St. Thomas Libraries Blog - News, Events and Musings from the UST Libraries
News & Events

Extra library hours and events for students during finals week

While this is an exciting time of year, it can also be stressful time for students with the end of the semester and upcoming finals. As the St. Thomas community prepares for finals, the library is here both physically and virtually to help students ace their finals.

Leading up to finals, the O’Shaughnessy-Frey library will remain open to 10 PM on Friday, December 15th and Saturday, December 16th with normal library hours for the rest of the week.

Along with some longer hours, the libraries sponsor special events during those weeks to help students relax while they work.

One of our most popular events is when we invite trained therapy pets into the library for students to cuddle and play with. While the last therapy pet night was on December 14th, the library sponsors this event a few times throughout each semester, and always during finals week. Something students can look forward to in the spring.

Focus on Finals is an annual event where the library along with the Center for Student Achievement provides a cozy environment for students to study and enjoy seasonal treats. This year Focus on the Finals will be on Sunday, December 17th in the library from 7:00-9:00.

And as always, the librarians are on hand until the very end of the semester for any last-minute research needs 24/7 via Ask a Librarian Chat, and scheduled consultations in person, email, or Zoom.

The entire campus is closed from December 23, 2023 until January 2, 2024, including the . The University Libraries re-open-up on Wednesday, January 3, 2023, with regular hours beginning at 7:30 AM. See you in 2024!

News & Events

Students can access daily national newspapers through the Libraries

It’s a well-known fact that students have access to online library resources which contain the full text of scholarly and popular resources, articles, books, and book chaptersWhat’s noteworthy is that the libraries have recently acquired subscriptions to the digital, web-based versions of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. In the past, students could access these newspapers, but they were presented in a static format without images that did not allow students to browse headlines.

The new arrangement allows students to easily browse headlines and read complete articles on their phones or laptops. Furthermore, they can explore additional content from these newspapers’ websites, including videos, podcasts, puzzles, and games.

For those who seek more analysis of current news stories, the libraries now subscribe to the web version of The Atlantic Monthly, a highly respected journal with a rich history of covering politics, foreign affairs, the economy, culture, the arts, technology, and science. Additionally, for an international perspective on news, business, and politics, the libraries maintain a subscription to the web version of The Economist.

Accessing these news sources is free, but some may require you to create separate accounts, which are also free. You can find detailed instructions for setting up these accounts on our website. Additionally, our friendly librarians are here to help via Chat, Zoom, or in-person to answer any questions you may have.

We’re excited to provide students with access to these valuable resources and are eager to assist with all their research needs throughout the year.

News & Events

Sunsetting Leisure Reading Collection

cartoon images of books on a blue background

The St. Thomas Libraries regret to announce the Leisure Reading Collections at the St. Paul O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library and the downtown, Minneapolis Keffer Library are being retired. The Leisure Reading Collections started in 2008 and provided popular fiction and non-fiction titles to the St. Thomas community.  

The St. Thomas Libraries encourage patrons to visit and support local public libraries to find popular reading titles.  If patrons have a permanent address within the Twin Cities area, they may be eligible to sign up for a library card at the St. Paul Public Libraries, the Hennepin County Libraries, or the Ramsey Country Libraries. These library systems also offer ebooks and audiobooks on the popular Libby app, which can be accessed through an e-library card. Check out your local library’s webpage to learn more.  

Questions? Reach out to Meghan Manahan, the Associate Director for Collection Management & Services, at

by Deb Juarez Wohlert

Art, Database Highlights & Trials, New Materials, News & Events

JSTOR: It’s not just for articles anymore!

Two films strips appear horizontally with different images from the JSTOR collections inside the film strip. Images include drawings of plants, art, newspapers, and photos

When we hear the name JSTOR, scholarly journal articles often come to mind.  However, over the years, the platform has evolved into so much more than a database of academic journals.  

JSTOR is still expanding! It currently contains a vast array of resources, making it an indispensable tool for students and academics across 75 different disciplines. It also includes electronic books from over 300 academic publishers and, by August 2024, will fully integrate the ArtSTOR database into its platform. 

Recognizing the significance of primary sources in academic research and exploration, JSTOR has ventured into the realm of primary source collections. The Collections section offers a compilation of images and primary sources contributed by libraries, museums, and archives from around the world.  This inclusion broadens the scope of research possibilities and enhances the depth of insights. 

Beyond the expansion of its core content, JSTOR sponsors several unique collections that cater to specialized interests and research fields.  While you will need a St Thomas ID and password to explore, some noteworthy collections include: 

  • 19th Century British Pamphlets :  This collection houses over 26,000 important pamphlets held in research libraries in the United Kingdom.  It is a valuable resource for the study of sociopolitical and economic factors impacting 19th-century Britain. 
  • Struggles for Freedom : Southern Africa : Comprising of over 190,000 pages of documents and images, this collection documents the liberation of Southern Africa and the dismantling of the Apartheid regime in South Africa. 
  • World Heritage Sites : Africa  :  Linking visual, contextual, and spatial documentation of African heritage sites, this collection houses over 57,000 objects, ranging from photographs and 3D models, to historical maps, and research. 
  • Global Plants : With nearly 3 million objects, it is the largest community-contributed database in which herbaria share their plant-type specimens.  Experts determine and update the names of plants, making it an invaluable resource for botanists and researchers in the field. 

With these integrations, JSTOR is truly living up to its tagline “Explore the world’s knowledge, cultures, and ideas.”   

By: Ann Kenne, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist

Images in the above media are from JSTOR expanded collections

News & Events

Libraries inspire curiosity outside of the classroom

The O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library caters to a variety of needs and interests for students on campus. It provides traditional library spaces where students can find a quiet environment to read, relax, and explore the extensive book collection across four floors. These conventional library activities remain relevant even in today’s technology-driven era.
Additionally, the library offers spaces for social interaction. The first floor encourages conversation and group work, with multiple computers available, and there’s even a coffee shop serving a wide range of hot and cold gourmet coffee drinks and light treats. Moreover, students can utilize the podcast studio in the library that is equipped with necessary tools and software, allowing them to access multimedia resources for class-related projects or personal endeavors.
And when students do need to focus on writing papers or using library resources, the library staff will be readily available to assist them. More on that next month.
As an academic library, OSF aims to promote curiosity and motivate users to explore diverse subjects, expanding their knowledge beyond the classroom. By integrating both traditional and modern elements, the library creates an inclusive and dynamic environment, enhancing the overall learning experience for students.

Database Highlights & Trials, Media/Music Collections, Music, News & Events



Music is an inseparable part of Indian Culture which reflects how the nation is diversified for its cultures, language, food, and people. Indian music heritage is an ever-expanding treasure that is passed down from generation to generation. It dates to Vedic times over 6,000 years ago, where chants developed a system of musical notes and rhythmic cycles. There are many genres of Indian music like classical, regional folk, Sufi, Ghazals, Filmi and Indian pop music, and it is the uniqueness of Indian music which brings millions of fans together worldwide.

Indian Classical Music

Indian classical music is very closely connected to nature and takes inspiration from the seasons and times of the day. It has two fundamental elements or concepts named ‘Raag’ and ‘Taal’.

‘Raag’ is a melodic framework and forms the structural framework of the music. It consists of specific set of notes which construct the melody. ‘Tala’, on the other hand, is a rhythmic structure or beat that measures the musical time, and it works as a base on which Raga is created. It can induce specific emotional response ranging from ‘Happy’, ‘Sad’, ‘Calm and relaxed’, ‘tensed’ etc.

Genres of Indian Classical Music

Before 13th century, there was only one Indian classical music but after that the Indian Classical Music got divided into two sections and different styles. The North Indian Hindustani Classical Music which is practiced in North India and The South Indian Carnatic Classical Music which is practiced in South India

  • Although they have differences in styles, interpretations, and audience appeal, they both are Raga based and share similar origin and themes.
  • Both the musical styles use a Tanpura as a Drone instrument which support the melody of another instrument or singer and create the pitch and base for the performance.
  • Both the music developed through common ancestors, Sanskrit language, and Vedic traditions.


  • Both Raga and Tala being the central notion of both the music traditions, the sound and result is different and same raags and musical concepts have different names due to difference in the language.
  • The Carnatic music is free from external influences and is pure, while the north Indian music has Persian and Mughal influence.
  • The Carnatic music was originated in Bhakti Movement, while the Hindustani music was originated in Vedic period.


Listen via our database about Indian Classical Music, concerts, and the finest musicians:
Rules of Raga (Video)
Ravi Shankar Live in Concert: (Video)
Indian Classical Music: (Video)
Ravi Shankar: The Man and His Music (Video)
South Indian Classical Music House Concert (Video)

By Pragya Verma



Latin America, Libraries, Media/Music Collections, News & Events

Join Us for the First Latiné Film Festival at UST

University Libraries, MCL, Film Studies, OCB, HOLA will be hosting the first 2023 Latiné Film Festival this April! The festival will be screening three films: Guie’dani’s Navel (Dir. Xavi Salas, 2018), Song Without a Name (Dir. Melina León, 2019), and Los Lobos (Dir.  Samuel Kishi Leopo, 2019). More details about each film below.
Come view these films to learn more about immigration, nationality, race and ethnicity, and gender in Latin America and the United States.
Broaden your knowledge through these three amazing films and participate in the panel discussion at the end of each film. Even more, attending a film will count for extra credit for Spanish classes and/or an event for the Social Justice & Cultural Transformation for the Common Good TBLC. Receptions will follow.

When: Wednesdays in April (April 5, 19, 26) from 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Where: OEC Auditorium

Wednesday, April 5th at 6pm

Guie’dani’s Navel (2018): This film follows the journey of a young girl forced to leave her indigenous village in southwest Mexico, to accompany her mother as a domestic servant in an affluent neighborhood in Mexico City.

Wednesday, April 19th at 6pm

Song Without a Name (2019): This historical fiction film tells the story of the nightmare that many Indigenous Peruvian women experienced in the 1980s.

Wednesday, April 26th at 6pm

Los Lobos (2019): Los Lobos depicts the struggles of single mother Lucía and her two young sons, Max and Leo, in their early days of their arrival in New Mexico.

If interested, click the link to login and RSVP on Tommie Link:

Libraries, Media/Music Collections, News & Events

Get Creative in a Video & Podcast Studio!

Have you ever wanted to start a YouTube channel or podcast? Well, did you know that UST has video and podcast studios available for you to use?
Dedicated to students, these studios are available during normal library hours. Studios provide students with self-service recording capabilities for assignments and personal projects.

The Video Studio

The space can be changed to accomplish the look and feel you are going for in your video. A few studio configuration ideas are stand-up presentation, sit down presentation, or morning talk show. To achieve these configurations, there’s a height adjustable SMART Board, furniture, lighting, sound, etc. This gives your project the perfect, distraction-free setting. Feel free to use the camera provided in the room or bring your own smart phone or device.

The Podcast Studio

The studio is equipped with a table microphone to record 1-4 people in a round-table environment, acoustic padding, and a computer with your choice to record using Panopto or Audacity. It is a distraction-free setting perfect to record group discussions, audio presentations, and podcasts.

To reserve the podcast studio, scan the QR code below!

Be creative and have fun!

By Claire Weiss

SMART board room in O'Shaughnnesy-Frey Library with table, white board, and SMART board

Study Room Renovations!

New features are available in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library study rooms 321 and 322! The St. Thomas Libraries and The Susan S. Morrison School of Nursing collaborated to renovate the third-floor study rooms and added smart boards, whiteboards, and converted walls into drawable surfaces.

Dr. Sheila Yeh, the Associate Vice Provost for University Libraries and Online Education, was pleased with this collaboration. She said “It’s important that we advanced these two group study rooms based on student feedback. These types of spaces, that support broader student successes, also align with Gen Z’s preferences.”

Jessica Nelson, the Student Success Director at the Susan S. Morrison School of Nursing, said “We encourage our students to utilize a variety of learning techniques when they approach their studies. The large writing spaces allow for kinesthetic and visual learners to mind map, chart, and illustrate course materials in an engaging way that will support long-term retention of information.”

All students are welcome to reserve and use this space. Need whiteboard markers? The O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library has whiteboard markers available for check out.

Room showing a table, whiteboard wall, and smartboard

Room showing a table, whiteboard wall, and smartboard

Interested in reserving one of these study rooms for your next study session? Here’s how!

From the library homepage, click on “Reserve a Study Room” on the top right hand corner:

Screenshot of library home page with an arrow pointing to the Reserve a Room link in the upper right corner

Choose the study room location that works for you:

Screenshot of the main room reservation page

Red sections of the calendar are already reserved. Green sections are available – the revamped study rooms are on the bottom of the calendar under OSF Smart boards:

Screenshot of the reservation page listing available rooms. Red is unavailable, green is available.

Select the time you’d like to reserve – the calendar will mark it in yellow as “pending”, slick “submit times”:

Screenshot of selecting a time from the available time slots

Double-check that the hours are what you wanted, and review the terms & conditions

Screenshot of booking details such as room location, date, and time

You’ll be able to reserve the booking under any name you decide – many students choose a name their study group will recognize. Click “submit my booking” and your reservation will be confirmed via email.

Screenshot of submitting the reservation after confirming details.

When you get to the library, head to the front desk and let the friendly library staff person know that you have a booking – they’ll get you a key to the study room. Happy Studying!