Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by: Zoë (Abbie) Teel 

Interior of Bookstore: corner shelf of books.
Interior of a Bookstore by Sena Kazak and licensed under Pexels

Academic libraries have been a target of the national book ban crisis. There has been a proliferation of books that have been subjected to censorship in the last few years, especially books that deal with imperative topics such as gender identity, race, abortion, and sexuality. Books authored by individuals who are BIPOC (black, Indigenous, and people of color) are heavily under attack and face unfair, unjust scrutiny. Particularly, in the state of Texas, school libraries have faced many challenges regarding the works within their institutions: “Texas banned more books from school libraries this past year than any other state in the nation, targeting titles centering on race, racism, abortion, and LGBTQ representation and issues, according to a new analysis by PEN America, a nonprofit organization advocating for free speech” (Lopez, 2022). 

So, what is the big deal? Students are losing access to literature that grapples with topics they may be struggling with in their own lives. Having a piece of literature that allows students to explore and navigate the thoughts, feelings, and emotions they are experiencing, through characters and authors, gives them comfort and a safe space. Libraries are supposed to be the home of information; a place that demolishes barriers and welcomes knowledge. Academic libraries are the embodiment of intellectual freedom. Questioning why things are the way they are is at the heart of education. 

Books face removal because they are considered potentially dangerous by individuals who feel a misguided sense of moral obligation, as we have seen especially here in Texas. However, lawmakers seem to disagree. “[Rep. Matt] Krause, a member of the hardline conservative Texas House Freedom Caucus who is also running for state attorney general, included in his inquiry a roughly 850-book list that included novels about racism and sexuality and asked the districts to identify which of those books were available on school campuses” (Pollock, 2021). It is important to note, that many of the lawmakers who are trying to restrict access to books, and moreover, restrict freedom of thought, have never worked with the education system or academia. 

The American Library Association released the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021.” These ten titles “are only a snapshot of book challenges,” meaning that these are only a handful of the works that the Office for Intellectual Freedom have deemed “the most challenged.” (ALA, 2021). According to the ALA (2021), these titles included: 

UNT Libraries has made it a priority to not shy away from titles that are challenged. Having each of these ten titles in the catalog demonstrates that academic libraries, like UNT, are making a stand for books. By having these books in UNT Libraries’ collections allows the precedent to be set that student’s rights are important, and censorship does not belong in the library space. 

The University of North Texas celebrates the freedom to read. Each year, the American Library Association holds “Banned Book Week,” which UNT Libraries has participated in hosting. UNT Libraries has a Banned Book Guide, which explores what Banned Book Week is and its history. It also offers trivia and videos about the most challenged books and why they are challenged. 

Conclusively, it is obvious that representation matters. Representation that is found within the stories of books promotes learning, inclusivity, and growth. Consider checking out a banned, or censored, book from UNT Libraries. 


American Library Association. (2013). Top 10 Most Challenged Books Lists. Advocacy, Legislation & Issues. 

Lopez, B. (2022). Texas has banned more books than any other state. The Texas Tribune; The Texas Tribune. 

‌Pollock, C. (2021). Greg Abbott tells state agencies to block books with “overly sexual” content.The Texas Tribune; The Texas Tribune.,other%20includes%20depictions%20of%20sex

Posted by & filed under Events, Library Resources, Research Help.

Written by Valerie Cummins

It is a new semester, and with it comes a new season of events held at the UNT Libraries. This is not an exhaustive list- the libraries add new events to its calendar on a regular basis- but the following are events which may be of particular interest to graduate students here at UNT. 

The Eagle Thesis & Dissertation Boot Camp is continuing this semester; these boot camps are intended to be distraction-free and provide uninterrupted writing time for students working on their thesis or dissertation. Later boot camps scheduled for this semester will be held on March 31st from 8:00AM to 6PM and a third one on May 3 from 8:00AM to 6PM. The boot camp is held Willis 250H.  

The Libraries are continuing our Family Study Hour events; the Family Study Hour events are intended to provide students who have families the opportunity to have direct research and resource assistance and the ability to focus on their studies their children use our new family kits, kid-sized bean bags, and kid-sized desks. The remaining Family Study Hours for the semester will be held in Willis 250H on March 25 at 9:30AM and then April 26 at 2PM.  

