I talked to Tom Casserly (a.k.a. @tomthelibrarian), Head of Reference and Instructional Services
at Mugar Memorial Library. He helped me answer these questions about Mugar.
What can the library do for students?
Professional librarians are available all the time to help with any kind of library question: finding a book to help finish a paper, finding a book to read for fun, or working on a paper itself. They are a great resource!
Mugar library is also a research library. That means you have access to scholarly sources like journals and articles which can turn a good paper into a great one.
Last but not least, the libraries provide a great place to work and study. Mugar is open until 2 AM Sundays through Thursdays and is open 24 hours a day during finals week. There are also other libraries, such as the SMG library, which can be great places to study, too!
What are some things that most students don’t know about the library?
Mugar actually contains several smaller libraries: a film/video collection (basement-level), a music collection (2nd floor), the African Studies library (6th floor), and the Archival Research Center. These are amazing resources that many students don’t have the opportunity to check out.
The Archival Research Center often brings in guest speakers (recently, Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy) to give free talks in the library. Drop by during your study breaks to see who’s speaking next.
Mugar also has free scanning, a microfiche collection, a reserve space with a great view of the Charles, and the PAL Lounge for noisy group projects.
What should freshmen do to make sure they get the most out of Mugar?
First and foremost, spend time in the library! See for yourself what resources Mugar can provide and find a favorite study niche. Make Mugar your own!
Second, talk to librarians. Their job is to help you with any questions you have. Although more and more resources are now becoming available online, a one-on-one meeting with a librarian is something the internet can never replace. You might, however, want to at least schedule these appointments online.
Lastly, connect to the library through your professors. Ask what library resources or services they recommend to help you succeed.
Stop by the new entrance in The Link!