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Getting Started

The UMass Amherst Libraries have so much to offer you. From the physical and online resources, to the items we lend, to all of the staff that can help you, and more! But we do understand that it can also be a bit overwhelming.  

That is where this page can help! We've made it with first-years and transfers in mind, but anyone can use it. It is a good place to start to learn about all the amazing resources we have just waiting for you!

Libraries

There are three libraries at UMass.

  • The W.E.B. Du Bois Library: The home of the Humanities, Social Behavioral Sciences, Business, and Agriculture materials and librarians. 

No matter what your major is, you can study at any one!

Services and Spaces

Service Desks

Every service desk in the building is covered by professional and student staff who can answer almost any question you could ask, or can refer you to whoever can. There are five main service desks in the Libraries.

The Ask Us! Desk on the Lower Level of Du Bois is where you can...

  • Check out materials on reserve for your courses.
  • Borrow or return books, Dell and Mac laptops, camcorders, mini projectors, and Mac chargers.
  • Get research help and assistance with remote printing, eduroam, and troubleshooting your computer. 

The Du Bois Entrance Level Service Desk is where you can...

  • Ask general questions about the Libraries. 
  • Report problems or lost items. 

The Digital Media Lab Service Desk, on the 3rd Floor of Du Bois, is where you can... 

  • Borrow multimedia production equipment. 
  • Get help using any of the equipment or software in the Digital Media Lab. 

The Science and Engineering Library (SEL) Service Desk is where you can... 

  • Borrow or return books. 
  • Get research help and assistance using equipment and software in the Science and Engineering Library.

The Mt Ida Wadsworth Library Service Desk is where you can... 

  • Borrow or return books. 
  • Get research help and assistance using equipment and software in the Mt Ida Wadsworth Library.

Any book taken out from the Library can be returned to any desk.

If you would like books that you requested to be delivered to SEL or Wadsworth, rather than Du Bois, you can speak with the staff there to learn how to do that.

If you ever need to speak with a specific department, check out their page on our website to see their hours and contact info. For specific employees, search them through the search feature on our website.

Computer Classrooms

UMass IT operates four computer classrooms in the Du Bois Library along with a service point in the Lower Level.

  • Room 1667: on the 16th Floor is a Windows Lab which offers classes during the day and has open hours in the afternoon.
  • The Calipari Room: on the Lower Level is a Windows Lab for Library use. This room is often booked for classes, but is available for studying when it is not being used for a class. 
  • Room 25 (the Team Based Learning Classroom): a Windows Lab located on the Lower Level and is reserved for instruction during the day and then open to group use after classes end.

Each classroom has a daily schedule which is posted in the lobby each morning near the elevators. UMass IT subscribes to numerous different softwares that are available to you as a UMass Student. A full list of software available on every UMass IT operated computer can be found here.

Writing Center

Located in the northwest corner of the the Lower Level of the Du Bois Library, the Writing Center offers assistance with writing projects. Tutors in the Writing Center meet individually with writers in 45-minute consultations both face-to-face and online.

After an initial conversation about the writing project, the tutor and writer read the text and discuss options for its revision. Writers often bring just an idea or an assignment to the Center and work with a tutor on how to begin writing.

Learning Resource Center

The Learning Resource Center is the home for the majority of free tutoring for first and second year courses provided by the University. They operate by appointment and have three different options for student/instructor interaction.

  • One-on-one tutoring sessions are available with qualified students instructors on the 10th and 13th floors of the Library, where you as a student can work with direct access to course materials and learn how to organize yourself and learn best practices for your study sessions.
  • Supplemental Instructions are available for certain courses and are medium size groups that are instructor driven to review materials learned in class. The smaller group helps to facilitate more in depth coverage on materials covered in lecture with the ability of students to bring their questions with them.
  • ExSel sessions are 10 person groups that are a form of collaborative learning between an instructor and students. Students work as a team to brainstorm what topics they want to review or what questions they want answered and bring them to an instructor to cover in session.
Digital Media Lab

The Digital Media Lab on the third floor is home to the majority of the UMass Libraries equipment lending and AV resources. From equipment lending to 3D printing, the DML can help with so many different types of endeavours for a first year students.

  • Equipment Lending is available at the DML desk for UMass Students. Cameras, camcorders, tripods, microphones, sound mixing equipment and more can be taken out for free for periods of either one or three days. Visit the link above to see the availability of all their equipment and visit the 3rd floor with your UCard to borrow something.
  • Sound Recording Booths and Green Screen rooms can be booked by students for their use. Large sound booths come equipped with keyboards and all four come with advanced microphones and audio mixing equipment. All Green Screen rooms are equipped with camera and lighting equipment, and both small and large rooms can be reserved.
  • 39 MakerBot 3D Printers are available for all UMass students to use. Printing must be approved by a member of the DML staff (make an appointment to meet with them!) and is handled by weight (15 cents/gram). 
  • Software is available through the DML that is slightly different than in the rest of the Library.
  • Mac and PC workstations available to students whenever the Library is open.
Du Bois Lobby

