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Self-Guided Tour of the Robert L. Carothers Library & Learning Commons

Self-Guided Tour of Robert L. Carothers Library & Learning Commons

Welcome to the Robert L. Carothers Library & Learning Commons!

This guide will lead you on a tour of the Library. When you have completed it, you will have a good idea of the layout of the building, and you will have learned about some of the services and materials available in the Library.

1. First Floor: Entry

The tour begins on the First Floor of the Library, at the front door. Between the front entrance and the second set of doors, on the right is the After Hours entrance to the 24-Hour Study Room. You will need to swipe your I.D. to enter. Through the second set of doors, straight ahead, you will see the security gates. 

2. First Floor: 24 Hour Room

To your right is the main entrance to the 24-Hour Study Room. The Daily Grind Café sells food and beverages there during the Spring and Fall semesters. You are free to take small snack items and covered beverages into the rest of the Library, but large meals or messy items should remain in the 24-Hour Room. Near the Daily Grind there are machines where you can add money to your RAM Account or purchase a one-time copy slip. There is also an office supply vending machine here.

3. First Floor: Circulation & Reserves

Once you enter the lobby, you will see the Circulation Desk immediately to your left. Library materials, including materials requested from other libraries, can be checked out and returned here. The Reserves Desk is also here. This is where you can find materials that have been set aside by faculty to be used in a particular course, or get help accessing the E-Reserves materials. A valid URI ID is required for borrowing Reserves items.

photo of the circulation desk at the front of the library.

Taylor St. Pierre 12/17/18

4. First Floor: Lobby & the Library Catalog

Across from the 24-Hour Room, you will see a seating area in the main lobby. This is a great place to meet your friends before getting a study room, or gather before a workshop or class in the library!

A computer is nearby for looking up books in the URI Libraries Search.

5. First Floor: MakerspaceURI

On the other side of the wall housing the lobby seating area and just beyond the Circulation Desk is the MakerspaceURI, an academically focused Makerspace open to the University of Rhode Island community.  They offer shared access to fabrication, 2D/3D design and virtual reality technologies.

image of 3D printers in Makerspace

Taylor St. Pierre 5/22/19

6. First Floor: Active Learning Classroom (Rm 166)

Next door to MakerspaceURI is Rm.166 or the Active Learning Classroom. It is organized around nine pods for up to six students each (maximum 54 students). Each pod has whiteboard space, a flatscreen display, audio jacks, and three laptop computers. To facilitate class presentations and discussions, instructors can share content from any display to all other displays in the classroom.

photo of the entrance to the Active Learning Classroom, Room 166Taylor St. Pierre 12/17/18

7. First Floor: Government Publications

If you continue along the same wall that MakerspaceURI and the Active Learning Classroom are located on and just past the restrooms you will find the Government Publications. The URI Library is a partial depository for materials published by the Federal Government and the RI State Government. The Govt Pub collections are behind the Active Learning Classroom and the AI Lab offices. State Publications are located on the lower level.

8. First Floor: Teaching-Learning Technology Center

As you return to the lobby, you will see Room 142, the Teaching-Learning Technology Center. Workshops on Library and online research are often conducted in this room. Faculty may make arrangements with the Reference subject specialists for specific subject-oriented instruction.

9. First Floor: A.I. Lab

The Artificial Intelligence Lab supports two complementary goals. One is to enable students to explore projects on robotics, natural language processing, smart cities, smart homes, the Internet of Things and big data, with tutorials at beginner through advanced levels. The other is to serve as a hub for ideas, a place for faculty, students and the community to explore the social, ethical, economic and even artistic implications of these emerging technologies.

photo of robots in the artificial intelligence lab

Taylor St. Pierre 5/22/19

10. First Floor: Main Staircase & Maps

At the center staircase on your right, you will find the Floor Directory and Map. Each level of the Library has a Directory and Map at the staircase.

photograph of exterior of main stairwell showing location of floor maps

Taylor St. Pierre 6/2/19


11. First Floor: Info & Research Help Desk

The Info & Research Help Desk is located on the left just across from Reference Online Center. The Desk is staffed most of the hours the Library is open. Librarians are available to answer your questions about the Library and to help you locate materials and information.

photo of the Info & Research Help Desk and displayTaylor St. Pierre 12/17/18

12. First Floor: Reference Collection & Curriculum Materials Collection

The Reference Stacks begin at the edge of the Reference Online Center and extend into the corner of the building. The Reference Stacks contain encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, older indexes and abstracts and other reference sources. These materials do not circulate. The Curriculum Materials collection is located at the end of the Reference Stacks.

