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?
Masks are required for all invidividuals who are on the Oberlin campus, regardless of vaccination status. Oberlin students, faculty, staff, community members, and visitors following campus covid-19 guidelines are welcome to visit the libraries during some open hours.
In Terrell Main Library, Mudd Center, you 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 are available for both reserved and drop in use. The upper floors are open for browsing, but a shifting project may make it hard to find material. Ask staff for assistance if you can't find an item. Beginning October 4, access to the building after 4pm will be restricted to current students, faculty, and staff with valid Oberlin IDs.
In the Art Library (Top floor, Venturi Building), all pre-COVID services have been restored. You are welcome to pick up, drop off or browse library materials, use equipment, the Mac Lab, reserve carrels, etc.
Beginning Monday, October 4, the Conservatory Library is open for browsing, studying, picking up and dropping off library materials, and using equipment.
How do I get materials from the libraries?
Visit all libraries in person to browse the stacks, or use the REQUEST ITEM button in OBIS to request items for pickup at circulation. The Terrell stacks are in the middle of a shifting project and signage may lag behind reality; staff can assist if you have trouble finding items.
Can I use Special Collections?
There will be limited access to the Conservatory Special Collections, by appointment only, through the summer semester. Contact Us to start the consultation process.
Can I screen films in Terrell?
We recommend reserving group study room 403, which seats 14 and has an LCD screen that takes HDMI input, for this purpose. A Bluray/DVD player is provided in the room and additional external DVD drives 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. The traditional film screening and classroom spaces in Terrell are currently unavailable due to the renovation.
How do I put something on reserve for my courses in fall 2021?
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.
Art Library: Circulating print reserves may be borrowed for 3 hours, or overnight. Email reserve lists to email@example.com
Conservatory Library: Normal reserves procedures have resumed for fall 2021. Reach out to Gregory Solow (firstname.lastname@example.org) with requests.
Science Library: Print reserves with a standard loan period of 3 hours, or overnight. Email reserve lists to email@example.com
Can I visit the Archives?
Yes, Oberlin students, faculty, and staff and community members can visit during open hours.
Can I use microfilm or microfiche?
Yes. The reader is located on the Terrell main level near in near the scanners and restrooms between study rooms 108A and 101C. There is no need to reserve access.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request long term reservations. Request study carrel reservations at the circulation desk.
Can I borrow a laptop?
Short term loans for students:
Terrell Main Library: 7 Chromebooks
Science Library: 6 Macbook Air laptops
Art Library: 6 Macbooks
Conservatory Library: 2 Macbook Airs, 3 Macbook Pros
Long term loans for students: contact Monique Burgdorf in the Center for Student Success or request a long term laptop loan online.
Faculty should contact the CIT at email@example.com
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
Can I borrow Audiovisual/AV equipment?
The AV Department is open to students, faculty, and staff in their regular fourth floor location.
Can I borrow an external disc drive?
There are ten external dvd drives available at the Terrell Main Library for short terms loans to faculty and students. Additional drives with longer loans are available to faculty needing show films in class.
Do you offer contact-free pickup of library items?
No. Regular pickup from the circulation desks at all libraries has resumed.
How do I get materials that we do not own/have access to?
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.
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
Library staff are back on campus, but due to renovations in Terrell Main and Conservatory Libraries, we may not be in our normal offices. 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 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.