Shields Library Exterior

9 Things to Check Out at the Library (Other Than Books)

When you’re spending time at the library prepping for finals, give yourself a much needed break and check out these lesser known benefits the library has to offer. From charging lockers to free streaming music and movies, Shields has you covered!

1. Equipment Loans and Lockers

You can check out more than books at the library. Borrow calculators, charging devices, headphones, power cords and more by inquiring at the Shields circulation desk. Make use of the self-serve charging lockers available. Just pick a locker, plug in your device and set your unique locker combo. Retrieve your devices later, fully charged!

2. Videos and Music

Can't watch Netflix shows due to the recent password-sharing crackdown? No worries, Shields has you covered with their digital library of movies and DVD copies that you can easily access. For those who want to make their watching time more productive, Shields also offers PubMed-indexed scientific experiment videos that can help you learn laboratory concepts and methods in biology, medicine, chemistry and physical sciences.

If you have a long study session ahead of you, tune in to the streaming music options and put your brain into high gear with the classical and jazz selections. With Naxos Music Library, you'll have access to a staggering 2 million tracks from over 150 countries - get ready to explore a world of music and supercharge your study session!

3. The Map Room

Explore The Map Room to learn about the extensive research-level collection of maps held by UC Davis and a supporting collection of materials like guides and atlases. The collection includes different types of maps, such as topographic maps, agricultural maps, and maps related to economics, ethnology, history, nuclear energy, governments and more. 

4. The University Archives Photographs Collection

The University Archives Photographs Collection is a treasure trove of vibrant memories captured through photographic prints and negatives. See the growth of campus captured in decades-old aerial shots, the beginnings of Picnic Day and First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, biking through Davis.

5. Manuscripts

Check out the vast collection of manuscripts. The manuscripts available at Shields cover a wide range of subjects, from cutting-edge agricultural technology to captivating language and literature and even wine writing. Whatever your interests may be, you're sure to find a manuscript that captures your attention and intellectual curiosity. 

Student sitting near Archives and Special Collections sign

6. Archives and Special Collections

Archives and Special Collections houses rare books, pamphlets and more. The Department’s major purpose is to acquire these materials, make them available for use, and preserve their integrity for future Aggies. Current collection highlights cover the Harris Western Research Center, Food & Wine and Local & California History.

If you’re not able to make it in person, peruse the Digital Collections.

7. Exhibits

If you're passing through Shields, don't miss the amazing exhibits that the library has to offer. From unique artifacts to fascinating artwork, the library's exhibits are a must-see. Don't worry if you can't make it in person - the library also has a fantastic selection of online exhibits that you can explore from the comfort of your dorm. Plus, you can even check out their archive of past exhibits to discover some hidden gems you may have missed. 

8. Art in the Library

Next time you’re rushing through Shields to maximize your studying time, keep an eye out for the more than 300 pieces of art on display! The UC Davis Library’s collection of fine art features pieces from some of the most significant Northern California artists, including former faculty members of the UC Davis Art Studio Department, like the renowned William T. Wiley, Robert Arneson and Roy De Forest.

View and download a walking library art tour guide here

9. Submit a Digital Sign for Display

Got a campus event or activity to advertise? The UC Davis Library has digital signs prominently displayed at both Shields Library and Blaisdell Medical Library (at UC Davis Health in Sacramento) to share information about library events and campus news. Only campus units and registered student organizations may post content on these signs, and it is free to do so! 

See the website for content creation guidelines and submit this digital sign request form to start the process.

Bonus: Other Libraries to Explore

But wait, there’s more! More libraries, that is. Pro tip, the page linked above also features a live activity meter for Shields!

While the Blaisdell Medical Library is only open to those with a UC Davis Health badge, The Mabie Law Library is open not only to UC Davis Law students, faculty and staff, but also to members of the public for law study or legal research. 

Visit the Joy Fergoda Library at the Women’s Resources and Research Center to explore one of the most sophisticated Women & Gender collections in the country, featuring over 350 topics that highlight the role and impact of gender. Visit the space to study, relax, build community and enjoy the tea station! While you’re at it, stop by the Angelina Malfitano Library at the LGBTQIA Resource Center to browse over 1,000 books covering various LGBTQIA+ and intersecting topics, as well as graphic novels, zines, poetry and other art created by and for LGBTQIA+ people.

Now that you know more of the endless possibilities that our UC Davis libraries hold, don’t hesitate to stop by to explore. Maybe you’ll find something new! At the very least, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the exciting features that you just learned about. Be sure to follow on Instagram to hear about events and opportunities first and see your friends (or yourself) featured on our feed and stories!

About the author

Robin Dewis, a fourth-year English and Medieval Studies major, is the editorial and content creation assistant at Student Affairs Marketing and Communications.