Alice Song / Sun Staff Photographer

The Lending Library, which is apart of Durland Alternatives Library, is located in Anabel Taylor Hall.

March 19, 2019

Breaking Down Barriers: Lending Library To Offer New Undergraduate Professional Travel Grants

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The Cornell Lending Library will begin offering travel grants on a rolling basis to undergraduates who travel off-campus to take pre-professional tests or participate in interviews, the organization announced on March 7.

The grant, whose application can be found online, will operate on a first-come, first-serve basis.

While examining potential financial barriers for students, the Lending Library found that although Pell grant recipients could receive university funding to take graduate school entrance exams, students may still need financial assistance for transportation to test-taking sites, according to Dominic Grasso ’20, co-president of the Lending Library. Ultimately, the Library is looking to help fill gaps that may have been overlooked, Grasso said.

“We’re looking to expand our scope beyond just books and textbooks,” Grasso told The Sun. “We’re looking broadly at how we can help support students on campus academically, financially, and socially.”

The funding for the grant mostly comes from Giving Day donations, as well as some SAFC funding, according to Grasso. “We have about $1000 … but we’re hoping to expand,” Grasso said.

First founded in the spring of 2016, the Lending Library, located in Anabel Taylor Hall, seeks to address students’ “financial barriers to academic resources,” through services like free semester-long loans of donated textbooks and iClickers, according to its website.

In 2018, the Lending Library rented out over 840 textbooks and 100 of their iClickers.

The Lending Library also helps students find support systems in different organizations and advertising resources, including collaborating with organizations like the Latino Learning Center to explain how to get free academic resources, Grasso said.

“We’re trying to take a more holistic approach to academic support on campus,” Grasso said.

The Lending Library is focused on decreasing gaps in academic resources, thus “securing the basic human right to education,” according to its website.

“We help make a more equitable place for all students to have the same opportunities to succeed,” Grasso said.