Taking the GRE, LSAT, or MCAT?

For those planning to take one of the many graduate school entrance tests, the Learning Express Library has a variety of practice tests available.  Made available by the Michigan eLibrary (the same folks that brought you MelCat), the Learning Express Library provides access to practice tests for the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, and a few other graduate school entrance exams.  You will need to create an account before taking a test but once created you can track your progress and start and stop tests at your convenience. Give it a try and see what you think!

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Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Michigan Road Trips

With summer so close, thinking of ways to meet up with friends is difficult. When money is tight, look into camping and other Michigan attractions! The Lydia Olson Library offers a variety of travel guides that take you around Michigan. They include national and state parks, bizzare attractions, and fun facts for every traveler. For a few tips, check out these titles!

The Michigan Book of Bests (Call Number F 564.3 .B35 1999): This book offers a guide to Michigan’s “bests”. It is full of facts as well as places you should go by categories such as “Best Place to See Squirrels Soar” (pg. 61). This book offers a side of Michigan that isn’t widely seen,  showing spots that most people wouldn’t stumble upon randomly. It shows every part of Michigan, from waterfall spots to information on prison escapes. This book would be great to have with you during a spontaneous road trip around Michigan.

Michigan Off the Beaten Path: A guide to unique places (Call Number F 564.3 .D84 2007): This book is set into sections by area. You can choose what area you want to go to and then it is separated by county. For example, in Marquette county you can rent these rustic cabins on Little Presque Isle for $70 a night! You can find specific directions and detailed information about every place in this book. This book offers a more constructive view of Michigan than the Book of Bests and can be seen as either a planning guide or a bring along book.

Michigan State and National Parks: A complete guide (Call Number F 564.3 .P68 2007): While the other two books were great for wandering, this book is fantastic for planning. It offers a complete guide to what camp ground is right for you. With a map on the back, you can trace a route of what campsites you’d like to explore. The campsites are numbered on the back of the book and you are able to flip to the right page and find all of the information you could need such as directions, phone numbers, and all of the possibilities one campground might hold.

We also offer a variety of books on national parks, backpacking, and much more! Stop by the desk with any questions you might have! Summer is just around the corner.

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Renew your books online

Save yourself a trip to the library and renew checked out materials online.  All you need is the barcode number on the back of your Wildcat Express Card.  The one caveat is you must renew your Olson Library material before they are due. Once materials are overdue you will have to come to the library to renew them.

If you checked out materials from the Lydia M. Olson Library collection, use this link to renew items.

If you checked out materials through MeLCat, use this link to renew items.

If you requested materials through Interlibrary Loan, you can email us at libill@nmu.edu or call us at 906-227-2260 to request an extension.

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Dog Night is Coming!

Look at this face!


On Tuesday April 21, we will have dogs at the library from 6-9 pm as well as on April 28 from 6-9.  These dogs will be visiting to relieve exam stress! Make sure to stop by and get some puppy love in!



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Altius Quartet Hitting NMU’s Campus!

The Altius Quartet will be visiting NMU thanks to the Siril Endowment for the Music Arts, an effort to introduce NMU students to classical music.  They will be playing around campus Starting on Tuesday March 31 until Saturday April 4. They will be visiting the Olson Library on Thursday, April 2 at noon until 1 pm. Saturday April 4, they will be playing a gala concert at 7:30 pm in Reynolds Recital Hall. There’s no admission fee and will be filled by first come first serve.

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Do you love music? Would you like to get a lot for a little? We have removed from our collection around 4,000 vinyl albums which are now being offered for sale on the Public Surplus Auction site . Just search the site for “music lp” and you can get an idea of what is being offered.

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Love Lydia: A Short Survey with Large Benefits!

love lydia

The Lydia M. Olson Library needs your help! We have recently released a survey that gives students a voice as to what resources they’d like to see as well as how the library’s learning environment is working. The survey will be open until April 20.  If you’d like to take the survey, click here. If you have any problems or concerns, please contact Mollie Freier.

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MeLCat – a great way to get books, videos, and more!

MeLCat is a book and video loan system brought to you by the libraries of Michigan featuring our very own Olson Library. It offers personal selection and fast delivery directly to our library. Over 450 libraries participate in MeLCat, offering a large variety of materials in an easy to navigate system. If a book isn’t offered in MeLCat, try InterLibrary Loan (ILL). It offers all types of media including articles, which MeLCat does not offer access to.

