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First Year Experience: What The Library Does

This LibGuide was created to provide information on library resources for first-year students and their instructors.

About Library Services

The library consists of more than just a building. The following is a sample of what we do to serve the campus community.

Library Collections

Our library collections are focused on supporting the education and research needs of students, staff, and faculty. While most of our collection is now online, there is still a small but robust collection of physical materials on the third and fourth floors.

Additionally, we have special collections in the Canaday Center for Special Collections. These are typically used by serious researchers, but you may need them for certain classes, so please make yourself familiar with them.

Our electronic resources can be accessed from anywhere, using your UTAD ID and password to log in. This includes articles, videos, and e-books. When searching in UTMOST (which combines our traditional catalog with our online holdings), there will be a link at the top of the page for you to use to log in while off campus.

Library Spaces

The main campus library, Carlson Library, has five floors of study space for you to use. There are computers (and IT Help) on the first floor of the library, white boards and group study space on the second floor (with Starbucks nearby), and places for quieter, more individual study on floors 3-5. The fifth floor is a quiet floor, and we ask that you remain respectful of your fellow students by keeping noise to a minimum.

Due to COVID19, some study space may be temporarily unavailable. Please contact circulation if there are any questions.

Displays and Artwork

From time to time, we will have displays and/or artwork in the library. Among the displays we have had in the past are our yearly Star Wars Display, works by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist José Galvez (in partnership with the Office of Multicultural Student Success), and the "What Were You Wearing?" sexual assault awareness exhibit (in partnership with UToledo’s Title IX Office).

Sometimes these displays are curated by another group on campus and the library simply provides the space in which they will exist, while others are curated by library staff and faculty.

We've also had several students complete artwork for the library as part of experiential learning projects. Visit the first floor of the library to see a mural incorporating the old clock tower hands, or visit the second floor to see our current work in progress.

Course Materials

Many of your course materials - the things you'll need to read and study for your classes - are available via the library. For some materials, they may be physically available though Course Reserves. Your professor will mention this during class; when it is time for the reading to be done, you will come to the library to check the material out - usually for a short amount of time.

Other materials might be available electronically through our E-Reserves. Some professors choose to link to these materials directly in their class Blackboard site, but others may expect you to search for them in our catalog. The easiest way to do that is to search the search box on the main library page. Select the gold and blue "Reserve Materials" tab to switch to the search interface for reserve materials.

Sometimes you can find your textbooks on reserve or in the library stacks, but there is no requirement for the library to be notified of which textbooks are in use, so we cannot guarantee we will have them.


The library frequently hosts workshops to help you improve your library-related skills. Some of them may be held virtually, while others may be held in person, but all of them can be found in Invonet.

Some of the topics that are covered include:

  • Endnote
  • Finding appropriate resources
  • Copyright and Plagiarism

Our topic selection varies from year to year, so please be sure to check our workshop schedule regularly for more information.

Research Help

Librarians are here to help you! Whether you have a simple question about the contents of our collection, or you need more in depth research help, you can find it at the library and online.

No question is too small to ask our reference desk, and no question is too big for a research consultation! Please be advised that if you ask a question at the reference desk or via the reference chat requiring a significant amount of time to answer, you may be referred to the appropriate subject librarian. This is for the best, as they have the specialization necessary to thoroughly answer questions in their assigned subjects.


In addition to our workshops, the university libraries sometimes hosts events, such as academic lectures, departmental information sessions, or open houses.

Spaces are also available for other departments on campus to use, so you may find your professors suggesting or requiring you attend department sponsored events that are housed in the library.