UCB Libraries

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Norlin Library Virtual Tour

The University Libraries are a crucial part of the learning environment at the University of Colorado at Boulder. We -- the faculty, staff and student employees -- are here to serve as your primary resource in obtaining the information you require. You will find us throughout the buildings at information desks, in the book stacks, classrooms, labs and offices. If you need help, just ask us.


This tour will help you find your way around Norlin Library -- the central library of the University of Colorado Libraries System. The tour is simply a starting point in your introduction to the resources to be found on UCB's "Information Concourse". Explore, browse, and enjoy!


Norlin's Sundial Plaza

Norlin's East Sundial Plaza was renovated and upgraded as part of the Norlin Commons project in 2009. The plaza includes different levels of tables and chairs similar to the UMC fountain area. The entire plaza has wireless connectivity. The Sundial is encircled by a fountain. Perimeter lighting has been installed. The plaza's new surface consists of pavers, interspersed with short quotes on flagstone.


As you face the east entrance of Norlin, note the book drop on the right of the main doors. The north facing doors to the right are the direct entrance to the Norlin Commons. For this tour, enter the through the main, east facing doors.

Come inside the east lobby, turn to the right and enter the Norlin Commons.

Norlin Learning Commons / Orientation


1. Norlin, 1st Floor :: Norlin Commons

The Norlin Commons, opened for service on July 6, 2009, is a joint project of the University Libraries and Information Technology Services. The Commons integrates technology in a flexible innovative design. The blending of ITS and the Libraries gives students seamless access to information sources and productivity tools. Through the merging of content, technology, and services the new space enables the full continuum of student learning and discovery and greatly expands student study areas.


Flexible work spaces include:


Laughing Goat Cafe

Loop around through the Norlin Commons and return to the east lobby.


Norlin's East Lobby features a large alcove with a display area, benches and overhead monitor which posts building information, including hours of operation.

Norlin East Lobby

Pass by the elevators and through the fire doors. Straight ahead are the stairs to the Norlin Basement (we'll come back to that later on) and to the right, past the campus courtesy phone, is a doorway leading to a long corridor which leads through a study area and lockers and on to the Southwest Study Room.

2. Norlin, 1st floor :: Southwest Study Room

This room contains wide desks and chairs that enable students to spread out their work. A photocopy machine and SCARPIEs are available. The first floor restrooms are nearby along the west corridor.

Southwest Study Room

From the Southwest Study Room continue into the adjacent corridor and, using either the stairs or elevator at the opposite end, go up one flight to the 2nd Floor. Directly opposite Norlin's west entrance is the Circulation/Reserve Desk, a part of Access Services.

Norlin Circulation Desk


3. Norlin, 2nd floor :: Access Services


To check out a book, present it with your ID at this desk. If you cannot find a particular book on the shelf, inquire here. If the book is checked out, you may have it recalled to the Circulation Desk, or, if it cannot be found, you may have it traced. This may also be done via the Chinook Catalog using your campus IdentiKey. Patrons beyond the UCB Campus may apply for borrowing privileges there. Circulation Desk Supervisors handle payments and reconciling accounts.



Most items are on electronic reserve now and available through Chinook for view, download, or print. Use your Identikey to access these documents. Books and magazine articles which are in heavy demand for class use are placed on "Reserve" for limited circulation at the request of the University faculty. These items may be checked out for 2-hour, 1-day, or 3-day periods and should be returned at the Reserve Book Drop. Use the computer terminals on the west wall in the Circulation area to locate call numbers for reserve items.


Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Currently enrolled students, faculty, and staff of the University of Colorado at Boulder may use the services of Interlibrary Loan. If the library does not own a title you need for research purposes, it may be possible to borrow it from another library if you have sufficient time to wait for its arrival. Requests for materials are only accepted electronically, via Interlibrary Loan's ILLiad. When ILL materials arrive, you will receive an email notice stating their availability either at the Norlin Circulation Desk or online.


