The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

Beyond the Books: Five Little-Known Items You Can Check Out from the Library

Hannah Kothari

As Bates’s signature (and only) on-campus library, Ladd is a lot of things. It’s home to over one million books. It’s one of the few academic libraries in the country to lend children’s books to patrons. It’s shaped like a bobcat (depending on who you ask and if you look at it from the right angle). It’s a resource for every class you could imagine, with curated research databases, five research librarians on staff ready to help you with any project and every single book required for a class able to be checked out from the circulation desk.

One thing Ladd Library is not is well-known for its non-book offerings — but it should be! From Happy Lights to bicycles, the library can lend you much more than physical books. Here are five of the best things you can borrow from Ladd Library — available to check out right from the front desk.

State Park and Museum Passes

This might be the most under-utilized service at the library! Along with your books, you can check out passes for access to state parks and local museums from the front desk. Passes are available for almost all state parks in Maine, the Botanical Gardens, the Maine Wildlife Park, and more, giving you free or discounted access to some of the best spots around town.


Thanks to an initiative by the Eco Reps — a student-led group working to improve sustainability on campus — Ladd Library is home to several bicycles, which can be checked out for a week. They come with locks and chains and are yours to ride on- and off-campus.


If you’re not a big physical book reader, never fear: the library still has reading material for you. A Kindle with many books pre-downloaded is available to check out from the front desk.


Computers are crucial to twenty-first-century college life. If yours breaks or is damaged, or you simply need something portable, you can check out a Chromebook for a week and take it anywhere. The library is also home to dozens of public desktop computers, as are other buildings on campus.

Happy Light

When the sun starts setting at 4 p.m. and your seasonal depression starts to rear its head, have no fear: you can borrow a Happy Light from the front desk and use it anywhere in the building. These lights, which mimic the tone and effects of sunlight, have been proven to reduce some symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

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About the Contributor
Maple Buescher
Maple Buescher, Editor-in-Chief
Maple is a junior from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, majoring in Politics with a minor in English. She is a member of the college orchestra, the sailing team, and the tennis and women's soccer clubs, and a devoted volunteer in the Lewiston elementary schools. She is a big fan of reading, writing, hiking, and snowball fights. Previously, Maple served as a staff writer and the Managing Arts & Leisure editor for The Bates Student. She is a regular columnist for The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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