RLCL 1004: Welcome to VT University Libraries
Not all Libraries are the Same
In short: no. This table, created by librarians at Kent State University and Bowling Green, gives a quick overview of some of the differences between school, public, and college/university libraries. BGSU and KSU also created this handout, on the top 10 things it's important to know about undergraduate research.
Some of the main things that are unique to academic libraries are:
- Size - academic libraries can be huge. Newman Library has five floors that are open to the public and a sixth just for offices. Floors 3 and 5 are for quiet study; the rest of the building is for group projects, or studying with friends while chatting.
- Call numbers - academic libraries use the Library of Congress Call Number system, aka LC. Literature (fiction, poetry, and drama) will not be shelved alphabetically by the author's last name. This guide shows how to read LC call numbers so you can find things in the building.
- Holdings - academic libraries do carry some popular materials, but their main focus is on helping students and faculty with research. The majority of an academic library's "stuff" will be academically oriented. That said, we have over 5000 movies on DVD and/or streaming, many of which are recreational.
- Online materials - academic libraries spend millions of dollars every year for subscriptions to databases containing everything from videos to newspaper articles to peer-reviewed materials. The libraries pay for the subscriptions so you don't have to pay for individual articles.
University Libraries' Home Page
Just like coming into Newman Library gives you access to all the materials and services located in the building, the library homepage gives you access to all of our digital resources and services.
A) Clicking the VT logo will open the VT homepage, while clicking University Libraries anywhere in the library site takes you back to this page.
B) Top search box - This is the same box from the VT homepage, which searches all of VT's website plus the people search. It is not library-centric.
C) Ask A Librarian - click this to open a pop-out window and start an IM chat with a librarian. If chat's not available, the system will take a message.
D) Each phrase on this line hides a dropdown menu for various sources and services available from the libraries. See details about each below.
E) This search box searches the library's entire collections of hardcopy and electronic resources. However, it doesn't always list individual items within a collection, so if you want something specific you may want to check individual database, particularly for streaming materials.
F) The space lists news and events from the libraries, plus the daily hours for the library buildings.
The dropdown menus across the top of the libraries' homepage will help you find more resources you'll want to use.
QuickLinks has the same menu of quick links you'll find on almost every VT webpage, including HokieSpa, Canvas, etc.
Spaces includes links for various library locations including Express Oasis Cafe and our classrooms, meeting rooms, and building maps. It covers our collection of specialized studios, like the 3D design studio, and the Fusion Studio. It also includes information about study spaces, exhibits, the Writing Center (where you can get help refining your papers), CommLab (where you can build and practice presentations), and Athenaeum, our space for digital humanities.
Get Help provides access to all of our research help options - text, IM, phone, etc - plus information about printing, scanning, copying and faxing. There's help for accessing things from off-campus, and a link to our subject specialists (librarians that works directly with various departments). If you click through the link "Find your Subject Specialist!" on the Subject Specialist page it will take you to the page where you can find guides for all of the subject areas on campus.
Research & Learning includes information about data management, digital literacy, eportfolios like Portfolium, GitHub, subject guides, and more.
Collections has links to information about borrowing periods, course reserves, GIS data, digital & data repositories, Special Collections, and other collections you may find useful. Databases and Journals in particular, can be useful when you want to find a specific database or journal by name, subject, or format. This section also holds the booking details about electronics/equipment, spaces, and workshops.
About Us provides general information about the libraries and how we're working with other units across campus to fulfill the Dean's vision for a modern university.
Finally, Resources includes links to My Library Account (where you can see what you have checked out, check due dates, and renew items online), Interlibrary Loan aka ILL (which lets you borrow books from other libraries for free when we don't have them), and some other useful tools.
T&LE Librarian; Coordinator of Int'l Outreach
Departments: Communication; Modern and Classical Languages & Lit; Performing Arts; Religion & Culture
VT University Libraries
Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus actually has three libraries on it. Newman is the main Blacksburg campus library. It holds the vast majority of our physical collection.
The other two Blacksburg libraries are the Art and Architecture Library in Cowgill Hall (top), and the Vet Med Library in the Veterinary Medicine Building (bottom).
VT also has libraries at their other campuses, which you can learn about in the Spaces section.