The Access Services department GSAs has two Spring semester workshops; the first on March 2nd was Google Like a Scholar, where workshop participants learned how to effectively use Google and Google Scholar for more effective searches for not just research but everyday usage.  If you are interested in the PowerPoint or Zoom recording for Google Like a Scholar, reach out to to request a copy. The second workshop, Know Your News, will run on March 23rd, from 2:00PM to 3:00PM. This workshop is intended to teach participants how to recognize what information resources are reliable and which ones are suspect and provide strategies on recognizing bias and how to think critically about news and information sources.  

The UNT Libraries will be hosting several events for Campus Pride Week, which runs from March 27 to March 31st. Tabling will be held inside Willis Library’s first floor lobby on Monday from 11AM to 1PM. On Tuesday, a Queers and Allies Zine Making workshop will be held from 2PM to 4PM in Willis 250H. On Wednesday, there will be multiple events: “But I’m a Cheerleader” will be screened at the Media Library in Chilton Hall from 12PM to 1:30PM. In Willis Library the Queer it Yourself! Button Making @ the Spark event will be held from 2PM to 4PM on the first floor by the Spark desk. LGBTQ+ Bingo will be held from 6PM to 7PM both in person in Willis 250H and online. On Thursday, Sycamore Library will have Pride Storytime from 4PM to 5PM.  

Two library workers tabling outside Wills Library.
[Two Willis Library employees] by Anna Esparza from the UNT Digital Library.

As a different activity that will be held the same week as Campus Pride Week, Willis Library’s Access Services is planning to host a Make Your own Bookmark event on March 28th, from 12-2PM on the Library Mall outside of Willis Library, weather permitting. During this event, participants are welcome to create their own bookmarks for personal use and can ask any questions they might have about various library services.  

On the 14th of April, the UNT Libraries will be sponsoring the 2023 Open Access Symposium with the Texas State University Libraries. This is an all-day virtual event, from 9AM to 4PM, with a focus on new federal initiatives that support Open Science and public access to research that is federally funded. It will include an afternoon panel of faculty who create and use Open Educational Resources or open textbook in their courses. 

On April 18th, the UNT Libraries will be hosting its own student symposium: the Student Snapshots Library Conference. This will be in Willis Library in 250H. The student symposium will feature and showcase services, technologies, projects, and unique resources in different UNT Library departments that student workers have worked on and will present on in a variety of formats. This is not just a unique opportunity for student workers to present in, but for graduate students and students interested in graduate school to attend and explore to learn not just about library resources and what the library does, but also gain experience in how symposiums are ran and what they look like.  

Finally, there are the Spark workshops. The Spark has its own various workshops that cover different technological resources and software available through the Spark, UNT’s computer labs as well as free online resources; their main workshop series for Spring 2023 is Creating Comics, and as of the writing of this blog post they have a variety of introductory courses for March scheduled at Discovery Park, Willis Library, and Frisco Landing.  

Did this blog help you learn about events and workshops you might be interested in at the library for Spring 2023? Let us know in the comments! Please contact AskUs if you have questions about library services and events. 


The Spark. (n.d.). The Spark: Spark Events. Guides at University of North Texas. Retrieved February 13, 2023, from 

UNT Libraries. (n.d.). UNT Libraries Calendar. Calendar. Retrieved February 13, 2023, from 

Posted by & filed under Library Resources.

Written By: Abby Stovall

A person using a laptop with books beside them.
Stacks of Books Beside a Man Typing on Laptop by Tima Miroshnichenko licensed under Pexels.

Writing a thesis or dissertation can seem like a daunting task. Regardless of your area of study, taking on a major project can feel overwhelming and intense. However, UNT Libraries has a variety of resources graduate students can use when writing these papers.


If you are wondering where to even start, UNT Libraries has a thesis and dissertation LibGuide available for students to reference. This guide serves as an introduction to theses and dissertations and can connect you to library and on campus resources that can be of assistance. In addition, there are also guides related to finding tests and assessments to support your research. UNT Libraries has a multitude of articles, databases, and books where these assessments can be found, and the guides help to navigate these resources and find what you are looking for.  

Knowing what library resources are related to your academic field can also help set you up to be successful. UNT Libraries provides LibGuides for different fields of study to help you navigate the variety of resources found in the catalog. Not only do these guides pertain to specific courses, but they also include relevant information related to academic sub-fields that can advance your research. Within each guide, you can find different kinds of content and formats of materials. 

Finding Theses & Dissertations 

UNT Libraries also enables access to online collections of theses and dissertations. One of these includes the UNT Theses and Dissertations Collection through the UNT Digital Library. This collection has a variety of publications created by UNT students and currently sits at nearly 21,000 items. You can search this collection by time period, area of the world, degree discipline, and academic department. This can help you get connected to student research within your field, and help you identify research gaps.  