13. First Floor: Learning Commons

The far end of the First Floor is home to an area known as the Learning Commons. This is a collaborative study space with group study areas and rooms, as well as a Presentation Practice Room.

photograph of learning commons with Info & Research Help Desk on the left

Taylor St. Pierre 5/22/19

14. Lower Level: Microforms

Now return to the central staircase and go down the stairs to the Lower Level. Across from the stairs is the start of the Microform Area. Newspapers, ERIC documents, and the back issues of certain periodicals are available on microfiche or microfilm. Reader/printers are also available. Assistance with microform is available from the Circulation Desk during most hours the Library is open.

15. Lower Level: Academic Enhancement Center

To your left, past the serials stacks, is the Academic Enhancement Center. Here's where you can meet tutors for STEM tutoring.

Entrance to the Academic Enhancement Center

Amanda Izenstark 3/4/22

16. Lower Level: IT Service Desk

The IT Service Desk is to the right as you exit the stairs. The IT Service Desk can assist you with common technology problems, including lost passwords, technical issues, and so on. Most of the rest of the floor contains the Bound Serials, older issues or periodicals which have been bound together in volumes for preservation. They are shelved in call number order.

photo of the URI Help Desk

Taylor St. Pierre 12/17/18

17. Lower Level: LL12 and LL11B

Lower Level: To the right of the Help Desk you will find signage leading to LL12 and LL11B, the latter is also known as the RE:Space. LL11B is often scheduled for Library Instruction classes, but the RE:Space can also be scheduled for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classes by URI course instructors or professional staff for classes where students will benefit from close proximity and access to library materials and resources. URI instructors may reserve the RE:Space for their own teaching.

18. Second Floor

Re-enter the main stairwell and climb to the Second Floor. Here you will find books with call numbers starting in the letters Q through Z. Straight ahead are group study rooms and research carrels.

19. Second Floor: Distinctive Collections

Turn to your right and you will see Distinctive Collections, located right next to the stairwell. Here you will find the University Archives, the Rhode Island Collection, rare books, and the manuscript collection. All materials must be used in the room, which is open from 8:30 to 4:30 Monday through Friday.

20. Second Floor: DataSpark

Just past Distinctive Collections, you will see the offices for DataSpark

photo of the exterior of the DataSpark labTaylor St. Pierre 12/17/18

21. Second Floor: Administration

The Library Administration is in the office suite in the front of this floor. It includes Conference Rooms which are frequently used by campus organizations.

22. Third Floor & Galanti Lounge

Go back to the central staircase and go up to the Third Floor. This is where books with the call numbers beginning  A through P are shelved. If you were to turn left you will see the Galanti Lounge, a meeting room frequently used for various campus functions. There is a Walk Through Time picture history of the University circling this floor.

Additional Information

Additional information:

  • There are two elevators in the building, one across from the Circulation Desk and the other in the Reference Stacks.
  • Restrooms and copy machines are located on each floor. The floor plans near the central stairs will show the exact locations.
  • Individual research/study carrels and group study carrels are located on the Second and Third Floors. Information about them can be found in the Individual Research/Study Carrel policy.

Research Help

Ways to Get Research Help

Contact us at the
Info & Research Help Desk



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Created and revised by

Created by:

  • Sylvia C. Krausse 7/95

Revised by:

  • Sylvia C. Krausse 2/97, 8/97
  • Mary C. MacDonald 7/98
  • Sylvia C. Krausse 7/99
  • Andrée J. Rathemacher 8/02
  • Margaret J. Keefe 5/06
  • Amanda Izenstark 2/07, 8/07, 2/10, 5/10
  • Katie Leahy, 6/14
  • Amanda Izenstark, 6/17
  • Taylor St. Pierre 12/18, 5/19
  • Amanda Izenstark, 8/21, 3/22

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.