Student Guide – Fall 2018

You have questions. Like, where are the good places to study and get my work done? How do I find the books, articles, and other materials I need for my coursework, and how do I get help? Is there coffee? Food? Find answers here, and begin your journey of discovery.

"So it's not just books, huh?"

News & Updates

Library launches new search interface

If you're new to the library, welcome! You won't be surprised by the changes to the library's search interface, which now combines all of the library's search paths and tools into one interface, with a responsive design that works great on mobile devices. It's also built for accessibility, and for compatibility with assistive technologies. Read more.

Bert's Café, new and improved

After a renovation this summer, the new Bert's Café in Shapiro Library has reopened with an improved layout and an expanded menu. Hours & Menu.

Looking for a Fall course?

The Computer and Video Game Archive serves as a valuable resource for teaching and research in a growing number of academic disciplines. This fall, nine courses from seven departments include the study of video games in their syllabi. (And yes, you can visit the archive for play.)

Photo of the counter at Bert's Café with three staffers behind it

Recognizing excellence in undergrad research

Each year, the library’s Undergraduate Research Award recognizes the work of undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellence in library research. Undergraduate students from any U-M campus can participate, and can apply with projects in any format or medium.

In the past, the library has given awards in two categories: the Maize Award, for single term projects, and the Blue Award, for multi-term projects. This year saw the addition of the Outstanding First-Year Research Project Award and the Innovation in Research and Creativity Award.

Students awarded focus on vastly different topics, and the resources they find and use span some of the most unknown corners of the library. Scouring the books, whether they’re rows deep in the stacks or shelved offsite, is daunting, and award-winners credit their success in finding what they need to the help of library staff.

Read more.

Find support for projects with real-life impact

You don’t have to spend your days in the stacks to find support from the library.

Graduate and undergraduate students of any discipline can receive up to $1,000 this fall to support a project that has a public impact, whether it strengthens community partnerships, enhances global scholarship, or advocates for diversity and inclusion.

For Victoria Koski-Karell, being awarded a library mini grant meant aid and encouragement as she embarked upon a short film project that would advocate for clean water access in a region of Haiti hit hard by cholera.

“I’ve been struck by the crowdfunding model to get people engaged in transformational work,” she said. “I thought, what if I took this thousand dollars—if I get it—and make something with it that can educate people and advocate in a way that can help ameliorate the issue, drawing upon local knowledge?”

Read Koski-Karell's story.

Inside the Library

It’s one library system with more than one location, all of them staffed with people who can answer your questions.

Four story Shapiro Library Complex

Shapiro Undergraduate Library

Open 24/7 when term is in session

Quiet study space (the higher the floor, the quieter it is)

Reservable group study space

Bert's Café and study lounge (relaxed and social)

Computers, printers, copiers, and scanners

Askwith Media collection for films in a variety of formats

Collections for study & leisure reading

Shapiro hours

Front of Hatcher Library

Hatcher Graduate Library

Ask a Librarian Service Desk

Quiet study space

Reference Reading Room

Computers, printers, copiers, and scanners

Study carrels, some accessible & others reservable

Book stacks you can get lost in (a labyrinth)

Events & exhibits gallery

Hatcher hours

Front of Duderstadt building

Art, Architecture & Engineering Library

Open 24/7 when term is in session

Quiet study space

Group study space, some reservable


Computers, printers, copiers, and scanners

Computer & Video Game Archive with onsite gaming

AAEL hours

Music Library

Quiet study space

Group study space

Collection of musical scores & CDs

Computers, printers, copiers, and scanners

Music Library hours

Front entrance to Tappan Hall

Fine Arts Library

Sign and front of Taubman building.

Taubman Health Sciences Library

You may need your Mcard to enter or remain during late night and overnight hours.

For Wi-Fi, use MWireless, which requires U-M login and offers full access to library services and collections.

To print, copy, or scan on library equipment, connect to MWireless and use the university’s web-based printing service.

Finding & Getting

Don't just Google it! The library's source materials have been vetted for reliability, relevance, and research value.

To find books, videos, journals, articles, databases, and more, log in to the library website with your uniqname and password and use Library Search, or browse by subject to find recommended resources in the relevant field of study. You can access electronic resources anywhere, as long as you're connected to the Internet and logged in to your account.

Retrieve books shelved in our open stacks yourself, or have them delivered to the campus library closest to you by selecting "Get This" in the item record. Show your Mcard at any library circulation desk to check out circulating materials

Picture of the floor in Hatcher Library stacks, with ordinal floor guides

If you need help getting started, you'll find a wealth of online resources on our website, or Ask a Librarian, in person at a reference desk (you can make an appointment), or via phone, email, or text or instant message.

Picture of the floor in Hatcher Library stacks, with ordinal floor guides

Consult With A Specialist

Library professionals can help you use a wide range of technologies and information resources in your research assignments and creative projects.


Get help with graphic design, image manipulation, citation management, web publishing, book formatting, and video editing. If you have a technology need, we’re here to give you hands-on instruction. We offer free 30–60 minute consultations for your course or research projects, so make an appointment, drop in (2nd floor Hatcher Library), or email us.

Shapiro Design Lab

Produce and edit audio and video (including game design, animation, and graphics) or practice your presentation in one of our media rooms. Create items using our 3D printer, letterpress, and other maker tools. Get expert help with our equipment, software, tools, and supplies to advance your coursework, research, and creative projects.

Subject Specialists

When you’re ready to dig a little deeper into a subject area—completing an honors thesis or capstone project, for instance — a library subject specialist can help you find resources and develop a research strategy. 

Male student draws on white board

Get Started

Watch this introduction to library places and resources.

Dogs in the Library!

Relieve stress during finals by visiting with a furry friend.


A group of students picking up pens and notepads from a table decorated with balloons

Events & Exhibits

See what's coming up in the library's event listings.

Library exhibits this semester include Unique Perspectives: Maps from Tokugawa & Meiji Japan and You Must Judge a Book By its Cover.

Woman wearing short sleeves crouching in front of waterfall

Library mini grants

Apply for a library mini grant by Friday, Oct. 12.

We offer funding and mentorship for innovative and collaborative projects that strengthen community partnerships, enhance global scholarship, or advocate for diversity and inclusion.

Group of students at tables studying with laptops.

Jobs for students

Looking for a position with flexible hours, in a fun and welcoming environment? Consider the library, where you can gain valuable experience and skills in a variety of positions. Read the Student Stories Blog to learn more about the contributions of student employees and interns.

ALA 105: Digital Research: Critical Concepts & Strategies (Fall & Winter)
Learn how to find the best sources for your projects with online search strategies, research tips, and critical evaluation techniques.

ALA 270.001: Fake News, Lies, and Propaganda: How to Sort Fact from Fiction (Fall & Winter)
Develop critical thinking skills and create a personal strategy for fact-checking and evaluating the news.

ALA 470: Advanced Library Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Winter)
Develop advanced research strategies while working on an extended project.

ALA 470: Introduction to Data Visualization (Winter)
Get an introduction to data visualization — data discovery and manipulation, aesthetics, and software.

Hear from students about the benefits of ALA 105.

Find Us

Check out the full list of libraries on campus.

Caution sign

Theft can happen, and laptops are an easy target. Always store your laptop when it’s not in use, and don't ever leave it unattended, even for a quick trip to the water fountain. Do take advantage of the free Property Registration Program offered by the Department of Public Safety & Security (DPSS). Register and they'll send you stickers to affix to your items (including bicycles), which deter thieves and enable the return of recovered stolen property to its rightful owner.