Thomas Cooper Library - A Self Guided Tour


Introduction to University Libraries

Library Tour: Level 4
 
Library Floor Plans Library Tour: Level 3
Library Hours Library Tour: Level 2 
Library Tour: Main Floor Library Tour: Level 1
Library Tour: Level 5Library Tour: Mezzanine
 
 

Introduction to University Libraries

The Thomas Cooper Library is the main library of the University of South Carolina at Columbia. It contains more than  2.6 million volumes and approximately 2 million microforms relating to the humanities, social sciences and sciences. The Thomas Cooper Library includes the Reference Department, Science Library, Education Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections, Government Information, Interlibrary Loan, Map Library and the Educational Films Collection. This tour will introduce you to the Library and its services. Additional guides and handouts are available at the Reference Desk. The library staff welcomes the opportunity to assist you with any further questions.

You may either print this tour and use it as a walking tour through the library, or pick up a copy at the Thomas Cooper Library Reference Desk.
The Thomas Cooper Library is just one of the University Libraries on the Columbia Campus. Anyone is welcome to use the University libraries.
Business LibraryMusic LibraryMath LibrarySouth Caroliniana Library
Business Administration
Building
 
2nd Floor 
803-777-6032 
Map
Music Building 
Assembly Street 
2nd Floor 
803-777-5139 
Map
LeConte College 
Pickens Street 
3rd Floor 
803-777-4741
Map
On the Horseshoe 
Sumter Street 
803-777-3131 
Map

In addition, there are two other major libraries on the Columbia Campus:

Law LibrarySchool of Medicine Library
Law Center
Corner of Greene and Main 
Main Floor 
803-777-5942 
Map
USC Medical School 
Garners Ferry Road 
803-733-3344 
Map
 

Floor Plans

The Thomas Cooper Library has 7 floors. You enter the building on the Main Floor. Above the Main Floor is the Mezzanine. There are 5 floors below the Main Floor. (Links below open in separate windows)
 
MezzanineAdministration | Graniteville Room | Rare Books and Special Collections| Student Success Center
MainReference | Circulation | Photoduplication | Reserves
Level 5Center for Teaching Excellence | Cooper Technology Lounge | Government Information | Interlibrary Loan | Juvenile Collection | Map Library | Processing Services 
Level 4Science Library | Call Numbers Q-Z | Photocopiers
Level 3Call Number N-P | Educational Films | Film Viewing Room | Multimedia Classroom
Level 2Call Numbers E-L  | Textbook Collection
Level 1Call Numbers A-D | Multimedia Classroom

 

Thomas Cooper Library Building Hours


Some areas and departments of the library operate under a different schedule. Pick up a library hours handout at the Reference Desk or check the website at: www.sc.edu/library/hours.html. Changes in hours due to exams, intersession and holidays will be posted at the library entrance or you may call the hours line at 803-777-8169.

Main Floor


What's here:

(Links open in separate windows)
  • Book Return
  • Browsing
  • Campus Phone
  • Circulation
  • Coffee Shop
  • Copy Card Dispenser
  • Encyclopedias
  • Elevators
  • Entrance & Exit
  • Handouts
  • New Books
  • Newspaper Collection
  • Periodical Indexes
  • Photocopiers
  • Photoduplication Services
  • Print Release Station (Uniprint)
  • Ready Reference
  • Reference Desk
  • Reference Collection
  • Research Computers
  • Reserve Desk
  • Restrooms
  • Standalone Computers

Begin your tour inside the front entrance of the building.

This is the Main Floor of the Thomas Cooper Library. The Research Computers in front of you offer access to a wide variety of information resources from any single terminal. This includes The USC Online Library Catalog and Electronic Resources, Electronic Interlibrary Loan Request Form, E-journals and Internet access. From these computers, you can access the library holdings, identify articles on subjects, search the Internet, and request materials held at other libraries. 

There are 36 workstations on the Main Floor and additional workstations in the Science Library on Level 4 and in the Cooper Technology Lounge on Level 5. There are also two Standalone Computers in Reference with special databases. A list of these databases is posted by each Standalone Computer. 

To the left of the Standalone Computers is a Print Release Station. A Carolina Card is required to print in the library. If you are not a USC student, staff or faculty, you can purchase a Carolina Card to use within the library.

To the left of the Printing Station are a number of handouts for finding materials in the library. There is also a map of the library and guides to creating bibliographies.

Beyond the computers you will see photocopy machines.


