Library resources every BYU freshman should know about

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BYU students have access to a wide variety of academic and technological materials at the Harold B. Lee Library. (Maddi Driggs)

The BYU Harold B. Lee Library offers a variety of academic aids to help students succeed in their classes.

Media Center

The media center on the fourth floor of the library provides several materials to help meet students’ academic and personal media needs. Students may rent out camera equipment, microphones and audio recorders from the media center for up to three days.

The media center also features a multimedia lab where students may schedule and use computers installed with multimedia software such as the Adobe Creative Cloud and other major-specific computer programs. Senior lab consultant Nicholas Huey said the multimedia lab can be a great resource for students who are motivated to learn these programs.

“It makes them stand out above other students,” Huey said. “It can make them look really professional for whatever program they’re applying to, especially if they’re trying to get into advertising or a design program.”

Two computers in the multimedia lab are registered with a Lynda.com subscription, where students may access video software tutorials for free. Using these tutorials to learn multimedia software can give students a head start, according to Huey.

In the Lee Library's media center, students may use multimedia lab computers installed with the Adobe Creative Cloud and other major-specific software. (Maddi Driggs)
In the library’s media center, students may schedule computers installed with the Adobe Creative Cloud and other major-specific software. (Maddi Driggs)

“They’ll move a lot faster if they’re self-teaching in those areas rather than just working at the pace of all the other students around them,” Huey said. “If they’re really motivated, it can be a really cool resource.”

Huey recommended that students who wish to use these computers schedule them in advance on the Media Lab Scheduler Website. Students may also reserve movie viewing rooms, a sound booth or a production studio at the media center.

Labs and Training Resources

The library also has TA labs to help students in classes such as American heritage and accounting. Accounting is a prerequisite for most if not all business majors, according to library reference assistant Paul Grayson.

“There are plenty of student TAs in the labs for most of the hours of the day to assist students in these classes,” Grayson said.

BYU’s Office of Information Technology also offers free software training classes to students to help them learn popular software programs such as Adobe and Microsoft. Students can find a listing of these upcoming classes at train.byu.edu.

Writing Center

The Writing Center in the library provides a place for students to get individualized help on essays from writing consultants and library staff. Writing Center assistant coordinator Lisa Bell said the consultants at the Writing Center represent more than 30 majors and can help with papers required for any discipline.

Jaren Wilkey/BYU
The Writing Center in the library is staffed with trained writing consultants from more than 30 different majors to help students with essays they are writing for any of their classes. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

“Every writer needs a reader, and getting feedback on writing is a normal part of the writing process,” Bell said. “It models the collaborative work that takes place in academic and work environments.”

Bell said students may come into the Writing Center to seek help at any stage of the writing process. The Writing Center provides between 9,000 and 10,000 writing consultations each year, according to Bell.

“The Writing Center focuses on developing writers, not just papers, and seeks to improve writers one assignment at a time,” Bell said.

Study Rooms

Students may reserve study rooms in the library to meet for group projects and study sessions.  These rooms are equipped with projectors, whiteboards and tables. Students may also rent out HDMI cables from the library so they can connect their laptops to the projectors in the study rooms, according to Grayson. Students may reserve study rooms online at groupstudy.lib.byu.edu.

Online Research Databases

Students may also access online research databases such as EBSCO using the library’s university subscription. These databases are accessible to all BYU students through the library’s website using student BYU login information.

Subject Librarians

Grayson recommended students take advantage of the opportunity the library provides to seek help from subject librarians on classwork.

The Lee Library is also stocked with “miles and miles of books” available for BYU students to check out and read, according to Grayson. (Maddi Driggs)

“Subject librarians are specialized in a certain field and can help students with research or assist them with projects that they’re doing in class,” Grayson said.

The library also has staffed help desks and reference assistants who can direct students within the library and answer general questions.

“The library is a huge resource for students to have and they should be using it as often as they can,” Grayson said.

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