Ann Zawistoski – St. Thomas Libraries Blog
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News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Welcome Week at the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Welcome back!

We’re so excited to see people back on campus and to welcome you all back to the library.

Join us Sept. 7 – 10 for Welcome Week in the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library. Stop by the Welcome Desk in the front entryway of the library (there will be balloons) to say hi.

What is happening during Welcome Week?

Tuesday, September 7:

  • Get a tour of the library
    1:00 and 3:00 pm, meet by the welcome desk.

All week:

  • Free coffee in the morning! While supplies last
  • Library Scavenger Hunt, pick up a scavenger hunt page. Return your completed page by Friday and be entered to win our prize. Feel free to work with friends!
  • Have questions about the library? Ask us!
  • Pick up hand-outs and other fun treats!

Library Research Help Zoom drop-in hours
News & Events

Library Help Zoom Drop-in sessions

Join us at one of our Library Research Help Zoom drop-in sessions.  Drop in during one of these sessions to meet with a librarian and a peer research assistant to get help with any library research questions you may have.  Wondering what we can help with?  Here’s a few of the types of questions you can ask (but feel free to come with other questions!):

  • How do I start a research project?
  • How can I find a specific book or article?
  • How do I know if an article or book is a good one to use?
  • How do I cite a source in my bibliography?
  • What types of sources would be good for my project?
  • How do I know if an article is peer-reviewed?
  • I’m trying to find research on a topic and I’m just not finding any, what should I do?
  • I’m trying to find research on a topic and I have way too many results, what do I do?
  • I found an article on my topic but it’s too old, how do I find something newer?
  • How do I know if I’ve found enough sources for a research assignment?

Schedule of Drop-in Sessions

(click on the date for details on TommieLink – St. Thomas log-in required):

You are always welcome to Ask a Librarian at other times, too! You can chat with us or text us or make an appointment with your subject librarian for more in-depth research help.

News & Events, Services

Ask a Librarian – anytime and from anywhere

Ask a Librarian is a vital service available to anyone at St. Thomas to get help with many different questions about the library and research.

Wondering what kinds of questions to ask a librarian?  Here are a few examples:

  • How do I start a research project?
  • How can I find a specific book or article?
  • How do I know if an article or book is a good one to use?
  • How do I cite a source in my bibliography?
  • What types of sources would be good for my project?
  • How do I know if an article is peer-reviewed?
  • I’m trying to find research on a topic and I’m just not finding any, what should I do?
  • I’m trying to find research on a topic and I have way too many results, what do I do?
  • I found an article on my topic but it’s too old, how do I find something newer?
  • How do I know if I’ve found enough sources for a research assignment?
  • I want to look through a specific journal, do you have it?
  • I have an interview with a company, how can I find out more information about that company?

To get answers to these and other library questions, use our Ask a Librarian Service.

Connect with a St. Thomas librarian!

ask a librarian: research help online via chat, text, email, or zoomYou can connect with a librarian via the Chat tool (purple box at bottom right of the library page) or simply send a text (651-504-1324).

St. Thomas librarians will be available to answer Ask a Librarian questions

  • Monday-Thursday 10:00am – 10:00pm
  • Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 pm

What if you have questions outside those hours? 

No worries! We are part of a cooperative reference service called AskMN. That means that during off-hours, our chat and text messages are answered right away by other academic librarians around the country (and in exchange, some of our librarians answer questions from students at other libraries around the country).  If the other librarians can’t fully answer your question, they’ll pass it along to us and we’ll get back to you when we’re back.

You can also ask a librarian via Email.

Email a librarian anytime or use our Ask a Librarian form and we’ll answer within one business day.

Don’t forget about Research Consultations with a subject librarian! 

Our subject librarians are experts in the tools and resources for their subjects.  They are available to meet with you to help with in-depth questions via Zoom, phone, or email: whatever works best for you!  Don’t know who your subject librarian is?  Check our Subject Librarian page to find your librarian and how to contact them.

Archbishop Ireland Library, Charles J. Keffer Library, Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Welcome back to the Library!

As the University re-opens and people return to campus, we wanted to give everyone some information about what’s happening at the libraries and how things are a little different this Fall.

