home Ellis Library Peer Navigator Corner: Finals Week Resources

Peer Navigator Corner: Finals Week Resources

Written by: Faith Brown

Finals week is a bittersweet time for most students. While finals mean that the school year is over and summer break is approaching, it also symbolizes a time of stress and uncertainty. Whether you’ve got finals in person, online, or no finals at all, MU Libraries has everything you need to make sure they get through finals week and come out on top.

One of the best resources MU Libraries have are study spaces. Mizzou has a total of five (Engineering, Geological Sciences, Journalism, Mathematical, Veterinary Medical) libraries in addition to Ellis that are currently open with study spaces available for any student, ensuring that everyone has their own niche spot to get work done. If you prefer a private space to study away from any noise, there are reservable study rooms at Ellis, the Engineering, and the Journalism libraries. In Ellis, there are study rooms on every floor (except the ground floor) with the most popular rooms being on the first floor by the color printer and computer lab. Study rooms vary in size and furniture options, some even being equipped with white boards and/or screens to link your computer to. To reserve a study room, visit the MU Libraires website, and scroll down to the “Quick Links” section toward the bottom left of the page. From there, click on “Reserve a study room” and locate the room you want along with an available time slot. If you’re unsure where a specific study room is, ask a Peer Navigator at the first floor help desk, or look at the library’s map. Spots fill up fast during finals week, so make sure you reserve the room you need in advance! For a list of which study spaces contain certain electronics or seating options, visit this website for more information.

During finals you might have papers to write in addition to (or in lieu of) any online or in person exams. Writing those final papers can be challenging and you may want help making sure your paper sounds correct—or figuring out how to start the paper in the first place. Thankfully, Ellis Library has a Writing Center located on the first floor that specializes in assisting students who are struggling to write or finish their papers. Writing tutors are available by appointment only, to schedule an appointment with the writing center visit their website and find a time that works best for you.

Of course, if you’re going to study you might want some extra materials to keep you prepared for finals. While Ellis Library may not have a food vending machine, the north entrance does have a supplies vending machine which includes materials such as writing utensils, exam Blue Books, pencil sharpeners, and more. If you’re looking for specific reading and/or research materials to aid your studies as well, contact a Research Librarian or Peer Navigator for help.

During finals, remember that your mental wellbeing is important in order to get work done efficiently. MU Libraries has a number of activities for students to take their mind off of their studies for a while. On May 5 and 7th, Ellis library is hosting an activity where students can create bookmarks, sticker collages, as well as a number of virtual activities to try as well (such as Library Ambiance for studying, virtual puzzles, and virtual coloring books from Ellis’ Special Collections). Ellis Library, the Engineering library, and the Vet library are also handing out snacks for anyone in need of a quick snack.

While finals is notorious for being the most stressful time of the school year, taking part in the opportunities and resources available to you will help it not only go by faster, but smoother as well. Good luck everyone, you’re almost done!

home Ellis Library Peer Navigator Corner: Ellis Library Construction History

Peer Navigator Corner: Ellis Library Construction History

Written By: Lexi Tucker

Have you ever wandered Ellis Library and noticed fascinating details surrounding its construction? Some features that stick out might be Reading Room 201 with its high ceiling and huge windows or perhaps the west stacks that feel stuck in the 1930s. In truth, it’s an understatement to say Ellis Library has gone through quite a transformation since its initial completion in 1915.

Blueprints dating back to 1908 were designed to start construction of a University Library off Lowry Avenue (now Lowry Mall) establishing its building separate from New Academic Hall (now Jesse Hall) which until then held the University’s small library. Construction began in 1914 after a vote of the Missouri Legislature in 1913 and was in use by 1915. The original building consisted of three floors, including what we know as the General Reading Room today. The circulation desk, where you check out books, was housed in what is now room 213 and held the entirety of the library’s book collections which were to be read and kept in the building instead of being lent out and returned later.

