Back-to-school: Everything you need to know about J.D. Williams Library

Posted on Aug 21 2017 - 7:58am by Sarah Smith

College can be overwhelming, especially for incoming freshmen, but resources like the J.D. Williams Library are there to make life a little easier for students.

Whether studying late for an exam or avoiding a noisy roommate, the library offers the perfect escape. But it isn’t just great for visiting in person; students can also access the library resources online wherever and whenever.

The library’s website offers plenty of databases filled with information students can use for research papers or required readings. Anything from science to history and beyond, these resources have got your back.

Greg Johnson, who works in the archives at J.D. Williams Library, said library employees are the best resource for students trying to figure out where to start.

“We (librarians) all know the collections well and can help researchers navigate through large amounts of information,” Johnson said.

There are librarians familiar with each major and emphasis to help conduct any research or answer specific questions. 

Librarian Savannah Kelly said the easiest way to find a qualified librarian is to click “People” under the “About” tab on the website and click on the “Subject Librarians” option.

To get further acquainted with the library, Kelly said students taking an EDHE 105/305 class or WRIT 101/102 will have a library session in which they can meet a librarian and learn how to find books. However, Kelly said she encourages all students to reach out to the staff if they need help.

The writing center located on the first floor is another available tool for students. It opens during select times in the week for students who can’t find time to make it over to Lamar Hall’s writing center. This is especially useful when trying to cram in that paper during midterms and finals.

There are various places for students to study alone, but for group studiers, the library features student rooms and cubicles with large-screened computers to make group projects a little less stressful.

“Students have to find a place that works for them,” Kelly said.

One of the most important unwritten rules of the library is the permitted noise level allowed for each floor. Normal talking is allowed on the first floor, the second allows hushed talking, and on the third, complete silence is expected.

Computers are available in the Baxter Room next to Starbucks on the second floor, along with an array of newspapers and magazines. Additional computers are located in the lounge on the first floor, and they are loaded with many of the software programs needed for classes.

For any video projects throughout the year, the library also offers an easy-to-use film and editing studio available to reserve online for an hour at a time.

Forgot your computer charger or leave a textbook at home? The front desk lends out these items for a few hours free of charge. Students can also check out umbrellas, DVDs and CDs for short periods of time.

Cecilia Bortero, dean of J.D. Williams, and Stanley Whitehorn, head of library facilities, encourage students to come and talk about things they want to see in the library.

“If there is anything you would like to see, to come and talk about it and share it,” Whitehorn said.

He said this year, due to suggestions from previous years, study rooms will now be available to reserve through the library website, instead of the former first-come, first-serve policy.

Whitehorn said any room is open is allowed for study space, except when reserved for meetings.

So, students, take advantage of J.D. Williams. Spend a night studying on one of the floors, typing at its computers or chatting with a librarian, but don’t forget to keep it down.