End of Semester Countdown

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It’s that time of year again: The extension cords are all checked out, the coffee is flowing, and suddenly anyone speaking above a whisper in the library is TOO LOUD!!!!! With only a few days of classes left and final exams looming on the horizon, the library is here for you.

You can find our Final Exam week (and Winter Break) hours online, but essentially we’re open until 2 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 – Wednesday, Dec. 18. As always, librarians are around to help with any last-minute research assignments, and all of our e-books and online databases are available 24/7. If you come by for some last minute studying, you might even find a certain library director whose name rhymes with Shmelia handing our power snacks and goodies when you least expect it. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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FINALS!!?!?!??!?

Well, they’re not quite here, but they’re coming up quickly.  As always, the SMCM Library is ready to help you finish out the year on a high note.

For starters, the Reference & Instruction librarians (and myself, from behind the circulation desk) are available to provide research assistance on any and all subjects.  If there isn’t anyone at the reference desk, we have an “open door” policy here – if a door is open, come on in!  Beyond that, you can email any of the librarians to set up an appointment.  Beyond THAT, we often have someone available to chat live, in real-time, at the Research Help page on the library website.  Finally, there is an online knowledge base of frequently asked questions for you to search – or you can ask your own question and get a response within 24 hours.

What’s that you say?  You don’t necessarily need research help, you just want a place where you can kip down and study?  Well, you are in luck!  The SMCM Library has lots of accommodations – tables, individual study carrels and comfy chairs can be found in abundance on the first and second floors of the library.  If you need to use a computer, we have about two dozen of them loaded with Microsoft Office software and other goodies such as SPSS and Adobe Reader.  Room 112 in the Library Annex has another 16 computers, and it is available 24/7 for night owls and early birds.  The circulation desk also has laptops available.  If you want a bit of privacy, we have five group study rooms, three of which can be reserved online for up to three hours at a time (the other two are first-come, first-served).  These rooms all have tables/chairs, ethernet ports, power outlets, and whiteboards.  One study room even has a 55″ flatscreen TV with a computer connection for your laptop!

If it’s gear you need, then the circulation desk has almost certainly got what you’re looking for.  We’ll loan you a laptop, headphones, dry erase markers, ethernet cables, extension cords, laptop chargers (Mac & PC), and lots of other stuff to help you make the most of your time here.  By the way, I should mention that NONE of these items are subject to overdue fines 😀

In addition to all of the above, we’re offering extended hours from Tuesday, April 23 through Tuesday, May 7.  Be sure to thank Carol, Reneé, and the rest of the late-night staff for helping keep us open late!

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to let a library staff member know.  If they can’t help you directly, they can put you in touch with someone who can.

Happy librarying!!

What Do You Want to Know?

Hmmm . . . a blog post for the end of the semester.  What shall it be?  Librarian’s words of wisdom? “Don’t start your paper the night before it’s due.” [see under:  Colbert] “We probably can’t get that article for you by tomorrow.” “SAVE your work!”

Other advice to get you through the next few weeks? “Be sure to get enough sleep.”
“Don’t take NoDoz.” [yes – they still make that]

I think I will pass along a question that one of my library school professors asked at the end of each final exam in his classes . “What do you want to learn next?” David Carr would ask.  Not “show me how much you learned in the past 15 weeks.”  Not “what classes do you need to complete your requirements”.  He asked, “What do you want to know?”

So while you are gearing up for those final papers and exams, take some time to think not just about where you have been but where you are going. How has what you have learned in a class this semester changed you? How have the people you have met, or the lectures, concerts or athletic events you have attended changed you? What new questions do you have? What do you want to know?
And where will you look for answers? Maybe in a classroom, perhaps in the library, or could be sitting outside watching a sunset with friends.
Just remember that the real reason to review, reread, and rewrite is not just to focus on the last 15 weeks, but also to think about the next 15 and the 15 after that.

What do you want to know?