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A Walking Tour of the John Cotton Dana Library

Outside Dana Library

Welcome to the John Cotton Dana Library at Rutgers Newark. The Library provides information resources and services to support all programs offered by the Campus except law.

The Library is named in honor of library pioneer John Cotton Dana who was director of Newark Public Library from 1902 until his death in 1929. A strong advocate for higher education and the city, Mr. Dana was known as "Newark's First Citizen." The Library has carried Mr. Dana's name since 1929.

When Rutgers-Newark moved to its present site in the 1960s, Dana Library was one of the first new buildings to open its doors. The South Wing behind the Circulation Desk is the original part of the building. Eleven years later, in 1977, the North Wing was added. The most recent renovation, the third and fourth floors over the North Wing, opened in October 1994.

Stop One: The Lobby

Circulation Desk

Circulating library materials are checked out at the Circulation Desk, the most heavily used public services desk in the library. Staff are available during all hours of the Library's hours of operation. In addition to registering new borrowers and checking out books, the staff answer directional questions, address concerns regarding the collection or patron records, and coach patrons in the use of the University Libraries' online catalog, to locate a book, make a book request from another library or to access a reserve item.

Other features of the Lobby include a display of public art and a group of exhibit cases. The exhibits may be viewed for usually a month and frequently relate to an issue or event of interest to the Campus. Dana Library's public art collection began in 1994 when the last building renovation took place. Extensive development of the collection has continued and it now fills all areas of the library.

The Lobby houses public and campus phones as well as a copy room. Photocopiers and a copy card dispenser are available in the Copy Room. New books which arrived during the week are shelved by the Reference Room windows for browsing. There are also comfortable seats for students to wait for their friends or for their next class to start.

Return to the Lobby and walk to the far end of the Circulation Desk. Continuing through the double doors will bring you to the South Wing where the Administration Office, Reference Office, and quiet study areas are located. This area is equipped with a wireless computing network so students may use their laptops to access the Internet.

To visit the Lower Level, retrace your steps through the double doors to the Lobby and walk to the main staircase.

Now proceed down the main staircase to the Lower Level.


Stop Two: The Lower Level

On this floor you will find our collection of bound periodicals, current periodicals, and microfilm. In addition to the titles in print, most journal titles are made available in the electronic format. Students and faculty can verify which titles are available in this manner by checking the holdings statements on the online catalog. The Electronic Classroom, used for information literacy instruction, as well as a second instruction room in the southeast corner, are both located on this floor. There is an office for Copy Services that is staffed by student employees during many of the library's open hours. The student staff are glad to answer any questions concerning the two photocopiers and the microfilm reader/printer which are available.

Now take the public elevator near the casual sitting at the foot of the steps up to the fourth floor.


Stop Three: The Fourth Floor

Institute of Jazz Studies

The fourth floor was completed in 1994. As you turn left out of the elevator, you will pass the Institute of Jazz Studies. The Institute houses one of the largest jazz collections in the world. The staff collect books and periodicals about jazz, historic and contemporary jazz recordings, and the papers and realia of musicians and jazz composers. At present, you can see a display of notable musical instruments including a trumpet belonging to Dizzy Gillespie. The Institute's collections are available to users by appointment only.

Continuing to walk straight ahead after going by the Institute will bring you to the Media Services Department. The Department provides access to a collection of videotapes, audio recordings, CDs and other forms of media. A state of the art multimedia system can broadcast audio and/or video into the viewing rooms you can see on either side as you approach the Media Services Desk. The Dana Room, a multimedia viewing facility/conference room with a capacity of 70 people, is also located on this floor.

Now take the elevator or walk down two flights of steps to the second floor. The third floor, future site of high-tech instructional spaces, is currently empty.

Stop Four: The Stacks

Book Stacks

The second floor consists almost entirely of stack areas for circulating books. After leaving the elevator, walk a few steps to the left and then make a right turn. Proceed down the aisle past the study tables on your left and comfortable seating on your left and the window overlooking the Norman Samuels Plaza and the Campus Center on your right. As you continue, you will see group study rooms on your left. Beyond the book ranges on your right, there are study carrels along the wall. This part of the second floor, known as the South Wing, has a wireless network for connecting to the Internet. Network cards are available for loan at the Circulation Desk. As you continue turning to your left to walk around the center core area, you will see more group study rooms and the Seminar Room. This space is used for small group discussions and media viewing.

Now continue walking straight ahead until you reach the study area and the comfortable seats. Move to your left to reach the elevator or the stairwell. Take the elevator or the staircase down to the first floor. You will find yourself in the lobby.

Stop Five: The Reference Room

Reference Desk

As you leave the elevator, turn left and enter the Reference Room. The Reference Room at the Dana Library serves as both reference area and computer laboratory. Directly in front of you will be the Computing Lab. Students use their Rutgers NetIDs to log on. A Lab Consultant is always on duty to help students with any computing problem. Printers are available. There are also some PCs available to guest users for library research. During the regular semester this room can be very busy. To your right, you will see the Reference Desk which is staffed by librarians during most of the library's hours of operation. The librarians have subject specialties and work together to make sure students receive the best information service possible. The librarians employ an impressive array of Rutgers supplied electronic databases as well as print resources. The Reference Room is also home to the office for Interlibrary Loan and RDS, Rutgers Delivery Service. The staff in this department obtain items requested by students and faculty from other Rutgers libraries and from libraries outside of Rutgers.

At the other end of the Reference Room, you will find the Library's government documents collection. At present the Library receives 51% of all documents published by the US Government Printing Office. The documents are arranged by their SuDocs number, a classification schedule followed by the Government Printing Office. As of 2006, the documents are included in the online catalog. Students are encouraged to consult the librarians to locate older documents. Dana Library also participates in New Jersey's publishing program. These documents are shelved in the Reference Room in a separate state documents section. All state documents have corresponding records in the online catalog.

We hope you enjoyed your visit to the John Cotton Dana Library at Rutgers Newark. A library can take a lifetime to explore. Come and see us again!