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Getting Around in the Reference Reading Room

the reference reading room - empty

Is the Reference Reading Room a good place to study?

Can I ask a Reference Librarian for help?

Scanners and Microform reader & printer 

Can books in the Reference Reading Room be checked out?

Should I reshelve the books I use?

What types of materials are located in the Reference Reading Room?

How do I find where a book is located in the Reference Reading Room?  (view Map)

Where are books with call numbers beginning with "Q," "A," "B," or "C"?

How can I find materials in the Government Documents Collection?

What is the Stacks Reference Collection?  Where do I find these materials?

What are the items on the tables?

What are the periodicals in the Reading Room?

Is the Reference Reading Room a good place to study?

Yes. With lots of natural light, a quiet environment, and stately surroundings, the Reference Reading Room is a great place to study. The room features electrical outlets at every other table for your laptop or other electronic device. There are computer workstations and scanners, including overhead scanners. You're also just a few steps away from the Information Desk, where reference librarians can provide research help.

The Reference Reading Room is generally pretty quiet. However, there is no policy about noise levels. The “quiet” rule is patron-enforced!

Can I Ask a Reference Librarian for Help?

Reference Librarians are available at the Information Desk almost all days of the week and also nights and weekends. Please ask them if you have any questions about locating items in the Reading Room. You can also ask a question online using the the  Ask a Librarian service. 

Scanners and Microform Reader & Printer

Scanners 
There is a regular sized flatbed scanner in the Reading Room. There are also overhead large format Book2Net scanners, which require a USB drive. USB drives are available to borrow at the Information Desk.

Microform Reader & Printer 
There is a microform reader (with printer) in the Northeast corner of the Reading Room near the government documents.

Can Books in the Reference Reading Room be Checked Out?

No, all of the books in the Reading room are non-circulating and cannot be checked out or taken from the room.

Should I Reshelve the Books I Use?

We prefer that users leave the books on the tables or place them on a book truck. We make an exception for GSLIS students who can reshelve the books they use as a courtesy to their colleagues who may also need to use the same books.

What types of materials are located in the Reference Reading Room?

The Reading Room contains Reference Materials such as atlases, almanacs, bibliographies, dictionaries, concordances, indexes and research guides. The collection covers a wide range of subjects and disciplines, with particular strength in Literature, Languages, Humanities and the Social Sciences, including Library and Information Science. View Map

These sources are can be of value whether you need to track down a citation, or want to browse something to get started on a research project.  

We also have dozens of dictionaries, including dictionaries in languages like  Turkish,  Hebrew,  Indonesian, and  Navajo.

If you would like to browse the physical items by subject, but aren’t sure where to begin, here is a call number guide to help you get started:

How do I Find a Book in the Reference Reading Room?

Most books in the Reading Room are located in call number order along the wall.  Call numbers begin with 001 on the west wall to the left (north) of the entrance, ending with 999 on the west wall to the right (south) of the entrance. View Map.

Below are answers to some of the most common questions about how to find books and other materials in the Reading Room.

If you know the title:

Step 1.
  Find the call number by using the online catalog. Items held in the Reading Room will be listed as Reference [non-circulating], or Government Documents [non-circulating].

Catalog record of Reading Room item  Government Documents catalog example

Step 2. Find the location.

If you know the call number:

Begin with Step 2 above. Call numbers begin with 001 on the west wall to the left (north) of the entrance, ending with 999 on the west wall to the right (south) of the entrance.  View Map.

Where are Books with Call Numbers Beginning with Q, A, B, or C?

Call numbers with "Q" (oversize) are shelved along the wall, integrated with the regular call number sequence. 

Call numbers with "A" (bibliography) are the equivalent of 016 (e.g. A.050b778 = 016.050b778)

Call numbers with "B" (biography) are the equivalent of 920 (B = 920)

Call numbers with "C" (items related to the University of Illinois) are shelved between 378.999 and 379 (in the wall collection)

How Can I Find Materials In The Government Documents Collection?

Government documents are housed on the North end of the Reading Room. These materials are shelved using the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system. The SuDoc system was designed to group together publications from the same Federal agency. Each agency is assigned a specific letter or combination of letters. For example, NAS is used to represent materials published by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The rest of a SuDoc number communicates specific information about the document including sub-agencies of the parent Federal agency, publication type, and publication year.

Examples of the types of materials you will find here include:

Some government documents are housed in the Main Stacks, so it is important to check the catalog record to locate specific items.  In addition to US Federal documents, the collection also contains documents from the state of Illinois and around the world.  US Government Documents materials published prior to 1979, as well as publications from the State of Illinois, are shelved using the Dewey Decimal System.

For more Information see the  Government Information Services, Access and Collections web page.

If you need assistance locating government document materials, inquire at the Info Desk. And you can always Ask-A-Librarian

What is the Stacks Reference Collection? Where do I find materials with this location?

The Stacks Reference Collection is located on Deck 5 in the Main Stacks, just inside the entrance to the stacks on both the north and the south sides. The collection is building-use only. Titles in this collection currently experience low use but have enduring research value. Examples include national bibliographies and periodical indexes, the majority of which may be available online but without retrospective coverage or specific functionality (e.g. cross references) that the print copy offers.

What are the items on the tables?

There is one collection shelved on one of the tables along the Northeast wall of the Reading Room, a collection of serial lists and Information Organization resources like the  Library of Congress Subject Headings. There used to be a second collection shelved on a table along the Northeast wall of the Reading room - a collection of old copies of the UIUC phone directory. That collection has now been reshelved with the rest of the materials along the Reading Room walls. The call number for the old copies of the UIUC phone directory is C.IL6UPD.

What are the periodicals in the Reading Room?

The periodicals of the Literature and Languages Library are now shelved along the South end of the Reading Room.  Inquiries about that collection can be made to that library.

Map of the Reference Reading Room 

Reading Room map