Popular Reading Collection

A browsing collection of popular fiction and non-fiction materials.


Video Collection

This department houses videos, in both DVD and Blew-ray formats, which are available for one-week circulation as well as media reserves for in-library use only.


West Side Study Room
This area contains a large, quiet study area with large, sturdy wooden desks and chairs, bookable study rooms and a conference room


West Side Study Room

Self Checkout Machines

These are available in Norlin Circulation area. Use your Buff OneCard to checkout materials yourself and avoid lines at the desk.


Disability Services

The Circulation Department is committed to helping the disabled.


Book Return
You can drop off library materials at the Circulation Desk and, if you wish, request a return receipt.

Books on carts

As you leave this area, turn left (south) and you will enter the Science Collection.

Science Library


4. Norlin, 2nd floor :: Science Collection

An extensive collection of scientific journals, CD-ROMs, research materials, microform, and books are found here in the following disciplines: general science, biosciences, chemistry, psychology, kinesiology and exercise physiology, pharmacy, artificial intelligence, speech and hearing, nutrition, gerontology, and the history of science.


Materials in math-physics, earth sciences, and engineering disciplines are located in the appropriate branch libraries outside of Norlin.


Approximately 240,000 volumes are included in the Science collection. The Science stacks are located on the first and second floors and the two smaller sub-floors in between and below the main floors within the south west corner of Norlin. Reference services for the Science Collection are available at the Reference Desk in the adjacent room.


Norlin Security
Before leaving this area, note that Norlin Security is located in S205, in the Science computer and study space, they also house the building’s Lost & Found items.


Continue east along the corridor and you will arrive at Norlin's Research Services.

New Research Center


5. Norlin, 2nd floor :: Research Services

Research Services consists of the Research & Information Department, the Periodicals Collection, the East Asian Collection, classrooms, group study rooms, modular study carrels and also acts as a general study area.


Research & Instruction

Here you will find research computers, encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, indexes and other research sources. This department is responsible for research service in the humanities and social sciences and for maintaining the research sources in these disciplines. Librarians and staff are available at the Research Desk most of the hours the library is open and will be glad to help you.


Chinook Catalog Computers

The Chinook Catalog enables you to search the University Libraries collection. Chinook also provides gateway access to hundreds of databases and local and state library catalogs, as well as the library catalogs and collections of major research libraries in the United States. You can search the Chinook Catalog via the Internet. Access to Libraries-subscribed databases and indexes is restricted to campus IP databases. Members of the campus community can access these offsite by following the instructions for Off-campus Access.


Research Services houses current journals and newspapers related to the fields of the humanities and social sciences. It is important to note that specialized libraries house journals in their respective fields.


Periodical Indexes and Other Research Books

Most periodical indexes are available online via the Chinook Catalog. Some print indexes for the humanities and social sciences are located on the shelves behind the Research Desk. The research collection is shelved in call number sequence on the remaining shelves.


E-Mail Research

Short answer research and information questions may be sent to reflib@colorado.edu

Asian Studies Collection
The Asian Studies Collection serves faculty and students of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature as well as the general public. The Library collection includes over 50,000 monographs, mostly written in the Chinese or Japanese language. Specialized research assistance is available.


As you loop through the room to the north, exit out the double doors to the Art & Architecture Collection.

Art & Architecture Library


6. Norlin, 2nd floor :: Art & Architecture Collection

The books, periodicals and research materials in the fields of art, art history, architecture, photography and environmental design are located in this collection. The area is equipped with computers for research purposes.


For research assistance, walk through the east door of Art & Architecture and stop by Research Services' Research Desk or call 303-492-7521.


Continue walking through the room and exit through the southeast corner to the east stairwell and go up one flight to the third floor. The Norlin book stacks begin to your right at the top of the stairs, adjacent to the elevators.

