Pop in to Pop-Up Libraries


Photos of rapper Drake can be seen propped on tables under red canopy tents with librarians ready and waiting to answer questions. Mt. SAC is trying to change the culture of library experiences by piloting pop-up libraries across campus to help students with research.

These mini-libraries are positioned in areas on campus with high levels of traffic to get the most visibility. Students can ask librarians questions ranging from research topics to information on campus workshops to availability of textbooks. 

Mt. SAC was awarded money from the state to provide student equity to the campus, which funded the pop-up libraries. Equity and Outreach Librarian Eva Rios-Alvarado is the founder of the pop-up library program and wrote a plan to help bring library resources to different students on campus. She said that she started the pop-up libraries in hopes of bringing library resources to students who are either too busy to hang out at a library or who normally wouldn’t consider going to a library. 

“Students see the library as a place for smart people,” Rios-Alvarado said.  “I want to destigmatize the library and make the library more welcoming.”

The goal of the pop-up libraries is to change the culture around libraries and bring a more inviting feel to them. When students see a pop-up library around campus, they might find a picture of Drake on the table. This immediately catches students’ attention and they approach the librarian and begin to ask questions, Rios-Alvarado said. 

Jaylene Cruz, 19, nursing major, said she visits the library three times a week.

“I would be interested in checking out the pop-up libraries,” Cruz said. However, she said that she had yet to hear about or see the pop-up libraries on campus.

Currently, the times and dates for the pop-up libraries fluctuate on a weekly basis, but each week’s schedule can be found on the library’s home page. This fall semester is the pilot run for the program. Suggestions regarding times, dates, and locations can be directed to a librarian. For further information you can visit the library’s website.