Similarly, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global has millions of publications, with the oldest in their collection being dated 1637. This database can expand your access to available research coming from graduate students across the globe. 

Know Your Subject Librarian 

Subject librarians are experts in their field and have extensive knowledge pertaining to what resources the library has for their academic department. In addition, subject librarians are here to meet with you to discuss your research options and answer any questions you may have about your studies. UNT Libraries provides a directory for subject librarians, and you can search for them by your college or department. They are always here to help, so never hesitate to connect with yours! 

UNT Libraries has many resources pertaining to writing and conducting research and is here to help you be successful. If you have any research questions for your thesis or dissertation, please contact AskUs or your subject librarian


Barham, R. (2023, February 10). Dissertations and theses. UNT Libraries.

ProQuest. (n.d.). ProQuest dissertations and theses global. 

Rowe, J. (2022, September 1). Tests, measures, and assessments. UNT Libraries.  

UNT Libraries. (n.d.). Subject librarians. 

UNT Libraries. (2023, February 4). Subject guides and course guides: Directory.

Posted by & filed under Knowledge Resources.

Written By: Arthi Reddy Annadi 

Being a student, one has needs to pursue knowledge at greater depth and in all aspects. They are owed to utilize benefits and resources provided by their college. Taking advantage of the resources given can help students become successful. Students currently enrolled in the University of North Texas have free access to many knowledge resources you might not be aware of. These knowledge resources can be extremely beneficial if you are looking to develop your skills and knowledge base in various domains of your interest ranging from professional and technical skills on demand to personality development skills. Below is the list of free knowledge resources.  


The Wall Street Journal (WSJ): The Wall Street Journal is an American business-focused international newspaper based in New York. WSJ is a leading source of information and news in business, economics, and finance known for providing facts, data, and information (The WSJ, 2021). As a UNT student, you are eligible for a one-year free online subscription. Use your free subscription to keep yourself updated with market trends, curated articles, podcasts, and news. Along with unlimited free access to, students can utilize the  Student Hub a place to find students’ content on professional development, personal finance, and work-life balance (Wall Street Journal – Career Development Resources, 2022).  

Daily News Papers.
Daily News Papers by faungg’s photos and Flickr licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0.

The New York Times: The American daily newspaper based in New York City is a dedicated resource for people to understand the world through deep and expertized independent journalism (NYTCO, 2022). UNT students can create a free account for New York Times using their UNT email address to view the daily articles online through their basic subscription. 


LinkedIn Learning: LinkedIn Learning offers numerous instructional videos covering topics such as business, technology, and creative skills (LinkedIn learning, 2022). Each course duration typically ranges from a few minutes to hours. A professional certificate will be received from LinkedIn Learning after completing the course. The professional certificates can then be added to your LinkedIn profile to show your qualifications to potential employers. Create your account using your UNT student email address to get started with the learning. 

Girl working on a notebook at home.
Girl working on a notebook at home by Nenad Stojkovic and Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Coursera MOOC: UNT has partnered with Coursera, one of the leading online platforms for higher education (dmw0285, 2022). Through this partnership, students can take a wide variety of noncredit massive open online courses (MOOCs), specializations, and degree programs. This opportunity helps you to develop skills and earn certificates that you can add to your professional profiles such as LinkedIn. Create a free Coursera MOOC account using your student email address to get started.  

Coursera Career Academy: UNT, Google, and Coursera have teamed up to launch Career Academy, which offers a wide range of professional certification programs from companies including Google, IBM, and Meta (dmw0285, 2022). All UNT students, staff, and faculty are welcome to participate in this program. These specialized programs are self-paced. If you want to enhance your resume and earn credit from top industry programs, take advantage of this opportunity.  


There are many ways to access textbooks for free on the internet. Some of which include Course reserves from UNT Libraries, Haithi Trust, Google books, Open Library, Project Gutenberg, and Interlibrary Loan (Madison, 2021). You can find more information on legal way of accessing the free textbooks at   


Amazon Prime: For the first six months, Amazon Prime offers two-day free shipping and later at a large discount when you sign up as a Prime student. Amazon Prime Student membership includes access to over 500,000 free eBooks (Amazon Prime Student, 2022).  

LinkedIn Premium: The first six months of LinkedIn Premium membership is free with the Student Prime Membership (Amazon Prime Student, 2022). Later, you can continue receiving services at a large discount. Having a LinkedIn Premium account allows one to connect and network with the top recruiters and people of other interests, one can get the advantage of personally reaching out to the members in their network for professional endeavors. 

