The Oscar K. Buros Library of Mental Measurements is a special reference library located in Room 23 of Teachers College Hall. It contains the world’s largest collection of educational and psychological tests, acquired during the production of the Mental Measurements Yearbook, Tests in Print, and Pruebas Publicadas en Español series. These three series have provided critical test reviews and vital information about tests for more than 80 years. The library also houses a substantial collection of measurement-related books and journals. The Buros Library and its holdings comprise an invaluable resource for researchers, scholars, and the general public. Its unique holdings and collections can never be replicated.
The Buros Library has been housed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for over 40 years. Since 2001, the library has been in its current location. The library’s endowment represents the sole source of funds used to furnish and operate the library. The space is nicely appointed with large tables and padded chairs to accommodate close inspection of test materials. Its south-facing wall consists of floor-to-ceiling windows, with two glass doors that open onto a landscaped courtyard. Its comfortable furnishings are complemented by many original works of art created and donated by renowned artist and library benefactor, Luella Buros. Numerous artifacts and photographs from her private collection depicting Oscar and Luella’s lives and work are on display in the library.
The existence of the Buros Library, many of its holdings, and almost all of its artwork owes directly to the generosity of its founders, Oscar and Luella Buros. Their lifelong devotion to improving the science and practice of testing and assessment continues to meet a wide array of research needs for faculty and students. Their commitment and benevolence inspires the staff of the Buros Center for Testing to be active stewards of their legacy.
Policies for general use
The Buros Library is “open” during the hours when it is staffed by a librarian (graduate assistant). The library is open for about 20 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters. The open hours vary each semester, but generally occur in half-day increments, Monday through Thursday, and by appointment during the Buros Center's regular business hours (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday). The library may be open occasionally on Fridays and during the summer but generally is closed at these times. During these times, access may be arranged by appointment.
Visits and Library Instruction Sessions
To arrange a visit, tour, or library instruction session, please contact the Buros Center’s Office Assistant. Visits, tours, and instruction sessions typically occur during normal business hours. Instruction sessions for classes that meet in the evening generally can be accommodated; contact the Associate Director to request special arrangements.
The primary collection housed in the Buros Library consists of educational and psychological tests, acquired across several decades. Approximately 8,500 tests comprise the collection. The tests provide measures of many different constructs of interest to psychologists, educators, and historians including personality, vocational skills and interests, achievement, general ability, neuropsychology, development, language, reading, speech, hearing, and behavior. In that tests developed for educational and psychological purposes are considered secure, all test materials are retained in locked storage units at the north end of the library. Tests in the collection are those that have been indexed and described in Tests in Print and Pruebas Publicadas en Español. These important reference books provide vital descriptive information about commercially available tests published in English and Spanish, respectively, and are updated and published regularly by the Buros Center for Testing.
In addition to the test collection, the Buros Library contains about 2,000 books related to measurement, testing, and assessment, including many classic texts by renowned authors. Holdings also include several complete sets of the Mental Measurements Yearbook series (21 volumes), Tests in Print series (9 volumes), Pruebas Publicadas en Español (2 volumes), Buros-Nebraska Series on Measurement in Testing (11 volumes), Buros Desk Reference series (2 volumes), and the Mental Measurements Yearbook Monographs series (10 volumes).
Several periodicals related to measurement are shelved within the Buros Library, including many years’ worth of journals such as American Educational Research Journal, Annual Review of Psychology, Applied Measurement in Education, Assessment, Biometrics, Educational and Psychological Measurement, Educational Assessment, Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, Harvard Educational Review, International Journal of Testing, Journal of Educational Measurement, Journal of Educational Psychology, Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, Psychological Assessment, Psychological Methods, Psychometrika, Review of Educational Research, among others.
Finally, the Buros Library houses a special collection of about 600 books originally owned by Oscar Buros and shelved separately within the library. Many of the books in the Oscar K. Buros collection were annotated by Oscar himself and all bear his signature on the end-pages.
Access to Collections
Librarian assistance is necessary to access all test materials as well as books in the Oscar K. Buros collection. Consistent with reference library practices, these materials are retrieved and re-shelved by the librarian on duty. To preserve test security, library patrons wishing to access test materials are required to show identification (e.g., NU ID or other photo identification) and to provide contact information. Access to test materials is restricted to individuals over the age of 19 years. Other restrictions may apply to individuals who are not enrolled in relevant courses (e.g., courses related to testing, assessment, or measurement; research courses).
