home Ellis Library, Gateway Carousel, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: Writing Tutors

Peer Navigator Corner: Writing Tutors

Written by: Sophie Lanzone

There are many different resources located in Ellis Library, but one of the most helpful resources in my opinion are the writing tutors located on the first floor. The Writing Center has been supporting students at the University of Missouri for over 45 years. These tutors are available for anyone with a current pawprint, including faculty, postdocs, and distanced students at Mizzou. The Writing Center offers free in person appointments on campus, zoom appointments, and asynchronous responses through the Online Writery. What’s great about the Writing Center is that you can receive detailed feedback and revisions for any stage of the writing process, regardless of where you are in a certain assignment.

The Writing Center is staffed with 50 to 100 wonderful tutors during any given semester. This includes a combination of undergrads, graduates and post-graduate writers. Each tutor has undergone formal training and on top of that must attend regular training workshops throughout their employment. They can help with any writing project, including all course-related assignments, personal statements, cover letters, scholarship essays, creative writing pieces, or anything else you may need help with. All of this is done with support from an advisory board of faculty and staff from across campus that focus on specific majors.

If you are interested in making an appointment, you can go directly to the Writing Center’s website or you can go through the Libraries homepage and click on the dropdown menu, “In the Library.” Under that menu, click on “Writing Tutors,” go to appointments, and click the “Make An Appointment” tab. Each appointment can be up to 50 minutes and will help assist you at any stage of your project. If you are just looking for feedback or don’t want a face-to-face interaction, you can share an online submission to the Online Writery. This service is offered 24/7, is free, and follows the same steps as mentioned earlier just clicking on ‘The Online Writery’ instead of ‘Appointments.’ The writing tutors are wonderful resources offered here at Mizzou, and I encourage all of you to utilize them as much as you can!

Peer Navigator Corner: Book Health & Preservation

Written by: Lorelai Clubb

Like nearly everything in our world, paper ages. A crisp sheet of paper can become yellowed, faded, brittle, and very easy to tear. While most modern books are printed on acid-free paper, which can last hundreds of years, older materials are printed on paper that is much quicker to deteriorate. Considering that many vital historical documents and accounts are recorded on older, acidic paper, special measures are needed to preserve those primary sources so they can continue to be accessed and appreciated for years to come.

At the University of Missouri Libraries, we have an entire department devoted to the care, preservation, and sharing of these historical treasures. Special Collections contains rare books, historical maps, original prints, and other archival materials that can prove vital to any research project. To give just a few examples, Special Collections at Mizzou includes one of the only surviving manuscripts by renowned author Charlotte Brontë, several cuneiform clay tablets, and original illustrations of classic literature in a variety of languages. There’s so much more that cannot even be covered in this post!

Specialists who work in this area of MU Libraries have several guidelines they follow to ensure all the materials are given the best possible care. Some keys to preserving book health include:

  • Temperature control: The ideal temperature for rare books and materials is about 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures can accelerate the deterioration of books, while lower temperatures can lead to books cracking and drying out.
  • Moisture/humidity prevention: Having the correct levels of humidity is essential to protecting rare books and materials from water damage, mold, and cracking. Too dry a place will dry out the books, while too humid a place can lead to mold growing and ruining the material. Library experts recommend a humidity level of about 40-50%.
  • Using a book stand: Opening a book all the way to be flat, or 180 degrees, harms the spine. By using a book rest or book stand to open the book, the amount of stress on the spine and binding of the book is greatly lessened. Special Collections has many of these stands for you to use when visiting.
  • Reducing light: Both artificial and natural light can be detrimental to the preservation of a book or print. Not only does light fade the words and images, but light can also deteriorate the binding materials. Storing these materials in a darker place and using blackout curtains can prevent light from affecting the materials as much.
  • Storing books properly: Books are usually stored vertically for a reason, and storing books of the same heights together matters too. Books of the same size can support one another on the shelf. Having a very tall book stored next to a shorter, smaller book can lead to covers becoming distorted.

