Mysteries of the Library Explained

For the uninitiated, the workings of an academic library can seem mystifying and unintuitive, with questions at every turn. Indecipherable acronyms. Complex floor plans. Arcane classification systems. 

Librarian Chris Kretz working with first year students.

Hopefully SBU Libraries helped dispel some of the mystery at the recent workshop Mysteries of the Library Explained. Librarians Christine Fena (Undergraduate Success Librarian) and Chris Kretz (Head of Academic Engagement) led first year students on a physical and virtual journey through the library’s resources.

Team #5 gets some help from Christine Fena.

On December 4, students from all six undergraduate colleges came to the North Reading Room Learning Lab to learn more about their library. Working in teams, they had a chance to go out into the library’s collections and find books in specific subject areas, then expand their research online by finding relevant databases to search. When they completed their projects, each team presented photos they took on their library journey, and talked about the print and digital resources they found. 

The final challenge was to solve the mystery of Building #5 – Stony Brook’s original campus library. When the Melville Library was completed in 1971, Building #5 was erased from the map. But there is a place in the library today where you can look up the old building and see for yourself what it must have been like.

Walking along the east side of the Library, c1965.
The original Chemistry building (now Frey Hall) is pictured in the background.
Source: University Archives, SBU Libraries.

Do you know how?

(And you can learn more about the history of SBU Libraries from the Special Collections and University Archives.)

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