Meet the Librarian: Federico Martinez-Garcia, Head, Access Services

What led you to MU Libraries?

I was born in Sonora, Mexico in a small border town next to Arizona’s southwest corner. I have lived in desert, arid areas all of my life (Sonora, Arizona and Nevada), and I wanted to experience something different. This idea started after having the opportunity to study abroad in Paris and noticing how great it was to live in a place with green vegetation and rain. 

After receiving my Masters in Library and Information Sciences, my priority was to relocate to an area with four seasons. During my job search, I found that the University of Missouri Libraries were hiring.  Besides having the four seasons, I found out the percentage of international students and population in general, especially Hispanics, was almost not existent compared to the Southwest.  So, it got me more excited to join an institution where I can offer assistance to increase a more diverse university population and probably even to the population in general.

Describe some of the changes that are going on in access services in Ellis Library and at libraries everywhere?

Access Services is a department that is currently reevaluating many of its services to satisfy the current and future needs of all library users.  Some changes that are already taking place include the increase of renewals for faculty, graduate students, and staff from two to five, allowing them to possibly keep traditional checked out MU Library materials for up to four months; and extending our interlibrary loan services to visiting scholars.  We are also working on taking the library check out system from due date stamps to print receipts; self-checkout machines to avoid waiting in line; and searching for the best ways to advertise services and equipment that can be checked out from the library.

I foresee in the future of Access Services the increase of staff base knowledge in the means of cross-training to minimize the number of referrals.  This has been taking place in academic, public and private libraries in the world, which has increased the satisfaction level in all library users. I also envision advances in technology to reach all university affiliates, close and far away.

 What vision do you bring to your position?

My vision is to create a collaborative working environment among the different library departments as well as university departments with the sole purpose of facilitating access to information to all library users. Just like the MU Libraries and University Administration, I am pro-inclusion. I believe that the key to success is to work together to create a stronger institution.  I always welcome faculty, staff and student’s feedback to identify what must get done to satisfy everyone’s needs.

English 1000 Open Research Lab

English 1000 Open Research Lab sessions

When: 5-7pm every Wednesday evening between Oct. 19th – Nov. 16th
Where: Ellis Library room 213

This follow-up service complements the class instruction, where general library resources and search strategies are covered, by providing lab space where students can actively work on individual assignments and ask for research help as the need arises. One of our librarians, Jennifer Gravley, will be on hand to provide research assistance. Students should bring their assignments with them. 

Assistance will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration is required, and students may come and go as they please. They may use the computers in the lab or bring their laptops. Remember, this open lab is for English 1000 assignments only.

Haven’t brought your class for a library session? Students have conflicts? Students are always encouraged to reach out to librarians for reference help in person, through chat, by phone, by email, or by requesting a one-on-one RAP (Research Assistance Program) consultation. See for all the ways to get help!

MU Libraries Celebrate Banned Books

photo-6Don't worry if you missed our Banned Books Week celebration during the week of September 25th. We celebrate banned books every day of the year! 

Banned Books Week is a week long celebration of books that have been challened or banned in different parts of North America. It was organized in order to promote people's right to read. 

 "Everything should be available for anyone who wants to access it," says Emilee Howland-Davis, a PhD student in the English department, regarding the importance of protecting the right to read. photo-1-2

She and her English 2100 class exercised their right to read on Thursday, September 29th, when they did readings of banned books out on Speaker's Circle. They read excerpts from Harry Potter and passed out bookmarks promoting Banned Books Week.

photoHowever, the efforts to stop banned books does not end once the week is over. Ellis Library continues that fight through multiple exhibits.

Be sure to come by the information desk and see our exhibit on banned books! Try and guess what book each of the covered books are! Each covered book is a famous piece of literature, many of which are included in reading lists for English classes. On the covering is key reasons why they have been banned or

See if any of your favorites have ever been banned by checking the ever growing list of banned books! Favorites such as Catcher in the Rye and Harry Potter are included in the list.

So don't be discouraged if you missed the week! Just pick up your favorite banned book and read it! It's always the right time to help the fight against banned books!photo-7

Register to Vote at the Ellis Library Reference Desk

The Ellis Library Reference Desk is now a voter registration place. 

To vote in the November presidential elections, Missouri voters must be registered by Wednesday, Oct 12th!

We encourage all students, staff and community members to register! Check out our guide all about how to register!

