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Mary Church Terrell Main Library
148 W College St. Oberlin, OH 44074-1545


The main visitor lot is the east Service Building lot, and the south row of the Carnegie Building lot for visitors to offices within that building.

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Here are the questions we hear most often from our users. If you don't find answers to your questions here, please contact us.


Can I visit the libraries?

Yes! The Oberlin College Libraries are open to the public. Follow any ObieSafe guidelines for masking and distancing.

The Main Library is open to the public during until 8pm Sunday-Thursday and until 4pm on Friday and Saturday during regular open hours. Hours may be limited on holidays and when classes are not in session. Students, faculty, and staff with current OCID can swipe or tap into the building between 8pm and closing Sunday-Thursday, and between 4pm and closing Friday and Saturday.

Construction projects impacting branch library access during the summer are now complete.


All Gender Restrooms

Main Library: There is a multi-stall all gender restroom on A-Level that includes two single-use wheelchair accessible restrooms within. There are two single-use all gender restrooms behind the scanners on the first floor Academic Commons (near study room 101C). Both the second and third levels have a single-use all gender restroom near the scholar studies that overlook Wilder Bowl. The second, third, and fourth floors have gendered multi-stall bathrooms in the building core. The libraries ask that all patrons be respectful of other restroom users and not question other patrons' choice of restroom.

Conservatory Library: There are two single-user, all-gender, ADA restrooms on the second floor of the Conservatory Library. You can find them near the copy machine directly off the elevator.

Science Library: There are no restrooms within the Science Library. There are two single-user, all gender ADA restrooms on the first floor of the Science Center, next to K100. There is a multi-stall, all gender ADA restroom on the second floor of the Science Center, near A255.


Wall Street Journal

All current Oberlin students, faculty, and staff can access and Wall Street Journal apps for free. Get started by registering for an account at


How do I get materials from the libraries?

Students, faculty, and staff may either browse the stacks, or use the REQUEST ITEM button in OBIS to request items for pickup at circulation. Students, faculty, and staff may use the Interlibrary Loan form to request scans from books or journals.

Faculty wanting films for course reserve should complete the reserves form.


How can faculty put items on reserve for their 2023-24 courses?

Terrell Main Library: Print reserves with a standard loan period of 3 hours. Submit reserve lists and get additional information here, or contact Michael Palazzolo ( with questions.

Art Library: Circulating print reserves may be borrowed for 3 hours, or overnight. Email reserve lists to

Conservatory Library: Normal reserves procedures have resumed for fall 2022. Reach out to Marla Thompson ( with requests.

Science Library: Print reserves with a standard loan period of 3 hours, or overnight. Email reserve lists to


My syllabus says that a reading is on reserve. How do I access it?

This varies by course and library, but most libraries are resuming print reserves with 3 hour loan periods this fall. Consult your syllabus for details. To find print reserves, search OBIS by course number to see which library (e.g. Main, Art, Conservatory, or Science) holds the item, then ask for it at the circulation desk of the relevant branch. For digital reserves, check your course blackboard site.


Can I visit Special Collections?

Oberlin students, faculty, and staff and community members can visit Terrell Special Collections during open hours or by appointment. Contact Us to start the consultation process.

There will be limited access to the Conservatory Special Collections, by appointment only, through the summer semester. Contact Us to start the consultation process.

The Art Library offers full access to materials Monday-Friday during open hours. Contact Us to start the consultation process.


Can I visit the Archives?

Yes, Oberlin students, faculty, and staff and community members can visit during open hours.


How do I get materials that we do not own/have access to?

Request PDFs of articles and book chapters through Interlibrary Loan. Request print books held in another Ohio library through OhioLINK or SearchOHIO, and print books not held in Ohio through Interlibrary Loan. All services are free unless you accrue overdue fines.


What should I do with material I have checked out?

Please DO return material you no longer need. You may return material from all libraries to the Terrell Main Library.

When Terrell is open, return materials at the circulation desk. When Terrell is closed, use the book drop at the top of the ramp into Mudd Center.

The Science Library book drop is in the breezeway on the east wall of the science center.

The Art Library book drop is at the top of the stairs next to the entrance to the Art Library.

The Conservatory Library book drop is directly to the right of the library entrance.


Can I borrow a laptop?

