Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mine Local Library Resources

As you already know, despite all the hype about the vastness of the web, not everything is available online. This includes a majority of the academic level books and journals, especially those from before the 1990's, that you'll need to complete your research projects. Your next step? Here are some options to consider:
  1. The SUNY Open Access Policy allows Empire State College students, faculty and staff to access State University of New York two and four-year college libraries. By showing your Empire State College photo ID card, you may use some of the resources at other SUNY campus libraries. Keep in mind that library privileges vary from campus to campus. While most SUNY libraries do allow Empire State College students to borrow books, call the library ahead of time to find out if you can use their ILL service to borrow a book from another library, if needed. (Note, a similar agreement is in place with the CUNY libraries in New York City.)
  2. Another option is to visit the county community college where you live. Sometimes county residents are entitled to full library privileges. Again, check with the reference librarian to see if you can request items via ILL.
  3. If you are not close to a SUNY library, locate an academic library nearby and determine what services are available to residents of the local community. Consider a membership subscription. Most institutions offer an annual membership for a reasonable fee. In addition to borrowing privileges, membership may include ILL services.
Tips when using other libraries:
  • To determine if a local library has a specific item you want, use WorldCat and its "libraries worldwide" feature (on the search results page) to see if a library near you has the book or journal you need on its shelves.
  • Call ahead to make sure your local library will allow you to use their resources. Access levels can differ by library.
  • Make sure you copy/print the full citation for the item(s) you need. This will help you find the item on the shelves faster.
  • Please be courteous and return any borrowed materials promptly after use.

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