The Benefits of MelCat

  • Faster than ILL with books arriving in about 7-14 days
  • Many partnering Michigan libraries for a wide variety of materials
  • Simple process to get materials
  • Lends books, music, audio, and more
  • Can rent books for three weeks and then may be renewed for three weeks more
  • Videos and CD’s can be rented for a week with no renewal

So how does MelCat work? Let’s say I’m writing a report on women who have advanced far in their careers and I need specific texts to back up what I’m preaching. I looked at all the books the library has to offer but I reallllly want the book Lean In: For Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg.

First, go to the home page library.nmu.edu and click on the MeLCat link as listed below.


Within MelCat you can easily search by subject, title, or author. After you have typed the title, hit Search and you’ll be taken straight to a list of results.

mel 4

Make a Decision

Look at all of your options. The original Lean In book pops up first but the book for graduates that was more recently released and revised, is what I want. The red rectangle will take you straight to the check out screen. The green arrow is pointing at a hyper link that will take you to a page with more information on the title such as what libraries have it and what the book is about.The yellow circle shows you how to search by format and underneath the circle, you are given more options as far as formats go.

mel 2.0

Check the availability 

After you decide on your title, you may click the button next to the title that says “Get this from MelCat!” or you may click on the title which will lead you to a screen like this.  It shows you where the book will come from and the specifics of the title. You can get the title by clicking next to the green arrow, see which libraries have it inside of the purple rectangle, and read the book information from the blue arrow.

mel 3


To get your books, you will have to log in. You will need your NMU ID. The red arrow shows you where to pick the instution you are registered with. A menu will drop down and you’ll have to scroll to find NMU. Then type in your name in the green box and put your card’s barcode in the box with the pink arrow pointing to it.

login in page

The barcode number can be found on the back of your ID. It’s fourteen digits and sits right above the actual barcode as shown below by the yellow rectangle.


If the title is NOT available, you will get a message like the one circled in blue. In this case, go back to the results page and find another title. Please note that electronic resources may not be checked out.


And if your title is available, you can check it out and afterwards you’ll get a screen like this. As shown by the pink rectangle, you can see that your order was successful. When your book arrives at Olson Library (roughly two weeks from the order date) you will get an email saying it is waiting for you at the front desk. There is also tracking available from your MeLCat account page.


If you have any questions, please feel free to call, chat, email, or stop by the front desk! Happy reading!

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Pre-K-12 Section Grand Re-Opening!

hungry johnny

On Tuesday, March 17 at 3:00 pm, we will be hosting an event for the reopening of our Pre K- 12 including a book reading by Cheryl Minnema. She will be reading her new book Hungry Johnny and sharing her views on the role of public libraries in diversity. The pre-K-12 section is on the left side of the library and refreshments will be provided.


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New Pre-K – 12 & Education Books

A sampling of new books in our Pre-K – 12 Collection:

  • “My heart smiles” | NMU Pre-K to 12 Collection Non-Fiction | 2014. | 595.7 O62
  • Blind : a novel | NMU Pre-K -12 Collection Fiction | 2014. | D626 B54
  • Bunker diary | NMU Pre-K -12 Collection Fiction | 2013. | B7681 B97
  • Clariel : the lost Abhorsen | NMU Pre-K -12 Collection Fiction | [2014] | N58 C52
  • Everything leads to you | NMU Pre-K -12 Collection Fiction | [2014] | L215 E94
  • Hungry Johnny | NMU Pre-K -12 Collection Fiction | [2014] | [E]
  • Interactive read-alouds: linking standards, fluency, and comprehension | NMU Pre-K to 12 Collection Non-Fiction | c2007. | 428.4 H694
  • Isabel’s war | NMU Pre-K -12 Collection Fiction | [2014] | P368 I82
  • Laughing at my nightmare | NMU Pre-K to 12 Collection Non-Fiction | 2014. | 617.4 B87
  • Playing for the commandant | NMU Pre-K -12 Collection Fiction | 2014. | Z32 P52
  • Under the egg | NMU Pre-K -12 Collection Fiction | [2014] | F447 U63
  • Watcher | NMU Pre-K -12 Collection Fiction | [2014] | H2924 W28
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