Ask a Librarian

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Can I get books from the library mailed to me?

31 views   |   Last updated on Sep 03, 2020    borrowing books borrowing videos finding books

Students who are taking only online classes and will not be on campus at all for Fall 2020 can request that books be mailed to them. If you will be on campus at any time we ask that you visit the library to pick up your books after placing the hold.

You can request books from the MCLA library collection to be mailed to you at home by placing a hold on an item in the library catalog.

  • First, login to your library account, contact us if you have trouble logging in
  • Change your personal details to ensure that the address we have on file is the one you want the item mailed to
  • Do a search for the book you want to request
  • Place a hold on the item using the hold button on the right hand side of the screen
  • Check your MCLA email  - that's how we'll communicate with you about your item

This video explains the process in more detail.

There are some exceptions to what we can lend out: at this time you can only request items from the MCLA collection to be mailed to you, not interlibrary loan books, books from our HELM consortium, or books from the Commonwealth Catalog. Some items are not available for lending, such as DVDs, reserve items, and archival materials.

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Can the library pull a book from the shelf for me and set it aside for me to pick up?

31 views   |   Last updated on Sep 03, 2020    borrowing books borrowing videos finding books

Yes, we'd be happy to pull books from our collection for you. You can do this by placing a hold on an item in the library catalog.
  • First, login to your library account, contact us if you have trouble logging in
  • Do a search for the book you want to request
  • Place a hold on the item using the hold button on the right hand side of the screen
  • Check your MCLA email  - that's how we'll communicate with you about your item

This video explains the process in more detail.

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How to I get a book in the call number range P-PZ since the Language and Literature Room downstairs is closed?

22 views   |   Last updated on Sep 03, 2020    borrowing books finding books

There are two ways to request a book from the language and literature room:

  1. You can ask at the desk with the title and call number for a staff member to get it for you.
  2. You canplace a hold on an item in the library catalog. We'll retrieve the book for you and set it aside for you to pick up.
  • First, login to your library account, contact us if you have trouble logging in
  • Do a search for the book you want to request
  • Place a hold on the item using the hold button on the right hand side of the screen
  • Check your MCLA email  - that's how we'll communicate with you about your item

This video explains the process in more detail.

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Can I access the library research databases or borrow books if I am an MCLA alumni?

16 views   |   Last updated on Aug 28, 2020    databases research

During the Fall 2020 semester only current MCLA students, staff, and faculty may enter the library facility.

 

Library Resources for Massachusetts Residents

Massachusetts Libraries Web Site

Residents of Massachusetts can access online journal article databases, ebooks and audiobooks with their local public library card. They can also request materials from member libraries, which will be delivered to their home library to be picked up at their convenience.  MCLA's Freel Library is part of this interlibrary loan system and we loan our circulating materials to libraries all across Massachusetts. For information on accessing these resources, please contact your local library.  For more information on accessing these resources, check the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Statewide Databases FAQ page. Access to these resources in funded by local townS, the MBLC, the Massachusetts Library System and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Boston Public Library eResources

People who live, work or go to school in Massachusetts can sign up for an ecard which will allow them to remotely access additional digital resources, including ebooks, magazines, journals and newspapers, from the Boston Public Library.  To sign up for your ecard, go here. Your local public library card will not give you access to the Boston Public Library resources.

Library Resources for Residents of Other States

If you are not a resident of Massachusetts, we recommend that you contact your local public library. They will be able to direct you to any statewide resources in your state similar to those offered in Massachusetts.
Below are links to the state libraries in New England and New York.  If your state is not listed, Google the name of your state and "state library".

Connecticut
Maine
New Hampshire
New York State Library
Rhode Island - Office of Library and Information Services
Vermont

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Will someone in the library proofread my paper? 

16 views   |   Last updated on Aug 28, 2020    writing proof-reading

For writing feedback and support, take advantage of MCLA’s Writing Studio! Our trained Writing Associates can help you at any stage of the writing process: from understanding assignments and brainstorming ideas to planning, revising and polishing final drafts. The Writing Associates are available Sunday through Thursday for synchronous online video appointments and asynchronous eTutoring appointments. Limited in-person appointments will also be available from Monday-Thursday, from 12:00-1:00 pm.  Please note that all in-person appointments will require that you social distance and wear masks. For more information and to make an appointment, go to the Writing Studio website at www.mcla.edu/writingstudio (Links to an external site.)
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How do I find out if the library has a particular magazine, journal, or newspaper title?

14 views   |   Last updated on Aug 17, 2020    research articles journals magazines

You can find out if the library has a particular magazine, journal or newspaper title by using our Publication Finder tool.  Put in the title of the magazine, journal or newspaper you are looking for and do a search. If we have a subscription, you will see a list of databases that we have the title in and the dates of coverage for that title.
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How can I get help from a librarian with my research?

13 views   |   Last updated on Aug 18, 2020    research

We would love to help you with your research! That's our favorite thing to do!

You can schedule an appointment with one of us or you can call us or email us. Due to Covid-19, we are not doing in-person research consultations during Fall 2020. If you schedule a research appointment with us, we will send you a link for a Microsoft Teams meeting so we can meet virtually.

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I am not a student at MCLA but can I come in and access the Internet on your computers?

13 views   |   Last updated on Sep 03, 2020    library building

Only current MCLA students, faculty, and staff can enter the library building during Fall 2020.
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Does the library have space for me to do my remote classes?

