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Iwasaki Library

Library Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Basics
  1. Who can use the Library?
  2. What are your hours? Are you open on Patriots' Day? National Nurses' Day? Bastille Day?
  3. Where is the Library? How do I get there?
  4. What kind of group study spaces do you have, and where are they?
Books and Borrowing
  1. How many books can I check out?
  2. For how long can I check out a book? How much are late fines?
  3. Can I renew my books online?
  4. I'm living in Siberia. How can I pay my fines?
  5. What should I do if I can't find a book on the shelf?
  6. What can I do if someone else has checked out a book I really need?
  7. What is my barcode? What is my Institutional ID?
  8. Where can I find videos and DVDs? Can I check them out?
Computers and Printing
  1. Do you have wireless? Can I print from my wireless laptop?
  2. I'm out of ECcash. How can I print? How do I add more money to my card?
  3. How do I borrow a laptop?
  4. Why are there always classes in the Library Classroom ("computer lab")?
  5. What software is available in the Library Classroom ("computer lab")?
  6. Where can I type a paper if there is a class in the Library Classroom ("computer lab")?
Off Campus and Other Libraries
  1. What can I access from my apartment? My dorm room? My laptop/handheld, while flying over Siberia?
  2. Do I have access to other libraries in the area?
  3. How do I get a book or article from another library if Emerson doesn't have what I need?
Research
  1. How can I get help with research?
  2. How can I get help with citation formatting?
  3. Whom do I ask about copyright and fair use?
  4. I have a citation for a book or article. How do I get the full text?
The Rest
  1. My great-great-granduncle went to Emerson. Can I see his records?

Basics

1. Who can use the Library?

You will need a valid Emerson ID or an ID from a Fenway Libraries Online (FLO) or Fenway Library Consortium (FLC) school to enter the Library during the summer and intersessions and on weekends, holidays, and after 6:30 pm during the fall and spring semesters. If you are a researcher not affiliated with a FLO or FLC institution, contact reference@emerson.edu or 617-824-8674 for information about access during these restricted times. Arrangements must be made in advance: there is no walk-in access for non-affiliated users during these times. Only current Emerson students, staff and faculty, FLO and FLC member library patrons, and alumni with a borrowing card can check materials out.

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2. What are your hours? Are you open on Bastille Day? Patriots' Day? National Nurses' Day?

Our normal hours, while fall and spring classes are in session, are:

Monday-Thursday 7:45 am–11:00 pm
Friday 7:45 am–9:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am– 6:00 pm
Sunday Noon–11:00 pm

This schedule differs during intersessions and summer semesters. For a full schedule and hours of operation, see the Library Hours and Calendar.

We are generally open for reduced hours on one-day holidays that fall during a semester (e.g., Columbus, Veterans, and Presidents' Days), and closed on those that fall during intersessions (e.g., Labor and Martin Luther King Jr. Days). Check the Library Hours and Calendar for the current schedule.

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3. Where is the Library? How do I get there?

The Library is on the third floor of 120 Boylston Street. Use your favorite online map directions, or see our Directions page to learn how to navigate the Boston streets or public transportation.

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4. What kind of study spaces do you have, and where are they? How do I reserve a group or media-viewing room on the 3rd, 4th, or 5th floor?

The Library provides small group meeting spaces for about 5 to 6 people, as well as slightly larger spaces on the fourth and fifth floors, which can accommodate groups up to eight. These spaces can be reserved at the Library's Circulation Desk in two-hour blocks. To use the video displays on the fourth and fifth floors, the Multimedia cabinet keys can be checked out from the Media Desk. These study spaces are open while the Walker Building is open, but can only be reserved and used for media viewing during Library hours. 

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Books and Borrowing

5. How many books can I check out?

As many as you need, or can reasonably carry. Really. Try it out sometime.

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6. For how long can I check out a book? How much are late fines?

This handy little table might help you out.

Patron Type Borrowing Period Grace Period Fines per item
Students 28 Days 7 Days .25/Day, $15 Max.
Full-time Faculty up to one year* none No fines
Part-time Faculty Term Loan 7 Days No fines
Staff Term Loan 7 Days .25/Day, $15 Max.
Alumni 28 Days 7 Days .25/Day, $15 Max.
Consortium Borrower 28 Days 7 Days .25/Day, $15 Max

*Faculty year loans apply only to circulating books from the Emerson College Library and are subject to the same circulation regulations as any other transaction including recalls and replacement costs. One-year loans may not be renewed.

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7. Can I renew my books online?

Through the Library Catalog, you can use your Emerson Institutional ID Number to access My Account. You can renew books there before their due date. To renew on the due date, you must come into the Library. Renewal policies for books obtained from other libraries are determined by the owning library.

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8. I'm living in Siberia. How can I pay my fines?

I hope you are wearing your warm woolen mittens. Fines may be paid through the mail by check, or in person by cash or check. You might want to call 617-824-8668 to find out how much you owe.

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9. What should I do if I can't find a book on the shelf?

Ask for help at the Reference or Circulation Desk. The book may be checked out, recently returned and not yet reshelved, or missing. We will try to track the item down for you.

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10. What can I do if someone else has checked out a book I really need?

You can put a hold on that book through the Library Catalog (Click My Account to login, then search for the book you need). When it is returned, you will be notified. If your need is immediate, we might be able to get the book from another library.