Norlin Stacks


7. Norlin, 3rd floor :: Norlin Book Stacks

The books here are shelved according to the Library of Congress system in call number order. Norlin's stacks house materials for the Social Sciences and Humanities. Upon entering the stacks, take note of the small staircase just to your left. These stairs lead you to levels 3B and 3C. Maps of the Norlin stacks posted on the wall adjacent to these stairs help determine on which floor and within which shelf row your books may be found. Guide cards at the end of each range indicate which "block" of call numbers is located in that aisle.


Location charts (pdf) are posted throughout the stacks, and you can use the computer located by the staircases on each of the Norlin stacks floors to determine item availability.


Throughout the academic year during the peak hours of library use, a volunteer Bookfinder is stationed on level 3A to assist patrons in retrieving items from the stacks.


Library Information Kiosks are located at the Stacks entrance and on levels 3B and 3C.


Exit the Norlin Stacks and turn right just beyond the elevators. Continue straight past the restrooms and study carrels, through the doorway and into the Government Information Library.

Government Publications


8. Norlin, 3rd floor :: Government Information Library

This library contains more than two million publications in paper and close to six million on microform from city, state, U.S., foreign and international governments. Most publications can be found through Chinook. The Government Information information desk is located at the west end of the room. Reference service is available in the second floor Research Services.


From the middle of the room, pass through the double doorway to the north. The computer lab is located on the right side of the room divider and on the left is a study area and the American Music Research Center (AMRC) -- both accessible from either end of the room.


9. Norlin, 3rd floor :: PC Computer Lab (M350)

This OIT lab contains over 50 PC computers, a flatbed scanner and a pair of industrial laser printers. OIT computers require use of your IdentiKey.


On the other side of the divider is a study area and the American Music Research Center (AMRC).

AMRC & Study Area

The AMRC is a joint venture of the University Libraries and College of Music devoted to the discovery of new information about American music and to the sharing of those discoveries with the wider community.


At the north end of the room you'll enter a wide corridor lined with desks and chairs. Off to the left is the Graduate Study Room.

Computer Lab (N310)


10. Norlin, 3rd floor :: Graduate Study Suite (N310)

The Graduate Study Suite is operated by the Circulation Department. The room has been renovated and became operational in October 2009. The suite is equipped with carrels shared by two people, check out for either day or evening shift. Each person has a lockable storage area. Power is available at each carrel as well as in each locker. Wireless connectivity is available throughout the suite.

Turn east from the Graduate Study Suite and walk a short distance to the next door on the left -- Special Collections.

Special Collections


11. Norlin, 3rd floor :: Special Collections

Many rare and unusual books are available in this department. Because of the special nature of these rare books, staff assistance is necessary. You are welcome to view the changing exhibits of items in the collections. Take note of the hours Special Collections is open as they are different from Norlin's hours.


FYI, Norlin's fourth floor is home to many offices and conference rooms. Administration Services and other offices (Honors, President's Teaching Scholars Program, UROP, etc.) are also located on this floor.


Return to the main staircase on the southeast side of the Library and go down three flights to the basement. Archives is to your left when you reach the basement. Go through the door and turn right.


12. Norlin, Basement :: Archives

This department collects source materials for regional, historical research as well as the records and publications of the University. Ask the staff for help in using this collection and make note of the hours it is open.


Return to the tiled basement at the base of the stairs and turn left. Walk past the elevators and down the ramp.


13. Norlin, Basement :: Norlin Basement Stacks :: Overflow Collections

Notice these are "moving" stacks. Look for directions on the side of the shelf. Some government publications and older materials from branch libraries are located here.


Return to the east lobby of Norlin.

You have completed the tour!

Norlin Library is not the only library on campus. If you feel like extending your walking tour, visit the branch libraries shown on the map of campus libraries. Each of these libraries contains the books, media, periodicals and research materials appropriate to its subject as well as trained staff to assist you.


Also, one last item, we do have some information about Art in the Libraries.