Request a purchase for the library collection

Virtual Study Room Available
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Curbside returns available for locker keys & materials
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Ask a Librarian chat help is available M-F

Schedule an online research appointment with a subject librarian


Please see the hours section below.
Please make an appointment to use a study space, to visit Special Collections, and for Curbside Pick-Up.

Places to Study

Choose one or more to find the right space for you:

Virtual Study Room

Virtual Study Space

With AOK Library's Virtual Study Room (VSR), you can work alongside your fellow Retrievers for a focused study environment.

The VSR is a Discord server that is available 24/7. Join here:
Find more information about getting started on Discord.
For more information, including hours when student support is available:

Virtual Study Space, Conversation Allowed, Group Study, Reservable

Table and whiteboard in a Study Room

Group Study Rooms

These 16 rooms are available to any UMBC faculty, students, or staff. You can reserve one ahead up to five days in advance. Reservations are limited to 3 hours per person or group each day. Book yours today!

Group Study, Conversation Allowed, Whiteboards, Computers, Reservable

Table with seating for one in a Study Room

Individual Study Rooms

These 6 rooms are available to any UMBC faculty, students, or staff. You can reserve one ahead up to five days in advance. Reservations are limited to 3 hours per person each day. Book yours today!

Individual Study, Conversation Allowed, Quiet, Reservable

Booth, computer, and whiteboard in the Retriever Learning Center RLC

Retriever Learning Center (RLC)

The RLC is UMBC's best place for lively group study, scholarly discussion, collaboration, and academic coaching. This room features comfortable, mobile furniture so that students can design their own study spaces. Movable white boards and large monitors allow for collaboration.

Group Study, Conversation Allowed, Whiteboards, 24-hour, Computers, Individual Study

Large conference table in the Retriever Learning Center Seminar Room

Richard Roberts Seminar Room (140)

This room in the RLC is available to UMBC students, faculty, and staff. It contains a small conference table, large-screen monitor, and a projector with cables to connect to your laptop. Reserve the seminar room for your group for periods up to 2 hours.

Group Study, Conversation Allowed, Reservable, 24-hour, Whiteboards, Presentation Space

Door of Lactation Room

Lactation Room (755)

The Library is pleased to offer a Lactation Room for its users who need a private space to express breast milk. The room includes a table, two chairs, an outlet and power strip, and sanitizing wipes. It is located close to the restrooms on the 7th floor. It may be reserved for up to one hour, up to 5 days in advance. A key is also available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Check Out Desk on the Library's first floor. Reserve the Lactation Room for periods up to 1 hour.

Reservable, Quiet, Individual Study, Specialty

Open study room doors

Open Study Rooms

These 12 rooms are left open for students to use on a first-come, first-served basis. Each room has four seats. Room numbers are listed here.

Individual Study, Conversation Allowed

Podium and screen in the Presentation Practice Room

Presentation Practice Room (257)

This room has been set up for students to practice giving presentations, speeches, etc. Bring your flash drive to plug into our one-button recording system - when you're finished, you'll have a recording of your presentation to critique. Reserve the Presentation Practice Room. Reservations are not required but do take precedence over walk-up appointments. You can check out the key at the Check Out desk.

Presentation Space, Conversation Allowed, Group Study, Individual Study, Reservable

Digital Media Lab Mac and scanner

Digital Media Lab (DML)

The Digital Media Lab is open to all UMBC students, faculty, and staff and contains a Whisper Room, an Audio/Video Recording Room, and computer workspaces with editing software. Book time in the Whisper Room or Audio/Video Recording Room here. For information on hours and available equipment, please visit the DML homepage.

Creation Space, Computers, Reservable, Group Study, Individual Study, Conversation Allowed

Rows of chairs and screen in the Screening Room

Screening Room (258)

Our Screening Room is designed for groups to view films. It features a Blu-ray/DVD player, Windows computer, HD Plasma TV, and VHS player. A minimum of 3 people is required to use the room. Reserve the Screening Room. Reservations are not required but do take precedence over walk-up appointments. You can check out the key at the Check Out desk.

