Walker Library: More Than Books and Late-Night Stu...

Walker Library: More Than Books and Late-Night Studying

Library will be open open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1-3, but closed Monday for Labor Day holiday. (MTSU file photo by Andy Heidt)

When you picture a library, you typically imagine dust-covered books, sweet old librarians and the dread of an exam you haven’t studied for. While the librarians are indeed nice and you will, in fact, find stressed students studying, the James E. Walker Library is so much more than your ordinary library.

When you step through those doors, you’ll find more resources than you can imagine and the perfect space to Get. Stuff. Done.

Get informed

Students, faculty, staff and guests circulate among three of the four floors of MTSU's James E. Walker Library in this file photo. The facility is celebrating its 20th anniversary this fall and conducting a special fundraiser, the "20 for 20" campaign, to expand services for the university community. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Students, faculty, staff and guests circulate among three of the four floors of MTSU’s James E. Walker Library in this file photo. The facility is celebrating its 20th anniversary in fall 2019 and conducting a special fundraiser, the “20 for 20” campaign, to expand services for the university community. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Yeah, of course there are books. Lots of books. When you combine the library’s collection of physical volumes and e-books, the total number of books climbs to almost 900,000!

Whether you’re looking to thumb through a research journal for help on a project or search for a popular fiction novel to enjoy, you can easily find some great options on the shelves. To make things easier, you can simply search the official MTSU Libraries Catalog to see what is available to check out. Just present your student ID to the Circulation Desk on the first floor. As a current student, you’re allowed to check out a whopping 50 items, and they’re due at the end of the semester. Some professors will even place a copy of the class textbook on reserve that you can check out for short periods of time!

Do not underestimate the types of content available for examination at the library. Copies of dissertations and theses, music, newspapers and extremely rare documents are available to use or view.

Need some sources for a research essay? Type in a few keywords to the JEWL Search Engine and voila! You now have a fantastic place to start looking. Want to get more specific? The library has created research guides for almost every subject imaginable! These guides show you the best databases to examine and provide excellent resources for you to use for research purposes. If you require some assistance, there are also librarians on staff to help you navigate these resources, either in person or via a chat box on the website!

Utilize the space

In addition to being the hot spot for late-night studying, the library plays host to a lot more than tables and chairs. Various highly functional spaces are available for use, and a plethora of resources is dedicated to improving your performance as a student.

First, you have to know about the University Writing Center and the Tutoring Spot.

Located in Room 362 of the library, the Writing Center is all about helping you become a better writer. Make an appointment, bring a draft of your writing assignment, and prepare to be amazed. A trained “writing consultant” will help make your paper the best it can be. It doesn’t matter if it’s a research paper, a lab report or a personal statement; they’ll work with you to not only improve the end result but make you leave that meeting as a better writer.

The Tutoring Spot is located in the back of the first floor of the library. Here, you can find qualified tutors for almost every class, FOR FREE! There are no stupid questions during these tutoring sessions; just come prepared with questions and you’ll be prepared for the next big test in no time!

If you want to meet for a group project or study session, the library has study rooms available to reserve, free! These rooms vary in size but come equipped with a computer and whiteboard to help your team plan a strategy, make a PowerPoint presentation or brainstorm ideas. There are also presentation rooms available that allow you to work on presentations by yourself or with a group. You even have the ability to record yourself presenting so that you can watch the video back and fix any issues with how you present. It’s the perfect way to build confidence in public speaking!

Your technology destination

Before this article, you may have only considered books and stressful study sessions when you thought of the James E. Walker Library. What most of you didn’t consider is that the library is the tech capital of MTSU!

Need to borrow a laptop or calculator? Just ask the Technology Services Desk on the first floor. Don’t fret; it’s FREE if you bring it back in time without any damage.

Maybe you’re working on a project that requires a computer with some extra firepower or an expensive program that you can’t justify buying yourself. No worries — the library has all types of computers, and you can see what software is installed on this webpage!

And how can we mention technology without talking about the Makerspace? You want 3D printing? Check. Virtual reality? Virtual check! Trained library staff can walk you through some of this advanced technology available for students who want to create things. Whether it’s a class project or you simply want to learn how to use the equipment for personal use, the Makerspace is the place to go. Seriously, just go and look around. It’s that cool.

Of course, keep going to the library to work on homework or print something out for class. But don’t be afraid to learn and grow as a student by using the library’s awesome resources. There is no building in the world more dedicated to your success, and pretty much everything within its walls is free to use. Act fast though, because libraries typically get booked pretty quickly. Sorry for the pun; I just couldn’t help myshelf!


Author Kobe Hermann is a senior at MTSU, majoring in management in the Jones College of Business and minoring in business administration. The views and opinions expressed above are his own.