Jobscan: The process of revising a resume for every job application is crucial. Resume scanners provide a quick and effortless way to do so. You can revise your resume according to the job description by using Jobscan. Students can use the regular version of this website for free up to a certain limit of revisions.



Amazon. (n.d.).

Brents, M. (2022, January 31). 6(Legal) Ways to Find Free Textbooks. Scholar Speak. 

dmw0285. (2022, November 14). Coursera MOOC. UNT Online.  

Dow Jones & Company. (2021, October 22). WSJ Students. The Wall Street Journal.  

LinkedIn Learning. (n.d.).

The New York Times Company. (n.d.). The NYTCO.

University of North Texas Career Center. (2022, February 22). Wall Street Journal – Career development resources. 

Posted by & filed under Library Resources.

Written by: Valerie Cummins 

Today’s post is concerning first-generation university students in graduate school and goes into resources and opportunities that are available to them from the UNT Libraries. 

First-generation students experience new challenges upon entering university, and many universities, including UNT, recognize this, and attempt to provide resource centers that are meant for their needs. Even with resources, first-generation students tend to experience less on-campus participation, use fewer university services, and graduate at lower rates compared to their peers from families with parents that already possess a bachelor’s degree (Tobolowsky et al., 2017). Continuing higher education beyond a bachelor’s can be especially challenging with many first-generation students coming from families that often expect them to “continue to live at home and carry out family duties,” while in school and then enter the workforce after finishing their bachelor’s (Martinez, 2018, p. 5). 

Students coming from first-generation backgrounds frequently meet situations that are outside of what they are used to or expect, which can lead to a loss of opportunities and academic challenges (Smolarek, 2019). Many of these resources are not intended for graduate students, who find themselves dealing with greater differences in socialization and dealing with the “hidden curriculum” and differing expectations that become issues at the graduate school level (Collins & Jehangir, 2021, p. 61). Combined, these aspects impact graduate school entrances and these rates drop significantly for first-generation students from lower income backgrounds (Willison & Gibson, 2011). 

Person holding their head in their hands in front of a computer
Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash 

While the UNT Libraries cannot stop those hurdles from existing, many of the resources it has for assisting graduate students can be especially useful for first-generation students, who may still be learning how to navigate academia and graduate school by offering connections to library staff, other peers, events, and resources that can help. 

The UNT Libraries are a regular host to many events, and one of those events is the Eagle Thesis & Dissertation Boot Camp, which is run by the Toulouse Graduate School. This boot camp is meant to provide graduate students with a place and ability to focus on their thesis or dissertation without any external distractions. For graduate students desiring a less intense writing group for working on it, as of Fall 2022 the library is excited to host a weekly writing group that is likely to continue in Spring 2023. 

One useful resource the libraries provide is a variety of workshops every semester; some are specifically directed towards graduate-level students, such as the workshops the libraries held in October 2022: “What the Libraries Can Do for You” and “Academic Integrity”. The Spark hosts technology workshops throughout the year not just the equipment they provide— such as their 3D printers and cameras— but software such as Photoshop and InDesign.  

A valuable resource offered by the libraries is the research services offered not just through Ask us, but the libraries’ Subject Librarians. As we develop as students and progress through our education, we increasingly find ourselves met by different roadblocks: time, how to find specific materials, the required knowledge for using library resources or pursuing scholarly writing and achieving communication at a deeper level. While many of these things are possible to learn on our own, our Subject Librarians are here to help with these issues, especially at the graduate student level. 

The Interlibrary Loan system (ILL) offers many ways to gain access to books and articles needed as graduate students, whether the resource is located at another library or in Denton while you are working on your program online or finishing your thesis elsewhere. While the UNT Libraries do not have access to everything you might need, ILL is able to request many of those resources for you. ILL can additionally provide digital copies of journal articles and book chapters the library physically possesses if you only require specific portions of a journal or book.  

Through our Distance Learning services, ILL is additionally able to ship materials out to students at no charge. This can be especially useful for us as graduate students if you are doing your program remotely but need a physical book the library has or are working on your thesis or dissertation.  

The libraries additionally offer research fellowships; these fellowships are meant for faculty, graduate students, and independent researchers and are intended to assist in research with a preference for research that will lead to publication. These fellowships are related to items found in Special Collections or as part of the Portal to Texas History. The knowledge that these options exist is important, even if the specific form it takes is not necessarily something applicable to you at the time. 