Families Welcome at Ellis Library Open House After the Homecoming Parade

Visit Ellis Library immediately after the Homecoming Parade on Saturday, Oct. 22 for refreshments, tours and family activities. The first 100 kids will receive a free mini pumpkin. This event is free and open to the public.

Adobe Software Available on Library Computers

Library Technology Services has an array of Adobe Software available for students, faculty and staff of the University of Missouri. The software includes 

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro
  • After Effects
  • Audition
  • Bridge
  • Dreamweaver
  • Fireworks
  • Flash
  • Illustrator
  • InCopy
  • InDesign
  • Lightroom
  • Muse
  • Photoshop
  • Prelude
  • Premiere Pro

Users can access the software on the Macs in the Information Commons at Ellis, the Health Sciences Library 1st floor computers, the Journalism Lab and the Journalism Macbook Pro laptops. However, the software is not included within Software Anywhere.

This software will be useful for digital storytelling students, journalism students and anyone interested in using more creative software for a variety of projects.

Fiscal Year 2017 Collections Review Update

The University Libraries are proceeding with the previously announced 1.2 million dollar reduction to our collections expenditures for FY17. More information about the need for this spending reduction and how we are identifying potential savings can be found at –  University Libraries – FY17 Collections Budget update. The update now includes an initial list of titles recommended for cancellation.

Faculty and students may contact the subject librarian for their program with questions. General questions may be sent to Shannon Cary at The University Libraries are committed to providing quality service and timely access to materials, though more materials will need to be acquired using our consortial and interlibrary loan services.

Library Scavenger Hunt

Stop by Ellis Library and go on a Scavenger Hunt to discover hidden study rooms, new technologies, rare materials in Special Collections, and more.

Take the Library Scavenger Hunt on your smart phone (, or stop by the reference desk for a paper copy.

The Scavenger Hunt should take approximately 30 minutes to complete, so stop by before, in between, or after class for a quick, hands-on introduction to your library.

And watch out…you never know what's lurking around the library…

image from ghostbusters film 1984

Library Employee Celebrates Forty-Five Years of Service

In August 1971, the Apollo 15 astronauts drove their land rover on the moon and Carol Turner worked her first day as a Library employee. This summer, Turner celebrated 45 years working for the University Libraries.

She started working in Ellis Library as a clerk before there was computer automation, and she worked her way up to her current job as Library Information Specialist, Sr. She has worked on many projects over the years–projects as varied as barcoding books and proof-reading stacks (not her favorite) to helping spend an extra one-time allocation of $3 million for books.

Turner is an avid reader who collects clocks and music boxes.

The Libraries thank Carol for her many years of service and is looking forward to many more!

Meet Jennifer Gravley – The New Instructional Services Librarian

MU Libraries recently welcomed a new librarian to the Instructional Services Department! Jennifer Gravley was a former graduate student in the Library and Information Science program at Mizzou, and our library staff is excited to have her back in a professional capacity.  Here's a quick interview, so you can get to know and love her as much as we do.

Q: How did you come to be a librarian?

Jennifer: I suppose I went to library school as part of a midlife career change, but it wasn’t a new consideration. I am definitely not the first person from my creative writing program to go on to become a librarian! I’ve brought the experiences of having taught college courses and worked in scholarly publishing with me, but that’s part of why I love working at a university—there are so many people working in so many different ways to achieve the overall mission of education. Gaining understanding of the different aspects of the scholarly community helps me see more of the big picture.

Q: What aspects of your job at MU Libraries are you excited about?

Jennifer: I look forward to working with freshman writing instructors and students. Having taught freshman writing myself, I know that this is a course that challenges students to become more skillful researchers as well as more proficient writers. And that’s quite a task for any of us to undertake! Growth is uncomfortable but rewarding. It’s now my job to introduce these students to library resources and help them learn some basic research skills to use those resources more effectively.

I also never know what questions will come my way at the reference desk. This isn’t the most common transaction, but sometimes students will come to the desk for help and know what they are looking for, where to find it, and how to find it—but they don’t know that they know. Those opportunities to confirm someone’s research abilities, to help them gain the confidence to utilize the skills they already have, are just as important as helping students gain those same skills in the first place.

Q: Since we are librarians, we have to be stereotypical and ask about books. What was your favorite book you were assigned to read in college, and what are you reading now?

Jennifer: Beloved by Toni Morrison in college.  I recently read Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, which was incredible.

Stop by Ellis Library to say hi to Jennifer at the reference desk, or to ask about library instruction.