The main entrance and exit of the Du Bois Library. It features: 

  • The Information desk. Stop by and ask them any question you have about the building or the Libraries resources and they will know how to help you.
  • Self check-out machines where you can scan your UCard and then a book barcode and be all set with your borrowing.
  • The new book shelf. Stop by every Monday to see the new selection of books that the Library has acquired. The shelf is also next to our interactive terminal where you can check out the library website and directory.
Learning Commons

The Learning Commons, the Lower Level of the Du Bois Library. In addition to the main Service Desk, it features:

  • Lots of study space.
  • Macs and PCs.
  • Glass study rooms (available to reserve by groups of three or more).
  • Photocopiers.
  • Black and White and Color Printers.
  • Scanners
  • A Fax Machine
  • UCard Terminals
  • Reference Materials.
  • and more!

The Writing Center has their offices in the North End, and Financial Aid and The International Programs Office have a desk that is staffed after their offices close for the day in the South End.

The Procrastination Station

The Procrastination Station, the cafe in the Du Bois Library, is located through the elevator lobby and is a retail dining location. It serves coffee, pastries, cold drinks, and sandwiches as well as seating and a handicap restroom.

W.E.B. Du Bois Center

The Center, on the 22nd Floor of Du Bois, strives to carry on the legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois (whose papers are held in SCUA).

The Center offers events throughout the year, specifically the annual Du Bois Lecture every February as well as individual opportunities to meet with the staff to discuss Du Bois and his Legacy.

The Center is open to students for quiet study from 10am-2pm every weekday.

Science and Engineering Library

The Science and Engineering Library (SEL) is located in the Lederle Graduate Research Center Lowrise, directly across from the Northeast Residential Area on North Pleasant Street.

While Du Bois may seem a little bit large and intimidating, SEL is much smaller and tends to be quiete, like a neighborhood library. Anyone can study at either building, so if you want a quieter atmosphere or live on the North end of campus, feel free to stop in!

SEL features:

  • A Service Desk, where you can borrow or return library materials and get research help. 
  • STEM books, reference materials, and periodicals.
  • Study space.
  • 73 Computers.
  • Printers.
  • 8 glass study rooms (that can be reserved by groups of three or more).
  • Exhibit space, which features local artists, speakers, and lectures.

The librarians for the Science and Engineering majors work out of SEL rather than Du Bois. You can meet with them at SEL or make an appointment online through the Library website. 

Mt Ida Wadsworth Library

The Wadsworth Library is on the Mt Ida campus of UMass Amherst. It is a small cozy library that is great for studying! 

Wadsworth features: 

  • A Service Desk, where you can borrow or return library materials and get research help. 
  • Veterinary Technology books, reference materials, and periodicals.
  • Study space.
  • 6 Computers.
  • A black and white printer, a color printer, a scanner, and a copier. 
  • 3 glass study rooms.

Collections

Multimedia materials and production equipment

Students have access to CDs, DVDs, VHSs, LPs, microforms, AV and electronic equipment, and more! 

Online Resources

The Libraries have access to hundreds of online materials, and more than 500 databases that can expand your scholarly horizons and give you direct interaction with materials relevant to your field of study. Through our subject guides you can search for your specific major and view ways to get in contact with your Subject Librarian and see all of the most important online resources for your research experience.

Books

The circulating collection comprises more than 5 Million individual volumes. As an undergrad, you can borrow an unlimited amount of books for a period of 90 days, to be renewed up to nine times in person or online.

UMass students also have access to most of the physical items from the Amherst, Smith, Hampshire, and Mount Holyoke College Libraries.Additionally, UMass students have access to Interlibrary Loans, a program which connects us to countless institutions around the world-expanding our lending options into the tens of millions.

Special Collections and University Archives

Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is the home of all the primary sources held by the UMass Libraries. SCUA includes unique manuscript, photographic, and digital collections related to social change movements, New England history, entrepreneurship, and the history of the university. 

To visit SCUA, you can either walk into the Reading Room on the 25th Floor or contact one of the archivists through their website to make an appointment or request a collection.

Want to know more?

Make an appointment, with Annette M. Vadnais (aka Miss Information).  The Undergraduate Outreach Librarian can meet with you to provide a library tour or an introduction. 

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Course Reserves

Course materials are often made available by your professors through the library. 

Physical reserves are print books and articles and can be borrowed at the Lower Level Service Desk in Du Bois. Call numbers are specially assigned (so search using the Reserves tab on the front page of this website) and loan periods last three hours.

Digital reserves are available online via your course's Moodle or Blackboard page and can include links to eBooks, journal articles, and book chapters, as well as links to full length or excerpted audio visual material.

There is *No Guarantee* that assigned materials for your course are available on reserve, but be sure to check on this website or on your syllabus.

 

 

Need help finding sources for your paper?

Ask a Subject Librarian! They are your research advisors - there's one for every major, minor, and certificate program on campus.

They're here to help you find the best sources for your paper, no matter where you're at in your research process.

Book a research consultation, and get the help you need!