Short term loans for students:

Terrell Main Library: More than 30 laptops, Mac, Windows and Chrome operating systems are all available

Science Library: 12 Macbook Air laptops

Art Library: 11 Macbooks

Conservatory Library: 2 Macbook Airs, 8 Macbook Pros

Long term loans for students: Contact Michael Palazzolo,

Faculty should contact the CIT at


Can I borrow an external disc drive?

There are 12 external DVD/Blu-ray drives that connect to laptops with USB are available at the Terrell Main Library for short terms loans to faculty and students. Additional drives with longer loans are available to faculty needing to show films in class. 10 drives are DVD region 1, Blu-ray region A (discs sold in the US and Canada), 2 are DVD region 2 (discs sold in the UK, Europe, Japan, and the Middle East).


Can I screen films in Terrell?

The library offers three full-size Blu-ray/DVD players (DVD regions 1-7, Blu-ray region A) for film screenings. One is located in study room 403 (14 seats, LCD screen), one is located in study room 108B (8 seats, LCD screen), and one is available for checkout at the circulation desk and can be used in any Terrell study room that contains an LCD screen.

Additional external DVD/Blu-ray drives (DVD region 1, Blu-ray region A, DVD region 2) and laptops can be checked out at the circulation desk.

A full list of bookable group study rooms that allows you to filter by the availability of screens and other equipment is available on the website.

Public performance rights are required for most public screenings.


Can I use microfilm or microfiche?

Yes. The reader is located on the Terrell main level near the scanners and restrooms between study rooms 108A and 101C. There is no need to reserve access.


Are there fines for overdue materials?

Yes, books are $.50 a day, other rates are listed here.

At the Terrell Main Library, pay fines in Obie Dollars.

At the Science Library, pay fines in cash during hours when a supervisor is present.

Fines accrued for Conservatory and Art Library materials should be paid at the Terrell Main Library.


Can I borrow Audiovisual/AV equipment?

The AV Department is open to students, faculty, and staff on the fourth floor of the Mudd Center.


Can I have a scholar study or study carrel in Terrell?

A limited number of scholar studies are available for short term booking, reserve a room here.

Honors students can contact Bill Ruth ( to request long term assignments; the fall 2022 deadline to apply is September 30, 2022.

Request long term study carrel reservations at the circulation desk beginning September 6, 2022.


Can I print in the libraries?

Yes! You can use the PaperCut Web Print system to submit print jobs from your computer.

In the Terrell Main Library: choose either Commons-Bizhub or Commons-Color

In the Art Library choose from ArtLibrary-BW1, ArtLibrary-BW2, or ArtLibraryBW3 for black & white or ArtLibrary-CP1 or ArtLibraryCP2 for color

In the Science Library - choose ScienceLibrary

For questions about the PaperCut system contact

Papercut Documentation


Is the Writing Center / Speaking Center open?

The Writing and Speaking Center will be open for drop-in service beginning on September 11.


Can I borrow DVDs?

Yes, videos on DVD and Blu-Ray discs will circulate for one week. The Terrell Main Library checks out external DVD and Blu-ray drives that connect to most laptops at the circulation desk.


Can I recall something in OBIS?

If the Library's copy of an item is checked out (and alternate copies are not available) a user may place a recall request in OBIS or request an additional copy through OhioLINK, SearchOHIO, or Interlibrary Loan service.


Managing a large research project

Talk to a librarian to get advice on managing research projects and using citation management tools. Citation management tools help researchers gather, manage, store, and share information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies in a wide variety of styles; the library provides access to RefWorks.


Libraries-specific Zoom backgrounds

You can download one or more of our Libraries Zoom backgrounds through our Library Zoom background images folder on


Terrell Main Library

The Mary Church Terrell Main Library, located in the Seeley G. Mudd Center, is the central library facility for Oberlin College and the primary location for materials in the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, computer science, and general interest works. It is also home to the Robert S. Lemle ’75 and Roni Kohen-Lemle ’76 Academic Commons (main level), which provides research, information, technology, and learning assistance to Oberlin students and facilitates academic community on campus.

Libraries administration and most technical services staff are located in the Terrell Main Library.


Finding articles and databases

Try searching Summon, which provides access to the resources in many of our databases. To choose subject-specific databases click the Databases tab in the search box on the Library web page to view the hundreds of library databases alphabetically or by subject. For help deciding on the right search tools, consult a librarian.


Scheduling a research appointment

Research appointments are one-on-one consultations with a librarian that will help you become a better researcher. We can work with you to map out a research strategy, search databases effectively, and find and evaluate sources. Use the Appointment Request form to schedule appointments with a librarian in any campus library.



