First Year and Transfer Students Checklist: What You Need to Know about Syracuse University Libraries


First year students standing on the steps of Carnegie Library

  1. Visit the libraries. Yes, there’s more than one on campus. Depending on your area(s) of study and interests, you may want to visit:
  • Bird Library, next door to Schine Student Center, provides resources for humanities, social sciences, audiovisual, government publications, and maps. It is the University’s main library, with seven floors of resources and spaces.
  • Carnegie Library, located on the south side of the Shaw Quadrangle, provides resources for biology, chemistry, engineering, computer science, library and information science, mathematics, military and naval science, nutrition and dietetics, photography, public health, physics and astronomy, and technical arts and crafts. In addition, there is also a beautiful quiet reading room.
  • King + King Library, located on the 3rd floor of Slocum Hall, is dedicated to the School of Architecture.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, part of the College of Arts and Sciences and located in 231 Sims Hall, provides resources for the Department of African American Studies.
  1. Meet your subject librarian. They are an expert in the resources you will need throughout your academic career and can provide support, consultation and instruction to you around subject-specific collections. In fact, they have curated a number of “Research Guides” with recommended starting points for the subjects you’re studying or the classes you’re taking.
  1. Get involved. There’s a multitude of ways for you to find your place at the Libraries:
  • Sign up for small group or one-on-one tutoring, or get academic coaching at the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS), located on the lower level of Bird Library.
  • Participate in an entrepreneurial activity at the Blackstone LaunchPad, located on the 1st floor of Bird Library.
  • Participate in undergraduate research through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE), located on the 2nd floor of Bird Library.
  • Check out the Digital Scholarship Space (DSS) on the 4th floor of Bird Library, a laboratory and classroom area designed for the study and creation of digital artifacts and experiences. Try out gaming, software, and even cool virtual reality goggles. Games are available for borrowing from the 3rd floor Service Desk.
  • Attend a program or learn about services offered through the Disability Cultural Center, which provides community and activities promoting disability culture. Find them on the 5th floor of Bird Library.
  • The LGBT Resource Center, also on the 5th floor of Bird Library, offers services and programs, as well as a gathering place that centers the experience of people with marginalized sexualities and genders.
  • The Office of Multicultural Affairs on the 5th floor of Bird Library strives to support the academic achievement, multicultural competence, social development and civic engagement of students from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.
  • Or become a Libraries student employee. With 150 student employees, the Libraries is a great place to work!
  1. Got a research question? We’re here to help! You can visit our Information Desk, call us at 315.443.4083, text us at 315.464.0744, email us at, or chat live by visiting
  1. Need help while on a floor at Bird Library? Text or call the Helpline service at 315.416.7047.
  1. Familiarize yourself with the printing process and your printing quota. The Technology Desk on the 1st floor of Bird Library can help with printing, poster printing, scanning, wireless access, copying, and use of the campus print management system.
  1. Borrow our technology and gear from the Libraries for a 3-hour period. You can check out these and many more items: laptops, calculators, digital cameras and video recorders, cables and chargers.
  1. Whether you like to work in a social environment, with a small group, quietly, or by yourself, the Libraries has a multitude of spaces available for your preferred learning style.
  1. Know how to access Course Reserves, which are course textbooks, readings, multimedia, and other items that some professors have set aside for you to borrow for a limited time. Course reserves are searchable online by instructor, department, or course number.
  1. Get a punch card or join the mug club at Pages Café in Bird Library. Get your coffee fix, grab a meal, or pick up a snack at the most frequented Café on campus. You can use cash or your SUpercard. And if you purchase a mug for $6.99, you get a 20% discount on hot coffee or tea refills when you use it and a free cup on Fridays!
  1. Visit Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) on the 6th floor of Bird Library. SCRC houses special collections and archives of world-class importance totaling 150,000 printed items and over 55,000 linear feet of archival material. SCRC is also home to the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive, a studio designed for audio preservation, recording, and home to over 500,000 sound related items.
  1. Need a book or article that we don’t have? Use the Library’s Interlibrary Loan services to request items not available at Syracuse University Libraries through our partnership with other libraries, and we’ll bring them to campus and notify you when the resource is available for pickup.
  1. Do you need materials in an alternate format to accommodate for accessibility? We do that, too. We can provide you with assistive technology or alternate formats.
  1. Consider performing at the Libraries. Submit a proposal to showcase your talent, including literature readings and musical or dramatic performances. Or propose to feature your artwork on display in our Biblio Gallery.