The Top 5 Things Every Student Should Know About University Libraries

Helpful tips from student employees on the Ask Us team

Two students stand next to a faculty member, looking at something on her iPad in front of the Thompson Library book stacks.

When you think about The Ohio State University Libraries, you’re likely to picture the big, beautiful building at the end of the Oval. However, University Libraries is so much more than a building full of books, and there are a few things that every Ohio State student should know about their library system. We asked three student employees on the Ask Us team to share their top five tips for making the most of University Libraries. 

1. University Libraries has more than just books 

While University Libraries certainly has plenty of books, there are other unique resources available to Ohio State students as well. 

“Everyone should know about the video streaming sites that Ohio State students have access to,” says Rob Menon, a fourth-year psychology major. “You can find more information in this guide.” 

“University Libraries has online access to many major news sources (NYT, USA Today, etc.), which you can use for articles in a class or for personal reading,” says Julia Ruth, a third-year student majoring in public policy analysis with minors in global public health and epidemiology. “You can find them from an online guide or also search for the newspaper’s title on the Libraries homepage.” 

2. Thompson Library isn’t the only library on campus 

While Thompson Library is certainly the most recognizable, University Libraries has ten different locations on the Columbus campus. 

“There are other libraries besides Thompson that may suit your preferred study setting better,” says Ruth. “For example, the Architecture Library in Knowlton Hall has more windows with lots of natural light and is quiet, the top floor of 18th Avenue Library is quiet study only and the Fine Arts Library offers a more modern type of space.” 

“Many of the libraries have great private study rooms that you can reserve for free and use to study by yourself or with friends,” says Claire Ehmann, a class of 2021 graduate with a BA in English and a minor in professional writing. “There are so many spaces to sit and work within the libraries. Spending time visiting the different libraries to find a space that you enjoy and feel comfortable in is a great idea.” 

3. University Libraries locations are tech-friendly 

 Personal devices like laptops and iPads are more than welcome in Libraries spaces, and there are resources available to help with your technology needs. 

“The Buckeye Bar, located in Thompson Library, is a great resource for free tech support if you are having any technology issues,” says Ehmann. “While studying in the library, there are also plenty of spaces to charge devices, so you never have to worry about them dying while doing work.” 

“Most of the tables in the libraries have accessible outlets nearby to charge your devices,” echoes Ruth. 

Students also have access to free campus wi-fi in all Libraries locations. 

4. University Libraries has experts to help you with your assignments 

Wish you could ask an expert for help with your final paper? You can! 

“All students should know about subject librarians and how they can help find research articles,” says Menon.  

Ruth adds, “If you need help finding materials for a specific class or on a specific subject, students can contact a subject librarian in that area who will be knowledgeable on the matter.” 

“They’re a great resource for students looking for information or materials on a specific area of study,” says Ehmann.  

5. University Libraries can save you money 

We all know that college is expensive, but University Libraries is trying to make it more affordable.  

“The libraries have some copies of textbooks for classes, so you can check on the website to see if they have a copy before renting or purchasing a textbook,” says Ehmann.  

Not seeing the resource you need in Ohio State’s collections? Before you go buy it yourself, check to see if University Libraries can get it for you. 

“It can be easy to find a great source and just give up on it because Ohio State doesn’t have it,” says Menon, “but Interlibrary Services gives students an opportunity to access materials from outside of Ohio State. You can also submit a request for books or other media to be purchased by Libraries.” 


You can always reach out to the Ask Us team with any questions you have about your University Libraries. We look forward to helping you with your studies!