RefWorks is a citation management tool that helps you gather, manage, store, and share information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies in a wide variety of styles. See the online tutorial for more information or Ask a Libraran.


Conservatory Library

The Conservatory Library is located on the first floor of the central building of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.


Science Library

The Science Library is located on the first floor of the north wing of the Oberlin College Science Center.



The library staff is committed to assisting all library users in finding information, developing strategies for conducting effective library research, and learning how to use the library and its resources. Library staff will attempt to accommodate the needs of users who identify as having a disability. Requests for assistance are confidential. Review our accessibility policies here, and contact with questions or concerns.


Off-campus Access to Library Resources

For access to licensed content while off campus, access resources from the links on the library website, Databases A-Z list, Journal Finder, Summon, or OBIS, and authenticate with the Oberlin proxy server using your ObieID and password. A handful of specialized resources may only be available from on campus or when logged into the Virtual Private Network (VPN). These should all have an on campus only note at the point of access. Learn more about connecting from off campus.


Citation Help

See the Citation Guide for assistance with questions about citation formats and styles (e.g. MLA, APA, Chicago, RefWorks, etc.).



Summon searches across the full spectrum of library content from a single search box. It draws from OBIS, many of our research databases, and the full text of ebooks and journals, as well as digital repositories from colleges, universities, research centers, and other open-access archives on the web.



The Oberlin College Archives is responsible for a vast and varied collection of rare, original, and reproduced materials in printed, electronic, and digitized formats. It holds the permanently valuable records of the institution as well as those of individuals, families, and organizations affiliated with the college, the Conservatory of Music, and the city of Oberlin.


Peer Review

Peer-review is a publication process where research articles written by experts in academic or professional fields are submitted to reviewers who are also experts in the field.

To locate peer-reviewed articles, Summon and most library databases will provide a peer-review limiter that limits results to journals that publish research articles with a peer-review process. Letters, commentaries, news reports, obituaries, and book reviews are generally not peer-reviewed, even if the journal uses a peer-review process for research articles.

In rare cases, databases may have an error about a journal's peer-reviewed status. To be absolutely sure if a journal uses a peer review process, ask a librarian.


New York Times

To access The New York Times on the college subscription go to while on campus and register using your email address. Once registered you can access from any device. N.B. Although the page says “24 Hours of access,” access is for a full year. You’ll need to re-register yearly, as long as you’re a student, faculty, or staff member at Oberlin College.



OBIS is the catalog of all of the Oberlin College Libraries (Terrell Main Library, Art, Conservatory, Science, and storage). It has detailed information about our holdings of books, DVDs, scores, recordings, electronic resources, and more.


Find article full-text

Many databases offered on the library's website include the full text of articles. Click on the pdf or html icon to download the article.

If full text is not available in your current database, click the 360 Link icon from the library's databases to see if there is access from another source. In Google Scholar, look for Find Full Text @ Oberlin. Access at publisher's websites is generally limited to subscribers.

If you see a white screen with your citation listed on the right and a link saying, "Click this link to open the selected resource in a new window," on the left, click that link to open your full-text.

Full-text is not always accessible for immediate download. The 360 Link may lead to an intermediary page that offers access through Interlibrary Loan.


Technology Help

Getting started with research

We recommend:

  • Summon -- searches most of what you would have access to through the library, including books and articles in all disciplines
  • Subject Guides -- created by our librarians and list the best resources and top databases in a subject area
  • Consult a librarian -- plan a research strategy



The Library does not have copies of all books required for classes. Check OBIS to see what books we own, and the OhioLINK catalog to see what is available elsewhere in the state. Note: all library books are subject to recall and may not be available for an entire semester. The Science Library has a collection of textbooks on reserve.


Problems with website

We are still making changes to the Oberlin College Libraries website. You can report errors or problems with the site via our Website Feedback Form. For question about our materials or for research assistance, please use our Ask a Librarian service.



Do you offer contact-free pickup of library items?

No. Regular pickup from the circulation desks at all libraries has resumed, and construction on the Terrell loading dock currently blocks access to the lockers. You may use the request item function in OBIS to have items delivered to the Terrell circulation desk.


Are publishers still offering free access to content?

“Covid specials” have expired. See the guide Support for Remote Teaching and Learning for quick access to our largest online content providers.