Science News & Announcements

Workshop: Introduction to the Research Computing Center, Oct 6 2-3:30 pm

Dr. H. Birali Runesha, Assistant Vice President for Research Computing and Director of the Research Computing Center

Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m. | Kathleen A. Zar Room, John Crerar Library

The Research Computing Center (RCC) is a centralized service that provides high-end computing and visualization resources to researchers at the University. This presentation will discuss services offered by the RCC and provide information on how to get a computing or storage resource allocation, the Cluster and Consultant Partnership Programs, and an overview of the computational resources and performance of RCC’s computing infrastructure. The hands-on component of this workshop will begin by giving you the opportunity to create an account on Midway, a high performance computer that serves the UChicago research community with approximately 5000 Intel Sandy Bridge processing cores, Nvidia GPUs, and large amounts of shared memory. Attendees will be able to use their RCC accounts to compile code, submit jobs using the SLURM batch scheduler, explore the software module system, and learn about rcchelp, a custom online documentation system.

Level: This is an INTRODUCTORY level course, for people with little or no experience in the topic.

Prerequisites: Attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop to participate in the hands-on session.

Register here.

A Bold Experiment: the Origins of the Sciences at the University of Chicago

yerkes telescope

Exhibit Location: The John Crerar Library, Atrium

Exhibit Dates: September 21, 2015 – March 31, 2016

In celebration of the 125th anniversary of the University of Chicago’s founding, Crerar Library looks back at the establishment of the natural sciences at the University. The early University built programs in the physical and biological science from the ground up. They recruited eminent scientists and designed innovative laboratories and facilities for their often groundbreaking work. These achievements in discovery and teaching have had lasting impact on the sciences.
Crerar exhibits website.

New food and drink policy provides Library patrons with more options

New Library food polciesAs the result of a new Library food policy, hungry patrons are now free to eat snacks in many campus Library spaces and have additional designated space for eating meals in Regenstein.

The new policy has been approved by the faculty Board of the Library and the Library Student Advisory Group and permits patrons to eat snacks in most parts of the Library, with the exception of a few designated food-free spaces. Meals and messy or smelly foods will still be permitted only in designated Meal Zones. The policy applies to the Crerar, Eckhart, Mansueto, Regenstein, and SSA libraries, as well as the D’Angelo Law Library, which has had a similar policy in place since 2008.

In Regenstein, where the Ex Libris Café is often fully occupied at peak meal times, the A Level has been designated an additional Meal Zone.

To help protect Library collections and to provide spaces for users who wish to avoid the presence of food entirely, a few areas have been designated food-free, including the Mansueto Grand Reading Room, the Regenstein bookstacks, and the Crerar Lower Level West compact shelving. In addition, no food or drink is allowed in the Special Collections Research Center. Covered drinks will continue to be allowed everywhere except Special Collections.

The new food policy is designed to help the Library maintain an environment that is welcoming and comfortable, as well as supportive of study, research, reflection, and scholarly collaboration.

Patrons are strongly encouraged to take an active role in making the new policy a success. This includes cleaning up and disposing of their own food waste in appropriate trash receptacles and notifying staff of spills, as well as asking others to abide by Library policies or reporting violations to Library staff.

See the Library’s food and drink policy for more information, including a complete list of Library spaces where snacks or meals are allowed.

Updated September 17, 2015

Students in Ex Libris

Students in Regenstein’s Ex Libris Cafe (Photo by Jason Smith)

Library interim hours, August 29 – September 27

Beginning Saturday, August 29, the Library will have reduced building hours at all of its locations for the interim. Please note that on Monday, September 7, all libraries will be closed in observance of Labor Day.  Autumn quarter hours will begin Monday, September 28.

Crerar Library
Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday (August 30, Sept. 6, 13, 20)  8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday (Sept. 27)  8 a.m. – 1 a.m.

D’Angelo Law Library Circulation
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday Closed
Sunday (August 30, Sept. 6, 13, 20) Closed
Sunday (Sept. 27) noon – 9 p.m.

Eckhart Library
Monday – Friday noon – 5 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday Closed

Mansueto Library

Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Sunday (August 30, Sept. 6, 13) Closed
Sunday (Sept. 20) noon – 5 p.m.
Sunday (Sept. 27) 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Regenstein Library
Monday – Thursday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday  – Saturday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday (August 30, Sept. 6, 13) Closed
Sunday (Sept. 20) noon – 5 p.m.
Sunday (Sept. 27) 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Regenstein All-Night Study
Closed until September 29 at 1 a.m.

SSA Library
Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Saturday – Sunday Closed

For a complete list of hours for all locations and departments, see

Duke collections can now be borrowed rapidly through BorrowDirect

Duke University Libraries has joined the BorrowDirect partnership, expanding the number of research libraries that provide rapid access to their circulating collections to University of Chicago faculty, students and staff.

BorrowDirect logoBorrowDirect enables UChicago users to search the library catalogs of Brown, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale, a collection of more than 60 million volumes.  Users can directly request expedited delivery of circulating items.

For more information about how to use BorrowDirect, visit

Redesigned research guides are easier to use and navigate

This weekend, the University of Chicago’s Library Guides were migrated to a new platform that features a number of improvements. Most notably, use of responsive design greatly improves the user’s experience on mobile devices and assistive technology, such as screen readers.

Mobile view of a Library Guide

A Library Guide as seen on a smartphone

The new platform also uses navigation menus on the left side of the screen, rather than the tabs across the top, which should make it easier and more intuitive for users to locate content in the guides.

