The David O. McKay Library is located at the center of campus by the Manwaring Center and has many different resources to help jump-start a college career.

Laurie Francis, University Librarian of the McKay Library, said many new and returning students are not aware of all the resources and tools available to them through the school library, and knowing these resources can benefit students in any major.

“I think every student should make friends with a librarian,” Francis said. “That’s one of the first things that can help them be successful all through their four years here.

Francis said there are 13 professional librarians available who each cover a specific department or subject covered on campus. They are trained to help students find databases, books and other research tools to assist with major projects and essays.

Francis said books can typically be checked out for two weeks at a time with the option to extend that period by two weeks online or in person. DVDs may be checked out for two days. Students may be fined for late returns.

“We have a great streaming service,” Francis said. “That’s one of the reasons students don’t check out DVDs quite so often.”

The library’s collection of online movies, Swank, is found on the library’s homepage. This collection holds dozens of movies, some old and some new. There is no checkout process; it works like Netflix and other streaming services. BYU-Idaho login information is required for access.

“We have a Mac lab located by the Commons on the first floor of the library,” Francis said. The Mac lab is designed for projects using Adobe products and provides trained employees to help students with their projects.

Sam Nielson, a librarian, said there is a chat service available on the Mckay Library web page for those who have questions for a librarian.

Nielson said this service runs 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. Sunday and holidays are the only days the chat service does not run. He also said it is difficult to answer some questions without being in person, but the online chat service can be beneficial to those using the library’s online researching tools.

Nielson said some of the more commonly asked questions are about the most commonly used databases and where students can find scholarly articles. He said the best place to find popular databases for scholarly articles is the “Top Databases” tab on the library’s homepage at Some of the top databases listed there are Academic Search Premier, ProQuest and JSTOR.


“Our book collection has 170,000 books more or less, and our eBook collection is somewhere between half a million and three-quarters of a million books,” Nielson said.

In addition to the books, the library grants students access to over 400 online databases that provide content such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Mango language learning software and much more. All of these resources are free of charge to students.