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Never Been to the Library? No Problem!

Embarrassingly enough, before I started working at Shields Library this past fall, I had only ever been in the library once before (and it was for a Her Campus photoshoot!). While training for the job, I was amazed at how much the library actually had to offer and ashamed that I had been missing out on so much. With all my new inside (but still pretty public) knowledge, I want to help you avoid being like me.

1. Course Reserves

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The library has a wonderful reserve program that allows students to use textbooks and other materials for their classes without paying the hefty price. The catch is that you can only borrow a course reserve book for two hours at a time, but you’re more than welcome to renew it as many times as you’d like– just as long as no one else placed a hold on it! Not all textbooks and reading books for your classes will be on reserve; it is completely dependent upon your professor and whether or not they submitted a book list as well as their own personal copies (if the library does not own them).

To beat the system and get your book for longer than two hours, all you need to do is stop by the Circulation Desk within the last two hours the library is open and receive or renew your book, and voila, you get the book overnight! It will be due one hour after the library opens the next morning.  

Note: Remember to have the call number of the book you are looking to borrow with you when you approach the desk. It’s much easier and less awkward for all of us.

2. ILL books

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I was extremely impressed upon learning about the ILL system at Shields. In case you’re unaware, ILL stands for Interlibrary Loan. UC Davis is connected with a large number of  universities (all the UCs as well as many others) and this system allows for students to request books from other libraries– free of cost, of course. This is extremely handy when Shields Library either does not carry a copy of a book you are looking for, or if all the copies are already checked out! And, if you don’t want to rely on course reserves in order to use your textbook, you can request it from ILL and use it for much longer than two hours. I personally think this is a savior for English majors, as we are required to read so many books each quarter (also science because those books are expensive).

3. Reference Librarians

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Did you know there are Reference Librarians available in the library to help you find resources for research papers?! I know I didn’t. These librarians are available Monday through Friday during normal work hours (think nine to five) and are located on the lower level (basement) and the second floor. They’re extremely helpful if you need to find certain literary journals, articles, subjects, etc.

4. Renewing books

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This knowledge isn’t necessarily mind-blowing, but it’s good information to know nonetheless! In case you need to renew any of your library books, there are multiple ways you can go about this: you can renew them online, in person, or via phone. Online is by far the easiest, as you only need to go on the library homepage and sign into your account, but via phone and in person are simple, too! And, if you decide to renew in person, all you need is your ID card – you don’t even need to have the book(s) with you! Just make sure they have not been recalled, though.

Happy reading!

Nikki is a fourth year UC Davis student double majoring in English and Communication, and minoring in Professional Writing. Her passions include: puppies, Harry Styles, and Coke ICEEs. She thoroughly enjoys proofreading and hopes to somehow make a career out of it.
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