Our librarians have created guides on a wide variety of academic subjects studied at the University. In addition, Help Guides show you how to locate specific types of material, such as newspapers, and to use Library tools and services, such as interlibrary loan.

Visit our Library Guides page for a complete list of our guides. 


Meet new Science Research Services Librarian Michelle Bass

michelle bassMichelle Bass joined the University of Chicago Library on July 1 as the new Science Research Services Librarian.

Michelle has a MSI from the University of Michigan School of Information and PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Education. Michelle held a University Library Associate, Graduate Student Assistantship position at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan from August 2013-June 2015.

Barbara Kern interviewed Michelle about her experiences and plans for her work at UChicago.

How do you envision working with faculty and students in your new role here?

One of my main goals in this new position is to serve as a welcoming “concierge” between faculty and students and the information professionals working in the library, particularly when it comes to data information literacy and data management services.   I want to be knowledgeable about the topics and discussions going on across departments and fields of study as they relate to research services and create opportunities for me to share and suggest new technologies and databases, software options, and trends with faculty and students.  I hope to be involved in orientation sessions for new graduate students in all science departments and continue my participation and relationship building with students and faculty throughout the year through my attendance and contributions to monthly seminars and brown-bag lunches across centers and schools.  Getting students interested and invested in the importance of data information literacy and research service best practices will be a main goal complemented by building relationships with faculty who are interested in becoming advocates and partners in sharing a passion, and respect, for research services.

Michelle, what originally got you interested in science libraries?

This is one of those times when I can say “I blame my mother” and mean it as a wonderful compliment.  My mother has worked at medical libraries for nearly forty years.  I knew that there were other kinds of libraries out there in the world beyond my local public library and school’s media center growing up.  However, my interest in science librarianship as a professional option was really cultivated over the past two years through my experiences working at the Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan and networking with many medical and science librarians at national and regional conferences.  

What are some of the highlights of your time as a Graduate Student Assistantship at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan?

Traditional health sciences library-focused highlights included instruction sessions with students in their first through fourth years of medical school and the opportunity to work with the Associate Dean of Medical Student Education to craft many of these sessions.  I was the information professional lead on a systematic review on the effects of bullying on LGBTQ students and worked with a Public Health and School of Information professor on creating a data management plan for an extensive scoping review of consumer health informatics literature.  I was also encouraged and able to take continuing education and professional development courses including PubMed for Trainers and Expert Searching.  As a member of the social committee, I was a co-organizer of the Donut Madness bracket challenge during the NCAA March Madness tournament and am proud that this delicious event is now an annual tradition at Taubman Health Sciences Library.

What are the key challenges or trends that you see in libraries today?

A key challenge facing academic libraries today is expanding the concept of what defines a library.  For me, a library is defined by the people who work in them and the skills and information they make accessible in addition to the materials they hold within their walls.  Importantly, they are not confined by the walls of their physical library spaces but rather move and travel with the services and knowledge shared by information professionals representing their library as institutions wherever they go.  With respect to the librarianship profession, I think a major opportunity is presenting itself as a generation of librarians prepare for retirement.  The curriculum of my mother’s master in library science degree and my own share few, if any, similarities beyond the fact that they are both American Library Association accredited.  It is up to both incoming professionals and long-standing pillars of the profession to proactively connect with one another to ensure institutional and professional knowledge is shared and cultivated to help rising leaders respond to the challenges ahead.

What do you like best about Chicago (the city) so far?

While Chicago definitely falls under the “big city” category, I have found that the distinct neighborhoods within the city make it much more manageable and inviting.  I decided to live in Hyde Park to be able to walk to work, and I have truly enjoyed getting to know my new neighborhood.  I’ve always lived in the suburbs and had to drive to shops and grocery stores; now, Treasure Island is a 7 minute walk and Hyde Park Produce is 15.  The Museum of Science and Industry is 2 blocks away and I’m a short(ish) bus or train ride away from the Art Institute of Chicago and the Shedd Aquarium.  So, a few weeks in, I have to say that getting to know the Hyde Park neighborhood has been the best part about Chicago, so far.

UChicago faculty and students are encouraged to contact Michelle with questions or requests for assistance with science research, teaching and learning. You can reach Michelle at or 773-702-8774.

All About Endnote (Desktop Version), Tuesday, July 28, 12-1 PM

Endnote imageLocation: Crerar Library Computer Classroom.

Learn how to use the bibliographic software EndNote.  Topics covered include creating and managing libraries, importing references from online databases, importing and managing PDFs and creating formatted bibliographies and citations in Microsoft Word. Registration is required.  Register for this section.

Fri., July 3 & Sat., July 4: all libraries closed

All campus libraries will be closed on Friday, July 3, a University holiday, and Saturday, July 4, Independence Day.  Regular summer hours will resume on Sunday, July 5.

For a complete list of hours for all locations and departments, see

Spring quarter loans to quarterly borrowers automatically extended to October 2

Items checked out by current quarterly borrowers with privileges in good standing and due June 26 have been automatically renewed by the Library for summer quarter. As of June 15, all such items have a new due date of October 2, 2015. No action by borrowers is necessary.

The automatic renewal is being performed because the functionality to manually renew items is currently unavailable in the Catalog.

Users may view a list of all items out, including current due dates, via My Account.

For assistance, please contact Circulation or visit a Library circulation desk.