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Access to Pretty Much Anything: Direct Access and Interlibrary Loan


Although the total combined collection size of all three libraries and the Special Collections is over two million volumes, there are times when the University Libraries do not have the materials you need. However, this does not mean that you do not have access to these materials. The University Libraries offer several services to students, faculty, and staff to help them loan materials not owned by our libraries. These are a crucial part of our borrowing services, and we strongly encourage you to take advantage of these services when they are needed.

Perhaps the most ubiquitous and easy to use of these services is Interlibrary Loan. The Interlibrary Loan Department is able to offer short term loans of books and digital delivery of journal articles from libraries nationwide that the University Libraries do not already own. Some of the types of materials that can be requested through Interlibrary Loan include books and book chapters, journal articles, dissertations, audio/visual materials, and newspaper and archival materials on microfilm. To log in to your Interlibrary Loan account, all you have to do is enter your NetID and password. If the item you request is a book, audio/visual material like a DVD or CD, or any other type of physical media, you can pick it up once it has been delivered to your designated pick-up library. Journal articles requested through Interlibrary Loan will be delivered electronically to your Interlibrary Loan account.

Another service that the University Libraries are participating members is the Direct Access Program. Sponsored by the Capital District Library Council (CDLC), the Direct Access Program enables members of the UAlbany community to borrow from or use over fifty academic, public, law, medical, and technical libraries located in the Capital District. In order to make use of the CDLC Direct Access Program, you first need to pick up a CDLC Card, which you can get from the circulation desk at any of our libraries. For more information on the CDLC Direct Access Program, including a directory of participating libraries, please the visit the CDLC - Direct Access Program web site.

In addition to the services already mentioned, the University Libraries also provide Reciprocal Access to Research Collections and programs. These services include participation in the SUNY sponsored Open Access Program and the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program from participating institutions, as well as borrowing privileges for UAlbany faculty, staff and students at the New York State Library, and the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago. Please visit Reciprocal Access to Research Collections for more information about each of these services.

If you have any questions about any of these resources, such as how to use them and how they can help you with your research, you can call the Dewey reference desk at 442-3691, instant message or text us, email us, or stop by the reference desk.

Blog post created by Kathryn Farrell