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Montana State University - Home Montana State University Library - Home Ask the Library

Virtual Library Orientation

Welcome new students! Here is an overview of MSU Library - your resource for all of your information needs.

We Are Here For Your Student

Welcome to MSU Library

With technology evolving at a rapid pace, MSU Library is not like the libraries you may remember as a studentThe modern, 21st century library has become much more than a physical space to hold books and to study, and MSU Library is no exception. We are a dynamic, adaptive, and responsive research library conveniently located in the center of campus. We’re the crossroads where disciplines intersect and are the second busiest building at MSU with over 900,000+ visits a year.

Diverse Spaces and Innovative Technology

At MSU Library we strive build innovative digital and physical spaces where your student can find the tools needed to succeed. We offer a full range of collections and services, including over 140 public computer workstations, printers, scanners, technology-rich group study rooms, and quiet study areas.

But it’s not just work at MSU Library! We also have spaces for relaxing and socializing. At the library, your student can grab coffee and a snack at Brewed Awakening, can discover popular reading materials in Bobcat Browse,  can visit the Virtual Discovery Space, and more.

It’s All About the People

While “everything” may be digital these days, there are still actual people at MSU Library who are here to help your student succeed. Knowledgeable and friendly librarians and staff provide assistance using collections, accessing online resources, and offering instruction for individuals and groups. Employees are the personal touch that let’s your student know MSU Library committed to their success.

There are a variety of ways your student can get in touch. Options include stopping by the service desk to talk with an expert, making an appointment with one of our librarians, or going to the Ask the Library page for other ways to get in touch including information on digital, online, and in-person services.

At the Library, Your Student Can...

  • Write a better paper with help from a research librarian
  • Get content like books, articles, movies, and music
  • Study in a group or study by themselves
  • Learn in hands-on technology workshops
  • Checkout movies
  • Have a cup of coffee with friends
  • Solve their computer problems
  • Get help from a tutor
  • Browse popular reading materials

When Your Student Says...

Here are some things your student might tell you. Please encourage them to reach out to the library - the only bad question is the one not asked. 

“I don’t know how to get started on my research paper.”

You can schedule a one-on-one appointment with a librarian who can help with every stage of the research process.

“I don’t know how to find a book.”

You can use the online library catalog “CatSearch” from the library’s web site,, to locate physical and electronic books, journal articles, archival materials, and more.

“My laptop battery is running out!”

You can checkout a charger (or another laptop!) at the service desk on the first floor. Informaiton on tech checkouts is here:

“I need to print a paper to hand in, and I don’t have any cash.”

Your CatCard is both a library card and a printing card with $7.50 in free black and white printing automatically available each semester. 

“I can’t get any work done in my dorm room.”

You can make your way to the third or fourth floor of the library where quiet study is respected. 


There are many resources on campus to help you through tough times. The library's stress relief guide will get you started.