Young Boy Discovers UCR Library's Maker Boxes
December 30, 2016

Here are some suggestions from the library team for new things to try in 2017 that you might not have known you could do at UCR Library, or that you may never have tried before.

They might even make you feel like a kid in a candy store.

Explore Rare Treasures in Special Collections & University Archives:

“A lot of people think if they’re not a UCR graduate student or UCR faculty member, then they can’t access our Special Collections, but anyone can come,” explained Zayda Delgado, Special Collections Public Services Assistant. “We encourage everyone to contact us, we encourage walk-ins. Come up, look at the exhibits, and to talk to our staff to get a feel for what we have here.”

In the Scotty catalog, most things housed in Special Collections have a blue “request” button. Archival collections (which can include letters, diaries, photographs, and more) are also listed in Scotty, but the detailed descriptions are found in finding aids on the Online Archive of California (OAC).

Once you’ve found what you want, submit the request and library staff will pull the materials for you.

Before you arrive, it helps if you register online. This makes things a lot easier for library employees and for you. Your online account can also track what you’ve looked at in previous visits, which comes in handy down the line for future research.

Then when you arrive on the 4th floor of Rivera Library, you’ll simply check in at the Special Collections desk, present photo ID to verify your identity, receive the materials you requested, and start working. Just expect to follow a few guidelines that help keep these materials safe and in good condition for future researchers: you’ll check your bags, use pencils only, turn off your camera’s flash, and enjoy any food or drinks before coming into the reading room.

Current hours for our Special Collections department can be found on the library website.

If you can’t come to the reading room in person, Special Collections & University Archives staff can provide electronic reproductions of certain materials, which can be emailed to you.

Instead of clicking “request,” simply click on “switch to reproduction order.” Then select your preferred format (PDF, JPG, or TIFF) for delivery. This is service is not exclusive to archival material, is available for a fee and scans are delivered electronically through your account in our online request system. Those details are here.

Our staff will gladly communicate back and forth with you to answer any questions you may have. You can always ask a question about our collections or how to use them by emailing

Create and Play with our Maker Boxes

Visitors to Rivera or Orbach libraries may have noticed boxes situated on the counters near the entryway, filled with Legos, coloring books, magnet poetry, chess / checkers, and other assorted activities and craft supplies.

These are our Maker Boxes, and they serve two main purposes:

They can give you a break while you’re here studying, to do something creative, which can in itself refresh and inspire. This can also spark new ideas for creative projects that you might want to pursue in your studies.

Additionally, the Maker Boxes are meant to establish the UCR Library as a place where creativity can and should happen, in addition to all of the more traditional functions that a library serves.

“Walking through the library is my son Aiden’s favorite activity on campus,” said William H. Grover, Assistant Professor in UCR’s Department of Bioengineering. “One day, the Maker Boxes caught Aiden’s eye. He couldn’t believe that there were Legos in the library at daddy’s work. In his eyes, UCR Library went from ‘the cool place where daddy hangs out all day’ to ‘the most awesome place in the universe,’” Will said with a smile. “I explained to him the basic idea behind the Maker Movement and told him how, at UCR, we don’t just teach students. We also try to create opportunities for students to be creative, inventive, and artistic, and the Maker Boxes are part of that. Aiden thought that was pretty awesome and asked how old you have to be to go to UCR.”

Collaborate with a Subject Specialist

If you have never collaborated with a subject specialist on your research papers or projects, you might find this resource vital to take your UCR learning experience to the next level.

“Making an appointment with a subject librarian can add depth to research projects and papers that students are already working on, and help them to navigate through the sea of information to the resources that are most relevant and useful to their specific work,” explained Dani Brecher Cook, Director of Teaching and Learning. “Students can also meet with subject specialists to learn about the wealth of resources in their field that are available to them as UCR students. Developing a relationship with your subject specialist can help you to succeed in your coursework, especially in higher-level courses, and enrich your understanding of your subject area.”

To make an appointment with a subject specialist, simply reach out to the person that matches your field of study by email or phone to set up a meeting time.

Check out a DVD or Video Game from our Media Collection

The Media Collection was moved from the Multimedia Library back in September 2016, and is now available on the first floor of Rivera Library for browsing.

Our Media Collection contains films and video games, which you can check out or use in the media viewing or gaming rooms on the second floor. Rivera Library also has individual viewing stations on the first floor.

You can also check out equipment at the Rivera Library Circulation/Reserves desk.

To reserve media viewing or gaming rooms in Rivera Library, visit the library website. On upper left of the home page menu, under “Using the Library,” navigate to “Study Spaces.” Once on that page, check the box for “Media Viewing” to see how many media viewing rooms we have available.

You can reserve study spaces online using Dibs. Rivera 227 and 228 are viewing rooms, and Rivera 229 and 230 are gaming rooms.