Our Preservation & Conservation Librarian for Special Collections is Michaelle Dorsey, and she is a great addition to the library team! If you have any questions about Special Collections, contact her via email at DorseyM@missouri.edu. She’s the expert, and the one behind the scenes repairing materials or working on things like phase boxes to ensure they last as long as possible.

No matter your major, there is something in Special Collections to help you with your research or class assignments. Beyond that, it’s just a fascinating place to visit, or to bring your family when they’re in town! Since materials are stored in the specific ways mentioned above, librarians will pull materials based on your research, or just personal interest before you come, so it’s important to make an appointment ahead of time. Be sure to visit https://libcal.missouri.edu/reserve/readingroom to schedule your visit to the special collections room 24 hours in advance.

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: Contactless Pickup Lockers

Peer Navigator Corner: Contactless Pickup Lockers

Written by: Alyssa Westhoff

Ellis Library has over 3.5 million books available to check out. Patrons are more than welcome to come in and search for material in person, but there is also a quick and convenient option for those who would prefer to place a request from home – contactless pickup lockers that are available 24/7. They are located in the vestibule of the West entrance of Ellis Library, between Speakers Circle and Bookmark Cafe. These lockers provide a way for patrons to find, request, and obtain the books they are looking for at the highest level of convenience! 

To place a request online, students can go to the homepage of our library website, https://library.missouri.edu/. The blue box titled “Discover at MU” has a search bar to type in a title, or any keywords of the book they are looking for. Once the item they are looking for is found, they can click the “Place Request” link in blue letters. This will prompt the selection of a location, with the option of “MU Ellis Library Pickup Lockers.” These lockers are also offered in Health Sciences Library. Patrons can go through the same sequence as before, just choosing “Lottes Locker” as their location instead. 

After selecting the correct location and confirming the request, an email will be sent with more details including confirmation when their material is ready for pickup, along with their locker number and access code. This is a great resource that I didn’t know about before I started working at Ellis as a Peer Navigator. Hopefully, these lockers can encourage more students to use the materials our libraries have to offer! 


home Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: The Daniel Boone Regional Public Library

Peer Navigator Corner: The Daniel Boone Regional Public Library

Written by: Lorelai Clubb

There are a lot of resources available at the University of Missouri – Libraries, but the majority of those resources are academic in nature. While Ellis does have some fiction books, the amount available at Ellis is nothing compared to the thousands of books available to check out for free just down the street.

The Daniel Boone Regional Public Library, or DBRL, is an off-campus resource that is often overlooked by students. But DBRL offers meeting room reservations, library classes, and of course – thousands of books, DVDs, audiobooks, and other reading materials. DBRL can also connect you to even more digital resources, including ebooks, magazines, and even audiobooks. If you have a library card, you can easily access all of these services, completely free of charge. Many of these services have apps to make accessing your borrowed materials easier. Some of the ones offered by DBRL include:

  • Libby/Overdrive: Downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines
  • Kanopy: Documentaries and films
  • Hoopla: Audiobooks, comics, ebooks, music, and TV
  • Flipster: Magazines
  • Freegal: Streaming and downloading music
  • Brainfuse JobNow: Online job coaching/interview prep, resume feedback, etc.
  • Brainfuse HelpNow: Online tutoring – including writing and test prep

Many students, faculty, and staff pay for streaming services for access to these kinds of resources, but you’d be surprised as to what is available for free on all of these various platforms. And with more streaming services cracking down on password sharing, having a library card could mean saving hundreds of dollars a year in subscription fees.

Don’t have a library card? Don’t stress, it’s a very easy process that you can do online! Visit the Daniel Boone Regional Library website, click “Browse & Borrow” and then click the “get a card” button. All the application asks for is your name, email, phone number, and address. That’s it. Even if you are an out-of-state student or live in another part of Missouri, DBRL still offers cards to students living in the area.