Walk to the left and then right at the low bookshelves toward the sign that says "Reference." The low bookshelf to your right contains indexes to major US newspapers. The Reference Desk is the central information point for Thomas Cooper Library. The Reference staff can help you develop research strategies, locate information, learn how to use all the information resources and refer you to other libraries and service areas.   Behind the Reference Desk is the Ready Reference Collection. These are frequently used materials such as almanacs, dictionaries and directories. You may use the Ready Reference materials at any time but please return them to the Reference Desk when you are finished. Walk past the Reference Desk. Past the Reference Desk and to the left are a set of filing cabinets. Here you will find phone books in paper and on microfiche. To the right of the cabinets are a number of tables available for studying. Move to the low shelves in front of the elevators. The low shelves contain the General Encyclopedias and print Periodical Indexes. These indexes will help you locate articles on a particular topic. The library also has a number of electronic periodical indexes on CD-ROM and online. The computer terminals on the tables in between the low shelves are for The USC Online Library Catalog. The catalog includes information about the holdings of the USC libraries throughout the state and can be searched by author, title, subject, call number or keyword. Please ask at the Reference Desk for assistance in searching the online catalog.

The tall shelves, down the aisle from the terminals, contain the Reference Collection, which includes bibliographies, biographical resources, dictionaries, directories, encyclopedias, handbooks and other Reference sources. Please ask at the Reference Desk for assistance using these materials. These materials may not be checked out.

Walking towards the windows will take you to Cooper's Corner, the library's coffee shop. The library's print newspaper collection is also housed in this area. Perfect for browsing while enjoying a refreshment. Also, you will notice a large, comfortable seating area and plenty of desks and tables, many equipped with power outlets.

To your left, when facing the coffee shop, is the Writing Center Satellite Office. The Writing Center offers drop-in consultations for current USC students, staff and faculty working on writing projects.

As you make your way back to the elevators, you'll notice several vending machines along the wall to your right. These machines offer a variety of cold beverages and snacks, accepting both cash and the Carolina Card.

Continue walking towards the elevators.

The elevators in the library will take you to the Mezzanine (upstairs) and to Levels 1 through 5 (downstairs). Restrooms and drinking fountains are located on either side of the elevators on every floor.  In front of the elevators is the Encyclopedia shelf. General encyclopedias, such as the Britannica, Americana, Colliers, etc., are located here.
Contine walking down the hall towards the front of the building. To the right is the Circulation Desk. You will need your USC ID to check out books at the Circulation Desk. You may recall books that are already checked out, renew books and pay overdue fines here. There are also forms for some of these services accessible from the library's web site at: (http://www.sc.edu/library/forms.html). Book Returns are available on either side of the Circulation Desk. The Circulation Department also serves as the library's lost and found and is where Photoduplication requests can be made.

The Reserve Desk is located to the left of the Circulation Desk (closest to the Exit). To facilitate access to materials, some professors place books and articles on reserve. An ID is required to obtain materials on reserve. Most materials are limited to in library use only. Current issues of many popular periodicals, such as The State, Time and Newsweek are kept at the Reserve Desk.

Walk past the Reserve Desk and turn right. The shelves along the walls contain the Browsing Collection. You'll find general or current interest books of fiction and non-fiction in the Browsing Collection. The audio book collection is also shelved in this aread. All these books may be checked out at the Circulation Desk.


Now take the stairs down to Level 5.

Level 5

 

What's here:
(Links open in separate windows)

 

The Interlibrary Loan Office is to your left. Materials not held by the Thomas Cooper Library may be obtained free of charge for USC faculty, students and staff. The Interlibrary Loan Office will borrow from other USC campuses as well as from libraries outside the USC system. 

You may place your Interlibrary Loan requests and check the status of your requests from the computers in the lab on the fifth floor or the reference area on the main floor by going to the ILL Express web site at http://ill2.tcl.sc.edu/default.html.  (You may also do this from your home or office computers.) 

Materials received from Interlibrary Loan may be picked up at the Circulation Desk. You will be contacted by email once the materials have arrived. If you have questions, please contact the Interlibrary Loan department at 803-777-2805.


On the right is the Government Information & Microforms Department. United States government publications, some United Nations documents, European Union documents, major U.S. newspapers and any publications on microfiche or microfilm are located here. The Government Documents staff can assist you in using these materials. Microfilm and microfiche reader/printers are located in this department. There is a change machine located in this department which gives dimes.
Walk down the hall and turn right. The Cooper Technology Lounge is located across from the elevator. The Computer lab contains Macintosh and IBM compatible computers for word processing and other applications and laser printers. Scanners and image editing programs are available on selected machines. There is a charge of .10 cents per page for printing. Color printouts may be made in the lab at a charge of .25 cents per page. All printing payments must be made with your Carolina Card. You must have a current USC ID to use the Cooper Technology Lounge.  The Cooper Technology Lounge is also the site for the Center for Adaptive Technology (CAT), a room with special needs computer equipment. Please contact Lance DuPre at 803-777-0244 for assistance in using the CAT.
Continue down the hall past the elevators. Straight ahead of you is a room containing the Map Library, Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) and the Juvenile Collection.  

