How to Use an Academic Library: Home

A quick overview of what librarians do, the organization of the library, and the use of information tools.

Academic librarians ensure accurate connections to information. We develop authentic relationships with library users in order to help people find the right information at the right time. We integrate information literacy into the academic curriculum and facilitate modern research competencies so people can navigate the information world beyond the curriculum. Academic librarians also create new knowledge, synthesize existing knowledge, and establish new descriptive evidence to further our professional work. We serve our profession, our libraries, our campuses, and our community. We believe in doing this work with excellence and effectiveness.   

The libraries where academic librarians work serve as a source for gathering information, checking facts, asking questions, reading a range of material, and contemplating ways of incorporating into one’s life what one has read. Academic libraries are safe spaces for people in the community to gather for conversations, to study and create, or explore a book in quiet solitude. Librarians are dedicated to helping people find the information they need in order to read and think about elements of their lives and to better their lives. Talk with librarians and use your library to seek information, read, explore, create, check facts, connect with others, consider sources, and, of course, think. Reading helps us to think, and makes our lives better, so come read and think at your academic library!

How Do I Get a Library Card?

Easy! It’s your UCard. Did you know U of U faculty, students, and staff can check out an unlimited number of books?

If you're not affiliated with the U of U, library permits are available.

How are Books Arranged?

By Library of Congress Call Numbers. Call numbers consist of a mixture of letters and numbers in alphabetical and numeric order. Find the call number by searching the library catalog with title, author, subject, keyword, or ISBN. Here's an example call number: 


With the call number, consult the library map to find the shelf range.

How Do I Find eBooks?

By doing a title, author, subject, keyword or ISBN search in the library's catalog, called USearch Learn more about best practices for searching on the USearch Subject Guide

Read to think, read to discover, read to explore, read to create, read to understand…

Course Reserves: Course reserves are materials that your professors set aside (on reserve) for your classes. You can see the materials available in Course Reserves by going to the library homepage at, clicking on the Course Reserves tab above the search box, and searching for your class by instructor name or abbreviation (e.g. WRTG 1010). Print items can be borrowed at the Reserve Desk on the second floor of the library above Mom's Cafe. Electronic readings are available by clicking the View It tab under the item information in the Search Results list. 

Information and Security Desks: The Information and Security Desks at the first and third floor entrances of the library are where you can go if you need to check out a book or ask for help with a security situation.

Knowledge Commons Lab: The Knowledge Commons Computer Lab on the second floor of the library has over 200 computers, both Mac and PC, available for you to use. We have specific workstations for scanning pictures or documents or editing videos, and offer access to a wide variety of software The lab also has 3D printers and scannersa poster printer, and regular printers for you to use.

Knowledge Commons Desk: The Knowledge Common Desk on the second floor of the library is where you can go to get help finding resources for your class projects and research papers. You can also get help with technology questions check out equipment, like charging cords. Click here to see the list of available equipment.. 

One Button Studio: The second floor of the library is the home of the One-Button Studio, which allows you to record your own audio and video without help. For information about how to schedule and use the One-Button Studio, look here

University Writing Center: The University Writing Center is on the second floor of the Marriott Library across from the Reserve Desk. Visit the  University Writing Center page to make an appointment to get coaching on your writing.

Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library