Helpful Tips for the New Semester!


IMG_1493As the fall semester approaches, here are some helpful blog posts from the past that will help you be successful as we start again!

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Library

This article offers an overview of the services offered at the library! Some things are unexpected and great to know about!

Printing: Answers to Your Questions 

As a first time user of our printing services, check out this post. It gives you an in depth description of how to use printing. If you ever need help with printing, the students at the circulation desk are experts and more than willing to help!

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

If our library doesn’t have a title you want, you may order it though MeLCat. This article gives step by step directions on how to obtain MeLCat books!

Renew your books online

This blog post is a how to on renewing your books to avoid late fees! It tells you how to renew books from our library as well as MeLCat books.

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New Art Books!

There has recently been a large donation of art books to our collection. They range mostly from N -ND on the third floor of the library and some are currently in our new book case. Here are a few examples of what we have!



Master Class in Figure Drawing by Robert Beverly Hale ( NC 765 .H24 1991)



Known for his artistic anatomy mastery, Hale has collected his best tips and tricks into this book so that students may learn his teachings. Included are his best lectures and techniques to drawing the human form.




   Painting All Aspects of Water by John Robinson ( ND 1460 .W39 R63 2004)


This book is helpful for beginners and advanced painters. Robinson will teach you how to paint all aspects of the water elements from rivers to fog. It will also teach you how to use water to create a mood as well as creating wet streets. His main focus is to help create pictures that “flow with life”.




Figure Drawing Without a Model by Ron Tiner ( NC 765 .T55 1997)



This book is for all ability ranges. It is a instructional course book, dealing with drawing from memory as well as real life. This book was written to encourage all skill levels, including cartoonists and graphic artists. It begins with basic concepts and continues on to more advanced, such as how to draw expressions, age and character.



Chinese Brush Painting A Beginners Guide by Pauline Cherrett( ND 2068 .C474 2002)

This book starts with the materials you will need to be successful with Chinese Brush painting. It then tells you step by step to succeed at this unique form of painting. While time consuming, with time and attention, the results are phenomenal!

Try these and many more! If you have any questions, contact us!

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Library Services Unavailable During August 3rd Maintenance Window

Systems maintenance will occur this coming Monday, August 3 from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm. The following services will be unavailable during this time:

Printing in the library
The library catalog
Off-campus access to library resources via the VPN client
Course reserves
Interlibrary loan

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

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New Books at the Library!


The Lydia Olson Library offers a cart of new books with titles frequently added. It is located past and to the left of the printing stations (near the start of the periodicals) and looks like this:

IMG_2264 (1)


Here are some new books we are offering in the month of July!

Aryan Papers by George Dynin

(DS 134.62 .D9 2014)

aryan papers

This book is a memoir from World War II about a family who successfully flees to Poland by changing their last name by one letter. By doing this, they became aristocrats and are able to help others escape through an underground railroad that sabotaged Nazis and saved lives.

A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life by Allyson Hobbs

(E 185.625 .H63 2014)

This book is an exposé on how race fits in to America with a focus on African Americans who left their families to “blend in” with society. It goes into how pretending to be something they weren’t (white) led to freedom away from slavery in the south. Until the Civil Rights movement these people lived in oppression, discovering that being free had many costs. This book ventures into the progress we have made as well as the phenomenon of how race still remains at the center of many societal debates.


Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press by James McGrath Morris

(PN 4874 .P367 M677 2015)

This book is a biography of the pioneering journalist Ethel Payne, the “First Lady of the Black Press”. Ethel Payne was a ground breaking civil rights activist and accomplished many firsts for African American women. This book restores her to her rightful place in history as James McGrath begins with her life growing up in South Chicago and takes you on a journey following her career as a journalist. Payne reported on some of the most critical events of modern American history. Using sources ranging from oral histories to FBI reports,  McGrath gives the most accurate account of Payne possible. This book is a testament to how one person can make waves and is a good read for anyone – from civil rights activists to broadcasting aficionados.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

(PR 6059 .S5 B87 2015)

This  book follows Axel and Beatrice, an elderly couple of ethnic Britons who live in an England rapidly turning into a ruin following the departure of the Romans. Axel and Beatrice have decided it’s time for them to find their lost son. They know that they will face all kinds of obstacles, but they cannot predict that this journey will teach them about their love for one another. There’s no way they could foresee that they will be joined by three different people on their journey, all lost in some way and all searching to find . . . “it” (not spoiling the plot – read to find out!).

A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell

(PS 3613 .I857 R48 2015)

The three Alter sisters share an apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Lady, Vee, and Delph love each other deeply but being an Alter has its downside. Bad luck has been passed down through the Alter family for generations, yet no matter what is thrown at these sisters, they always have a joke to tell and one another. As 1999 comes to a close the sisters decide to get rid of the curse on their family – but first they must complete some unfinished business. Their journey leads to threads of history, personal memory, and family lore that goes back decades. This book is full of emotion and will keep you reading to find out what happens to the sisters bound to a curse.

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien

(Pre-K  12 O26 V29)

Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. Every moment of the students waking lives is televised on the Forge Show and then the students are put in an induced sleep which lasts for 12 hours each day “to enhance creativity”, according to the administrators. But when Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill one night, she notices something is off about Forge. She begins to suspect sinister things are happening out of sight of the cameras of the school. She then starts to notice that her consciousness doesn’t feel right. Soon, she discovers the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding and what it truly means to dream.