Library users may request the librarian’s assistance in locating books in the general collection (which excludes those in the Oscar K. Buros collection) or may browse the shelves on their own. Books are arranged alphabetically by author. Nonreference books are catalogued on the librarian’s desktop computer. Periodicals are not catalogued and may be accessed by browsing the shelves containing journals. Journals are arranged alphabetically by title. Books and journals should be left on a library table rather than re-shelved. No library materials (books, tests, artwork, etc.) may be removed from the library.
No portion of any tests or other resources held by the library may be copied or duplicated in any way, including but not limited to the use of any electronic technology. Photographs taken with cell phones are not allowed.
The library is equipped with wireless internet access as well as a ceiling-mounted projector (requires remote control) and a switch-operated projection screen. Instructions to access the remote control and to deploy the projection screen may be obtained from the Buros Center’s Office Assistant. Library patrons are welcome to bring laptop computers for use in the library as long as such use does not violate library policies. Several electrical outlets are available, primarily along the wall of windows and in the soft seating area towards the back of the main room.
Safety and Related Information
The maximum occupancy for the Buros Library is 49. This capacity was established by UNL Facilities Management, taking into consideration the room dimensions and furnishings, as well as the number and locations of fire exits.
Two fire exit doors are found along the south wall of the Buros Library. These doors lead directly to an outdoor courtyard between Teachers College and Henzlik Halls and are normally locked. A Buros Center staff member unlocks the doors prior to the beginning of an event and locks the doors at its conclusion.
The nearest fire alarm is located across from the library’s front door, in the vestibule adjoining the library. A second fire alarm is located at the foot of the stairs near the elevator; a third fire alarm is located near the restrooms. Each alarm may be activated by pulling down on the handle. The nearest fire extinguisher is located next to the water fountain that is visible as one exits the library via its front door. A second fire extinguisher is located down the hallway to the right as one exits the library at the corner.
Automatic external defibrillators (AED) are located in the Counseling and School Psychology Clinic (49 Teachers College Hall) and in the lobby area outside of the doors to the Pixel Lab (123 Henzlik Hall, which is one floor above the library and further to the east). The cabinets are unlocked. The equipment is fully automated. Opening the AED case initiates voice prompts that provide specific instructions on what to do while various sensors monitor a patient’s status.
A first aid kit is maintained in the main office of the Buros Center for Testing (Room 21 of Teachers College Hall). Please ask a Buros Center staff member for assistance, if needed.
The Buros Library is not responsible for damage to or loss of any personal property or other items left in the library. Items left in the library may be taken to the main office of the Buros Center for Testing (Room 21 Teachers College Hall). Rightful owners may retrieve belongings from the Buros Center Office Assistant.
Individuals with Disabilities
The Buros Library is on the ground floor of Teachers College Hall, a location that is easily accessible to persons with mobility issues via the building’s elevator and via the courtyard entrance. Service animals are welcome.
Code of Conduct
To preserve a quiet, user-friendly environment, please refrain from using cell phones or other noise-making technology while in the Buros Library. As with other buildings on campus, tobacco use is prohibited in the library.
During ordinary use, food and drinks are not allowed in the library as they pose significant risks of damage to test materials, books, and other resources held by the library.
Library tables and chairs may be moved within the library to accommodate specific academic programs or other activities. Please do not move the plants. Kindly reset the furniture to its original order upon completion of the program or activity. The diagram above shows the proper arrangement of furniture.
Individuals under 16 years of age must be supervised by a parent, guardian, teacher, or other responsible adult.
Policies for Special Uses
The Buros Library may be reserved by faculty and staff members of the College of Education and Human Sciences for purposes other than those related to its primary purpose as a reference library serving faculty, students, and researchers. The following policies have been developed to protect the integrity of the library’s holdings and furnishings and to preserve its primary function as a special reference library.
The Buros Library may be reserved for use during regular business hours when (a) the Buros Center for Testing is open, and (b) the Buros Library is not staffed by a librarian (graduate assistant). The Buros Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Library hours for the current semester are available online (https://buros.org/oscar-k-buros-library-mental-measurements). The Buros Center is not staffed after 5:00 p.m. or on weekends. All events must begin and conclude within business hours and must be accessible for monitoring by Buros staff.