Beyond borrowing materials, DBRL also offers a lot of other resources that you might not need right now, but knowing about them could be super beneficial in the future. Are you planning on studying abroad? Because if so, you’ll need a passport, and the DBRL offers appointments to get your passport squared away and ready for your upcoming trip. There are also notary services available, which are often required for out-of-state students seeking in-state tuition. The library also offers tech support and free access to LinkedIn Learning, a platform that offers high-quality online education concerning a variety of topics. You can also print, fax, scan, and photocopy materials for only 10¢ a page.

The Daniel Boone Regional Library is located at 100 W Broadway here in Columbia, right around the corner from the Walgreens and Cane’s just off-campus. It is a short walk and an even shorter drive. If you run into any trouble finding the library, applying for a library card online, or related issues, stop by the Peer Navigator desk on the first floor Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 10pm. We are more than happy to answer your questions and help you access everything you need!

For even quicker access, here are some links to get you right to the right place on their website:

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services, Uncategorized Peer Navigator Corner: Interlibrary Loan for Articles

Peer Navigator Corner: Interlibrary Loan for Articles

Written by: Clementine Arneson

With the seemingly endless line of research papers that I have been assigned at Mizzou, I have a lot of experience looking for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. The Ellis Library website is a great place to find such papers, and allows you to filter by type of resource, year of publication, language, and more. However, one library just can’t have all the resources and articles in the world. With that being said, Ellis Library can provide students with free access to journal articles outside of our own collections – there’s just one extra step in the process. 

If you’ve found an article on Google Scholar that sits behind a paywall, or the link on Ellis’s website doesn’t pull up the full text, you can use Ellis’s Interlibrary Loan service to access the article for free.The simplest way to do this is to use the link attached to the article you want to access. On Ellis’s catalog website, you will often see a link that says “FindIt@MU” attached to journal articles. Sometimes this will allow you to pull up the article right away, but sometimes it will prompt you to proceed to interlibrary loan. If you see a link that says, “Article not online? Request a copy,” click there. It will take you directly to the ILL page, and after logging in, it will have filled out the information on the form automatically. You can link Google Scholar to FindIt@MU in order to be able to follow these steps there as well. (Here is a guide to that process: https://libraryguides.missouri.edu/quickguides/googlescholarAddon).

You can also fill out this form yourself from Ellis Library’s main website. Under the “Quick Links” section of our homepage, at the bottom left portion of the screen, you will see a link to “ILL@MU.” Click this link, log in with your Mizzou pawprint and password, then click “New Requests” at the top of the screen. After choosing the type of media you are requesting, you will be prompted to fill out a form with information about the source you need. Most articles are electronic, so a PDF of the article might be ready in a few hours, although it could take a couple days if it’s difficult to find a library with a copy of.

MU partners with other libraries that have access to different databases than we do, so they are able to send us copies of their resources, and we can do the same for them. This same premise applies to all types of resources. If another library has a book you need, you can request a PDF of a chapter of that book. You can also request the whole book using this webpage (but check MOBIUS first: https://library.missouri.edu/news/ellis-library/peer-navigator-corner-mobius-lending).

home Ellis Library, Events and Exhibits Peer Navigator Corner: Cast Gallery

Peer Navigator Corner: Cast Gallery

Written by: Laide Agunbiade

The Cast Gallery in Ellis Library provides Mizzou students a unique opportunity to dive into art, history, and culture without ever having to leave campus! As you walk through the familiar corridors of Ellis, surrounded by the comforting scent of books and the stress of school, it’s easy to overlook the hidden treasures that are within the walls of the library.

On the second floor when you enter the quiet study area, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an impressive array of statues, but they’re all over Ellis as well. The gems that were hidden away for years are now on display to be seen by all.