One last resource from the library is this blog; Scholar Speak is an academics-oriented blog written and run by graduate students with an intended audience of other graduate students. While this entry is only able to cover a portion of the resources available, Scholar Speak has entries dating back to Spring 2019 that explain Interlibrary Loan in detail, locate free textbooks, how to understand the Library of Congress Call Number system or utilize TexShare, along with plenty of other resources and information regarding the libraries. 

As first-generation students, it is easy to feel disconnected from campus, and as a result, fall through the cracks; we are less likely to seek aid or use campus resources in our undergraduate studies, and much of this follows us through to our years as graduate students. Even if we succeed independently, this can still result in us encountering things we are not prepared for or know how to handle, especially at the master’s or doctoral level and changes in expectations. Though these are things we can usually struggle through or self-teach, the most vital lesson for us at the graduate level is learning when and how to seek assistance from not just our current peers, but our future colleagues.  

Did this blog help you learn about the resources available to you as a graduate student? Let us know your comments! Please contact Ask Us if you have any questions about library services. 


Ames, A. (2021, October 20). Understanding the library of congress call number system. Scholar Speak. Retrieved November 13, 2022, from  

Brents, M. (2021, January 25). 6 (legal) ways to find free textbooks. Scholar Speak. Retrieved November 13, 2022, from  

Collins, K., & Jehangir, R. (2021). Mapping a new frontier: Graduate student socialization for first-generation students. The Good Society, 30(1-2), 48–70.   

Dahl, S. (2022, April 29). Using TexShare to the fullest. Scholar Speak. Retrieved November 13, 2022, from   

Foster, J. (2019, November 24). A library without walls:  harnessing the power of interlibrary loan. Scholar Speak. Retrieved November 13, 2022, from   

Martinez, A. (2018). Pathways to the professoriate: The experiences of first-generation Latino undergraduate students at Hispanic serving institutions applying to doctoral programs. Education Sciences, 8(1), 32.   

Smolarek, B. B. (2019, October 9). The Hidden Challenges for Successful First-Generation Ph.D.s. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved November 13, 2022, from 

Tobolowsky, B. F., Cox, B. E., & Chunoo, V. S. (2017). Bridging the cultural gap: Relationships between programmatic offerings and first-generation student benchmarks. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 22(2), 273–297.  

Willison, S., & Gibson, E. (2011). Graduate School Learning Curves: Mcnair scholars’ postbaccalaureate transitions. Equity & Excellence in Education, 44(2), 153–168.  

UNT Division of Student Affairs. (n.d.). First-Generation Success Center. Retrieved November 13, 2022, from 

Posted by & filed under Library Resources.

Written By: Abby Stovall

Academic libraries, such as the UNT Library system, are renowned for their provision of access to millions of resources. The plethora of scholarly articles and other research materials serve to promote student success in the classroom and in their fields of study. However, maybe academic library collections are undeveloped in one clear area, leisure reading materials. Given the purpose that academic libraries serve, it might be odd to consider these institutions serving students in a way that’s not “scholarly.” Libraries at colleges and universities spend millions of dollars on their collections already, so why devote resources to recreational reading materials that students are not referencing in their research papers?  

Scholars have suggested that academic libraries can see different kinds of benefits upon the acquisition of a developed leisure book collection. Investment in these materials can serve as an asset to both university libraries and their patrons. Holistically, it is beneficial to academics, and it is popular. Some academic libraries, like the library of St. Francis Xavier University, have partnered up with local public libraries to test the success of incorporating leisure materials into their collection without cutting into the acquisition budget. This study subsequently revealed the popularity of these books, with the circulation rate of the leisure section tripling that of scholarly print materials (van den Hoogan & Fleuren-Hunter, 2017). In essence, these potential collection items are still useful among students even if they cannot be used as reference materials in research papers.

Close up of a bookshelf.
Close-Up of Books on Shelves by Suzy Hazelwood licensed under Pexels

In considering the patrons of academic libraries, college is a very stressful period for young people and finding positive methods of relaxation is key in ensuring academic and personal success. Academic libraries thus can serve students in a more holistic manner. Leisure reading, when promoted as a form of a study break within academic libraries, has been suggested to be a popular way to advertise to college students (Hurst et al., 2017). Students want to use these resources to relieve stress, and they ultimately reap the associated benefits. Literature surrounding reading behavior concludes that recreational reading has cognitive benefits (van den Hoogan & Fleuren-Hunter, 2017). As a result, the potential impact of this on the performance of college students should be considered. Some scholars suggest the direct correlation between higher recreational reading and higher grades at the collegiate level (Elche et al., 2019). Therefore, the common policy limiting acquisitions to only include materials serving academia could be expanded to include leisure reading materials. Given the potential benefits for college students, academic libraries should seize opportunities to acquire recreational reading resources.  

