New Student Orientation and Updates

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 services 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 (find out more).

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:

Get to know our spaces! We have a spot for you!

The libraries are a great place to relax between classes, reserve a group study room, print, try the Makerspaces or get a cup of coffee. And remember the website, is the place to go to get millions of online books, newspapers, journals and magazines for your research papers.

UMN Libraries

Visit a library and go on a self -guided tour or watch our 1 minute tours: 

East bank

West bank

St. Paul campus

Off campus - Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska

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. We update it about a month before each semester. 

Library Services for Students

Library Services for Undergraduate Students
Explore a variety of services for Undergraduates from study spaces to finding sources to tools to coffee shops.

Library Services for Graduate Students
An overview of library services and resources for graduate and professional students at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

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

Want a virtual library tour?

library websiteWant to know even more about the University Libraries? 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. If you have any questions contact Kate Peterson (

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. 

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.  

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.  

Academic Success Centers (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

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! 

Library Research Guides and Course Pages

Databases help you find relevant articles and sources more quickly than just searching a big tool like Google.

The Libraries Search box at searches across many different databases. That means sometimes it brings back TOO many results. One way to save time and focus your results is to search one specific database. To find databases relevant to your topic try looking for a Library research guide or subject guide.

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 today!

To find out more and register go to

Last Updated: Jan 31, 2024 8:25 AM