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Do We Have a Room of Requirement?

No, yes, well, sort of. The library has hundreds of rooms. There are the large study areas where you could almost play football if you don’t mind the shelves, and the columns, and getting busted by the University Police (Note, we don’t allow football in the library). There are specialized rooms like the auditorium, the technology class rooms, and the Accessibility Lab (which has a printer that prints invisible things only certain people can read). And there are stacks of offices and cubicles for people who can help you with research, writing, and learning new technologies. So while physically we don’t have a magic room that appears out of no where and provides whatever you need, we do have a variety of rooms that you didn’t know about and they might meet your needs at any given time.

Intellectually however, we come pretty close to providing a Room of Requirement for your studies. Pick a subject you want to research and it is likely that in our millions of items we have something that can help; however, if we don’t have something on a shelf in our library, we can magically connect you with many of the best scholarly journals and databases. And if that is not enough, we can do even more. If you search for a topic using our Scholarsearch system you can literally find your way to information around the world.

Today there is a lot of talk about Harry Potter; if you enter that as your search terms in Scholarsearch you’ll find thousands (3,506 to be exact) of links to books, films, articles, and even theses & dissertations (Yes, some people have earned graduate degrees by writing about Harry Potter. Try not to think about that while you study for your chemistry final). With a few clicks you can be reading a PDF version of Anthony Lennard’s writings on Harry Potter and the teaching of values that is part of the materials available from the Australian Catholic University School of Education.

Of course most people using the library are looking for materials outside of popular books and films. That is just as well, as most of our staff have been trained to work on academic subjects. As you begin your research project we invite you to review our library’s collections. If you can’t find what you need we will be happy to help you discover surprising new areas in our collections. If that is not enough we’ll even borrow materials from other libraries or in some cases we’ll order the materials you need and rush them through cataloging so you can move ahead with your projects. Our subject librarians like nothing more that showing faculty and students new resources for solving tough problems. (We even have special guides to help you with some tough courses.)

Beyond that, the library does have vaults underground where you might find an old sword or two. We don’t have any basilisk teeth, but we do have hippo teeth and diaries down there (sorry, you can’t check the teeth out). We’ve never seen an owl in the library, though we once had to chase out a bat. We have three stairways that may not move, but they all serve a different ranges of floors. So depending on which one you choose you may or may not be able to get where you would like to go. The Sampler Room has comfy chairs where you can sit for a spell. There is one sleepy dog in the library, but it only has one head. And then there are the ever present rumors about the mysterious tunnels that nobody ever enters. We’ll have to refer you to another source for more information on those.

The Harold B. Lee Library has Harry Potter available in many languages, but there was not a lot of demand for parseltongue. By the way, is anyone else craving jelly beans?