Published: Jan. 15, 2020

Welcome to all members of the University Libraries community for the spring 2020 semester! Though the Libraries are known for their dynamic spaces and unique collections, we also cultivate community through conversation, curiosity, investigation, participation, and creativity.

Students studying in Norlin Library study room.

1. Libraries are communities of conversation

Though libraries are known as quiet spaces, in fact, they are bastions of conversation—both figurative and literal. Participate in these conversations at the University Libraries by attending events, collaborating with peers in our study rooms, or working alongside a librarian on your research or inquiry!   

Archivist Ashlyn Velte in the Archives.

2. Libraries are communities of curiosity 

Learning and scholarship are founded on asking questions that define us—questions about our worlds. 

Reference materials: Perhaps a teacher mentioned a historical figure whose name you did not recognize. Maybe after you searched Wikipedia, you wished to dig deeper. Try searching our biography resources to learn more.

Dictionaries: Exploring definitions or etymology? We have a wealth of print and electronic dictionaries worth exploring. 

Current issues and events: Looking for resources that cover contemporary topics or events? Try exploring CQ Researcher or our numerous newspapers—including the New York Times web edition

Curious about something else? Ask a Librarian. We can point you toward the best resources and pathway to discovery!

Student studying in Gemmill Library.

3. Libraries are communities of investigation

Libraries can provide you with the information, the conversations, the experts, and the space to launch an investigation into your research questions. And librarians want to investigate alongside you.    

Search through a variety of subjects and disciplines. Work alongside an information expert as you pursue your research goals. Schedule a research consultation.

Start your investigation now. Learn how to connect with a variety of sources, generate smart search strategies and search terms, and integrate information sources into your work.

Collaborate with peers in our inviting study spaces. It’s easy to find quiet study spaces or to book a private study space

Students ask for help at Ask A Librarian desk.

4. Libraries are communities of participation

Libraries are not places of solitude. You’ll join old and new conversations and explore questions, research, and inquiry with others. 

Libraries are spaces that enable engagement with thoughts and ideas that encourage dialogue across communities and that also provide avenues to join conversations. For instance, we host events like the “Living Library” where the campus community may enter into conversation with ‘living books.’ Or perhaps you are more inclined to converse with furry friends—keep your eye out for upcoming ‘Bark Buddies’ events. 

Following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is a great way to join in on the conversations. Keep up-to-date on the Libraries’ news, and find events that most interest you. 

Interdisciplinary Humanities Librarian Megan Welsh riding the InfoMotion 2.0 bike.

5. Libraries are communities of creativity

The information contained in the Libraries is the record of human creativity. As you engage with this record, contribute your own creative approach to problems old and new. 

Become inspired when you browse through our stacks—you might be surprised by what sparks your interest! (We recommend bringing a covered cup of hot tea, as time will pass quickly when you’re inspired.)

In Norlin, check out the Art and Architecture, the Asian Studies, and Science sections, as well as the main stacks. And don’t forget, we have four other Libraries locations we recommend visiting as well! 

-The University Libraries Teaching & Learning Unit