Published: May 14, 2020

Now that Commencement 2020 passed, University of Colorado Boulder graduates are preparing to embark on a new chapter. You completed your degrees during an unprecedented moment in history. That is no easy feat. While the world beyond college is full of unknowns, we are confident that your education will help you achieve your goals. 

As we congratulate you—graduates and current CU Boulder students alike—on your accomplishments and celebrate your success, a few of us from the University Libraries offer you books of literature and films of triumph to lean into for inspiration and comfort as you continue your journey beyond graduation. 

From the Libraries’ Film Collection

The Cover of The Breakfast ClubThe Breakfast Club

“Big events always make us nostalgic. If graduation is sparking memories for you, take it all the way back to high school, and all its ups and downs. In this critically acclaimed John Hughes film, five teens in detention find common ground, bond over shared challenges and reject the stereotypes that people use to define them.”

—Mark Locy, Sciences Outreach Coordinator

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

IMDb Score: 7.9


The Cover of Into the WildInto the Wild

“You and twenty-two-year-old Christopher McCandless have something in common: you’re both recent college graduates. Check out Into the Wild to see how McCandless spends his post-graduation time.”

—Dan Johnston, Teaching & Learning Specialist

Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

IMDb Score: 8.1


The Cover of BoyhoodBoyhood

“Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, this movie presents all the most important moments in one family’s history: games, meals, fights, vacations and yes, graduations.” 

—Courtney McDonald, Learner Experience and Engagement Librarian

Rotten Tomatoes: 97% 

IMBd: 7.9 



The Cover of Citizen USACitizen USA: A 50 State Roadtrip

“Everyone deserves a road trip after graduation. If yours is delayed this year, join director Alexandra Pelosi in her journey across all fifty states. In this documentary, Pelosi examines the lives of recent immigrants to the United States.”

—Dan Johnston, Teaching & Learning Specialist

IMBd: 5.4



The logo for The Great CoursesThe Great Courses

“One of the best parts of college is that it prepares you to be a lifelong learner. After graduation, keep the learning going with “The Great Courses” series. From American history to ancient Egypt, all the way to dog training, this series has a wide variety of topics.”

—Cynthia Keller, Learning Coordinator

Note: University Libraries access to The Great Courses will expire on June 1, 2020. 



The Cover of The Social NetworkThe Social Network

“Big things can happen in college. One of them was the creation of Facebook. The Social Network offers multiple perspectives on this event, which changed the lives of some college students—and everyone else’s—forever.” 

—Courtney McDonald, Learner Experience and Engagement Librarian

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

IMBd: 7.7


The Cover of Cinema ParadisoCinema Paradiso 

“A famous director, Salvatore, returns to his home village in Italy for his mentor’s funeral. The film flashes back to Salvatore's childhood in a small Italian village and centers on his love for the small theater and his friendship with the film projectionist. Eventually Salvatore grows up and must make a choice: to leave or to stay.”

—Cynthia Keller, Learning Coordinator

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

IMBd: 8.5


The Cover of Lady BirdLady Bird

“Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is a case study on following our dreams while facing reality. Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson longs to attend college in ‘a city with culture,’ away from home, during a time of economic uncertainty.”

—Claire Woodcock, Communications Specialist

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

IMDb: 7.4


From the Libraries’ E-book Collection

The Cover of What You're Really Meant To DoWhat You’re Really Meant to Do: A Road Map for Reaching Your Unique Potential, by Robert S. Kaplan and Wes Talbot 

“Life after graduation can be daunting. Finding a job, making new friends… check this book out for advice, exercises, and motivation about how to find out what you’re really meant to do.”

—Dan Johnston, Teaching & Learning Specialist




The Cover of After College, What? For GirlsAfter College What? For Girls, by Helen Ekin Starrett

“For guardians and graduates alike, an eternal question exists: After college, what? In this 1896 handbook, written by a concerned mother, that question is brought to the test regarding her four daughters who recently graduated Vassar College. See what life is like for graduates in 1896 as well as ‘their good old-fashioned parents, especially their good-old-fashioned father.’” 

—Cynthia Keller, Learning Coordinator




The Cover of What I Now Know About SuccessWhat I Know Now About Success: Letters From Extraordinary Women to Their Younger Selves, by Ellyn Spragins

“Do you ever think about what you might tell yourself when you first came to CU Boulder, knowing what you know now? A lot of wisdom is provided in this collection of letters from extraordinary women to their younger selves. As you transition out of college, take some time to get advice from business, political and cultural leaders.”

—Caroline Sinkinson, Head of Teaching & Learning




The Cover of Berta IslaBerta Isla, by Javier Marias

“Written by acclaimed Spanish author Javier Marias, this is the story of a couple’s life together and their own inner lives. Berta Isla first fell in love with Tomas as a schoolgirl. After graduating from the University of Oxford, Tomas returns to Madrid to marry Isla. However, he has been approached by the British Intelligence Service which will change both their lives forever.”

—Cynthia Keller, Learning Coordinator



The Cover of Making SuccessMaking a Success of Managing and Working Remotely, by Sarah Cook

“A resource for managers and teams who are working remotely, Cook offers a toolkit for readers to implement in order to overcome common challenges that accompany working from home.”

—Arthur Aguilera, Collection Analyst Librarian




The Cover of A Room of One's OwnA Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf

“Of all the pearls of wisdom I gained from this roughly 100-page essay, I will never forget that ‘in order for a woman to write fiction she must have two things, certainly: a room of her own (with key and lock) and enough money to support herself.’”

—Claire Woodcock, Communications Specialist




The Cover of Man's Search For MeaningMan’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl

“Part memoir, part methodology, in Man’s Search for Meaning Frankl recounts the hardships he experienced as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II and the concept that we exist to uncover the meaning of life.”

—Claire Woodcock, Communications Specialist




The Cover of The Art of BreathingThe Art of Breathing, by Danny Penman

“Did you know that we breathe roughly 22,000 times a day? That’s 22,000 opportunities to let go and find peace in a messy world. Penman’s guide proves that taking time to breathe will allow us to smile more and worry less.” 

—Arthur Aguilera, Collection Analyst Librarian




The Cover of After the World EndedAfter the World Ended, by Hannah Lackoff

"We change from one world to the next at different times in our lives. Some changes are greater than others. An exciting collection of short stories for a busy mind. Poignant writing for these times."

—George Karpoff, Human Resources Specialist

Note: After the World Ended is currently not accessible through the University Libraries e-book collection.



The Cover of Creatures of Charm and HungerCreatures of Charm and Hunger, by Molly Tanzer

"Set in England during the tail end of World War Two, two sisters have just finished their witch apprenticeship at a magical library and are pondering what do do with the rest of their lives. Trapped in the English countryside and frustrated by their isolation, one takes the fight to the Nazis with her magic while the other will do anything it takes to impress her peers, with consequences for all. A great summer read!"

—Alex Watkins, Art and Architecture Librarian

Note: Creatures of Charm and Hunger is currently not accessible through the University Libraries e-book collection.


Graduates will have access to our electronic collections through the end of summer sessions. From all of us in the University Libraries, have a safe and joyful weekend. You’ve earned it!