This guide brings together useful services, online collections and more for new University of Minnesota students.


Library use is positively associated with GPA, retention, academic engagement, scholarship and academic skills. Our libraries are great for studying AND our website is your place to get the high-quality sources you need. You can connect virtually with our librarians and staff and access millions of books, journals, magazines, newspapers and many services and resources online.


Why use the Libraries and the website?

It is good for you and your GPA! We studied it and found that students who use the U Libraries and the library website have higher average GPAs and are more likely to graduate in fours years than students who do not use the library. 

Many people think of a "library" as a book warehouse. When we say "library" we mean more than just the books and buildings. A library is:

1. The website ( - Access millions of resources through the University Libraries without ever leaving your home! Log into with your UMN ID and password to explore online books and articles, watch a streaming documentary, or read an online newspaper.

2. The librarians, staff, and students ready to help you get started with papers and projects, find and use information, and help you get the grades you want. Help is available virtually by consultation or 24/7 chat!

Learn More Here:

Having trouble with accessing YouTube? Try our Mediaspace video:

Libraries Open House and Self Guided Tours

Explore the campus libraries during our Open House event on Tuesday, Sept. 14 (or anytime). Visit and go on a self-guided tour and enter to win a fabulous library prize (Ultimate Study Care Package).

Visit Libraries Open House to get started! 

Upcoming workshops and events - Fall 2021

Jumpstart your semester and learn new strategies, tools and hacks that can help you this fall. From tips and tricks on time management, getting started with online research or a new skill like bullet journaling or forest bathing. Register for our free workshops. 

View more workshops and events 

Check the Libraries for your textbooks and readings

List of online ebooksIn partnership with the University of Minnesota Bookstores, the University Libraries provides you with a list of free U of M required books. All books are free for U of MN - Twin Cities’ students to read online. Books in PDF format are available for download in their entirety.  

Check the list to see if the library already has books for your course online, for free.

Think Like a Researcher mini-course

Research in the fieldThink like a Researcher is a mini-course designed to help undergraduate students become comfortable with the research skills and tools needed to participate. It is designed to bring students, especially first year and second year students, from different colleges together to learn. Workshop topics are benefits and challenges of research, finding faculty mentors, videos with advice from student researchers, examples of student projects and more. Learn about the wide variety of ways to get started with research including volunteer, taking a course, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Undergraduate Research Scholarship (URS), summer research and more. Learn more about the Office for Undergraduate Research and the University Libraries.

Quotes from student participants:

  • "It's quite helpful for learning about the basics of how research works."
  • "It was definitely worthwhile. Dense package of useful info."
  • "It provided an easy manner for me to feel like I have one foot in the door already."
  • "Very clear guide to take a first step for research"

Register for Fall 2021

Registration is open for “Think Like a Researcher” for Fall 2021. Please complete our short registration form and we will send more information via email. Once you register we will send updates with next steps and important dates. 

For Fall 2021, Think Like a Researcher will be offered in two ways:
1.) Online in Canvas with a mix of videos, short activities and an optional synchronous online Q&A session (in total it will take about 2-3 hours to complete on your own timeline) OR
2.) In-Person with a a 90 minute workshop on Friday, October 8 (time: to be determined). Once you register, we will send you updates with next steps.

Library services for undergraduates

Go on a Gopher Library Adventure

Go on a Gopher Library Adventure

Do you like adventure? Explore your way through this “choose your own adventure” eBook! Learn about all the awesome stuff available from the UMN Libraries - like online search tools, streaming music, archives, undergraduate research, ways to get help, and more. The e-book is fun, fast, and full of adventure! It is so good you will want to start the adventure all over again. 

Want a virtual library tour?

Library website. Whether you are attending the University in person or online an online tour of the Libraries website is a great step to take! You can get an idea of the resources available to you and we will highlight our tools and services for new (and existing) students.

Fill out this short form to request a virtual tour

We will contact you within two days to schedule and/or confirm the tour. The tour in zoom will take about 20-30 minutes. We will send a Zoom or other meeting link at least one hour ahead of the scheduled tour. If you have any questions contact Kate Peterson (

Prepare and plan for your classes

Image of stickers to help with organizing your semester. Getting ready for your semester ahead can mean many things - like figuring out your textbooks and readings, to making a fancy bullet journal sort of schedule in a calendar to using an app to figure out everything you need to get done.

Your classes at the University will require more time than your school in the past -- now is a good time to level up those skills around "time management."

Here is a great tutorial from Effective U to help you do that.  

Effective U (Online Tutorials)

Effective U graphic

As a student, you've probably realized you need new skills for dealing with the many tasks filling up your semester: studying, classes, work, finances, family, friends. Explore these free online tutorials to learn new ways to manage your time, manage stress, take better notes, and prepare for tests.

Student Jobs

The Libraries employ hundreds of student employees for many different tasks.  You can view current openings on our student jobs page and stay updated by signing up for our email list

Student Workers at Walter Library

Streaming music and video you can access now

Kanopy streaming videos

You can stream and watch documentaries and many arts focused films including Opera and Theater performances. We have a bunch of online streaming music collections -- primarily these are for the music majors but we all get to take advantage of them.

Keep in mind that any of these sources evens songs can also be used as part of a future research paper or project!

Newspapers & magazines you can read online now

MagazinesNever get stopped by a message asking you to "buy" and article (sometimes that is called a pay wall)! The University Libraries has millions of online journals, magazine and newspapers -- both subscriptions to "browse" or read a current issue and tools to help you search. 

Use the links below to reach current articles. Remember this is just a sample of what you have access to -- try the search box on our homepage to find more.  

Get help from the U Libraries - Online!

Academic Success Centers & SMART Learning Commons (peer tutoring and more)

These services are designed to:

  • Boost your confidence as a student
  • Help you stay on top of your coursework
  • Offer a deeper understanding of the content
  • Connect you to peers who know tips and tricks for various courses 
  • Teach you effective study strategies and time management

Level up with a new tech tool (e.g. excel, programming, etc.)

LinkedinLearning logo

This might be a useful time to learn or level up a new software or skill. LinkedIn learning is a great way to learn. It is full of high quality, short videos (who doesn't love a video??) on a wide variety of topics. Explore and give it a try. Here are a suggested topics to explore:

  • Taking notes
  • Photoshop or creative software 
  • Making a presentation
  • Organizing or writing email
  • Programming for websites 
  • Working with data like Excel, programming with R, etc.

Librarians, experts and archivists - ready to help!

The UMN Libraries has a librarian for every department on campus. Librarians do a bunch of different things -- more than just read books! Librarians buy our online and print collections, meet with students and faculty on their research topics and teach classes and workshops. Librarians help students at our service points and on chat 24/7 with research questions, use our equipment like video cameras and 3D printers, and use special software like making maps and data visualizations. 

Archivists and curators help students and faculty with our unique and historic collections. They organize and grow these collections along with digitizing materials and objects. They also make exhibits and help researchers from around the country find what they need. 

Even more ways to get help! 


Last Updated: Sep 29, 2021 9:28 AM