However, the cast’s journey to Mizzou didn’t begin within the walls of Ellis Library. Their origins trace back to the vision of John C. Pickard and his vision for bringing cultural pieces to Mizzou. In the late 19th century, Pickard created the foundation for Mizzou’s Department for Classical Archaeology by collecting over 100 pieces of artwork. From ancient Greek sculptures to Renaissance masterpieces, Pickard created a gallery with a range of diverse pieces.

As the pieces began to arrive in 1896-1902, they were installed in Jesse Hall before being relocated to Pickard Hall in 1975. There, they displayed Pickard’s legacy and deep appreciation of the arts.

In the spring semester of 2022, the gallery moved to another home on campus, finding a new residence within Ellis Library. Mizzou’s decision to do this showed their effort to share a significant hidden treasure, mixed in with lore of its forgotten past, to make the art accessible to all users who pass through Ellis Library.

As Mizzou is gearing up for the introduction of the Museum of Art and Archaeology collection, which will be located on the lower floor of Ellis Library, this is a perfect time to spotlight the art Pickard brought to campus years ago. The pieces that we walk past daily will serve as a reminder of the university’s rich tapestry.

So, the next time you find yourself coming to study, print, or just wander the halls of Ellis Library, I urge you all to take a moment to explore the gems of our Cast Gallery. Who knows what insights and inspirations you might discover through Ellis’ silent guardians!

home Staff news Peer Navigator Corner: Library Advocacy Day

Peer Navigator Corner: Library Advocacy Day

Written by: Faith Brown

As patrons of MU Libraries can attest to, a library is a place where everyone can find a place for themselves and focus on what they need to accomplish. Whether you’re looking for reading material, a place to study, or any other library services, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone. As a thank you for all that libraries do for the people of Missouri, as a chance for each person to express their love for their favorite libraries, and to promote funding and legislative support, Library Advocacy Day was celebrated statewide on Tuesday, February 6 in Missouri.

What is Library Advocacy Day? The Missouri Library Association (MLA) describes Library Advocacy Day as a day where “Librarians, library trustees and friends from across Missouri come together on one day to meet with State Representatives and Senators to discuss the importance of all libraries — academic, public and school — and their contributions to the lives of Missourians.” The goal of this day is to acknowledge the importance of state aid to public libraries as well as showing the impact that in-person discussions can have on civil agreements.

What’s MU role in all this, and why should you care? The University of Missouri is home to the largest research library in the state of Missouri (Ellis Library), so naturally we have an interest in keeping our neighboring libraries strong. Daniel Boone Regional Library, Columbia’s public library located not too far from campus, does receive funding from the state, meaning it is affected directly by decisions about funding of Missouri libraries. To show support for DBRL, you can visit their donation page or simply use the library’s resources. You can browse their online catalog to find eBooks, audiobooks, streaming services as well as book in their physical collection as well. Those interested can apply for a library card here and either check out materials online or visit DBRL in person.

Even though the date has passed for Library Advocacy Day, it’s not too late to show your gratitude toward Missouri libraries and library workers! The Missouri Library Association has a webpage set up that walks each visitor through the process of how to get in touch with Missouri representatives to advocate for financial assistance and legislative support for all libraries in the state. To show your support for library funding, visit the Missouri Library Association’s Library Advocacy page here for more information.

MU Libraries continues to campaign for state funding while promoting the story of every library’s service to the people in their communities. While our campus libraries aren’t dependent on state funding, your support is still always appreciated! If you would like to find out ways you can show your support for MU Libraries, please visit our support page on the MU Libraries website or click here.

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: The Digital Media Lab

Peer Navigator Corner: The Digital Media Lab

By: Alyssa Westhoff

Ellis Library has so many amazing resources that I did not know about before I started working as a peer navigator. One of my favorites is the Digital Media and Innovation Lab (DMiL), which provides technology for any creative projects students might be working on, and also provides hands-on support to learn how to use any of the technologies you might be unfamiliar with.