One suggested alternative for college students to access leisure reading materials is through interlibrary loan, instead of through their university library’s collection. Thus, some might anticipate that the addition of recreational books would reduce the amount of those requests through interlibrary loan. However, the acquisition of these materials in academic library collections should not undermine the services of interlibrary loan but should advance both the academic library and interlibrary loan. Requests made through interlibrary loan can further determine materials that are in demand among students and can then assist academic libraries in keeping their collections reflective of patrons’ current interests and needs. Consequently, the existence of interlibrary loan should not enable collections to remain underdeveloped. Especially when it comes to recreational reading materials, academic libraries can serve their students in more ways than through facilitating the research process and in traditionally academic manners. The addition of these resources would enable library services to be more well-rounded while still promoting academic success. 

Have you checked out UNT Library’s recreational reading materials? Let us know in the comments! Please contact AskUs if you have questions about UNT Library’s collections.


Elche, M., Sánchez-García, S., & Yubero, S. (2019). Reading, leisure and academic performance in university students of the socioeducational area. Educación XX1, 22(1), 215-237.  

Hurst, S., Marsh, D., Brown, D., & Forbes, S. (2017). Cats, comics, and Knausgård: Promoting student reading at a U.K. academic library with a leisure reading collection. The New Review of Academic Librarianship, 23(4), 442-452.  

van den Hoogen, S., & Fleuren-Hunter, K. (2017). At your leisure pilot project: Providing leisure reading materials to a university community through an academic and public library initiative. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 12(1), 1-15.  

Posted by & filed under Library Resources.

Written by Sierra Dahl

Willis Library has recently undergone some changes to make the library better equipped to serve students. These improvements include renovations to the building, modern furniture, new reservable spaces, and additional borrowable equipment and materials.  

New Reservable Spaces 

The first addition to Willis Library is study pods, reservable spaces designed for individual study or studying in pairs. These pods are soundproof, include furniture such as chairs and tables, and have electrical outlets. The pods are located on the lower, second, and fourth levels.  

These spaces are convenient for students who prefer more silence when studying. In addition to the pods, on the first floor, there are One Button Studio Spaces, three rooms designed to record video or audio. Pods and One Button Studio Spaces can be booked on the Space Reservations page and the spaces can be reserved for up to two hours each day by currently enrolled students.  

Photo of study pods located on the second floor of Willis Library
Pods located on the second floor of Willis Library Image by UNT Libraries 

New Accessibility Equipment and Materials  

There are new offerings of equipment and materials that can be checked out at the Willis Library Service Desk. This collection is called the Willis Library Services Desk Equipment Collection and can be browsed on the Willis Library Services Desk Equipment webpage (UNT Libraries, 2022c). The accessibility portion of this collection includes sensory items and other items that may be of particular interest to those with accommodation needs (UNT Libraries, 2022a). Specific items include C-Pen Readers, magnifiers, assistive listening devices, sensory items, and calculators. Items in this collection are available to any individual with an unblocked UNT Library account.  

Photo of LED page magnifier
LED Page Magnifier Image by UNT Libraries 

New Curriculum Equipment and Materials  

The curriculum portion of the Willis Library Services Desk Equipment Collection includes items that support learning and study (UNT Libraries, 2022b). Specific items in this collection include supply kits, calculators, language flashcards, an electronic translator, a desk light, and a book stand. 

Photo of Japanese Kanji flash cards
Japanese Kanji Flash Card Image by UNT Libraries

Digitization of General Course Reserves 

Course reserves are also being made accessible online to allow better availability to all students. Physical materials in general reserves, which are offered every semester, have been replaced whenever possible by online copies. This change helps to increase access to materials by no longer requiring students to come to Willis Library in person to borrow the course reserves they need. 

Space Renovations and New Furniture  

Additionally, there have been building updates such as bathroom renovations and the addition of modern furniture. This new furniture includes more individual study furniture and height-adjustable desks located on every floor. The desks can easily be converted from seated to standing desks by pressing the red lever located on each desk’s right side.  

Two photos of a height-adjustable desk in lowered and raised positions
Height-adjustable table in lowered and raised positions Image by Sierra Dahl 

Did this blog help you learn about the recent improvements to Willis Library? Let us know your comments! Please contact Ask Us if you have any questions about library services. 


UNT Libraries. (2022, February 23). Accessibility Items.  

