Criss Library: UNO students’ greatest untapped resource


By Jenny Beernink, Contributor

UNO’s Dr. C.C. & Mabel L. Criss Library or, as most students refer to it, simply “the library,” is more than just a one-stop shop for borrowing books on campus. Tucked away behind its glossy interior and imposing size, there are many services that students do not even realize it offers.

    There are 300 computers available for use in addition to open labs, 12 laptops available for rent, 18 netbooks, 746,000 books and over 200,000 e-books accessable through the website.

    The top advice Dean Audrey DeFrank gives is making the library website your number one stop for research.

    “It saves students tons of time, and we provide many databases and online journals to narrow your research,” said DeFrank.

    If you find yourself writing your first college research paper, utterly confused by all the databases online and ready to pull your hair out, the library can be reached by e-mail, phone or text.

    “We are here to help the students,” said DeFrank. “We want to be asked questions.”

    Each college on campus has its own librarian and database search engine located on the library’s website under “Research Guides, Instructions & More.” Many students find this area vital when looking for statistics or research on specific topics.

    After hours of cramming over notes, one is bound to get a little restless. When this kind of break calls, just take a walk into the library café (located on the main floor) and order a fresh cup of coffee or silence your belly demons with the best (and only) panini on campus. Faculty and students can be found having quick meetings here or just catching up before their next class.

    After getting refreshed and energized, explore a new language or just watch one of the live feeds from different broadcasts around the world, which can also be streamed to your personal computer. The SCOLA Language Learning Center, located on the main floor, supports language learning in 76 languages.

    Looking for a quieter place to study? The library allows students to check out single rooms where they can work in a quiet, solitary place. However, the opposite is also true. If you are looking for a place to work in a group and not worry about disrupting others, rent a group room. All come with whiteboards and essential student software including Adobe Creative Suite.

    These rooms are truly helpful when projects are due or during group studying for a test. You can check out a room in person or reserve it online ahead of time.

    As the semester comes to a close and you find yourself drowning in final papers, tests and projects, the library becomes your best friend and understands the need for extra time to spend cramming. They keep the library open longer during these strenuous times when campus becomes a fluster of note cards and late nights. Check the website for dates and times.

    Knowing the basics about the library and how to operate the website is a good start, but making a visit is still the best way to learn about the Criss Library. You never know who you’ll meet or where you’ll find the perfect spot to hit the books.