First, what hasn’t changed: we still have a robust set of resources (books, magazines, journals, datasets, films, and more) for you to use, and library staff are available to help you navigate, find, and use them.  We are still here for you!

There are some changes, though, to keep you and our community as safe as possible during this pandemic.  Our short video (3 min) goes through a lot of the changes, or read on for more details.

Libraries in the time of COVID

So what changes will you see in the libraries? (Note that these may change as the situation and pandemic and Department of Health dictate.  Make sure to check our website for the most up to date information).

Masks, hand sanitizing stations, and work space sanitizing stations:

Masks are required to be worn in the libraries (as they are everywhere on campus).

  • If you are eating or drinking in the library, we ask that you have your mask covering your face whenever you are not actively eating.
  • We have hand and work sanitizing stations throughout the library.  Please wipe down spaces before and after using them.

Research help is available online:

Our librarians love working with you to help you find and use our resources, but because our work is often in-depth, it isn’t safe to do it in person.

Clear markers of where to line up and stand:

photo in front of Stacks Cafe showing stickers on the floor indicating where to stand

Pawprints on the floor in front of Stacks Café show you where to line up

You’ll see the familiar Tommie pawprint stickers on the floor in front of our desks and the Stacks Café to help you line up at a safe distance.


Spaces and furniture:

We will notice that we have moved furniture to be in alignment with our Common Good Occupancy, please do not move furniture from where it is.  Rest assured that we still have many spaces available for study:

  • Spaces for online class participation: You are welcome to participate in your online classes in the library on the Lower Level, Sub Level and 1st floor, or in a reserved study room.  You will need to use your own headphones/microphone, and keep your voice to a low level to avoid disturbing others.
  • Spaces for quiet study: The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors are reserved for quiet study.  Please make sure you have headphones if you are listening to audio on your computer.
  • Study Rooms:
    NOTE: Effective Monday, November 23, all study rooms in the OSF Library are closed until further notice due to continued noncompliance with the university’s face covering policy.
    Our study rooms in Keffer and Ireland libraries will be available to be reserved online.  We are building in a 30 minute cushion between reservations to allow the space to air out.  Most rooms are now single occupancy.

    photo of study area on 2nd floor of OSF library. Tables and chairs are spaced out for safety

    The study space on 2nd floor of OSF has tables and chairs spaced out for safety.

Books, Journals, DVDs, and other materials:

You can check out our books and materials just like before.  You can request books from other libraries using CLIC request and Interlibrary Loan.

We are following recommendations that come from studies done by the REALM project on safe handling of library materials.  Most books and other materials are quarantined for 72 hours. Glossy materials such as magazines, coffee table books and children’s board books will be quarantined for 96 hours.

  • What this means to you: You may notice delays in getting materials, especially if you request them from another library or if they were recently returned or received.

Technology in the library:

ITS has removed shared computers on campus including the lab computers in the library.  We do have printing available and two computers to use to print documents.

We are not circulating headphones, cords, or lockers.

  • What this means to you: Bring your own device and headphones (if you’ll be listening to audio).  Consider setting up Follow Me printing so that you can print to any printer from your laptop.

Alumni and Guests:

Alumni and guests are welcome in the library and can use and check out materials if they have a card.  Because we do not have shared computers, we are unable to offer access to our electronic resources.



Keep calm and read the syllabus
News & Events

The library as a resource for your students (library syllabus statement)

For our faculty: As you work on your classes for this Fall, please consider adding the libraries as a resource for your students by adding our statement (and editing as you see fit) to your course syllabus.  While our research services have gone mostly online, we are still available and look forward to helping your students in all stages of their research assignment or with any of their information needs (and yours as well!).

You can download a MS Word version of the statement (UST only) or copy and paste from the statement text below:

University of St. Thomas Libraries Syllabus Statement

Fall 2020

University of St. Thomas Libraries (O’Shaughnessy-Frey, Keffer, Ireland and Law) provide access to a broad range of information resources. Librarians support students with research assignments from the early stages to completion.