Reservable, Conversation Allowed, Presentation Space

Doors and windows of faculty study rooms

Faculty Study Rooms

These 32 rooms are available to UMBC faculty, as well as visiting and Emeritus faculty. They are assigned each semester; to apply for a room, please fill out an application form.

Individual Study, Quiet, Reservable

Workstation in an Assistive Technology Room

Assistive Technology Rooms

Ask at the Check Out desk to access Room 455. It is equipped with Jaws screenreader software, magnifiers, and scanners. Learn more about assistive technology facilities.

Individual Study, Computers

Stairwell from first to second floor

Floors 1, 2, and 7

The first, second, and seventh floors of the AOK Library have 160 computers (both Macs and PCs) for student use, as well as printers, scanners, and photocopiers.

Individual Study, Group Study, Computers, Conversation Allowed

Study tables

Floors 3 and 4

The third and fourth floors of the AOK Library are designated Quiet areas, so please keep volume to a whisper. These floors have 22 (PCs) for student use.

Quiet, Individual Study, Computers

Quiet sign and book stacks on Floor 5

Floors 5 and 6

The fifth and sixth floors of the AOK Library are designated Absolute Quiet areas at all times. These floors have 32 computers (PCs) for student use.

Individual Study, Absolute Quiet, Computers

Group table and large monitor in the 2nd Floor Study Area

2nd Floor Study Area

Head up to the 2nd floor and take a left at the Serials sign - there you'll find a group study space featuring whiteboards, big tables, and large monitors with cables to connect to your laptop.

Group Study, Whiteboards, Conversation Allowed

Chair near the windows in the Library Atrium


The entry hall of the library is a vibrant social and conversation space. It is open 24 hours a day.

Individual Study, Group Study, 24-hour, Conversation Allowed


Daily Lockers

Daily lockers are available to UMBC students, faculty, and staff for a 24 hour period. Daily locker keys are checked out at the Check Out Desk. For more information, please visit the Locker page.


Semester Lockers

Semester lockers are a great place for UMBC students, faculty, and staff to store their study materials. They are assigned each Fall and Spring semester; to apply for a locker, please fill out an application form. For more information, please visit the Locker page.


Table and screen in the Collaboration Room

Collaboration Room (368)

This room is available to UMBC students, faculty, and staff. It contains a small conference table and a smart TV with Chromecast, which allows a laptop, tablet or smartphone to stream content to the screen. Reserve this room for your group of 3-7 people for periods up to 3 hours. You can find instructions for how to use Chromecast here (Note: the Chromecast device is already connected to the room screen).

Presentation Space, Conversation Allowed, Group Study, Reservable

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Printing in the Library

Where can I print?

  • You can print from any of our computers.
  • You can print from any laptop or mobile device using Pharos MobilePrint.
  • You must release and pick up the print job on the 1st, 2nd, or 7th floor, or in the RLC.

How much does it cost?

  • Black and white: $0.10 per side
  • Color: $0.70 per side

How do I pay?

  • UMBC Campus ID card
  • Add more money online using a credit card or add cash at the Campus Information Center (Commons) or Student Business Services (Admin).
  • Guest card
  • Purchase with a credit card at the Check Out Desk on the 1st floor for $5 (gives you $5 for printing).

Equipment Loan

Did you know that the Library loans laptops and a variety of audio and video equipment? Laptops are available at the Check Out Desk. For everything else, head up to the Digital Media Lab (DML) on the 2nd floor - all equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Full descriptions of the available equipment and instruction manuals are available on the DML homepage. Please take a moment to read the Equipment Loan Policies and Laptop Loan Policies pages for detailed information about the program.