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11. What is my barcode/Institutional ID?

Your barcode or Institutional ID for the Library Catalog is used to log into My Account, which shows you the books you have checked out, allows you to request books from other FLO libraries, and lets you see if you owe any fines or fees. The barcode is found on the reverse side of Emerson IDs, and the Institutional ID is on the front. If these don’t work smoothly, visit the Circulation or Reference Desk, or call 617-824-8668.

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12. Where can I find videos, DVDs, and CDs? Can I check them out?

The majority of videos are kept in the Media Collection in the Library. To find out if you can check out a video or audio item, the chart below may be helpful.

Patron Type CDs, LPs, audiotapes Circulating DVDs Teaching Collection DVDs, VHS, 16mm
Students 28 Days 7 Days can only be viewed in the Library
Faculty Term Loan 7 Days 2 weeks
Staff Term Loan 7 Days 24 hours, if not needed for classes
Alumni 28 Days 7 Days can only be viewed in the Library
Consortium Borrower 28 Days 7 Days can only be viewed in the Library

Videos and CDs that are part of a master's thesis project are usually kept in the Archives. Those materials may not be checked out, but may be viewed by contacting the archivist and setting up an appointment.

We also have access to an ever-growing collection of videos online. Contact Reference (617-824-8674) for assistance.

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Computers and Printing

13. Do you have wireless? Can I print from my wireless laptop?

We do indeed have wireless, which you are welcome to experience with your laptop, or a laptop that you check out from the Reserve Desk. You should be able to access the network from just about anywhere in the Library, after logging into the network with your ECnet username and password. To set up your laptop to print to the library printer, follow the instructions on the Emerson Lab Operations site.

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14. I'm out of Print Credits and ECcash. How can I print? How do I add more money to my card?

To print, you need to refill your card with ECcash. You can do that either in person at Student Financial Services (where it takes 24 hours to be credited), or online (where it shows up immediately). If you are desperate to print something on your way to class, you might ask friends to use their cards and return the favor in the future.

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15. How do I borrow a laptop?

You may check one out at the Reserve Desk. We have six Mac laptops. They can be checked out for two hours at a time and must be used in the Library.

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16. Why are there always classes in the Library Classroom ("computer lab")?

Though often called a "computer lab" by unsuspecting students, the room in the Library with computers is actually the Library Classroom, primarily used for scheduled instruction for classes each year. When there happens to be no classes scheduled, it may be used by individual students to type papers, work on projects, and other computer activities.

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17. What software is available in the Library Classroom ("computer lab")?

The highlights are Microsoft Office, the full Adobe Suite, Final Draft, and QuarkXPress. For a detailed listing, see the Software Availability Chart from the Emerson Helpdesk. The Library Classroom is "LEC."

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18. Where can I type a paper if there is a class in the Library Classroom ("computer lab")?

There are many other computer labs on campus. These are administered by Lab Operations, which maintains a lab information page. Check there to see what software or hardware each lab has, as well as the time the labs will be unavailable due to scheduled classes. You can also use one of the Library's laptops, available at the Reserve Desk.

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Off Campus and Other Libraries

19. What can I access from my apartment? My dorm room? My laptop/handheld, while flying over Siberia?

Most of our databases and our Library Catalog can be accessed from anywhere with a network connection. You must access databases through the Library website, and enter your ECnet username and password when prompted. A few databases, such as Baseline, Snapshots, and Hollywood Creative Directory, must be accessed from the Library.

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20. Do I have access to other libraries in the area?

If you are a current Emerson student, faculty, or staff member, you can access and check out circulating books from any of the Fenway Libraries Online or the Fenway Library Consortium member libraries. With your Emerson ID, you are eligible to get a Boston Public Library card. With all the fantastic material available through the BPL, including many other useful databases, you should definitely get one!

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21. How do I get a book or article from another library if Emerson doesn't have what I need?

Follow our helpful step-by-step instructions. Our Interlibrary Loan Department will make every effort to get the book or article for you. Don't hesitate to ask a librarian for help.

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Research

22. How can I get help with research?

For brief questions, try AIM or Yahoo! (our screen name is EmersonReference), MSN or Google Talk (screen name reference@emerson.edu), email (reference@emerson.edu), or phone (617-824-8674). If you need more detailed and extensive help, come in person to the Reference Desk, or call and make a research appointment with one of our reference librarians (617-824-8675). View all our contact options.

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23. How can I get help with citation formatting?

See our guide—How to Cite References. We also have copies of the guides for each of the major styles in the Reference Collection. Someone at the Reference Desk will be able to help you format your citations.

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24. Whom do I ask about copyright and fair use?

For copyright and intellectual property issues, email copyright@emerson.edu.

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25. I have a citation for a book or article. How do I get the full text?

See How to Find a Journal or Newspaper, or ask a librarian.

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The Rest

26. My great-great-granduncle went to Emerson. Can I see his records?

Access to student transcripts is restricted while the individual is still alive. If the subject of inquiry is deceased, privacy rights regarding student transcripts expire along with them.

Even if you are not granted access to transcripts,other public documents like the Emersonian yearbook, Berkeley Beacon newspapers, and master's theses might allow you to learn about someone's time at Emerson. Contact Brian Hatch (617-824-8335) for assistance.

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