Here at the iSchool, we are all big fans of libraries. Let’s be honest: it’s the reason why most of us are here! So with this in mind, we want to take a moment to highlight our very own University Libraries at Maryland. Our main library McKeldin consistently provides top-notch resources and services for our learning community. Students can visit and enjoy the library at all hours of the day, including all night Sunday through Thursday. And clearly McKeldin is THE place to be on campus as evidenced by the recent YouTube video sensation UMD “Gangnam Style” Parody. Located on the second floor is the Terrapin Learning Commons, a community space for students that includes group study rooms, comfy furniture, over 100 computers, a popular reading collection, and, most recently, a digital art installation. Any student can also borrow technology equipment from the library including laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, and universal laptop chargers.In addition to McKeldin, Maryland has several other specialized libraries devoted to art, architecture, chemistry, engineering and physical sciences, and the performing arts. When you’re on the Shady Grove campus, visit the eco-friendly Priddy Library and its study lounge complete with lounge chairs, live greenery, and windows overlooking a native garden. You’ll also find a special art exhibit on display until October 23rd titled Repurposed: Earth Friendly Art.Hornbake Library is not only home to our very own iSchool, but also Maryland’s Special Collections over in the north wing. You can visit in person or take a virtual tour with our lovable mascot Testudo. When you visit, be sure to check out the newest annual exhibit in the Maryland Room on the first floor.Don’t forget to also sneak a peek into the Katherine Ann Porter Room or go visit it on a Wednesday afternoon to see some of this American author’s personal possessions such as the painted wooden coffin in which she planned to be buried! (For the story behind the coffin, check out Katherine Ann Porter’s Coffin: The Last Word?)Nonprint Media Services is also found in Hornbake Library on the bottom floor. While visiting this special library, you can use one of the computer terminals to watch unique, non-circulating audiovisual collections like the Jim Hensen Works Digital Collection, which includes full length videos of many of Henson’s popular creations like the Muppet Show and Fraggle Rock. The Nonprint Media collection also includes a set of more than 2000 recent DVDs that students can freely borrow from for a 3-day loan period.
While the physical libraries of UMD are definitely worth anyone’s visit, so many of the library’s amazing collections and resources are online and easily accessible from home. With over 100,000 e-books, 17,000 e-journals, and 350 databases, quality resources are literally at any student’s fingertips. The University of Maryland’s Digital Collections is particularly rich with interesting and unique materials such as the National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection, the Maryland Map Collection, and the Prange Digital Children’s Book Collection.
If you’re interested in learning more about the University and its history, the Digital Collections of the University Archives has that too! Just check out the University AlbUM, a collection that includes digital resources about UMD’s sports, campus, events, and important people. Also available are digitized UMD yearbooks that date back to 1897, images of Testudo from throughout the past century, and copies of “Information Please,” a handbook distributed to female undergraduates in the 1950s and 1960s that included some interesting rules and “strong suggestions.”
The UMD libraries truly have something for everyone, regardless of campus, specialization, or interest. Be sure to take full advantage of this awesome library system during your time at the iSchool.