13 views   |   Last updated on Sep 17, 2020    laptops study space library building remote classes

A limited number of reservable spaces are now available in Freel Library for students who need a place on campus to participate in remote classes. All spaces have easy access to electrical outlets. Laptops and chargers are available for loan at the Circulation Desk (signed borrower agreement and MCLA ID card required).

A total of 7 seats are available for reservation.

  • 3 study carrels upstairs in the quiet zone (not suitable if you will be speaking/actively participating in class)
  • 4 tables in the Learning Commons on the main level (talking permitted)

Please note that these are not private spaces and headphones are required. Upstairs, please respect other students' need for quiet. Downstairs, please be mindful of your speaking volume to minimize disruption for other students.

Priority for reservations will go to students who live off campus and have a remote class immediately preceding or following an on-campus class.

When spaces are not reserved, they are available for drop-in use. Please be prepared to move if a student with a reservation arrives to use the space.

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Is there a place in the library that is set aside for quiet study? Or group study?

13 views   |   Last updated on Sep 03, 2020    study space library building

In order to provide social distancing, no group study is allowed in the library for Fall 2020.

Upstairs is a quiet zone for individual study.

The lower floor, (the children's room and the language literature room) is closed to the public for Fall 2020.

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Does the library have an elevator?

12 views   |   Last updated on Aug 28, 2020    library building

We do have an elevator! It is a little out of the way though. Go past the circulation desk, take a right and go past the shelves and look for a door. Go through the door and the elevator will be right in front of you. During the Fall 2020 semester, only one person is permitted in the library at a time.
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Does the library have a copy of my textbook that I can borrow?

12 views   |   Last updated on Sep 03, 2020    borrowing books

Some faculty put copies of the assigned textbook on reserve for in-library use only. To see what your professor has put on reserve check our course reserves page.  The library rarely has textbooks in the library collection but you can search our catalog to see if it is available.
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How do I download a book from the Internet Archive or EBSCO so I can read it in Adobe Digital Editions?

12 views   |   Last updated on Aug 18, 2020    borrowing books eBooks

We have step by step instructions on how to download books from the Internet Archive and EBSCO ebooks on our guide to eResources. You can find it here.
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Does the library have popular, non-academic DVDs to borrow?

12 views   |   Last updated on Sep 03, 2020    borrowing videos dvds

Yes, we have lots of popular DVDs to borrow. You can browse the display on the main floor of the library (go past the circulation desk and take a right, they are on the wall there) or you can search for a particular title. The DVDs are shelved alphabetically but if you don't see the one you are looking for, ask at the desk. We have some out back because they don't all fit on the shelf. You may check out one DVD at a time for one day.
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Does the library have fiction, any fun books to read?

11 views   |   Last updated on Aug 17, 2020    fiction leisure reading

The library does have fiction. Most fiction is in the P section, specifically PR and PS which is found in the Language and Literature Room on the lower level of the library.

We also have a lot of fiction available as ebooks through our Overdrive subscription. Take a look at our guide for more information.

If you are looking for a particular fiction book and we don't have it, you can check if another library in Massachusetts owns the book and request to have it delivered to you. To do this go to the Commonwealth Catalog (ComCat) and do a search. Use your A number (on your ID card) and password (if it is your first time using this, it is your date of birth (YYYYMMDD). The book will be delivered to the MCLA library within a few days. If you have any trouble logging in, contact us.

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Do you issue library cards to Berkshire County residents?

11 views   |   Last updated on Aug 18, 2020    borrowing books library card

Only current MCLA students, faculty and staff may enter the library building during Fall 2020.

Berkshire County residents may be able to borrow books from our library by using their public library card to access the Commonwealth Catalog (ComCat).

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Does my instructor have books on reserve?

11 views   |   Last updated on Aug 17, 2020    borrowing books reserve

If your instructor has put books on reserve they will be available for library use only at the circulation desk. Not all instructors put books on reserve. To check what books are on reserve for a class, use our online course reserves page. Choose Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts from the drop-down and do a search for your class or instructor.
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Does the library have a scanner/color printer?

11 views   |   Last updated on Aug 28, 2020    scanner color printer

A sheet-fed scanner is available on the main level. A new, convenient book scanner which can create accessible PDFs of printed materials is available for patron use on the main level. Here's a video on how to use it.

Color printing can be done at the copy center for a charge by bringing over a file on a flash drive.

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How do I renew my books?

11 views   |   Last updated on Aug 17, 2020    borrowing books renewals

To renew your checked out items, log in to your account with your barcode number from your student ID card and your password. If it is your first time logging in, your password is your date of birth in YYYYMMDD format. If you have trouble logging in, please contact us.

Please note that some items may not be able to be renewed.
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I can't find the whole article, just an abstract. How do I get to the full-text?

11 views   |   Last updated on Aug 17, 2020    research articles

Sometimes when you are searching for articles in the library's research databases all you can find is an abstract, not the full-text. If there is no link to the PDF or HTML of the full-text article, look for a button that says "Full Text Finder."It looks like this:full text finder logo

That button will bring you to a page where you can do a search for the item on Google Scholar. Sometimes Google Scholar will find an open access version of the article. Look to the right of the search results for link to full-text in Google Scholar.

If Google Scholar doesn't find the full-text, use the link on the Full Text Finder page to request the item via interlibrary loan. We'll request the article from a library that has it and send it to you as a PDF. This could take a few days, so if you need it right now this isn't a good option.


If you need full-text articles right away, you can go back to your search results and look on the left hand side to choose to limit your search to full-text. In an Ebsco database this shows up under "refine your results." In Gale databases, there is a box that says "only full-text."

Ebsco Gale
Ebsco full-text only Gale full-text only

 

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