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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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 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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