If you have never spent an appreciable amount of time walking around it, the Wallace Library can seem like a daunting place. And let’s face it, most of us rarely venture past Java’s, and if we do it’s for the odd group project or because a professor required a print source for a research paper. It gets easy to think of the library as more of a spot to nap than an actual resource. However, the Wallace Library is far from an outdated, labyrinthine building blocking the view from Liberal Arts Hall. The library has a wealth of information and resources for the RIT community, especially with finals coming up.
Most of your time in the library basement is probably going to be spent staying out of the cold. The A-Level of the Wallace Library consists chiefly of tunnels and offices, with such attractions as the Sportzone office, thesis binding, Production Services, and classroom A400. The Liberal Arts and Library tunnels connect and can be difficult to tell apart (thankfully we already have a guide for that).
The first floor of the library is a hub of activity. This is one of the most popular areas of the library for group work, since it does not have the noise restrictions that the upper floors do (within reason). The first floor is also home to Java Wally’s, your friendly neighborhood coffee shop.
The second floor houses the Cary Graphic Design Collection, a number of books, and a few tables. The second floor is a quieter floor, but you are able to do group work at a lower volume.
This floor is a quiet floor, so it’s best for individual study. You are allowed some noise, but it’s better to keep your headphones on.
The Fourth Floor is the smallest floor in the library, and is best suited for individual work. It is a silent floor, meaning there is no talking aloud. There are several tables and individual cubbies you can use for individual study. This is where you should go when you want absolutely no distractions.
There are many resources in the library that are available to all students, and they go way beyond books. One such service is the ability to sign out a laptop for up to 4 hours. The library has 38 Windows and 10 Apple laptops available, which can be taken anywhere on campus. This may not be much time for homework or doing an entire project, but it’s a lifesaver for presentations and in class activities that require a computer. It’s easy to do, too. All that you need to do is present your RIT ID and a photo ID (such as a driver’s licence or passport), state your preference of Mac or PC, and off you go. Best of all, there is no guesswork with knowing if a machine is available. An up to date count is available right on the Wallace Library main webpage.
In House Resources
Going to the library gives you access to a number a resources. While you can gain access to many of them online, there are plenty more in person.
Study Room Reservations
You can reserve study rooms throughout the library. These rooms come in 1-3 and 4-8 person sizes. These rooms often include white boards and have plenty of outlets, so they are ideal for group projects.
There are a number of places to print and scan documents in the Wallace Library, mostly on the First and Second Floors. Be aware some printing services will require you to pay.
Of course, possibly the greatest resource available at the RIT library are the Librarians. There are a total of 9 librarians at the Wallace Library with various specializations, from NTID to Engineering to Liberal Arts. The Librarians have offices in the Wallace Library and are usually there during standard business hours.
If you want to better your writing, the Wallace Library is home to the Writing Commons, a service dedicated to helping RIT students improve their writing skills. It’s located on the first floor of the Wallace Library and appointments are available.
On top of all the physical resources available at the library, the Wallace Library hosts a wealth of information online. You may be familiar with the database search function, where you can peruse a number of online databases for scholarly resources. However, there are many things you can do through the main library website beyond research.
The RIT library gives you access to a number of specialized databases, with access to a wealth of information. This is great for that research paper you’ve been putting off, since the database selection can get you every possible academic source imaginable. Which is much more legitimate than Wikipedia.
Like most libraries, you are able to search the RIT book catalog online. You can see the location, availability, and even due date if it’s checked out.
All in all, the RIT Wallace Library is an amazing resource for RIT students. Let’s be honest, we tell ourselves that libraries are an outdated thing and there is no reason to walk around a big musty building full of books and shooshing. The Wallace Library is far from that Hollywood portrayal you may have in your head. It is a place of learning, a place to gather information, and most of all, a vital part of an RIT education.