Tips for Grads: Book it to the library!

By Olivia Gacka, PhD Student

I’ve been informed that it is apparently November. This can’t be true, as I’m pretty sure the semester just started. And I am also pretty sure that I didn’t see the terrace chairs being taken away the other day for their winter slumber. But if it were theoretically November, I’m sure many of us would be starting to figure out what our end of semester assignments will look like, and inevitably this means typing one of my very favorite links into our browsers:!

There is no limit to what a huge library system like UW’s can do for us as graduate students. Especially for me, having come from a much smaller institution where I did my undergraduate work, I am blown away by the depth and breadth of the resources we have at our fingertips. Here are just some of the things the UW library system can do that may help you out as we inch closer and closer to the end of the semester, as well as all year round:

  • Request things: You can request a book (whether UW­–Madison has it on their shelves or not) for pick up at any UW Library location, or you can request scans of particular pages that will be delivered straight to your account! You can also rent equipment like cameras, iPads, laptops, and audio recorders.
  • Don’t leave home: While there’s nothing like a trip to the library (who doesn’t love the smell of books?), you can still benefit from a variety of UW Libraries’ services from the comfort of your home! You can use the “Ask a Librarian” chat function to ask questions (check out their help page or click the big blue button in the top right corner of the Library’s landing page to start), and if you live at least .25 miles away from a UW Library, you can have your requested books delivered to you for free!
  • TALK TO LIBRARIANS: It’s in all caps because I can’t overemphasize it – they’re the true heroes. The UW Librarians are some of the best, and they’re here to help! Did you know you have a dedicated subject librarian whom you can contact for discipline-specific questions or assistance? Or that the librarians can help you with anything from understanding citation management tools, to getting the right book that you desperately need, or even helping you find the perfect thing for your research that you didn’t know existed?

Again, this is only a very short list of selected resources that the library offers that may be helpful as we look ahead to the next six weeks. Just remember that if there’s something you need, the odds are really high that someone or something at the library will be ready and able to help.

Tips for Grads is a professional and academic advice column written by graduate students for graduate students at UW­–Madison. It is published in the student newsletter, GradConnections Weekly.