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last updated: 2/25/2011

Chapter 1- Graduate Student Guide


What to do if you can't find a book in your library

With millions of books in Wells and branch libraries, and more than a thousand coming and going daily, it’s inevitable that some will go AWOL.


1)      If you can’t find a book that IUCAT identifies as available, look on the shelves above or below its location to see if it was shelved incorrectly. Sometimes researchers misplace items or shelvers transpose call numbers.


2)      In the Wells Library, look through the book carts located on each floor to see if the book is waiting to be shelved. Books are shelved throughout the day, and maybe we haven’t gotten to it yet.


3)      Flag down a librarian. They’ll help you look. In the Wells Library stacks, librarian offices are located near the elevators. Librarians in the branches are usually situated near the circulation desk.


4)      If you still can’t find it, report the missing book to the circulation desk. We will then mark it as missing—an essential step if you then want to request the book through interlibrary loan. (We won’t request a book from another library if we think it’s here.)


5)      Using interlibrary loan, you may borrow books from libraries other than IU’s. Seventy percent of articles and 55 percent of books arrive in seven days or less.


How to recall a book someone else has checked out

Has someone else already checked out the book you want? We’ll request that they return it so you can use it. Don’t feel bad—we do it all the time.


1)      Fill out an online form. Find it under Services at (Note: this service is not yet integrated into IUCAT.)


2      If you’re in a large department, consider sending an e-mail to your department’s listserv. It’s likely someone in your discipline may have the item and will loan it to you, especially if you only want to photocopy a chapter or to use the book for a few hous. This is also a good way to meet others in your department.


3)      Know that requesting a book via interlibrary loan may be faster than a recall and may also help you avoid recall wars—the ugly cycle that results when two researchers trade the same book back and forth.


4)      Know that we guard your privacy. We won’t tell you who has the book—just as we won’t tell that person who you are.

To ensure speedy delivery of items at the ALF, use the Request This Item link within IUCAT. It’s near the field that tells you the materials are at the ALF. Don’t use the Request Delivery link in the right margin.



How to request that materials from one library be delivered to another


We will deliver materials to a library near you. If you spend most of your time in the Education Library, for example, request that a book from the Wells Library be delivered to Education. Or vice versa. Or wherever. (See map of all branch libraries.)


1)      Log in to IUCAT (not as a guest). Click on the link to see the full record, including library, shelving locations, and call number.

2)      Click on the Request Delivery link in the box on the right side of the screen. Select a library from the menu. This is where you will pick up your materials.


3)      Indicate the date after which you do not want the item.


4)      We’ll send you an e-mail message when the item is ready for pickup.


Procrastinators beware: Deliveries usually take four to seven working days to complete.


Cancel or review the status of a request online within IUCAT. Click on My Account.

The fine fine print. Some materials (i.e. reference books, other non-circulating collections, and short-term loan collections from other libraries) may be excluded.



Ask the Library to buy your books

We have a whole team of librarians who select and purchase materials to provide you what we think you’ll need. If you want an item we don’t own, let us know. We’ll do our best to get it for you if it’s something that should be part of our collections.  


1)      Fill out the online request purchase form (search for it at Supply as much information as possible: author, title, publication information. Requests go to a central distribution point.


2)      Can’t find a database you’ve used elsewhere? Ask a librarian. It’s possible we already provide access to the journal you need through a different database.


3)      Build a relationship with the librarian responsible for your discipline or department and let him or her know what you need.


4)      Remember, recommendations aren’t limited to books. Recommendations can include videos, journal subscriptions, electronic resources, or any other type of material.


  IU has so many books they don’t all fit in the libraries. The Auxiliary Library Facility on the edge of campus holds about 2.7 million items, including books, manuscripts, and films.

To preserve the materials shelved there, the ALF is kept at a constant 50°F and 30 percent relative humidity—about the same environmental conditions as Mammoth Cave.

Conditions in the ALF add 400 years the life of a book. This does not work for librarians.

What to do to get electronic copies of print articles delivered to you 

Don’t want to spend time looking for an article that’s not online? We’ll supply you electronic copies of journal articles from print and microform materials held on the Bloomington campus. It’s hands-down our most popular service for grad students.


1)      To submit a request online, type Request Article Delivery in the search box on the IUB Libraries home page or find it under Services.


2)      After logging in, you’ll be asked to provide the citation to the article. If you’re a first-timer, fill out the form for delivery information.


3)      When your article is available, we’ll send you an e-mail with a link.


4)      Know your limits. You may request a maximum of 25 items per month.


Most graduate students who use the service request about two deliveries per month, and even the highest users max out at 12 to 15 per month. The limit protects us against über-researchrs, like the guy who requested 500 articles in two days.


How to borrow good stuff from libraries anywhere in the world


Need to get your hands on a book that that the IU Libraries doesn’t own? Track it down by using OCLC’s WorldCat database—a catalog containing more than 33 million records from libraries around the world. It’s easy. Just place a request.


1)      After locating your book (or video or microfilm or whatever) within WorldCat, click on Request Materials from ILL (Interlibrary Loan). Log in and complete the online request form.


2)      You don’t have to know which library has it. We’ll figure that out.



3)      Books may be picked up at the Wells Library, and photocopies of journal articles will be posted on the Web. An e-mail notification will be sent to you in both cases.


4)      Remember that borrowing privileges can vary dramatically from library to library—particularly if that library is in a different country. Therefore, don’t count on an item having the same renewal policies and borrowing periods as materials located within IU’s collection.





How to apply for borrowing privileges from other Big Ten libraries


Traveling soon? If you’re in the neighborhood of, say, Minneapolis, you may want to check out university library resources there.


1)      Go to the IUB Libraries administrative offices, located on the second floor of the Wells Library. Take the up escalator from the west side of the lobby.


2)      Supply your name, title, department and school, and address.

3)      You’ll receive a card, signed by the dean of the IU Libraries, valid for one calendar year from the date of issue. You’re good to go.


4)      Or, send an e-mail to requesting the card. Be sure to include the information above, as well as the address to which you’d like the card mailed.

Committee on Institutional Cooperation (Everyone calls it the CIC)

University of Chicago
University of Illinois
Indiana University
University of Iowa
University of Michigan
Michigan State University
University of Minnesota
Northwestern University
Ohio State University
Penn State University
Purdue University
University of Wisconsin-Madison

last updated: 2/25/2011