Don’t underestimate value in University libraries

The+Main+Library%27s+Main+Stacks+has+ten+levels+of+books+and+resources+available+to+students.+The+University+library+system+offers+a+multitude+of+resources+for+students.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Don’t underestimate value in University libraries

The Main Library's Main Stacks has ten levels of books and resources available to students. The University library system offers a multitude of resources for students.

The Main Library's Main Stacks has ten levels of books and resources available to students. The University library system offers a multitude of resources for students.

The Main Library's Main Stacks has ten levels of books and resources available to students. The University library system offers a multitude of resources for students.

The Main Library's Main Stacks has ten levels of books and resources available to students. The University library system offers a multitude of resources for students.

By Hannah Preston, Copy chief

While many of the attractions when you arrive on campus come in the form of a place, activity or food, one underestimated asset to your student tool belt is you have access to University libraries — wait, don’t stop reading. I promise there’s more than dusty old books in those old buildings that dot the campus map, and there’s even more on their online databases. Campus libraries offer extraordinary resources to students and faculty at the University of Illinois alone, and many people never take a minute to visit during their years

Here’s a taste of what you might find if you venture into a library.

Learn a new language

What many people don’t realize is your status as a student gives you free access to language learning programs like Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur to help you learn over 50 individual languages. There are also numerous dictionaries and translators available to aid you in any language-learning quest you may be on.

To access these programs, go to the University library website, and search the library catalog for “language learning” to see a full list of these resources.

See famous original works firsthand

Sometimes even dusty, old books have something to offer. Located in the Main Library, the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library both temporarily and permanently houses first editions of the works of famous authors, artists and individuals in general from all over the world and all sorts of disciplines. From early editions of works from John Milton, Shakespeare and many more, there is something there for every person. They also have rotating exhibits showcasing the lives and efforts of the people we may look to for guidance each day in our studies; recently, the typewriter Hugh Hefner used during his college days at the University was on display. 

To see what they have to you offer, you must first create an account online and bring a form of identification the day of your visit.

The Main Stacks is also worthy of a trip or several. Located underneath the Main Library, they are home to a whole world of University archives, ranging from books retired from circulation to old editions of The Daily Illini.

Take advantage of technology rentals

The University libraries have capitalized on modern student needs through offering free downloads for applications and access to rentable technology.

For incoming students who may have purchased a new laptop for college, Microsoft Office is available for free to download for University students. Lynda.com, a skill-learning website, is also available for free to students, offering tutorials on any skill you wish to learn.

The Media Commons at the Undergraduate Library includes free rentals on materials for audio production, video editing, video production, mobile prototyping and gaming, as well as free access to media spaces for filming and recording projects you may be working on. The Media Commons also offers coaching and consultation appointments if you need guidance or have particular questions about how to approach a certain project.

Rentable technology also includes any kind of laptop or phone charger, adapter or cable you may have forgotten for your eight-hour cramming session at the UGL.

[email protected]