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A U-M Library Tour

Read time: 2 minutes

Library lovers take note — you don’t have to check out a book to enjoy the U-M Libraries because they are open to the public. Take this walking tour of the most traditional, trendy, and technical libraries on campus.

1) Start your tour at the Law Quad, specifically the reading room, recently named the most amazing college library in the country by CollegeRank.net. One of the most superb examples of a Collegiate Gothic building, it never fails to make visitors gasp at its beauty.

2) For a blast to the past, head over to the Shapiro Undergraduate Library. Alumni over 40 will be shocked: the UGLi is not so ugly anymore. Its 1990s facelift included a new lobby and café. Grab a coffee and watch the undergrad action close up.

3) Continue on to the Hatcher Graduate Library, which houses the primary research collection for the humanities and social sciences. Check out the Audubon Room on the first floor, the location of student-archived exhibits; you can usually find a rare document on display from the Papyrology Collection. Head up to the second floor to one of the quietest, and most beautiful, reading rooms on campus.

4) If maps are your passion, you will love the Clark Library, located steps away on the same floor. But the Clark also has an exhibit space that is currently displaying “Dining Out: Menus, Chefs, Restaurants, Hotels, & Guidebooks.” Learn about historic and contemporary hotels, motels, inns, taverns, saloons, bars, diners, and soda fountains.

5) Before leaving the Hatcher, head to the seventh floor exhibit space. Check out “Curiouser and Curiouser: Exploring Wonderland with Alice,” which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” You’ll even see an 1865 first edition.

6) If you have ever dreamed of being a surgeon, try out your skills on the virtual cadaver on the ground floor of the new Taubman Health Sciences Library. Feel free to slice and dice him or just explore his innards. He is as colorful as the library décor.

7) Interested in new technologies? Take the bus to North Campus and check out the Digital Media Commons in the Duderstadt Center. Look around and you will see students hard at work in the UM3D Lab, maker space area, and various studios. It might not look like a library, but it is!

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