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?
In-person use of the libraries is limited to students, faculty and staff with current Oberlin College IDs who are participating in campus COVID-19 screening protocols. In Terrell Main Library, Mudd Center, users are welcome to pick up and drop off materials (see library hours), pick up printing, grab food at Azariah’s, or to visit the ID card office. Limited study spaces can be booked online. The upper floors are not accessible at this time.
Make an appointment for use of the Clarence Ward Art Library (Venturi Art Building) or Science Library (Science Center). Both are open for pick up, drop off or browsing library materials, as well as using equipment, the Mac Lab, or study spaces. Hours: M–F, 9-noon and 1-5. Online booking system.
The Conservatory Library staff is available for virtual reference and instruction M–F, 9–5; chat reference is available evenings and weekends. Music scores and books selected from OBIS may be picked up weekdays in the Conservatory Lounge, Circ@Central.
All community members must arrange contactless pickup of Main Library materials through the circulation department - firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact the branch libraries directly: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
How do I get materials from the libraries?
Current Students, Faculty, and Staff: Use the REQUEST ITEM button in OBIS to borrow material. You will be contacted via email when the material is ready for pick up. Use the Interlibrary Loan form to request scans from books or journals. Faculty wanting DVD scans for course reserve should complete the reserves form.
Retirees, community members, and registered alumni: Use the REQUEST ITEM option in OBIS to borrow materials. Reply to the email message confirming availability to make arrangements for pick up.
Everyone: Please do NOT send email requests to specific individuals.
Do you offer contact-free pickup of library items?
The library has contact-free pickup from lockers that are located next to Terrell Main Libraries' back door near the Mudd Center loading dock (west side of the building). After you have requested items from the collection for contact-free pickup, you will receive an email from library staff letting you know when they are ready. The email will have instructions, including locker number and lock combination. After you have retreived your materials please put the lock in the white basket next to the lockers.
Why are the materials I returned still listed on my library record?
All materials returned to the libraries (including interlibrary loan and OhioLINK) are quarantined for a number of days before being checked-in. Overdue notices generated by the system cannot be turned off, but no fines will be assessed. Thanks for your patience as we work through this process.
How do I put something on reserve for my courses?
All course reserves are digital this fall. Contact the reserve supervisor in the appropriate library.
How do I get something on reserve?
All course reserves are digital this fall. Contact your instructor for access to reserve reading, listening, or viewing.
Can I use Special Collections?
Yes. There will be limited access to materials, by appointment only.
Contact Us to start the consultation process.
Can I use Archives?
Yes. There will be limited access to materials, by appointment only. Contact the College Archives to start the consultation process.
Can I have a scholar study or study carrel in Terrell?
There are no study spaces in Terrell at this time.
How do I get materials that we do not own/have access to?
OhioLINK, SearchOhio, and Interlibrary Loan services are up and running, with some delays. If a library is not open, their materials are not requestable via OhioLINK or SearchOHIO.
For some Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests it is taking longer to find a library that is open and able to supply material.
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 Terrell.
When Terrell is open, return all materials to the large book truck at the Circulation Desk - it will be checked in after a brief isolation period
When Terrell is closed, use the book drop at the top of the ramp into Mudd Center. If the book drop is full, please return materials to the Campus Safety Office in Dascomb hall, facing Mudd Center.
The Science Library book drop is in the breezeway on the east wall of the science center.
Conservatory Library items may be returned to the book drop in the hallway near the Con Library entrance, the Circ@Central outpost, or the Terrell Main Library.
The Art Library book drop is NOT available. Return all materials to Terrell.
Can I borrow a laptop?
Faculty should contact the CIT at firstname.lastname@example.org
Students should contact Monique Burgdorf in the Center for Student Success or request a long term laptop loan online.
Can I borrow an external disc drive?
Faculty may borrow external disc drives to screen films in class.
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 (reservation for access required)
In the Science Library - choose SciLibCopyRoom (reservation for access required)
For questions about the PaperCut system contact email@example.com
More about papercut printing
Can I borrow Audiovisual/AV equipment?
The AV Department will be distributing equipment (cameras, recorders, etc.) from room 101A on the main level of Terrell. There is no access to the fourth floor.
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.
Libraries-specific Zoom backgrounds
Yes. You can download one or more of our Libraries Zoom backgrounds through our Library Zoom background images folder on Box.com.
Contacting library staff
While most library staff are working remotely, the best way to reach us is via email or via chat at the Ask a Librarian page. You may also schedule a virtual research appointment with us. If you don’t see a time on the calendar that fits your schedule, contact us directly via email.
Check out our hours. The schedule will be updated regularly.
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.
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.
The Conservatory Library is located on the first floor of the central building of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns.
Off-campus Access to Library Resources
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, 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 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, 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, use Ulrichsweb.
New York Times
To access The New York Times on the college subscription go to nytimes.com/grouppass while on campus and register using your oberlin.edu email address. Once registered you can access nytimes.com 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.
Getting started with research
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.