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.

 

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: Understanding Library Layout

Peer Navigator Corner: Understanding Library Layout

Written by: Lorelai Clubb

If you’ve ever taken the elevator in Ellis Library, you may have noticed that they have a unique feature most other elevators do not. In addition to elevator buttons G, 1, 2, and 3, Ellis also has 1R, 2R, 3R and 4R.

While the “R”s may seem complicated, they actually make navigating much easier! Ellis Library elevators don’t just open on one side, but on both sides. Considering how big the library is, the double-sided elevators make it much easier to find materials. “R” actually stands for “rear”, meaning it opens to the south side of the library. This system makes it easier for you to navigate the library’s layout, so you can get closer to your destination faster!

The south side of the library is the side that faces the student center, while the north side is the side that faces Lowry Mall. If you’re unsure which path to take, the Library website has super helpful videos and maps that can walk you through the library to find your study room, books and materials, and different classrooms and spaces. To find these helpful guides, simply visit the Mizzou Library website by typing “Mizzou Library” into the search bar and then visiting the “Maps & Floorplans” tab on the top of the screen.

From there, select Ellis Library as the library you’re looking for, and from there you can select the floor you’d like to visit, the Call Number location guide (with videos), printing locations, and more. The library website is a great resource for just about everything you need.

Still confused? No worries! Visit the “Ask Here” desk run by the Peer Navigators Sunday through Thursday 10am-10pm (12pm-10pm on Sundays). No question is too silly or small, seriously. As students ourselves, we know how confusing the library can be at times, and we are here to help you.

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: MOBIUS Lending

Peer Navigator Corner: MOBIUS Lending

By: Clementine Arneson

Since I work at the library, it probably comes as no surprise that I’m very interested in the books that Ellis has to offer. I often feel that I should read as many as I can, as they are often unavailable at my local county library. I had thought that once I graduated, I would never have the chance to read some of Ellis’s rarer volumes again. However, using MOBIUS, this is not the case.

MOBIUS is a service that links together different library systems to allow patrons to access books that another library has. Since the MU libraries and the St. Louis County Libraries are linked, I can access new novels at school and research-based texts from home. I can make these requests over winter and summer breaks as well. Even once I graduate, I’ll be able to place long-distance requests for academic texts from St. Louis if I want to. Since MOBIUS links lots of different libraries, this isn’t just true for St. Louis County. The MU libraries are linked to county libraries in Springfield, Tulsa City, Central Arkansas, and more, as well as other university systems. For students at Mizzou, this also means that if the UM library system doesn’t have a book that you need for research, you can check MOBIUS to see if a library we partner with does.

If you want to see if a book is accessible via MOBIUS, run a search on the Library webpage as usual, but click the MOBIUS link on the right side of your screen. This will take you to the MOBIUS page for that same search, and will show you if the book, author, or subject you’re looking for has more resources at another library. From here, you can place a request for the materials you are interested in, and pick them up at your library of choice.

 

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: Movies and Streaming Films

Peer Navigator Corner: Movies and Streaming Films

Written by: Faith Brown

As the semester winds down, some professors require students to watch and analyze films for an assignment or for the course itself.  However, with streaming services raising their subscription prices and kicking mainstream DVDs out of relevancy, students often wonder where they can find cheaper alternatives to watching films. What many students don’t know is that MU Libraries offers a wide selection of films to browse and has many partners that do the same!

MU Libraries offers both free online movie services as well as copies of films (and the tech you need to watch them). To get started, visit MU Libraries’ main website and type the movie/DVD you’re looking for in the search box. After you’ve been redirected to the search results, you can limit results on the left to just include films then browse through the list to see if you can find the DVD you’re looking for along with its location. If the film you’re looking for isn’t found on in the list, you can click the “MOBIUS” icon on the right side of your screen to expand your search to other partnering libraries in Missouri. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is also available to students where you can request a copy of your film through an online form and a librarian will send you a copy from any around the world.

Looking for musical performances, theatre, and documentaries? Visit the available through the MU Libraries website where over 4,000 titles are available for streaming. Need something a bit more educational and history oriented? also gives students access to over 1,000 titles from networks like BBC, PBS, Sony Pictures and many more.

MU Libraries doesn’t just have educational films, and with the holiday season in full effect, find a movie is a crucial part of the celebration. If you’re not sure which film you want or aren’t feeling very picky, head over to Ellis Library and check out their DVD collection next to the computer lab on the first floor or use the Ellis Library map provided on our website. When you’ve found the film you’re looking for, bring it to the Check Out and Information Desk at Ellis just as you would a typical book. You can also check out any DVD players or external drives needed.

If your search is still at a dead end, try visiting the Daniel Boone Regional Library (DBRL) or their website. You can apply for a library card online, or visit DBRL in person to get it set up. Once you have a library card, streaming services such as Kanopy, Freegal, and Hoopla can be used at your leisure.

 

 

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Podcast: AI in Education & Daily Life

Peer Navigator Podcast: AI in Education & Daily Life

Written by: Alyssa Westhoff, Margaret Gillam, and Sophie Lanzone

Have you ever used chat GPT or taken an interest in artificial intelligence? As three of your Peer Navigators at Ellis Library, we have been researching and learning more about the topic of artificial intelligence within education and daily life. We would love to share some of our findings with you, so we created two 15 minute podcasts discussing the use of artificial intelligence, like ChatGPT.