UNT Libraries. (2022, February 23). Curriculum Items.  

UNT Libraries. (2022, February 23). Overview. 


Posted by & filed under Library Resources.

Written By: Haley McGlynn

Libraries today provide a plethora of services to their communities and serve as a technological hub for patrons, offering a “multi-media experience,” with collections that include digital materials and physical technologies (Manness, 2006). With the prevalence of technology in the library, the term “Library 2.0” has been coined to encapsulate the social and intrapersonal nature of libraries today. The term comes from “Web 2.0”, which defines the modern web as a social facilitator with user-created content. 

According to Manness (2006), Library 2.0 has four essential elements: libraries are user-centered, provide a “multi-media experience,” are “socially rich,” and are “communally innovative”. The “user-centered” nature of Library 2.0 means that the focus of the library and the librarian is the patron.   

Shelf full of books
Old Books in Shelves by Roman Kraft licensed under Unsplash

Libraries are also “socially rich” — users can connect with other patrons and librarians via library websites and social media (Manness, 2006). For example, the Denton Public Library’s online catalog allows users to track what books or materials they use and create recommendation lists that can be shared with other users. 

Libraries are “communally innovative” — as communities change, library services adapt their services to be facilitators of these new resources, and in recent years, these resources have primarily been digital resources and educational services to train patrons on how to use them (Manness, 2006). Libraries today aim to provide accessible resources to all users and patrons despite income, background, education, etc. through diversity initiatives that focus on providing services to people or populations that have been previously underserved. The Spark is a great example of this initiative — the technology they have available to students, and the classes they host to educate students about that technology, is a bridge to accessible technological resources and equipment for students. 

However, some of the high-level services and information available to library users within libraries isn’t accessible to all people, including the “information poor” subclass, as described by Jain and Saraf (2013, p. 51) and Cancro (2016, p. 59), due to a discrepancy in the levels of library knowledge among patrons. 

Despite the plethora of digital resources available to library patrons, groups of higher socioeconomic status are able to access these resources faster and easier, creating the “information-rich”, and on the opposite end of the spectrum lies the “information-poor” who cannot afford access to those resources or are not knowledgeable of how to access them (Cancro, 2016, p. 59). Many library patrons, especially students at UNT, solely use the library for these digital resources, computers, or printers. Libraries, particularly public and academic libraries, often exist as “access points” for these technologies, but patrons might lack sufficient training to utilize those resources (Cancro, 2016, p. 59). 

Librarians and other information professionals, especially public librarians, carry the responsibility of being both the facilitator and educator on technology in the library. Librarians act as the middleman between the information and the user, or the technology and the user, and it is the library’s job to facilitate that access to information by “recruiting people from a variety of backgrounds to the profession; implementing a hiring process that will be most likely to result in the appointment of diverse librarians; and finally, committing to retaining a diverse team of employees once they are hired” (Cruz, 2019, p. 229). In addition to introducing and following through with diversity initiatives, librarians must make the effort to get ahead of needs changes and have the willingness to adapt (Hirsh, 2016). 

With the abundance of information that is available to us and our patrons, access to that information should be a right. Librarians exist to be the middleman between the information searcher and the information, easing access to that information by knowing where and how to find it, and by “bridging information access gaps” (Jain & Saraf, 2013, p. 51). The “free flow of information can reduce the digital divide/information divide among the citizens,” and libraries and librarians have the power to close that divide (Jain & Saraf, 2013, p. 47). 

Did this blog help you learn about libraries as facilitators of information access? Let us know your comments! Please contact Ask Us if you have any questions about library services. 


Cancro, P. (2016). The dark(ish) side of digitization: Information equity and the digital divide. The Serials Librarian, 71(1), 57-62. 

Cruz, A. M. (2019). Intentional integration of diversity ideals in academic libraries: A literature review. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 45(3), 220–227.  

Jain, V., & Saraf, S. (2013). Empowering the poor with right to information and library services. Library Review, 62(1), 47-52. 

Maness, J. M. (2006). Library 2.0 theory: Web 2.0 and its implications for libraries. Webology, 3(2). 

Suggested reading: 

Hapel, R. (2012). The Library as a Place. Public Library Quarterly, 31(1), 48-55. 

Oliphant, T. (2014). “I’m a library hugger!”: Public libraries as valued community assets. Public Library Quarterly, 33(4), 348-361. 

Posted by & filed under Library Resources.

Written by: Alexis Thomas

Welcome to the Fall 2022 semester! We hope you are having a great semester so far and are excited to welcome you back with a look into UNT’s Digital Libraries. Today, I will provide a brief introduction on what UNT’s Digital Library’s CyberCemetery has to offer.