Reservations requested more than three months in advance generally are not accepted. Standing appointments (e.g., class meetings every week for an entire semester) cannot be accommodated.
The Buros Center for Testing reserves the right to rescind permission to use the library in the unlikely event that members of the Buros staff require use of the library at the same time for business purposes. Every effort will be made to avoid such situations.
TO RESERVE THE BUROS LIBRARY
Review the policies described herein as “Policies for Special Uses.” Then, send an email request to the Buros Center Office Assistant (Zoe McManaman) and include the following information:
- Name of person making the request
- Students must provide the name of a faculty sponsor
- E-mail and phone number of person making the request/faculty sponsor
- Group/organization seeking a reservation (if applicable)
- Nature of the program/event/meeting
- Number of people expected to attend
- Whether food and/or beverages will be provided
If the library is available at the requested time, the Buros Center Office Assistant will (a) verify that the individual making the request has reviewed and agreed to abide by the relevant library policies, and (b) confirm the reservation with the individual who made the request. Just prior to the event, access to the library will be provided by the Office Assistant or, if necessary, another member of the Buros Center staff. Cancellations should be communicated to the Buros Center Office Assistant as soon as possible.
Conditions of Library Use for Events and Meetings
There is no charge to use the library for events that do not involve food or beverages.
Events involving food and beverage incur a prepaid usage fee of $30 to offset maintenance costs. The fee is due when the reservation is confirmed. The fee applies to all group or individual events and, ordinarily, will not be waived.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages may be brought into or catered in the library when arrangements for doing so have been made and the Buros Center staff has been so apprised. Buros Center staff members should not be expected to meet caterers or other delivery and service vendors. Permission to serve alcoholic beverages must be sought through appropriate University channels. Persons seeking such permission should contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance in order to file an Application for Alcohol Services Permit (UNL Permit).
Responsibilities of Event Sponsors
The group or individual sponsoring an event is responsible for ensuring that the Buros Library is not left unattended and unlocked at any time during the event. In addition, the sponsor must inform a Buros Center staff member at the conclusion of the event so that the library may be secured properly. Please report mishaps of any kind to a staff member.
The group or individual sponsoring the event is responsible for setting up and cleaning up the library. Clean-up must include wiping down tables, chairs, and other surfaces (as needed); picking up debris from the floor, furniture, window ledges, book shelves, and other surfaces (as needed); and returning furniture to its original configuration (see diagram above). All food and beverages as well as food and beverage containers and all other trash must be removed from the library premises at the conclusion of the event. The sponsoring group or individual should contact custodial staff in advance of the planned event to obtain large plastic trash bags and trash receptacles. Buros Center staff members should not be expected to secure trash bags and receptacles. Trash bags should be tied securely and left next to the larger trash receptacle located in the hallway just outside of the library.
Responsibility for expenses to cover extraordinary cleaning or repair of damages rests with the individual who reserved the library.
The group or individual sponsoring a function in the Buros Library must inform attendees of the locations of fire emergency exits, fire alarms, fire extinguisher, automatic external defibrillators (AED), and restrooms.
The event host is responsible for ensuring that event attendance does not exceed the maximum occupancy (of 49) established by UNL Facilities Management.
Groups or individuals sponsoring events in the Buros Library are responsible for arranging special accommodations for participants (e.g., assisted learning devices).
Library tables and chairs may be moved within the library to accommodate specific academic programs or related activities. Please do not move the plants. Kindly reset the furniture to its original order upon completion of the program or activity. The diagram above shows the proper arrangement of furniture.
Groups may not affix any materials to the walls or doors of the library.
The library is equipped with wireless internet access, ceiling-mounted projector (requires remote control—consult Buros Center Office Assistant), and switch-operated projection screen (ask for assistance if needed). Buros Center staff members are not available to assist with other technology needs. Groups or individuals sponsoring events in the library are welcome to bring, set up, and use their own media equipment (e.g., laptop computer) as long as such use complies with library use policies.
For Further Information
For additional information on any of the policies discussed herein or to arrange a visit or library instruction session, please contact Janet F. Carlson, PhD, Associate Director and Library Supervisor. To inquire about reserving the Buros Library for an event, please (a) read the policies reviewed in the preceding section, and (b) email the request and accompanying information to Zoe McManaman, Buros Center Office Assistant. The main office telephone number is (402) 472-6203.