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Using the Library

Accessing Materials

The book and journal collection is open for browsing and is organized according to the Dewey Decimal System.

Maps are stored flat in special map cabinets and require staff assistance to retrieve.Visitors are requested to not attempt to remove maps from cabinets or re-file them; Map Library staff are happy to assist.

A UIUC ID is not required to use the materials within the library. A valid UIUC ID is required, however, to check out materials.

Not all of our materials, in particular maps, appear in the library catalog. If you are interested in a specific topic and do not see what you want in the catalog, please ask our staff. We may have more material available for you to study than the catalog indicates.

Please note that the Map library has moved a large portion of its non-United States topographic maps and a number of over-sized atlases to remote storage at the Oak Street Library Facility. These maps can be requested via our online catalog and delivered to the Map Library. Please allow an additional two days for delivery. Please consult Map Library staff in using indices to request the appropriate folders of maps from Oak Street.

A UIUC ID is not required to use the materials within the library. A valid UIUC ID is required, however, to check out request materials from Oak Street. The Map Library staff can assist non-UIUC affiliated library users in requesting maps and large atlases from Oak Street.

Many of the maps circulate and may be checked out with a valid UIUC ID. Generally, maps printed after 1960 and that are not mounted or encapsulated may be checked out. When checking out a map, a staff member will provide you with a map tube in which to store your items until they are returned. Our maps do not circulate via interlibrary loan; they may only be checked out from the Map Library. Materials can, however, be returned to any UIUC library location.

Touring the Library

We are happy to give tours to classes and non-University organizations. Please contact Jenny Johnson (jmj(at)illinois.edu), the Map Librarian and Department Head, to schedule a tour. Please schedule your group visit at least two weeks in advance. Visits can last from thirty to ninety minutes depending on the needs and wants of your organization. If your group needs to cancel a visit, we request twenty-four hours’ notice of the cancellation.

Facility Resources

The library offers outlets for laptops, a limited number of desktop computers, a large work table that can accommodate multiple researchers and a desktop flatbed scanner for digitizing or reproducing materials, stereoscopes, and magnifying glasses for visitor use.

If you are coming from a distance to use our collection, please contact us in advance to discuss your research needs and ensure the library will be appropriately staffed on the day of your visit. Materials can be held at the desk for returning researchers. Please tell us at the end of the day if you will need materials again.

Please note that food and drinks are NOT allowed in the library. No drinks of any kind, even in “ spill-proof cups,” are allowed. NO exceptions! Please help us preserve our unique collection for future researchers.

For comments on this page contact: Map and Geography Library