At the Check Out Desk:

Picture of Dell Laptop Dell LATITUDE E6440
Laptop (7 Days)
Available at Check Out Desk;
Click here to see availability.
Picture of MacBook Pro MacBook Pro 13"
Laptop (7 Days)
Available at Check Out Desk;
Click here to see availability.
Picture of HP Chromebook HP Chromebook
(7 Days)
Available at Check Out Desk;
Click here to see availability.
Picture of HP Chromebook HP Chromebook II
(4 Hours)
Available at Check Out Desk;
Click here to see availability.

In the Digital Media Lab:

The Digital Media Lab has a variety of A/V equipment for use and checkout. Click here to see what's available.

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Upcoming Events

 Other events scheduled in the Library can be found on the full Events page.

Sorry, no upcoming events

Library News

  • Associate Director of Public Services
    Job no: 493832
    Work type: Faculty- Librarian
    Location: UMBC Campus

    The Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County seeks an experienced and innovative manager to become a key member of the Library Executive Team and to provide future vision, oversight, leadership and strategic direction for the library's public services.

    This permanent status-eligible full-time, non-tenure track library faculty position at the rank of Librarian II reports to the Library Director. The Associate Director is the head of Public Services and provides leadership and strategic visioning for the departments of Reference Services, Circulation Media Services, Interlibrary Loan, and Special Collections and Archives and the Library Gallery at UMBC's Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery. 

    Specific duties include:

    • Develop, set and assess the strategic direction for Circulation Media, Special Collections, Reference and Interlibrary Loan Departments;
    • Ensure that goals and strategic direction align with the Library's Strategic Plan;
    • Lead departmental managers who are responsible for Circulation Media, Special Collections, Reference and Interlibrary Loan Departments;
    • Participate in library planning in collaboration with the Director and Associate Directors;
    • Serve on library-wide, university and university system committees and task forces including the Library Executive Council; and
    • Perform other related duties as assigned.
    Required Minimum Qualifications:

    • MLS/MLIS from an ALA accredited program required.
    • Five years' professional experience with progressive responsibility, including a minimum of three years' experience managing and developing staff in an academic library, particularly in public services areas.
    • Proven knowledge of current and emerging trends, principles, procedures, and best practices related to at least three of the public services areas: circulation, course reserves, resource sharing (Interlibrary Loan), information services (reference), and stacks management.
    • A record of successful collaborative work in a complex environment, such as a consortium or multi-type library.
    • Proven leadership and management skills.
    • Proven experience working in a collaborative team environment.
    • Demonstrated commitment to high quality user service.
    • Excellent interpersonal skills including ability to communicate clearly, knowledgeably and person-ably both verbally and in writing.
    Preferred Qualifications:

    • Experience working with Ex Libris products.
    • Experience working directly in one (or more) of the public services departments: Reference, Interlibrary Loan, Circulation/Media, and Special Collections & Library Gallery.
    • Experience managing change in an academic library.
    Questions: For questions about the position, contact or at (410) 455-2356 Screening of Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

    Salary & Benefits:

    This position is a full time (40 hours/week), 12-month library faculty appointment at anticipated rank of Librarian II. Salary commensurate with experience—minimum salary $95,000. Comprehensive benefits.

    The successful candidate will be expected to meet library and university requirements for reappointment, promotion, and permanent status, as outlined in part 6.6 of the Faculty Handbook -

    To read more about this position, and to apply, please visit the posting on the UMBC jobs site.

    Read more…

  • Sci Fi Author's Collection now processed!

    This post is written by Special Collections Graduate Assistant Nikki Vietz, who recently finished processing the papers of prolific sci fi/fantasy author Lawrence Watt-Evans. Nikki, along with previous interns and student assistants, did a great job with this large collection of manuscripts, convention materials, correspondence, and more!

    Do you believe that anyone can write a book? The highly acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writer, Lawrence Watt-Evans believes that all you need is a good idea, a keyboard, and some writing skills. According to him “there is no idea so stupid or hackneyed that a sufficiently-talented writer can’t get a good story out of it.” Whether you believe this or not, Lawrence Watt-Evans has recently donated a large amount of his manuscripts, proofs, science-fiction convention memorabilia, and other miscellaneous materials to UMBC’s Special Collections.