On the first floor of the library, in room 156, the DMiL has an Audio Recording Booth, Digital Art Tools, and 3D scanners. The Audio Recording Booth is a one-person sound booth with microphones, soundboards, Macs, and software for recording audio. Wacom Tablets, Cassette Digitization, and 3D mice can also be found in the DMiL, in addition to more tools that can be used to create and animate any project and bring it to life.

Right next door in room 157 is an interview recording room. It is similar to the one-person audio booth but can hold up to four people at a time. This room is perfect for recording a podcast, interview, or any other multi-person project.

Upstairs on the third floor, in room 3E21, is a film studio that has a green screen, LED lamps, and tripod stands. This room can hold up to 4-5 people at a time. Cameras and other recording equipment is available to be checked out at the Circulation Desk, but you are also welcome to bring your own!

All of the DMiL resources are available for use by making an appointment through the library website. To schedule an appointment, click the yellow “In the Library” tab on the homepage. A drop-down menu will appear with a “Digital Media Lab” tab as an option. Click on this link and it will take you to the Digital Media and Innovation Lab page. Located in the top right corner is a white box titled “Hours and Reservations” with a yellow “Make a Reservation” link inside. Click this yellow link and you will be brought to the calendar where you can choose the space and time you would like to reserve. On the day of your appointment, make sure to check in with lab staff before you begin!

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services, Special Collections and Archives Peer Navigator Corner: Special Collections

Peer Navigator Corner: Special Collections

Written by: Margaret Gillam

One hidden gem that Ellis Library holds within its walls is the Special Collections and Archives, which is a collection of rare artifacts, papers, manuscripts and literature, located on the fourth floor west of the library. The Special Collections date back to 1962 and are available to learn about at any time – you just need to make an appointment so they can pull whatever you’re interested in! The collections aim to make rare and significant materials available for research and learning.

During my freshman year, my Honors Greek Mythology professor scheduled a workshop for our class in Special Collections. We had the opportunity to look at papyrus books that dated back to the Egyptians, and got to practice writing cuneiform on our own small blocks of clay. This experience provided my classmates and me with a hands-on experience that sparked a deeper interest in Greek mythology and its rich history, and certainly made class more enjoyable.

To reach Special Collections, take the elevator to the third floor, turn left, and take the wheelchair lift or stairs to the fourth floor on the west side. These collections are a great way to foster more interest in class material, giving students the opportunity to see, feel and learn about artifacts relevant to their studies. To learn more about Special Collections, schedule a visit, or see its hours and location, visit https://library.missouri.edu/specialcollections/.


home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: Contacting Research Librarians

Peer Navigator Corner: Contacting Research Librarians

By: Faith Brown

Whether you’re an under or upperclassman, starting a research project can be difficult. While the University of Missouri provides plenty of outlets to find sources and peruse the internet for materials, doing so on your own can be overwhelming. Thankfully, MU Libraries offers a solution to all that stress: meeting up with a research librarian.

Research librarians have expertise in several specific fields of study and provide a variety of services related to finding articles/journals, citations, data management, literature reviews, using databases such as JSTOR and PsychInfo, digital media, and so much more.

To contact a research librarian, simply go to library.missouri.edu and click “Directories” at the top right of the page, or the “Contact Us” link toward the bottom left. From there, click the “subject librarians” tab, scroll through the A-Z list of names and subjects, then send them a message requesting to meet either virtually or in-person. You can also contact a research librarian through MU Connect, and the librarian needed for your subject should automatically be listed in the system. If you’re still unsure about the process of getting in touch with a librarian, you can always use the “Ask the librarians” feature posted on every MU Libraries website, or visit libraryanswers.missouri.edu.

Figuring everything out on your own is a daunting task when it comes to research, so don’t hesitate to get help when help is needed! Librarians are always here to lend a hand with whatever research task you may have, and with 90 subjects to choose from you’re bound to find one that’s perfect for you.