at different times of the day whether it be before my classes, in between classes, after classes, late night, or weekends to get things done. Without the access to the library, my college journey would have been extremely more difficult as a first generation black college student.  

Were there particular resources you utilized or were thankful to have access to as a student?

Yes, research guides, access to scholarly articles within journals, printing, and meeting with specialist for additional help on my papers. 

As a recent graduate, what advice would you give to freshmen on utilizing the library?

Ultimately, the library is the place to go to get your work done because it is open 24 hours during the week and on the weekend has shorter hours. There are different noise levels within some of the floors of the library to assist in your productivity so use that to your advantage. My last piece of advice is to utilize every resource the library has from the online resources to in-person services because at some point you’ll have to write a paper during your time at VCU and the library can help from the brainstorming stages to finding sources for you. 

Is there a location in Cabell library you call “your spot”?

The second floor in the far back by the windows.

Do you plan on using the library as a resource post graduation?

Yes I do! 

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Are you a VCU alumni interested in borrowing library resources? Continue enjoying alumni benefits after graduation. For more information visit our website or contact the development office at libdevelop@vcu.edu.