    Born and raised in Arlington, Massachusetts, Lawrence Watt-Evans has been a full-time writer and editor for more than twenty years. His first attempt at writing science-fiction occurred at the young age of eight and after surviving twelve years of school, he followed in the footsteps of father and grandfather and attended Princeton University. Watt-Evans never finished his degree and in 1980, he published his first novel The Lure of the Basilisk with Del Rey Books. He went on to write three sequels and the highly popular Ethshar fantasy series, which was initially created for role-playing games. 

    A prolific author with an immense imagination, Watt-Evans’s other fantasy work includes the short novel The Rebirth of Wonder and the collaboration with Esther Friesner, another acclaimed fantasy writer, entitled Split Heirs. Along with fantasy, Watt-Evans has written one horror novel, The Nightmare People, and several science fiction novels, including two Star Trek novels, The Cyborg and the Sorcerers, and his Three World Trilogy: Out of This World, In the Empire of Shadow, and The Reign of the Brown Magician. He also edited and compiled an anthology about contemporary and futuristic New York called Newer York, which includes twenty-four stories from various authors including Susan Shwartz, Mike Resnick, and Esther Friesner. 

    However, Watt-Evans’s imagination and talents extend beyond the genres of fantasy, science-fiction, and horror. His personal favorite is his story Nightside City about a 24th century detective. Alongside more than a dozen novels and over one hundred short stories written under the name Lawrence Watt-Evans and his pseudonym Nathan Archer, Watt-Evans work also ventures into the realm of DC and Marvel graphic novels and comics.

    His novels have been translated into seven languages and have been enjoyed worldwide. In 1987, he was nominated for a Nebula award and one year later, in 1988, he received the Hugo award for best short story from the World Science Fiction Society for “Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers” which was first published in Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. The story is about a young man, who works at a greasy spoon diner near Sutton, West Virginia that acts as a popular hang-out for travelers from alternate Earths. After hearing about these far-off wonders, the young man decides to travel through the multiverse himself.

    Watt-Evans also served as the president of the Horror Writers Association for two years from 1994-1996 and was the co-owner of the horror magazine Deathrealm with Terry Rossiobefore it ceased publication in 1997. The magazine won the International Horror Critics Guild Award in 1995 for best horror magazine, which was awarded at the 1996 World Horror Convention. And, according to Lawrence Watt-Evans, Deathrealm #27was banned in Canada for “disturbing” cover art. 

    His donation and gift will contribute significantly to UMBC’s growing collection of science fiction and fantasy literature. For more information, see the Lawrence Watt-Evans papers collection finding aid or contact Special Collections.

    Thanks, Nikki!

    Read more…

  • Picturing Pictures:
    Intern Meredith Power shares her experience working on the NEH Preservation Assistance Grant awarded to the Special Collections, "Rehousing the Lewis Hine Collection," which is a part of  NEH's "A More Perfect Union": America at 250,  exploring America's story and commemorating its 250th anniversary.  

    Picturing Pictures: Digitizing the Lewis Hine Collection Prints'... Versos?
    By Meredith Power, Special Collections Intern

    Digitized materials offer access to research archives for any global audience with an internet connection. The importance of this access has been brought into sharp relief over the last few years of COVID restrictions. 

    While many people, then, understand the idea of an online database of, say, early 20th century photography documenting child laborers and their working conditions across the United States, the whole process of digitization is often less-well known. Why, for example, would Special Collections want to digitize the versos [the backs] of the five thousand or so prints it holds as part of the Lewis Hine Collection? And what does that digitization involve? 