The completion of the initial structure left obvious space for anticipated expansion on the west and east sides as the library grew with students and literature. The first addition was built in 1936 with The West Wing, and unlike the standing construction, it included a fourth floor only accessible by a flight of stairs from the third floor.

Following the West Addition was the East Addition in 1958, completing the initial vision of the library. The East Addition balanced out the library with four floors and created much-needed stack space. At this time changes were also being made to include elevators and replace more outdated features like the Men’s Coat Room that used to occupy the space. The expansions on both sides allowed the library to accommodate wings divided by subject, including the Social Science and Education Area libraries, Biological Science, Agriculture, and so forth.

In 1972 the library was officially named and dedicated after Elmer Ellis, the University of Missouri’s 13th president who is remembered for his period of library growth, expanding the collection by over one million volumes. Until this time the building was referred to as “University Library” or the library.

The South Addition concluded the physical construction of Ellis in 1985, featuring only two floors about the length of the building from west to east. This includes what we are more familiar with today, with the distinction of a Ground floor in association with the four floors and marks the removal of Conley Avenue for its placement. The South Addition went through several remodels, ultimately transforming from a reference room and book stacks to the large Information Commons I and II with computers, and the café space that we see today.

While the library may seem finished, blueprint plans show that there is still room for further expansion. The South Addition was designed to be load bearing, so in future years a second, third, and even fourth floor could be added.

The history of Ellis Library’s Construction is extensive and ranges decades with industrial and technological advances littered throughout. I highly recommend if you’re interested in learning more that you check out this timeline created by MU Libraries, as well as these additional photos and videos to understand the total transformation. If nothing else, keep an eye out next time you walk the halls of Ellis Library for displays like this one currently outside Quiet Room 114 and Room 115.

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services Peer Navigator Corner: Museum of Art and Archaeology

Peer Navigator Corner: Museum of Art and Archaeology

Written by: Clementine Arneson (still being edited)

Since I have been at Mizzou, I’ve heard much talk of the Art and Archeology Museum, but have never been able to see for myself what it has to offer. However, it is about to become much more accessible to me and all Mizzou students. The museum began in 1957 as a study collection of art and historical objects, but became a more official entity in 1961 with a new donation of paintings. The museum collection has continued to grow over the years, and with this growth and development, has had several homes around Columbia. It was first located in Pickard Hall on the quadrangle, but due to concerns about radioactivity in that building, it relocated to Mizzou North. However, the museum is moving once again, and is now located on the lower level of Ellis Library.

The museum has an incredibly varied collection, with art and artifacts from every continent besides Antarctica. Just a glance at their “Museum in 30 Objects” collection shows a sculpture from the 1990s, a Mediterranean tool from around the 1st century, and 28 other items that fall in between. As students, the new location makes these collections more accessible than they have been in over a decade, especially since the museum is free! The museum can be a research tool as well. Some of the galleries hold rotating exhibits, meaning you might be able to see something new every time you visit. The museum’s website also has a database of their collections which you can access at any time. Finally, the museum’s website has a research tab where you can make requests to access items from their collection that are in storage (If you are interested in this option, make sure to ask for access in advance so staff have time to accommodate).

There are three entrances to access the museum. You’ll find an exterior door leading to the ground floor (not the first floor) on the north side of Ellis Library, facing the Student Success Center. There is another exterior door that faces Memorial Union. You can also enter the museum by going down the set of stairs across from the Circulation Desk inside Ellis. To learn more about the museum’s history and collections, find their hours, and see how you can get involved, you can visit their website at maa.missouri.edu, and if you happen to have any historical art or artifacts that you’d like to donate, you can contact the museum about doing so as well.

The museum will also be accepting applications for volunteers and staff members, so keep an eye out for that! Special thanks to Marie Hunter, the Deputy Director of the Museum, for meeting with me and providing more information.

home Ellis Library, 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!

home Ellis Library, Resources and Services, Special Collections and Archives Peer Navigator Corner: Book Health & Preservation

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.