Cornell Library Faculty Newsletter

Cornell Science Library

Information about Cornell Science Library for New Faculty Members
2015 - 2016

Hours | Layout of Cornell Library | Circulation | Reserves | Interlibrary Loan
Bibliographic Instruction | Ordering Books | Ordering Journals
Online Materials| FindIt! | Copiers | Seminar Rooms | Etc.

Welcome to Swarthmore! First of all, the staff. There are two of us - we work full-time, Monday-Friday. I am Meg Spencer, the Science Librarian. Feel free to email or come and see me about any concerns or questions you might have about the Library. If you don't stop by Cornell before, there will be a (very brief), informal tour of the library & a chance to ask any questions you might have for me, after the New Faculty meeting on August 27th. Terry Heinrichs is the Science Library Coordinator. She is in charge of Circulation, including reserves, so any questions or concerns in these areas should be directed to her (theinri1). 

Cornell Science Library Hours

While Classes are in Session
Monday - Thursday: 8:15am - 1am
Friday: 8:15am - 11pm
Saturday: 10am - 10pm
Sunday: 11am - 1am

* The week-end before classes begin, Cornell will be open on Sunday, from 1-3 p.m., for a Student Assistant training session.

During Vacations and Summer
Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed

Layout of Cornell Library

Main Floor: Circulation desk, staff offices, reserves (both General & Honors), Canon printer/copier (with document feeder), reference section, printed indexes & abstracts (huh??), video collection (mostly DVDs), public scanner, public Macs & PCs for Tripod & the Web, current print periodicals, arranged by subject, and a seminar room (seats 8).

Ground Floor: Periodical stacks (both open and compact shelving), individual study carrels with Macs and 1 PC, seminar room  (seats 10-12 comfortably).

Top Floor: Book stacks, public computer room. This is the designated "quiet floor".

Wireless access hubs are installed on all three floors of Cornell, so you should be able to use your laptop anywhere in the library. ITS should set you up with permanent access to the campus network. Visitors to campus may now set up their own temporary access to our wireless network.

Circulation Information

One of the first things you will need after you arrive on campus is a bar coded ID card. This you will get from Public Safety in the Benjamin West House. Records for you have been entered in the library's patron database. The first time you use your card in the library, we will enter the barcode from the back of your ID card in your library patron record.

Monographs: Tripod is the online library catalog for Bryn Mawr, Haverford, & Swarthmore. As a Swat professor, you have borrowing privileges from all three schools. Faculty due date for books checked from Bryn Mawr, Haverford, or Swarthmore is February 15th of the next year (pretty generous, huh?). If you need a book from Bryn Mawr or Haverford, you may request the title directly from Tripod. How? When you bring up the book record on Tripod, select the Request button. Be sure to select Cornell Library if you want the book sent here. The book should arrive in a day or two and you will be notified by e-mail of its arrival.

Note: If you find a Swarthmore book which has a + in the call number, that means it is oversized, and is kept in the Oversized Section, which is the last range of books upstairs, after "Z", by the study tables.

Electronic Periodicals: Hopefully you will be pleased with Swarthmore's science journal collection as it is pretty impressive for an undergraduate institution! To see if we subscribe to a journal title, go in to Tripod and select "Journal Title Search". The holdings information will show up in a hyperlink in the center of the Tripod screen. 

Also, just because Bryn Mawr or Haverford has access to an electronic version of a journal does not necessarily mean that Swarthmore does! Always look for the "Connect from Swarthmore" link in the Tripod record, to determine whether or not you will be able to get access to an electronic journal from our campus. See the InterLibrary Loan information below to find out how to order journal articles from Bryn Mawr and/or Haverford).

If you are using a database, look for the Find It! icon and that will take you to the journal article if we subscribe to it, or will allow you to send an ILL form (already filled out!), if we don't subscribe.

Print Journals: On the lower level, the journals are arranged by call number and are split between compact shelving and open shelving. 1995 is the cutoff date for compact shelving, so any volumes published 1995 and before will be in compact shelving, and anything published after 1995 will be out on the open shelves!

Basically no one checks out (or even uses) print journals anymore - so if you need an article that is only available in print, ask at the office and we will give you a card so you can copy what you need on our copier. If you are extra nice, we might even SCAN it for you!!

Space for Reserve materials is severely limited in Cornell, especially behind the Circulation Desk. So please, only put on reserve what is absolutely needed by your classes. If you would like to set up some sort of suggested-reading shelf, we can arrange that on the so-called Honors shelves. Reserves are taken care of by Terry, so if you have any questions, feel free to contact her. Here are some Cornell Reserve rules:

  • The library tries to purchase one copy of required textbooks, and will keep that copy on reserve behind the circulation desk. We have been proactive this summer, checking the bookstore lists and pulling any textbooks we already own from the stacks, or ordering any textbooks we didn't previously own. They are now all safely on reserve behind the desk. These textbooks may be checked out for two hour intervals, and may not leave Cornell. Please let us know if you have made any last-minute changes to your textbook requirements, or if your book was not on the bookstore list, and we will track down a copy for reserve. And feel free to give us a personal copy for reserve if you have one.
  • Please try to bring in your reserve materials during office hours so that we can confirm the course information with you. If you bring reserves over when the office is closed, leave them at the desk with a note including your name, course number and type of reserve.
  • The earlier you get your reserve materials to us, the faster we can have them processed and made available to the students. Once classes begin, reserves are put up on a "first come, first serve" basis.
  • There are two types of reserves:
    1. In-House Reserves: These reserves are kept behind the Circulation Desk, and they do not leave the library! These are the items which may disappear if they are left on the open Honors shelves (or would be difficult to replace if they did disappear), and are mostly made up of textbooks and the occasional personal copy of a book.
    2. Honors Reserves: These reserves are kept out on the low shelves by the front door. While most often used by the smaller seminars as suggested readings, they may also be used as a place to gather larger collections of reserves for which we have no room behind the desk. These items may be checked out and removed from the library any time during the day and are due back the following day. Honors reserve rules are more relaxed than those for general reserves and work best for small classes where there would be low demand for the reserve materials. It's not a bad idea to check with us about guidelines for what to put on Honors reserves, as we find fewer and fewer students are likely to refer to them, and sometimes it is better to leave the books in the stacks for the truly inspired student to find and check out!

Moodle:  The library does provide a scanning service for those journals not available online (the online articles can be linked quite easily into your Moodle course). If you need our scanning service, please talk to Terry. You will need to provide her with clean 8 1/2" x 11" copies of articles you want put in to your Moodle course. ITS department are offering Moodle workshops before classes begin; contact ITS for more information.

Interlibrary Loan

As I mentioned earlier, there are two types of ILL: TriCollege and everywhere else. There is an ILL web page, containing links to all types of ILL described below:

  • TriCollege ILL - Books: If you want a book from Bryn Mawr or Haverford, simply press the Request button next to the call number at the bottom of the Tripod screen. Enter your name & barcode, and select where you want to pick up the book. Delivery takes approximately one day library to library.
  • Non-TriCollege ILL - Books: For books not available in Tripod, try E-ZBorrow, a web gateway which allows simultaneous searching of academic library catalogs in Pennsylvania. Enter the barcode from the back of your ID card and you will be able to search and request books directly from participating libraries within Pennsylvania. You will be notified by e-mail when your book arrives, and you must go to McCabe (the main library) to pick it up (non-TriCo ILL books are not sent over to Cornell). Books ordered from E-ZBorrow usually arrive within a few days of the request. If books are not available from E-ZBorrow, try regular ILL, which can sometimes take up to two weeks to fill.
  • TriCollege & Non-TriCollege ILL - Journal Articles: For all article requests, use the online article delivery form. If you come across an article you want in a database, and the Find It button says you don't have access to it, select the ILL button, and your citation information will be copied into the ILL request form. Articles requested from ILL will be sent as .pdfs to youe email. Tip: Before requesting articles from ILL, try my favorite trick: Copy & paste the article's title into Google Scholar (put quotes at the beginning & end of the title so GS searches it as a phrase). You might find your article out on the web, often from university archive sites, and get immediate access!

Borrowing from Other Libraries
Swarthmore professors are allowed to use and borrow from the libraries at University of Pennsylvania, but it involves a bit of preparation. If you plan to borrow from Penn, you must obtain a courtesy card from Van Pelt Library. This must be done during the work week so that the Circulation Staff may verify your current employment by Swarthmore, or you may present them with a letter provided by the Provost each year which verifies yours employment. There is no fee, and check-out period is 28 days. If you just want to use a library at Penn, your Swarthmore ID should get you through the door. Swarthmore students may use Penn's libraries, but they have no direct borrowing privileges. Penn is the main school used by Swat professors, but let me know if there are other libraries you might be interested, and I will try to get the scoop for you...

Bibliographic Instruction

One of the favorite parts of my job is getting in to the classroom to teach students (& professors!) what we have in our libraries and the best way to use way to use them. I find that patrons, especially students, seem to be embarrassed when they don't know how to find something, or how to use an index, while my feeling is that it is my fault they don't know this stuff!! The best way to reach the most students is by going into a class, and relating what the library has to what they have to accomplish that semester. It also gives me a chance to introduce myself to them, and let them know they are not "bothering me" if they need to get some information. So feel free to ask me to come into your class and do a Bibliographic Instruction Session if you feel it would be beneficial to you and your students. We can tie it in to a specific assignment, just make it quick overview of resources, or I find even getting five or ten minutes in a class just to encourage them to ask for help and hand out my card with contact information can work quite well. Come and talk to me if you have some ideas or questions about this. If I haven't done so already, I will be happy to make up a Research Guide which ties together all of the resources used for your courses - the students like the "one stop shopping" aspect of these pages.