Since we’re now in the spooky season, one may assume it refers to something quite scary. Luckily, it is not spooky at all, but it is a very useful tool to take a peek back in time. The CyberCemetery is a depository, for now, of defunct government agency websites that are managed by the UNT Libraries that can be accessed by current UNT students, faculty, and staff as well as non-UNT affiliate guests.

A foggy dark graveyard at night
I Am Become by Scott Rodgerson licensed under Unsplash.

In 2006, working in tandem with the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), UNT Libraries added our first site, the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR). Today, we have over 120 defunct agency sites available to view. Each record comes with a description of the agency, the creation date, publication, and more. Not only do you get a description for the site, but if you click on the image associated with the agency, you will be directed to snapshots of the agency’s website. An exact date and time of the site’s decommissioning is indicated at the top of the page. This process bares resemblance to taking a screenshot on your phone, the difference is that any tabs, links, PDF reports, etc. are still available for you to interact with, almost as if the site is still up and running.

Now that we have a brief overview of the CyberCemetery, why do we need it? This is a digital archive, and just like any other archive, library, or other information institution. These organizations may no longer be around but that does not mean that the work they contributed should be counted as obsolete. CyberCemetery is a resource available for you to aid you in your research, whether you need to find data/stats, reports, or memos. Considering this is a collection strictly for former United States government agency sites, it may seem beneficial for students taking courses in political science and international relations. With sites for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, students from the sciences and social sciences can also learn a lot about the progression of these fields.

For those who want to use the CyberCemetery for their scholarly writing, here’s a quick tip. Like many of our library databases, we have a tool that will help you cite the webpage. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see “Citing This Site” or use the “Citing This Site” tab located on the left side of the page.

Have you visited the CyberCemtery yet? Let us know your thoughts on this collection! If you have any questions on how to use the CyberCemetery collection or would like to know more about what is available to you, please don’t hesitate to reach out via Ask Us.

Posted by & filed under Research Help.

Written by Sierra Dahl 

The UNT Libraries holds over three million items, however, there is always a chance the book you need is not available. Although the interlibrary loan service or purchase request can be used to obtain a copy of the book you need, there is also another program that can be used to get you access to a copy. The TexShare Program is a statewide library initiative that allows card-holding library patrons the ability to check out materials from more than a thousand other libraries in Texas. All that is needed to be granted access to other libraries’ collections is to be issued a TexShare card from a participating library such as the University of North Texas. 

Using the TexShare Program can be beneficial for many college students and researchers. For instance, if an academic library close to you, such as Texas Women’s University in Denton, Texas, has a collection of books or a specific material you need, it is possible to be issued a library card from that library after showing your TexShare card. By doing this, you typically gain access to most of the library’s materials. This program is also beneficial for distance learners since checking out books from a nearby academic library may be preferable to receiving the books through UNT’s distance learning delivery service.  

TexShare cards can also be especially helpful for finding books to read for recreation or fun programs offered by public libraries. It is worth noting that it is rare for libraries in this program to offer online services and resources such as e-books and streaming videos to TexShare cardholders. 

My Experience Using TexShare: 

I was issued a TexShare card from the UNT Libraries and have used the card twice to get library cards from public libraries. I was able to get an account with the Austin Public Library and gained access to the millions of items available at over a dozen of their locations. By having a TexShare card, I was able to check out a variety of items and enjoy their many programs. I avoided having to pay Austin Public Library’s $120 annual fee for getting a non-resident library card by presenting my TexShare card. Additionally, I received a Georgetown Public Library card and have enjoyed having access to their collections. 

Image of library cards from various libraries
Image by Sierra Dahl 

To apply for a TexShare card from the UNT Libraries, you can visit any of the UNT Libraries’ service desks excluding the Media Library, and bring your student ID. After filling out a brief form and showing your UNT ID card, you will be issued a TexShare card that will expire at the end of the current semester it was issued in. For instance, a TexShare card issued in January 2022 will expire in May 2022. Additionally, distance learners can apply for a card online by emailing Access Services and receiving the card through the mail. To learn more about the TexShare program and search for a list of the participating libraries, please visit If you have questions about TexShare, contact Access Services at or (940) 565-2413. 

Did this blog help you learn about using TexShare? Let us know your comments! Please contact Ask Us if you have any questions about library services. 


UNT Library. (n.d.). University Libraries. Distance learning services.  

UNT Library. (n.d.). University Libraries. TexShare cards.