Connect with us:

We can help you with your research assignments in any stage:

Navigate library resources Familiarity with library home page; research & course guides; services; hours; contact info, etc.
Develop an effective research strategy Research question; narrow down topic; identify keywords, concepts and terms; select relevant info; analysis & synthesis; evaluation, etc.
Identify resources for your search Books, journals, newspapers, primary sources, social media, data, or others, depending on course /research needs
Document sources using an appropriate citation style RefWorks (citation management tool), or other citation resources.

Make an appointment with a Librarian:

Subject librarians provide in-depth research assistance by appointment. If you would like assistance that goes beyond what is provided through regular reference services, we encourage you to contact the librarian in your subject area to make an appointment.

photo of the whiteboard in the library. Full text is in the accompanying post
Libraries, News & Events

You belong here

Statement from the University Libraries, posted Dec. 13, 2019:

In regards to the conversation started by the posters in the library stairwell. We want to thank everyone for the passionate and constructive dialogue around a difficult topic.

No matter how you may have felt

  • upset
  • accused
  • thoughtful
  • supported
  • silenced threatened
  • reflective
  • empathetic
  • marginalized
  • seen
  • ashamed
  • challenged
  • called out
  • intimidated
  • relieved
  • uncomfortable
  • empowered
  • grateful

Remember that the library supports the exploration of all points of view and welcomes everyone.

The library is a place to

  • encounter…
  • engage with…
  • find support for…
  • be challenged by…


You belong here!
photo of the whiteboard in the library. Full text is in the accompanying post

You can read more in the TommieMedia article about the World Café posters.

News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Subjects/Topics

2019 Annual World Café posters in the library

photo of library stairwell with poster reading "Did you acknowledge your privilege today?"

the poster reads, “Did you acknowledge your privilege today?”

If you come into O’Shaughnessy-Frey library this week and head up the stairwell, you’ll see some new posters posing questions and potential answers around institutional and structural racism.  Those posters came out of the 2019 Annual World Café, a faculty-led event at which St. Thomas students from multiple disciplines came together for discussion in October.

The World Café model has been used at St. Thomas since 2012 to facilitate conversations around critical issues.  Each year, this interdisciplinary event involves large groups of students participating in faculty-facilitated dialogue as a way of gaining perspective from people with different viewpoints.  This year’s event covered issues related to structural, cultural, and institutional racism.  Students emerged from the discussion with questions and/or action steps regarding racial justice in our community.

The questions and action steps are posted in the main staircase of the library.  They are provocative and thought-provoking and intended to spark conversations. If you wish, please continue this conversation by sharing your thoughts on the rotunda whiteboard.

You can read more about the World Café dialogue model and last year’s program at St. Thomas in the article “The World Café: Promoting Interdisciplinary Dialogue on Global Health Issues” published in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Diversity & Democracy by Dr. Roxanne Prichard, Dr. Starr Sage, and Dr. Amy Finnegan.

Below is a selection of photos of the posters as well as a photos of the responses left on the whiteboard.   We will add more photos of responses as the conversation continues.



News & Events

Second Winter Lights Event: Managing Stress and Finding Joy — Dec. 11, noon – 1pm

Now that we’ve entered December and the snow is on the ground, there is no question that we’re well into the winter season.  At our last Winter Lights event, we talked about what we love about winter, and what the hardest parts of the season are.  Winter can be filled with joy and beauty, it can be quiet and cozy. Winter can also be cold and isolating and full of stresses around finals, holidays, and end of year deadlines.

At our next Winter Lights event, we’ll continue that conversation and dive into those joys and stresses that we encounter during the winter.  Counseling staff will lead a discussion about stress relief, finding joy, and demonstrate a relaxation technique.  After the discussion, we’ll have a chance for everyone to create their own scent-pot mixture to take home and enjoy.  Of course, we’ll also have snacks, related library resources, and a video of a crackling fire to keep us cozy.

Everyone is invited, we hope you’ll join us!

Winter Lights: Managing Stress and Finding Joy

  • Wednesday, December 11, 2019
  • Noon to 1:00 pm
  • O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, room 102 (right inside the entrance)

Until then, enjoy some photos of last month’s event: