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International Student Guide to MU Libraries: Frequently
Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I join the library?
    All students have access to the libraries. There is no need to join. Your MU ID card is your library card. You must have your MU ID to borrow library books and other materials. Take your ID and the items to the person at the Checkout and Information Desk who will check them out for you. You are responsible for all materials signed out to you.
  • What are the library hours?
    The hours change between semesters and during the summer. The current hours will always be available on our library home page.
  • What are branch libraries?
    In addition to Ellis Library, there are several other libraries on campus which concentrate on a single subject. The branch libraries include Engineering, Geological Sciences, Health Sciences, Journalism, Law, Mathematics, and Veterinary Medical Library. MU branch libraries are open to all students; however, hours and services vary.
  • Can I take a tour of the library?
    The library offers tours at the beginning of each fall semester. The times are posted on a large sign near the entrances. No registration is required. A self-guided tour is also available.
  • Does the library have music?
    Yes, we have CD's and albums. They are found through MERLIN and are located in Recorded Sound on the fourth floor.
  • How do I log in to the library computers?
    Use your MU username and password.
  • Where can I make a copy?
    Digi-print is now located at MU Student Center. You can make copies, send a fax, or have your report bound. You can pay by cash, check or charge to your student ID.
  • Where can I scan a page?
    There are scanners for use on the first floor. You can save the files to a flash drive, or send them to yourself by email.
  • How do I reserve a study room?
    Study rooms can be reserve for a two-hour period for use by two or more students. You can reserve one by going to Reserve a Study Room.
  • How do I checkout a laptop to use in the library?
    Laptops are available at the Checkout and Information Desk near the front of the building. Also check the branch libraries for laptop availability. Laptops can be checked out for two hours, but must remain in the building.
  • How do I connect to the wireless network?
    The Division of Information Technology has information on connecting to the wireless network. The Check Desk has printed instructions, or you can go to Tiger Tech in the bookstore for help.
  • How do I find foreign language books?
    You can search for books in a particular language through the MERLIN catalog's Advanced Search. In the Limits box on the right, you can choose the Language of Work from the drop down box.
  • How do I find foreign language DVDs?
    You can search for DVD's in a particular language through the MERLIN catalog's Advanced Search. Use the phrase "Feature films" as a Subject and choose the particular language in the Limits box.
  • Where can I find guides for the TOEFL exam?
    The Learning Express Library contains online test preparation materials for the TOEFL exam. You can also use TOEFL as a keyword in MERLIN, the library's catalog, to find print materials.
  • Where can I find guides to the GRE?
    The Learning Express Library contains online test preparation materials for the GRE exam. You can also use GRE as a keyword in MERLIN, the library's catalog, to find print materials.
  • What classification system does the library use?
    The Library of Congress Classification System is the system MU Libraries use to organize its books and other materials. All cataloged materials are assigned title, author and Library of Congress subject headings so they can be retrieved in a search of the Library Catalog and organized on the library's shelves in a consistent manner.
  • Can I eat and drink in the library?
    Drinks in approved containers are allowed in Ellis Library. Food and drinks in any containers are allowed and encouraged in the Bookmark Café. The Bookmark Café, a coffee house within the library, is located on the ground floor near the west entrance. The menu includes coffee, tea, soda, juice, pastry and cookies.
  • How do I print in the library from a library computer?
    Printers are located in all libraries. Choose print from the menu and choose your printer. In Ellis Library, printers are located on the  first floor and fourth floor .
  • How do I print in the library from my lap top?
    To print, you will need to set up wireless access and download the Print Anywhere software.
  • Where do I return a book?
    All materials checked out from the library must be returned by their due date. This date is stamped inside the back cover or on a slip of paper attached to the book. Books from Ellis Library, or any of the branch libraries, may be returned to Ellis Library or any of the branch libraries. In addition to the Checkout and Information Desk, there are drop off slots at both entrances to Ellis Library for when the library is closed.
  • What are Reserve Books and how do I find them?
    Extra course readings, such as books and articles, are often placed on Reserve by instructors. Use your university ID to check out these materials at the Checkout and Information Desk at Ellis Library or at the appropriate branch library. E-Reserves is the electronic reserve system at MU Libraries.
  • Where can I get help with my research paper?
    The tutors at the Writing Tutors Desk can help with narrowing your topic and finding books and articles. The library web site also has research guides and other tools. If you need more help you can schedule a Research Consultation with a subject librarian. The Learning Center offers tutoring and review sessions. They can also help with studying, writing and other academic challenges.
  • Are there any newspapers from my home country?
    You can look for newspapers in the MERLIN catalog and it will show if we have a copy in print or in a database. Search MERLIN by choosing Journal, Magazine, Newspaper Title in the drop down list. Then type the name of your newspaper in the search box. This will only show you whether the library has access to the newspaper. You cannot find the actual articles in the UM LIBRARIES CATALOG.
  • Where can I find a foreign language/English language dictionary?
    Use the MERLIN catalog to search for print dictionaries. Use "dictionary" and the name of your language as a keyword search.
  • Can I access the library web site from off-campus?
    You sure can! All online services are available through our web site. You may need to enter your username and password to access some restricted databases.
  • What is a Research Librarian?
    Research librarians are trained to assist students in locating, evaluating and using information. They have at least one Master's Degree in Library Science and often another Master's Degree in their particular subject area. You can ask a librarian for help using our chat service– almost 24 hours a day. During the day you can chat with Mizzou research librarians and library staff. At night, we offer access to a chat reference service called ChatStaff. They will be able to answer most research questions, except for some that are Mizzou-specific. To access the chat service and see what hours chat reference is available, visit                                                     
  • Where can I get help with my computer?
    Librarians at the Reference Desk can help with simple problems. For more complicated problems, you can visit Tiger Tech, which is located in lower level of the Mizzou Store.            
  • Can I use my cell phone in the library?
    Cell phones are to either be turned off or the ringer set to vibrate (silent). Cell phone use is allowed everywhere in the MU Libraries, with the exception of designated quiet study areas. Users are requested to lower their voices while using cell phones. Speech tends to become louder when speaking on a cell phone. The noise travels and may be disruptive to other patrons.
  • Where is a good place to study in the library?
    There are several areas in the libraries for group study or quiet study.