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Bike Share Program is Back!

owl bike


The ASNMU bike share program is now up and running! With your NMU ID, you are able to borrow a bike for up to three days at a time! Stop by the library on any weekday from 7:30 am until 6:00 pm.

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MeLCat Services Restored

The Library of Michigan has completed their maintenance to MeLCat. Users can again make requests or renew materials checked out through MeLCat.

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Olson Library Closed Monday, July 6th for the Independence Day Holiday

The Lydia M. Olson Library will be closed on Monday, July 6th in observance of the Independence Day holiday.  The library will resume summer hours on Tuesday, July 7.  See the library web site for a complete list of library hours.

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The Age Old Debate: Books or Movies?

It’s the never ending question: what’s better, the book or the movie? Many people are absolute in their answer, but there are exceptions to every rule. We offer a wide variety of book and movie pairs that are open for debate. I’ve picked a few from our collection and you can be the judge!

The Book Thief (Media PN 1997.2 .B66 2014) (Fic. Z71 B66)

book theif

This book is centered on a nine year old girl, Liesel Meminger, who is living in Germany during World War II. The story is told by Death, creating a unique narrative which follows Liesel and her struggles to keep the innocence of childhood as her world is ripped apart by the Nazi regime. This book received a 4.36/5 star rating on Good Reads. The movie received 7.6/10 on IMBd. Over 50 percent of the reviews for each of them were positive. This book is in the young adult genre but is also an appropriate read for an older audience.

Emma (Media PN 1997 .E622 1999) (PR 4034 .E5 2005)


This classic story, written by Jane Austen, is about a woman named Emma Woodhouse. Emma is perfectly content with her life being beautiful, rich, clever, and single.  This story is about the delight she finds in putting couples together and how it turns around and her life unravels. This book is seen as one of Jane Austen’s best pieces. It received a 3.97/5 on Good Reads. In 1996, Emma was turned into a movie staring Gwyneth Paltrow. It is set in the rural 1800s and follows the same story as the book: matchmaker gone wrong. This movie received a 6.8/10 on IMDb. These ratings are average but you can be the judge!

Freedom Writers (Media PN 1995.9 .M54 F7443 2007) (HQ 796 .F76355 1999)

BeFunky Collage

This story is about a teacher who intercepted a note with a racial caricature and decided to take a stand. She declared to her students that this sort of action was how the Holocaust started. This bold statement led the class on a journey of reading and understanding how the Holocaust happened and how people felt during World War II. They then raised money to bring the Dutch woman who hid Anne Frank’s family to their class all the way from Austria. This book is a collection of the student’s journals about racism and occasional narration by the teacher Erin Gruwell. The book has a 4.05/5 rating  on Good Reads. The movie is more of a multi-narrator story than journal entries, though the journals still play a part in driving the narration, offering a look into the personal lives of the characters. The lack of constraint to journal entries allows the movie to dig deeper while still following the lines of narrative of the book plot. This movie, staring Hilary Swank, received 7.5/10 on IMDb.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Media PN 1997 .H3935 2002) (Fic. R855 H25)

harry potter

This book is considered a modern classic. This is the story of eleven-year-old Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. Harry is stuck with his awful muggle family as a baby, none of whom approve of or know much about his powers or the secret Wizarding World he’s about to enter. The story takes you into a magical world filled with witches and wizards who attend a secret school, Hogwarts, from ages eleven to seventeen and ultimately fight for or against dark magic. The book earned a 4.39/5 on Good Reads. This story is associated with childhood for many people, making this book infinitely popular. The movie focuses on very specific major plot points, leaving out a few minor details. It received a 7.5/10 on IMBd.


So now it’s up to you. We offer many books and movies that you can check out at anytime. Feel free to stop by and see if we’ve got what you’re looking for or (if we don’t) submit a MeLCat or ILL request!

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Stories from the Woods: An Exhibit

IMG_1999We currently have an exhibit on loan from the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center on the second floor of the library. The stories are told on large banners that tell the tale of storytelling and how it’s been passed  from generation to generation while expressing the rich history of the Upper Peninsula. The UP offers great history on the people who have settled here and is continuously studied by folklorists and ethnologists because of the “unique nature” of the people and places. This exhibit will be here until mid July and can be viewed Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.  If you would like to visit the Beaumier, their summer hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 am until 4 pm. They are located in 105 Cohodas Hall.

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Birds of North America

As the weather gets warmer, our feathered friends migrate north. The Lydia M. Olson Library offers a database all about birds. This joint publication by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the American Ornithologists’ Union has detailed information about the hundreds of species that nest in the United States as well as Canada called Birds of North America online.

This service is provided by Northern  Michigan University so its best to connect with your NMU computer. As shown by the pink arrow, you can search birds by species. They are sorted by common name and scientific names. The green arrow directs you to the search bar where you can find exactly what you’re looking for with a few taps of a keyboard.

bird still 2

For each bird, there is an information page just like the one below. You can learn diffrent things about each bird by clicking on each tab that’s inside the pink rectangle. They will lead you to things such as food habits, sounds, behavior and so on so forth. To the left of the blue star, you can access articles about the particular bird types. In the Multimedia tab, you can access photos, videos, sounds and more! As for the reference tab, it gives you a bibliography of all of the sources on Blue Jays, which would work wonders for a research paper.

bird still 1


Whether its for personal use or for a research paper, Birds of North America is your one stop shop for bird information!

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