Using the Library When You Can't Come to the Library
I often find myself off campus working on assignments or papers, and I realize I need something from the library whether it is an article or a great website to use. What is great about the university Libraries is that even if I am off campus I can find the articles and other resources that I need to complete my assignments. We students are no longer required to come to the physical library building to get the help and resources we need to complete any project our professors throw our way. With an internet connection we have access to the library website and all it has to offer.
Here are a few of the ways off campus users can access library resources and interact with the staff of the library:
More and more databases are available online through the library website. Access to these online databases and articles is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Go to the library website.
- Click on the “Databases and Indexes��? tab along the left side.
- Locate the database you wish to use by searching for it by name or by searching by subject. You will be prompted to enter your Net ID and password.
There you go you! You are off to the races; you can access thousands of articles on the numerous databases offered online through the library website. For more information on off campus database access go to the library guide for more detailed instructions.
If you need help from a librarian while you are off campus there are a few options available to you for virtual reference help. First you can use the Ask-A-Librarian service to send an email to a librarian with a reference question. You are also able to instant message a librarian through the library website, or even send a text message to a librarian for help. To send us a text message, dial 265010 on your cell phone, make sure to start the text with “ualibraries:��? then write your message (don't forget to include the colon). Keep in mind that a single text message cannot exceed 160 characters.
For those of you that are based at the downtown campus, our UA delivery service allows you to request books from the uptown campus to be delivered to the Dewey Library, saving you a gas guzzling trip. Also, if we have a journal article that is only in print, you don't need to come to the library to photocopy it. Make a UA Delivery request for the article and we will scan the article and email it to you in PDF form. Beware procrastinators, if you make these requests late at night, they will be filled the next day!
For those of you who are big Fleetwood Mac fans and would rather “Go Your Own Way��?, you are not without help. The best place to start your research is in the library website by clicking on the Research By Subject tab on the left hand side of the page. This will bring you to a list of subjects which will then bring you to helpful guides created by librarians to guide you in the right direction to complete your research needs. You can also go to the Online Reference tab and bring up a list of useful websites and databases for scholarly and everyday research.
You may have noticed a tab on the library website entitled “My Minerva��?. This is another helpful service that is especially useful for off campus users who cannot make it in to the library to perform some basic functions. This service will allow you to:
- Renew your current loans
- View items that you currently have checked out and their due date
- View Blocks, Holds, and Overdue Items
- Place items on hold or recall
- Create a unique display for your personal Minerva searches
- Save and access previous Minerva searches
All you have to do is sign in using your Net ID and password you can then perform all of the above functions from anywhere on or off campus!
There is nothing worse than going through a pile of books and finding a library item mixed in with your personal books. Chances are it is overdue, and you may be home, far away from campus and wanting to save gas and a trip back to Albany. Don’t worry, all is not lost! If you need to return a book from off campus you can mail it to the library.
Send books to:
University Library Circulation
University at Albany, SUNY
1400 Washington Ave., LI-118
Albany, NY 12222
Finally, if you have overdue fines and can't come to the library you can make a payment via credit card over the phone at 518-442-3601, Monday through Friday from 8 A.M. to 5P.M. If you wish to pay via personal check, please contact the billing staff ahead of time at the same number in order to determine the exact amount you owe and where payment should be sent.
If you have any questions about any of these services please contact the Dewey Library reference desk at 442-3691 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blog post created by Benjamin Knowles