11 Things We Do in JMU Libraries That Might Surprise You

Posted on: April 6, 2021

If you think libraries are only about books, think again! In honor of National Library Week (April 4-10, 2021), join us on a mini tour of some of the other things we do.

  1. We do 3D scanning and printing
    We’ve used our 3D scanners and printers to create replicas of rare artifacts to make them more accessible, personal protective equipment to address the national shortage, a model of an injured hand to create a prosthesis, engine parts for a class, and more!
  2. We teach people how to tell fact from fiction
    Everyone needs to know how to fact-check, spot a misleading graph, and find reliable sources. We teach information literacy, including media and news literacy, in classes and one-on-one.
  3. We build websites
    Our Digital Projects Team builds over 50 websites a year for class projects, virtual exhibits, digital collections, and more! Check out our Digital Scholarship page for some recent examples.
  4. We host live music performances
    Music-lovers will be happy to know we have a live music venue After Hours in the Music Library! The Music Library also hosts an art exhibit space: The little Gallery Underground.
  5. We make our items searchable across the globe
    Do you know what it takes to make library items findable online? Metadata. Our metadata includes keywords or terms that someone has to add to all the items we manage so that people can actually find and request them!
  6. We answer questions – lots of them!
    This one may sound obvious, but we often answer questions that aren’t even library-related! If you have a question – really – Ask the Library!
  7. We teach people how to make podcasts
    You might already know that you can learn podcasting and lots of other skills by taking a workshop in The Makery, but did you know we’ve taught podcasting to entire classes for cool projects like the Harrisonburg 360 podcast?
  8. We handle classroom equipment like projectors and cameras
    So when your presenter can’t get the projector to turn on? Yup! They call us! We installed close to half a million dollars of cameras, microphones, and other equipment in classrooms in 2020 to use in hybrid online/in-person classes.
  9. We loan out laptops and cameras
    Everyone at JMU has access to our video cameras, microphones, laptops, cameras, projectors, external hard drives, and more through our equipment loans!
  10. We loan books to people around the world
    If you’ve ever used Interlibrary Loan, you know it’s possible to get items from other libraries sent to you for free. Did you know we return the favor for other libraries all over the globe?
  11. We stabilize historic books, papers, and photographs
    If you’re imagining removing tape and staples, gluing, and straightening, you’ve got it right! We have staff who specialize in preserving rare and fragile items, which are all housed in our Special Collections.

 

Of course we do a lot of other things too – helping faculty with online teaching, offering consultations on copyright, fair use and other intellectual property issues, guest lecturing in classes on research strategies and managing citations, protecting your privacy, and so much more!

Our role is constantly evolving with the needs of the campus community. If you want to support our ongoing work, make a gift to JMU Libraries.

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