Subject Guides
  A to Z E-Sources
  Journal Finder
  Style Manuals
  Evaluate Sources
  Reference Sources


  IT Services
   AC Moodle

About Abell -> Tours -> Welcome To Abell Library Center -> Library Features




Circulation Desk: As you enter the library, on your left is the circulation desk. Here you canCirculation Desk check out a book, find reserve materials, buy a copy card, obtain change for the photocopier and reader-printer machines, or receive help if you find something missing from the reference or general collection stacks. A proper I.D. is needed to check out materials.

If you lose a book, please contact Donna Flatt, Circulation Supervisor (ext. 2518), as soon as possible.

Reserve Collection: Often your professor may want an entire class to read a particular article or chapter of a book. Books, articles, videotapes and audiocassettes will be placed in the reserve collection at the Circulation Desk so everyone will have an opportunity to use them. Some reserve materials will be made available in electronic version. The reserve materials at the Circulation Desk are arranged by instructor and class. You will need to search our computer catalog for reserve items. There are limited checkout times for what is kept here, and some materials cannot leave the library at all. To avoid overdue charges, please return reserve materials directly to a library staff member or student assistant at the desk or in the reserve book drop.

If you have questions about overdues, please discuss them with Donna Flatt (ext. 2518) as soon as possible. Student assistants cannot change fines that have been charged to you.

Reference ServiceReference Assistance: Often your use of the library will begin with a question for a Librarian. The Librarians are here to help you find the information you need. They can help you locate facts and figures in the reference collection, use the computer catalog to find books, search the various periodical indexes in both paper and electronic formats, and retrieve information from the Internet. Please ask for a Librarian at the Circulation Desk when you need some direction or assistance with your research. Remember that the librarians are here to help you!

Community Reading (AC authors)

Austin College Community Collection: The material on display are works by Austin College faculty, Austin College alumni and works by individuals who have come to campus to discuss their ideas and what they’ve written.

Computer Work Stations

Computer Workstations: As you walk North past the Circulation Desk, to your right you'll see a U-shaped cluster with public access computer workstations. They provide access to the library's catalog and various databases to which the library subscribes. Brochures with information about Abell Library and our databases are available on the counter. Additional student computers are available to the west and the north of the U-shaped cluster.

New Books and Reading Area


New Books and Reading Area: To your left are two book shelves on which new books are regularly placed before being shelved in the collection.  You may want to check out what is new in the library and see what your professors have recently ordered. 

Reading Area Lounge


Next to the new books is the Reading Area Lounge.    


Reference Collection

Reference Collection---Moving west beyond the Reading Area you’ll find tall shelves with more media on the left and then Abell’s Reference Collection.  This collection contains atlases, dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, bibliographies, indexes and other sources of information.  Often these sources are a good place to start using the library and lead you to the more extensive sources in the library.  Books in the reference collection do not circulate outside the library. 

Circulating Media Collection

Circulating Media Collection---Moving towards the elevator are low shelves filled with videos and dvds that can be checked out for 1 day only. You can search for media titles in our catalog.



Across from the Circulating Media Collection to your left near the elevator, you’ll see the collection of Honors’ theses and Masters’ theses completed by Austin College students.  These items are for library use only. 

West Window Lounge and Collaborative Study Area

West Window Lounge and Collaborative Study Area---As you walk from the Reference area to the west side of the library you will find an area divided by a wooden wall.  On one side is a lounge area that has power poles and wifi access.  On the other side, are two semi-circular tables with large monitors which allows for the sharing of information displayed on one’s laptop.  There is also a large whiteboard (appropriate markers and erasers can be checked out at the Circulation Desk) for use.


Microforms Area---As you walk from the West Window Lounge and Collaborative Study Area to the east side of the library you will find several metal cabinets containing periodical and newspaper articles on microfilm or microfiche.  We have readers for both microfilm and microfiche.  We can also make a portable data file or pdf of articles on microfilm or microfiche.  Please ask for help at the Circulation Desk. 

BYOD and Collaborate Area

BYOD Collaborate Area-- Next to the microform cabinets is a room designated as a collaborative study area.  There are tables with power so if you bring your own device (laptop or table) you have a place to work.  There are also tables with large screen monitors where laptop users can connect up and share.   Please notify someone at the Circulation Desk if noise is a problem in this area.


Periodicals---Leaving the Study Area going east you will enter the bound periodical stacks.  Older magazines and journals are bound to preserve them and organized alphabetically by title. 

Northeast Lounge

Next to the bound periodical stacks is The Northeast Lounge with its comfortable chairs and sofas and a great view of the mall outside.  Wifi is available.

Current Periodicals

Then you come to the current periodicals and newspapers.  The current periodicals also are arranged alphabetically by title.  The current newspapers are located on the shelves against the wall.

