Discover the Library

Brian Gallagher

Staff Writer

As UCSB’s 2011 Fall quarter courses begin and schedules become routine, the Davidson Library and the Arts Library are two places incoming freshmen should not stall to check. Taking advantage of these facilities is simple and smart, and familiarity with them makes for a more fruitful academic experience.

The Davidson Library has an eight floor view, which shows off the entire campus and its surroundings, sits conveniently around lecture and food halls and provides many valuable services and resources.  Chief among them is access to the library’s three million volume archive, which includes books, electronic journals, manuscripts and various digitized items such as audio and video recordings. Pegasus, the library’s online catalog, enables students to quickly search and browse through this collection either from home or from one of the many computer terminals housed on the first floor.

Also on the first floor, located just through the main entrance, are the Circulation and Reserves desk and the Reference and Information desk. If you’re looking to reserve a course textbook instead of buying one—an effective way to save cash—the librarians at the Circulation and Reserves desk can make that happen. Directly across, librarians at the Information desk can aid in any general or specific inquiry you have such as how to find an overview of the library’s Special Collections archives, or how to execute a finely grained catalog search using a number of different filters.

Richard Caldwell, a reference services librarian, spoke about his experience with freshmen.

“The question I’m most commonly asked is how to find a particular book. ‘What’s a call number?’ they always ask. ‘It’s the code for the book’s designation—what floor it’s on and what section of the rows of shelves,’ I tell them,” Caldwell said.

“Some must be afraid to ask,” he continued. “I’ve had students come up to me telling me that they couldn’t find a book after looking for an hour. Turns out they didn’t know how to see if the book had already been checked out.”

Davidson Library is also a great place to study. Both quiet and collaborative group commons as well as single person desks can be found on most floors, and a 24-hour study room located just outside the main entrance affords a focused setting once Davidson has closed for the night.

Anthony Rum, a fifth-year business and environmental studies major, described his eventual appreciation of the library.

“At first I thought the library wasn’t my kind of place,” he admitted. “But then I realized how nice it was quietly working around other quiet people, and having an uncluttered desk, and not having to put effort into focusing over the noises around the house. It’s definitely a good decision.”

In contrast to Davidson, the Arts Library, located at the end of the Music Building near Storke Plaza, houses materials related exclusively to the arts and music. The Arts Library website describes the first floor arts section as containing “publications on architecture, sculpture, drawing, painting, prints, decorative arts, artistic photography and interdisciplinary works on the arts, covering all cultures and time periods.”  The second floor houses the music materials.

Evan Simoni, a fourth-year sociology major, talked about how he became interested in the music section.

“I recently took a music course and was recommended to check out the collections here. It’s really cool, there’s listening stations and everything.”

Delving into these library resources grants a real possibility to discover new interests and cultivate a more cultured appreciation of music and its history.

He continued, “I even dig the classics now. Ever heard of Johann Sebastian Bach?”