Midterm Tips: How the Libraries Can Help

Whether you’re working on a paper or project or studying for an exam, here are some tips to help you ace your midterms:

Student studying on a laptop while wearing white earbuds in front of colorful book shelf

Take advantage of the Libraries’ resources and helpful staff!

Reach out to your Liaison Librarian
Search by subject to find an expert librarian who specializes in your topic or area of study! Then, simply schedule an appointment, or call/email your librarian for help finding resources or tools for your research.

Use Research Guides to find resources by topic
Stuck while searching for resources? You’re in luck! Our Research Guides cover over 265 specific topics, with curated recommendations on books, databases, streaming video, open access items, and more.

Find a quiet space
We’ve designated certain areas for quiet study, including:

  • Carnegie Library Reading Room
  • Quiet Reading Room, Bird Library – located on the Lower Level
  • Quiet Computing Area, Bird Library – located on the 2nd floor, computer workstations available
  • Plastics Pioneers Reading Room, Bird Library – located in Room 610 on the 6th floor
  • Safire Room, Bird Library – located in Room 605 on the 6th floor

Need even more privacy? Reserve an individual or group study room
Reserve study rooms in both Bird and Carnegie Libraries, available for up to 3-hours at a time. Plus, choose a room with technology equipment to ensure a quiet spot for an online class, presentation or exam!

Brush up on the research process, including how to cite sources
Check out the blog post below from Giovanna ColosiLibrarian for the School of Education, with helpful research tips and process recommendations, from narrowing your topic to correctly citing sources.

Browse our online collections
Millions of items are available in our online collections, which can be searched through Summon.

For direct links to our online curated databases, visit:

Pick-up items from Bird Library
Borrow items from our physical circulating collections at the Check-Out desks, via UPS delivery, or through our contactless pick-up options at Bird Library, including new item pick-up lockers:

To request that an item to be held in a locker for you:

  1. Find the item in our catalog. Under Holdings Information, check that it is marked “Available,” and select “Request this item.”
  2. Select “Bird Library Lockers” as your Preferred Delivery Method
  3. Complete the remaining form and select “Submit Request.”
  4. You will receive an email with an access code and QR code to scan notifying you that your item is ready.
  5. Head to the lockers, located first floor of Bird Library at the Waverly Avenue entrance, and proceed to the touch screen display.
  6. Scan your QR code or enter the numbered access code, and your item’s designated locker will open automatically.

For assistance or accommodations, call 315.443.5727 or email circhelp@syr.edu.

Gray metal Item Pickup lockers with orange Libraries logo and Item Pickup stickers in Bird Library

Borrow technology items
Visit the Check-Out desks in both Bird and Carnegie Libraries to borrow technology equipment, like laptops, headphones with microphones, and calculators. Most items are available for 3 hours, with limited quantities of laptops available for extended loan (14-days).

Request scanning or electronic delivery
Looking for a specific physical book from the Libraries? No problem. Anyone with a valid SU or SUNY-ESF ID can request a digital copy of journal articles or book chapters from our physical collections at Bird Library, Carnegie Library, or King+King Architecture Library.

To request a digital copy of an item:

  1. Log into SU Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan system.
  2. On the left side of the page, select “New Request” then “Article or Book Chapter.”
  3. Complete the form then Submit Request. Note that copyright law limits how much we can copy in some circumstances.
  4. Once the item is scanned, it will be electronically delivered to you.

Contact us!
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Libraries with any questions. Our staff are ready to provide remote support to point you in the right direction. Simply choose the method that works best for you:

Don’t forget to take a break!

Self-care is important, so remember to get up often, drink plenty of water, talk with friends and family, and take part in campus partners’ events! The Barnes Center at the Arch staff is also here to help and support you every step of the way with counseling and other health services.

At the Libraries, you can check out a variety of DVDs, magazines, puzzles and board games to relax and give your brain a break. Explore our Wellness Guide for a full range of Libraries, campus, and other resources!

Your local public library also offers tons of free leisure material, from fiction and fantasy to e-books and audiobooks! Below, John Stawarz, Online Learning Librarian, gives his tips and how-tos for accessing all of these relaxing resources!

We’re proud of all you’ve accomplished so far—and you should be proud, too! From your friends in the Libraries: best of luck on midterms!

Behind the Archives with Meg Mason

October is American Archives Month, celebrated by the U.S. National Archives to honor staff and demystify archival work. We’re joining the celebration by highlighting our very own Libraries staff members, who through their roles, help make history available to you! First, we sat down with Meg Mason, University Archivist, who is responsible for documenting Syracuse University’s rich history.

Meet Meg Mason, University Archivist

Syracuse University Archives, Special Collections Research Center

What do your typical responsibilities include?

“I am responsible for the acquisition and preservation of materials that document SU history. I manage University records and other collections in the University Archives. I also curate exhibitions, engage in programming like Orange Central, work with donors, and give instruction sessions. It feels like I do a lot of other stuff, but that’s the meat of it.”

How long have you worked at SU Libraries? What did you do prior?

“I’ve been in the University Archives as Assistant Archivist and then University Archivist since 2009. Before that I was a digital project manager in the Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress.”

What made you want to enter this line of work?

“I love how everything and everyone has a story. An archival collection can be full of stories that can take you back to a time and place, usually a world different from my own.”

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

“Discovering a new story or hidden piece of history in our collections.”

Any fun facts about you, your interests, or your hobbies?

“We have limited space in the University Archives, and I’m hyper-aware that we can’t keep everything, so I have to use my appraisal skills carefully. That mindset has transferred to my personal life. I love tossing things out! I have to have a good reason to keep stuff in my own house. For instance, I love books, of course, but I’m very particular about which ones I keep.”

LGBTQ History Month Resources

In honor of LGBTQ History Month, the Libraries reminds our campus community of resources available, including:

  • Research Guide devoted to LGBT Studies that lists a variety of resources available to all SU community members, whether gay or straight, trans or cis, non-conforming or expressive of their sexual identity in their own unique manner. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer (LGBTQ) Research Guide is an excellent first stop for information about and for the LGBTQ community. 
  • Research Guide on Asexuality developed by one of our student employees. Asexuality is a consistent lack of sexual attraction toward any gender.
  • Research Guide on Stonewall, the riots in Greenwich Village in 1969 that many people attribute as the watershed for the gay liberation movement.

Within these research guides are numerous links to books, videos, movies and other resources available through the Libraries, elsewhere on campus, and on the wider Internet and broader physical world. The guides are here to help you with a paper, your research, understanding your identity or that of a friend, family member, or coworker. 

We adhere to a high professional standard of protecting the privacy of students, faculty, staff, and community members who come to us with questions and always aim to be a safe space for you to explore LGBTQ topics, whether it is part of your academic career or as part of learning who you are as part of the LGBTQ+ community or how to be an ally to someone else who is.