Second Floor
Second Floor---While there is more to see on the first floor (more about that later), the next stop on your tour of the library is the second floor.  This has been designated as a QUIET study floor. As you enter the second floor you will see that it contains the circulating book collection--books which can be checked out.  It is arranged by the Library of Congress Classification system. The call numbers have an alphabetical designation beginning with A and ending with Z.   The classification system is an attempt to group books on similar subjects together as much as possible.  The books classed from A-H are to your right; the books from J-Z are to your left.  Oversized books are placed on separate shelves in this area. 

Instructional Computer Classroom

Instructional Computer Classroom ---If you turn to your right as you enter the second floor and walk to the far north part of the library, you will go by the Instructional Computer Classroom. This room is used for scheduled classes until 1 p.m. Monday – Friday.  Pat Means schedules this room.

AFTER 1 p.m. it is opened for student use.

Conference Room

Conference Room---Faculty committees or small classes may meet in the conference room which is scheduled for meetings by Pat Means.

Study Areas

Study Areas---There are several good study areas on the second floor of the library.   One such study area is right outside the Conference Room.  Wifi access is available here and throughout most of the library.  Take NOTE of the power tables in this area and others throughout the library.  Further to the west part of the library are individual study carrels.  Please respect the rights of your fellow students to have a quiet place in which to study.

Faculty and Honor Students' Study Rooms

Faculty and Honor Students’ Study Rooms---To the far west on the second floor of the library are study rooms for faculty members engaged in research projects and other rooms for senior honors students working on honors theses.  These rooms are reserved through Kay Garner, Executive Secretary to John West, Library Director, (ext. 2490).

Group Study RoomGroup Study Rooms---As you continue around the second floor of the library, you will find a series of individual rooms.  Two or more students may reserve these rooms for group study.  If you have a collaborative project involving discussion with several students, we encourage you to check out one of these rooms through the Circulation Desk.Audio visual Equipment 

All of these rooms have locked cabinet stands that hold a TV and contain DVD and VCR viewing equipment; keys can be checked out from the Circulation Desk when a group makes a reservation for the purpose of viewing media.

Special Collections Room
Special Collections Room
---This room contains various special collections and rare books, such as a collection of books autographed by their authors, a collection of books on Texas history, some 19th century periodicals, and other books dating back to the 16th century.  A facsimile of the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript written around 800 AD., is displayed in a glass case.  The Austin College Reading RoomArchives is also part of this collection.  Justin Banks, Austin College Archivist, (ext. 2557), supervises this facility.  You can make an appointment with him to examine some of the materials in the collection.  Certain books in the Texana collection can circulate to Austin College students, but most materials set aside as a Special Collection must be used within the Reading Room.

Bibliographic Instruction Room

Bibliographic Instruction Room---The tour of the second floor is completed by walking by the Bibliographic Instruction Room.  This room is often used to provide instruction on the use of library resources and for classes to view dvds and videos.  The Bibliographic Instruction Classroom is scheduled by Pat Means.


Please go back down the stairs to the main floor of the library.   An elevator is available if needed.


Courtroom---If you turn to your left at the base of the stairs, you will pass by our beautiful mock courtroom.

Extended Study Room

Extended Study Room---South of the Circulation Desk to the right of the Exit, this room is available for student use 24 hours a day.  When the library is closed, a card reader is used with the Austin College barcoded ID to gain access to this room for quiet study.

Telephone in Extended Study RoomTelephone, Cell Phones, Photocopier Machine, and Computers
---The Extended Study Room contains a telephone for local calls and a photocopier (b&w and color).  It is also a designated area for cell phone use.  Please respect the rights of your fellow students and do not have extended or loud conversations on the telephone.Copier

Thirteen workstations, and printers (one color!) are available for student use in the Extended Study Room.  Wireless access is available for use of laptops.  Please conserve use of theprinters to avoid wasting toner and paper.




Snacks and Drink: We want to remind you that snacks and drinks are discouraged within the library. Snack food and drinks are allowed in the Extended Study Room. Since the library is heavily used, it is a challenge to keep it well maintained. In addition, food and drinks attract insects that damage the books. We trust that you understand and will respect this policy.

We hope that you have enjoyed your tour of the library and will feel free to ask questions of members of the library staff as you use the library. Also, please keep this guide for future reference. On the back is further information regarding policies and hours.

--Thank You,

The Library Staff

Back to Top of Page
Abell Library Center Home Page ©2007 Abell Library Center Austin College 900 North Grand Avenue Sherman Texas 75090-4400 | Phone: (903) 813-2236 | Direct Comments or questions about this page to Shannon Fox | Updated August 26, 2014 Austin College