    UMBC and the Library of Congress are the only two institutions with a complete (or nearly) set of the photographs that Hine produced for the National Child Labor Commission, an activist group lobbying for the end of child labor. The Library of Congress's prints, though, are mounted, meaning that the backs of the prints cannot be seen. In the case of Hine's work, this is frustrating, as many of the reverse sides (the versos) of his prints include notes about the image or about the process he used to produce the print. As compelling as his subjects themselves were, Hine's literally behind-the-scenes commentary is insightful, often heartbreaking, and occasionally funny. Unlike those in the collection at the Library of Congress, UMBC's prints are not mounted to anything, allowing users full access to the marks and writing on the back of each sheet. 

    Digitizing a photograph can be tricky work. In addition to the basic need to capture a clear, high-resolution image, the worker (me) must know how to handle fragile old objects like these photographs, printed on sometimes tissue-thin paper. Sometimes, the photographs have become stuck within their Mylar enclosures, and cannot be photographed (this project will also address that issue, to protect the photographs in new, better enclosures). Sometimes, the photographs show their age clearly in the significant glue residue on the reverse and their missing corners or torn and tattered edges. 

    My copy stand photography work will complement the NEH Preservation Assistance Grant-funded project "Rehousing the Lewis Hine Collection." This project will replace the photographs' existing enclosures (which currently have adhesive migration from the double sided tape used to encapsulate them in Mylar) with new one polyester sleeves and rigid backing boards to provide support, plus new custom fit boxes. Before that portion of the project takes place, though, I am working quickly and carefully to complete as many photographs of versos - backs of prints - as possible each week. My photographs themselves are taken using a copy stand, a special tabletop platform equipped with high-power LED lights that eliminate shadows (see below). A digital camera is mounted with its lens pointing straight down above the platform, and using specialty software and connectors, a worker is able to photograph the back of each print. The information about the print is carefully recorded in a detailed spreadsheet, indicating not just the digital file's name but also any significant issues with the print's condition, the date the photograph was taken, and who took it.

    A behind-the-scenes photo of the copy stand workspace, showing the digital camera pointed at the verso (the back) of one of the Hine collection prints.

    A closer look at the hand-written note on the verso of P528. This print features Hine's description, handwritten in pencil - "Some of the adults Bibb Mill no. 1 Macon, Ga. Jan 9, 1909." - and his initials. 

    The front of P528. You can learn more about this print in the Lewis Hine Collection digital collection.

    Digitizing these photos is tricky work, demanding close attention not just to the technical processes involved but also in the careful handling of these fragile historic items. The work is rewarding, though. In addition to preserving the information about these images in a stable, secure way, this project will significantly increase scholars' access to Hine's important work of documenting labor conditions in early twentieth-century America.

    Thanks, Meredith!

    Read more…

  • Sage Skills: Business Trial
    UMBC now has trial access to the database Sage Skills: Business. The database includes five modules:

    Data Analytics
    Organizational Communication

    There is a self-assessment test in each module to gauge where you should begin the process, video and text real-world examples, interviews with professionals and academics and suggestions for further reading. 

    The trial runs from Nov. 1 to Dec. 1, 2021 and will be available both on- and off-campus. 

    Feedback is appreciated, please use the comments option or contact Jasmine Shumaker at

    Read more…

  • Update on DML Services
    The Digital Media Lab is excited to reopen on Monday, August 30, 2021. Our services will look a little different because of the pandemic, so here is a brief rundown of what to expect.

    • We are only open on weekdays from 12 to 4 PM
    • The Whisper Room is unavailable until further notice
    • The A/V Room has a limited capacity of two (2) people
      • Individuals may use this room to record audio in lieu of the booth
    • Three Mac computers and a flatbed scanner will be available
    We have limited the maximum capacity in the DML to seven (7) people, including the desk attendant, to encourage social distancing. Please space yourselves if you are waiting to check out equipment and do not crowd into the room. We encourage everyone to visit our website for details about available equipment before visiting. Remember that you must present your UMBC card in order to borrow anything.

    Our room reservation system is again active and you can reserve the A/V Room for up to two hours per day (link).

    We look forward to a successful fall semester despite these changes. If you have any questions, please contact us at

    Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

    Read more…