Ordering Books
You are encouraged to order books which you feel would be useful in our collection. If you come across a book you think we should own, please feel free to order it. You may pass the book information on to me, or you may order books yourself using the online book order form which is at our Library's Web Site. For items needed for general use, fill out the book order form. If you need an item for Reserve use, fill out the course information at the bottom of the form. There is a message stating that you should order reserve materials six weeks before the start of term... If you want to see what new items have been purchased for Cornell, the New Items List is updated automatically each week. Or if you want to create your own personalized list of new items, check out the New Items List and you can view as a web page or an RSS feed.

Ordering Journals & Other Journal Stuff

We aren't doing too much ordering of journals these days, as our journal budget is nearly at its breaking point due to a combination of out-of-control price increases and a weak dollar. As I mentioned earlier, our InterLibrary Loan service is incredibly fast, so not having a subscription to a specific journal is often not a problem for most patrons. If there is a journal you wish to order, it must support the curriculum, and must get departmental approval. Once approval is given, the library will try to find the funds to cover the subscription. At this point, a zero-growth journal collection has been mandated by a very tight journal budget, so if a department wishes to order a new journal, they must be prepared to cancel a similarly priced title... But while that all sounds very bleak, more often than not, new faculty coming to Swarthmore are quite pleased with the library's journal collection, and when Bryn Mawr & Haverford are considered, our journal offerings are pretty impressive given the size of our schools.

If an e-journal is asking you for a password that probably means we don't have access to it (most of our e-journals are IP-authenticated). So the article you are trying to access could either be in a journal to which we have no current online access, or the article may fall outside of our current subscription years. In that case you will want to use InterLibrary Loan to access it (but be sure to try Google Scholar first to see if there might be open access to it!).

As mentioned above, most library e-journals are IP-authenticated, so you will not be able to access them off-campus, unless you log in through EZ-Proxy, our proxy server, first. Log in using your username and password, and then your off-campus computer can access e-resources (e-books, e-journals, & databases) as if you were working on your office computer.

A Brief Guide to some Online Materials

Tripod: This is the online catalog for the libraries of Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore. You can look up titles of all books, government documents and journal titles while using Tripod.

ProQuest Research Library: Provides online access to an extensive collection of full-text articles from journals across a wide range of subject areas, including science, technology and psychology. Covers 1971-present. This database is a good interdisciplinary resource that is one I often recommend as a starting point for most students' research, especially freshmen and sophomores.

Web of Science: Swarthmore has access to the Web version of Science Citation Index, Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Index. We now own all of the back files for the 3 branches of WofS, including coverage for Science Citation Index all the way back to 1900.

BrowZine: This is a wonderful App that provides access to Table of Contents for many journals that we subscribe to. It is now available for both iPads (including the Mini) & iPhones, Android phones & tablets.  You may download the free App via iTunes or the BrowZine site ( and then select the journals you would like to monitor. A web-based version has just been released, so you will soon be able to view BrowZine on your laptop & desktop computer. Stay tuned for more information...

Endnote Web: The campus does not provide access to traditional EndNote (although some departments, like Chemistry, have purchased access for their faculty), but we now concentrate on educating our patrons in the more user friendly, web-based Endnote Web. Endnote Web was designed with the undergrad in mind, it works seamlessly with Web of Science and most databases. To use Endnote Web, you will need to create your own account, which will then be accessible whenever you access the Web. If you currently have a traditional Endnote account, you can shift those records into an Endnote Web account. Plugins for browsers and Word are available on their webpage.

We also encourage students to use Zotero, a "free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage and cite your research sources". The latest version of Zotero also works with Safari and Chrome.

SFX / Find It Findit Citation Linking

One of the biggest challenges when doing research these days is making the connection from a citation in an index to the article itself. Swarthmore has implemented SFX, a citation linking software, that should solve this problem. When you are searching in most of our databases, always look for the "find it..." button. If we have online access to the article you want, clicking on the "find it..." button should take you to it. If we do not have the article online, "find it..." will search Tripod to see if the journal exists in print in our collection (not everything is online!), and if we don't have it at all, it will populate an InterLibrary Loan form. And check GOOGLE SCHOLAR before requesting an article via InterLibrary Loan, as there might be an open access version on the Web. Simply copy and paste the title of the article in the GS search box (use quotation marks for a more accurate phrase search).

Seminar Rooms

There are two small classrooms in Cornell which may be used by the Science Departments. If you think holding your class in the library would be beneficial, contact me and I'll let you know if we can accommodate you (these rooms are not managed by the Registrar). Room 110 (on the main floor next to my office) holds 8 to 10 people, and the Sigma Xi Room downstairs holds 10 to 12. Both rooms are low-tech compared to other campus seminar rooms, so if you think you will be using a lot of technology, these may not be the rooms for you.

Cornell has a Canon printer/copier, which is on the main floor by the front door. To use the COPIER, you will need to get a copy card from the staff office on the main floor of Cornell.

Library Web Address:
Cornell's Web Address:
Tripod's Web Address:

Send feedback to:

Any questions? Please don't hesitate to come and see me. I know this is an overwhelming time of adjustment, so if I can make any of this beginning-of-semester-at-a-new-school transition any easier, great!


Last updated: 13 August 2015