The first podcast covers the potential benefits and risks of AI in educational settings, and while the second covers addresses entertainment and recreational settings. In both, we share our own personal experiences along with secondary information gathered over the past semester while working at the library.

As an up-and-coming topic that has the potential to affect your own work, education, and day-to-day life, AI can be a game changer, but there are some drawbacks as well. It is important to understand what these risks are to make sure you use AI to its full potential in the safest ways. Tune in to both and find this information useful in all aspects of your life! 

Episode 1: AI in Education

Episode 2: AI in Daily Life

Sources Used in the Podcasts:

https://theconversation.com/chatgpt-could-be-an-effective-and-affordable-tutor-198062 

https://www.educationnext.org/a-i-in-education-leap-into-new-era-machine-intelligence-carries-risks-challenges-promises/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-chatgpt-can-improve-education-not-threaten-it/

https://www.tomsguide.com/news/what-is-spotify-ai-dj-and-how-to-use-it

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: My Favorite Space in Ellis Library

Peer Navigator Corner: My Favorite Space in Ellis Library

Written by: Lexi Tucker

If you spend a regular amount of time in Ellis Library, I think it’s safe to say you have a ‘designated spot’ that seems to get the job done when doubling down on assignments. The space I tend to occupy while studying late at night is the Information Commons on the first floor of Ellis Library.

The James B. Nutter Family Information Commons, formally named to honor Mizzou philanthropists and alum James B. Nutter Sr., was opened in the Fall of 2004. With 22,000 square feet, the Information Commons provides 63 computers (22 Apple iMacs and 41 Dell PCs), 11 Black and white printers, one color printer, and two KIC scanners, all conveniently clumped together and available for student use during regularly scheduled Ellis Library operation hours.

Only a few steps in when you enter Ellis from Lowry Mall, or directly at the top of the stairs when entering from speaker circle, the Information Commons, divided as Information Commons 1 and 2, takes up the majority of the first floor of Ellis Library as indicated on the map. In this section, you will find students collaborating in small groups, lounging between classes at comfortable one-seaters, or tuning out the tour teams to focus on individual assignments.

Some may ask, how is going to arguably the most populated area in the library going to help me focus during crunch time in the semester? For myself and maybe others, it’s sometimes more distracting to be alone in a study room, and I find the keyboard strokes, the paper flipping, and the calculator punching fill the silence perfectly, bringing a sense of peace when I’m otherwise stressed about schoolwork. If your study habits are best suited to particular conditions, the library has a map of locations designed to support sensory needs as well as quiet spaces to foster the best environment for you.

The Information Commons is my go-to space, and as the first area that made me feel comfortable in the library, I soon discovered my other favorite study locations in Ellis. If you have questions or want suggestions on how to utilize the Information Commons and the library in general, please feel free to stop by the Peer Navigators desk, conveniently located between the two sections of the Information Commons.

 

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: Finding a Specific Book

Peer Navigator Corner: Finding a Specific Book

Written by: Sophie Lanzone

If you are looking to find a specific book when you know the title, first go to the bottom of the Mizzou Libraries homepage and the Looking For section.

Under this heading there are specific links to help find a specific database, article, journal, or book.

Click on the link that says A specific book. This will take you to a new page where you will enter the title of the book you’re looking to find. If there are multiple editions, or versions with that title, you’ll be prompted with a link that says Proceed to Discover@MU to see all the options.

                                             

This will take you to a new page with books that have the exact title you entered. Each listing will show all the information about the book such as the title, author, number of pages, location, call number, status, etc. Once you have found the record, look at the location, call number and status. The location will tell you which library it is located at (make sure you’re in the right one!), the call number indicates which floor and shelf this book is located on, and the status indicates whether or not the book is available at the moment.

You can place a request for the book at this point, and have it brought for you to the circulation desk. This takes time though, and sometimes you can find other things you’d like if you go to the stacks yourself.

Since the call number tells you where the book can be found, make sure to save it by writing it down or taking a screen shot. You can always ask for help finding the location at the circulation or peer navigator desks, but you can also find call number locations on the Libraries main website. At the very top of the page, in the yellow bar, there is a drop-down menu that says In the Library. Click on that drop-down menu and then click Call Number. This will take you to a new page with a tab that says How to Find a Book, at the very top in yellow. This tab will bring up a list of call numbers and which floor they are located on.

Look at your call number and then find which floor and location it falls under. In this example, the call number is PS3511, meaning this book is located in 2 East.

After you have figured out which stack it is in, you can ask for directions, or follow the link at the very top of the Libraries website that says Maps and Floorplans.

Choose Ellis Library (Main Library), and you’ll see the option to click on a map of each floor. Since our example is in 2 East, that means it is on the second floor. The map shows where each stack is, and what each stack has. Since the call number for this book is PS3511, it falls under the PQ-QK stack. In this case you would take the elevator or stairs up to the second floor, take a slight right past the bathrooms and then walk down until you have reached the PQ-QK stacks. You’ll look for the P section, then the PS section, then the 3000s, and so on until you’ve run through the entire call number.

If you are wanting to go through the process yourself, those are the steps. If you run into any issues or questions, always feel free to ask the Peer Navigators and the Circulation Desk, or hop on the Libraries chat for more assistance!