The Map Library is located on your left as you enter. A large collection of local, national and world maps along with an aerial photo collection is housed here. These materials cannot be checked out, but may be used in the Map Library (Monday-Friday 8-5). There are also several electronic map products here. Please ask the Map Library staff for assistance.  

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) is located along the right hand wall as you enter the room. The Center offers a variety of programs and resources to support the University's teaching endevours.

Turn around and take the elevators down to Level 4.



Level 4


What's here:

(Links open in separate windows)
  • Call Numbers Q-Z
  • Elevators
  • Photocopiers
  • Restrooms
  • Science Collection
  • Science Ready Reference
  • Science Reference Collection
  • Science Reference Desk
  • Study rooms and carrels

Books and journals with the call numbers Q-Z are found on Level 4 These books include information relating to the fields of applied math, astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, nursing, pharmacy and physics.

Books specifically devoted to math are located in the Math Library in LeConte College.


Turn to your left. Catalog terminals and a print release station are located on the right. There are several computer workstations offering access to the library's catalog, electronic resources, internet research and more.

The Science Reference Desk is located on the left. Reference Librarians staff this desk Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Evening and weekend assistance is available at the Reference Desk on the Main Level or online at http://www.sc.edu/library/ask.html.

The shelves in front of the science reference desk with the green labels contain the science reference collection. The materials in the reference collection may not be checked out.  Photocopiers are located around the corner from the Reference Desk. These photocopiers take both coins and the Carolina Card.


Take the elevator to Level 3.
 

Level 3


What's here:

(Links open in separate windows)
  • Call Numbers N-P
  • Educational Films
  • Elevators
  • Film Viewing Room
  • Multimedia Classroom
  • Re-shelving Area
  • Restrooms
  • Study rooms and carrels

Books and journals with the call numbers N-P are located on Level 3. A floor plan is located on the wall next to the elevators. The floor plan will guide you when you are looking for call numbers on this floor. 

The Educational Film Collection and Film Viewing Room are located on the far wall across from the elevators in rooms 317-319.
The floor plan by the elevators will guide you when you are looking for call numbers on this floor. The re-shelving area is located to the right against the wall. Books and journals that have been used or recently returned may be here.   

Study rooms and carrels are located on this level. Group study rooms are available on a "first come, first served" basis. Ask at the Circulation Desk if you want to use these rooms.   There is also a red emergency phone by the elevators on every floor except Main. This phone will connect you to the security guard at the Exit. 

The Multimedia Classroom is located behind the elevators.

Take the elevator down to Level 2.

Level 2


What's here:
  • Call Numbers E-L
  • Elevators
  • Re-shelving Area
  • Restrooms
  • Study rooms and carrels
  • Textbook Collection

Level 2 contains the books and journals with the call numbers E-L

The floor plan by the elevators will guide you when you are looking for call numbers on this floor. The re-shelving area is located to the right against the wall. 

There is also a red emergency phone by the elevators on every floor except Main. This phone will connect you to the security guard at the Exit.

Study rooms and carrels are located on this level. Group study rooms are available on a "first come, first served" basis. Ask at the Circulation Desk if you want to use these rooms. 

The Textbook Collection, containing textbooks from the College of Education, is located in room 207. Please request a key from Circulation Desk if you wish to browse this collection.

Continue down to Level 1.

Level 1


What's here:
  • Call Numbers A-D
  • Multimedia Classroom
  • Re-shelving Area
  • Restrooms
  • Study rooms and carrels

Level 1 contains the books and journals with the call numbers A-D

The floor plan by the elevators will guide you when you are looking for call numbers on this floor.  The re-shelving area is located to the right against the wall. 

There is also a red emergency phone by the elevators on every floor except Main. This phone will connect you to the security guard at the Exit. 

Study rooms and carrels are located on this level. Group study rooms are available on a "first come, first served" basis. Ask at the Circulation Desk if you want to use these rooms.   

The Multimedia Classroom is located behind the elevators.

Now take the elevators up to the Mezzanine.

Mezzanine


What's here:

(Links open in separate windows)

As you exit the elevator, turn left and walk down the hall. This area contains the Student Success Center. The Center offers USC students a variety of programs and services to enhance academic success. Services such as supplemental instruction, tutoring, and academic skills coaching are available.
Turn around and walk back down the hall and around the corner.

To your right are the Library Administration Offices. To your left and through the doorway is the Special Collections Exhibits area.  As you stand in the exhibits area, turn and look to the left and you will see the Special Collections Department, which is located at the far end of the exhibit area in the Graniteville Room. Materials in Special Collections may not be checked out and must be used in that room.

Now take the stairs down to the Main Level.

The exit is located to your right as you come down the stairs. When you leave the library, you will pass through an exit control gate. Each person leaving is requested to show the attendant all books for examination. Persons carrying large backpacks, briefcases or bags are required to open these for routine inspection. A campus phone is located on the right side of the exit gate.