MiraCosta Library offers free access to popular movies and big name magazines


The Library and Information Hub at the Oceanside campus is open to all those who are cleared to return on campus. The hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Jason Kanetakis, Editor-in-Chief

Academic articles for research papers, movie and e-book databases, Verizon wifi hotspots, and a complimentary New York Times subscription all come included with being a MiraCosta College student. These programs are provided for the success of students in all areas of study and can be found on the library’s online database.

The pandemic has shown that students need the library’s support in accessing laptops and high-speed wifi for online classes. Manager of Library Operations Michelle Ohnstad has been running a program helping students bridge the digital divide for the last three semesters.

“Students who fill out a technology request form can borrow a Verizon mobile hotspot with unlimited data for a whole semester, and they can connect up to five devices on that hotspot,” Ohnstad said. “Laptops are another issue, so we’re glad that we can loan out new Dell full-functioning laptops.”

Due to the worldwide computer chip shortage, the library is expecting delays in fulfilling some laptop requests as the year goes on. On top of allowing MCC students access to high-quality wifi and laptops, the library also offers resources to put the technology to lighthearted use.

“On the online side, we’ve got hundreds of thousands of ebooks and several streaming media collections,” Library Department Chair Glorian Sipman said. “Probably one that’s really popular with students is the Swank database, which is a collection of approximately 400 feature films that are now available to students.”

The films are a new addition to the library’s resources and they are offered as a result of the pandemic.

“Really, the initial purpose of that collection was to support the film department’s curriculum and allow them to offer classes fully online,” Sipman said. “But we all, the entire college, gets to benefit as a result of that collaboration because you can imagine the types of films you’re watching in film classes.”

The pandemic has forced many other changes, including how the library helps students with academic-related questions. “On the instructions side, the main—absolute main—way we’re reaching out to students now is through our 24/7 chat service,” Sipman said. “If a MiraCosta librarian isn’t on, a student would connect with another librarian at a different institution, but MiraCosta is currently right now staffing, seven days a week.”

Students can sometimes run into articles or studies that contain what they’re looking for hiding behind a paywall.

“I never like students having to pay for information. Students should always come and check with us first,” Sipman said. “Often we actually have access to the full text or whatever resource it is in one of our databases. Even if we get to a situation where we don’t have access in a database, the library can request a copy of the article from another library, at no charge to you.”

The library also offers a way to access books for English classes so students don’t have to pay for course material.

“We offer Overdrive which is offered by a lot of public libraries. Students can download ebooks and audiobooks. The librarians have done a great job with finding some of the novels that are being read in English classes and purchasing an audio version and an ebook version. So that’s an additional way to get resources at no cost for the students,” Ohnstad said.

Students can also use the library’s resources to sign up for an all-access subscription to the New York Times, just by being an MCC student.

“The other thing that I love that is only slightly academic and a lot more for leisure, is an app called Flipster,” Ohnstad said. “Flipster is a way to read popular magazines on your device or you can download them and then read them offline. And we subscribe to about 80 different titles.”

The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Vogue, Forbes, and GQ are just some of the magazines offered on Flipster.

“It’s really an incredible array that we offer,” Sipman said. “We’re fortunate to have the library supported by the administration so well that we can offer these resources to all students.”

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