Welcome to the University of Minnesota Libraries

Besides offering various services and resources to support academic course work and research, the University Libraries serve an international student body of approximately 6,000 who come from more than 130 countries around the world. As an international student studying in another culture and educational system, you may have some difficulties conducting library research because our library system and its services are somewhat different from those in your own country. This guide will introduce you to some aspects of our library system. We hope that you will find the guide useful in your library research and that you will have an enjoyable experience using the University Libraries.

Visiting the Libraries - Open Stacks

Most American libraries have "open stacks." This means that library users can walk to the shelves of books and get the books they want. (You don't need to ask a librarian to do this for you, though they will help you if you cannot find a book.) You can borrow most things in the library but not everything. Some books, like dictionaries and encyclopedias, stay in the library for everyday use. Also, at many libraries, you have to read new magazines and newspapers at the library. These materials are referred to as "non-circulating" or "in library use only."

Library Terminology

Libraries use specialized words to describe their services and materials. The following links provides definitions and translations for terms commonly used in US libraries.

About the Libraries

Located in 12 separate facilities on the University's three Twin Cities' campuses, The University of Minnesota Libraries have the 15th largest research library collection in North America. The major branches are the Wilson, Walter, Bio-Medical, Magrath, and Elmer Andersen Libraries. Each library is specialized by discipline. Here are some examples of the libraries:

Getting Help with Research

More Library Services

Last Updated: Jul 28, 2020 11:52 AM