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Library FAQs  

Frequently asked questions and answers for my library account, library materials, notices and assessment materials.
Last Updated: Oct 15, 2015 URL: http://alliant.libguides.com/libraryfaqs Print Guide RSS Updates

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Books FAQs


How do I search for books? (Overview)
How do I search the Alliant library catalog?
I can't find the book I want.
How can I request a book or dissertation from another Alliant library? (No charge).
How can I request items from LINKplus libraries? (No charge).
How can I request a book from a library that is not Alliant or LINKplus (Interlibrary Loan-ILL)?
Note: This also covers any journal article request for materials not available at your home library.
How do I limit my search to only include books from my local Alliant library?
How do I know where an item is located?
I found a book in the catalog, but I can't find it on the shelves.
I tried to put a hold on an item, but I couldn't, why?
I don't live near an Alliant campus. Can I have library books shipped to me?

How do I find and access e-books?

 

How do I search for books? (Overview)

  • Search Encore or Classic Catalog.
  • If you limited your search to your home library, try all Alliant locations. If you find the book, request from another Alliant library (for help, see "How can I request a book or dissertation from another Alliant library?").
  • If you can't find it in the Alliant system, search LINKplus (for help, see "How can I request items from LINK+ libraries?").
  • If you can't find it in the Alliant system or in LINKplus, you can place an Interlibrary Loan request and the ILL technician will attempt to locate at a non-Alliant, non-LINK+ library (requests can take 7-28 days and most libraries will not loan recently published items.)

How do I search the Alliant library catalog?

  • Click on Classic Catalog and search by words, title, author, subject, call number, or dissertation.
    • Keyword Search. Use "and" to link words if you do not want a phrase search.
    • Title Search. Type or paste the title. If unsure of the word order of the title, use word search.
    • Author Search. Enter the surname first.
    • Subject Search. Retrieves exactly as typed, including operators like "and."
    • Call Number Search. Search using what you know is the call number or what it might be using the Library of Congress Classification System.
    • Location. To look for books available at your home library only, do a word search and change the location from "View Entire Collection" to your home library. (If you don't find what you're looking for, search the entire collection and request the book to be sent to your home library by clicking on the Request button).
    • Subject vs. Word Search. Subject search uses Library of Congress subject headings to pull up records using different terms that mean the same thing. Keyword search looks for exact word only.
  • Each item will show location, call number (if applicable), and status (available or checked out).  Remember course reserve and reference items that show "available" in the catalog cannot not be requested.

I can't find the book I want.

  • Redo or broaden your search if you find nothing.
  • Try using other terms for word or subject searches.
  • Check for spelling mistakes. If you are looking for a title, did you type it in exactly?
  • Make sure you are using the right search function. Example: If looking for a title, you should be searching by title. If searching for books from a PsycBook search, make sure you are searching for the title of the book and not the title of the chapter.
  • Limit the number of search terms used.
  • Make sure to try both Encore or the Classic Catalog to search for Alliant items. Then try, the LINKplus Catalog.

How can I request a book or dissertation from another Alliant library? (No charge).

  • Go to the library home page. Select Classic Catalog or search Encore.
  • Search for the book you want.
  • If the item is available, click on the "Request" button at the top or bottom of the page.
  • Enter your first name and your last name, with a space between your first name and last name.
  • Enter the 14-digit barcode or six-digit ID number. Do not use spaces or hyphens.
  • Click on "Submit". If you experience problems, go to the Log In FAQ.
  • If you need to select a particular volume click "submit" again and you should get a list of available volumes.
  • Dissertations published after 1996 may be available full-text through ProQuest Dissertations and Theses and through a link on the dissertation’s record in the catalog (Alliant dissertations and some theses only). To search ProQuest Dissertations and Theses on Databases link on Library’s home page and select the appropriate link from list.
  • Reference books, reserve items, some AV materials, and all assessment materials are not requestable.

How can I request items from LINKplus libraries? (No charge).

        Note: Because of publisher contract licensing agreements, electronic formats of books and dissertations cannot be borrowed from other libraries.

  • From the library homepage, click on LINKplus.
  • Search by keyword, title, author, or subject, etc.
  • Click on "LINK+ library has this item" to check the status of the item.
  • If the item is available, click on "Request this item."
  • When asked "With which institution are you affiliated?" choose "Alliant Int'l Univ" from the pull down menu.
  • Type in your full name and your 14-digit barcode or six-digit ID number.
  • Select the pick up location. Items can be picked up at other LINKplus Libraries. [ More Information ]
  • Click on "Submit".
  • You should monitor your requests from the "My Library Account" link located on the library home page.
  • If you do not pickup your requested items within ten days items will be shipped back to the home library. "Pickup by" date is included on the pickup notices from the library.

How can I request a book from a library that is not Alliant or LINKplus (Interlibrary Loan-ILL)?
Disclaimer: The Interlibrary Loan Department at your home library will try to obtain the material you requested, but please understand that some items are not available for loan. This can include dissertations from universities that do not loan and recently published items. Request may take 1-6 weeks to arrive depending on the number of libraries (usually up to five) that the request is sent.

          Note: Because of publisher contract licensing agreements, electronic formats of books and dissertations cannot be borrowed from other libraries.

  • Go to the library home page.
  • Click on Interlibrary Loan.
  • Enter your name and barcode/ID number.
  • Click on the link that best describes the type of item you are requesting. Your choices are Book, Book Chapter, Dissertation, Journal Article, or Conference Proceedings.
  • Type in all the information you have. Incomplete requests will create delays; please fill out all requested fields.
  • Read the copyright notice.  The library will not be able to get all articles from a journal because of copyright laws; you may need to contact the publisher to purchase the issue if you need all articles.
  • If you have not checked the catalog to find out if your local Alliant library has the item, click on "Search the Library Catalog" to search for a book, dissertation or paper journal.
  • Click on "Submit This Request."
  • Your request may not show in "My Library Account" for 24-48 hours as the staff will need to process the request first.

How do I limit my search to only include books from my local Alliant library or to a particular material type (i.e. book, dissertation, DVD, psychology test, etc?

  • Go to the library home page.
  • Click in the circle next to Classic Catalog. At this screen you can limit your search to location.  If you wish to limit your search further, click "Classic Advanced Search." (If preferred, clicking "Encore Advanced Search" from the library's homepage also provides search limits.)

OR

  • Do a search in the Classic Catalog, then go to "View Entire Collection" pull down menu to the right of the Search box.
  • Click on your local library.
  • Click on the Submit button.

 

How do I know where an item is located?

  • The library's location is listed in the column on the left side of the search results page.
  •  Ask a library staff member for guidance on finding an item at your campus library.

Tests do not have call numbers. Access to assessment materials is restricted. Your campus library policies regarding checking out these items can be found here .

Video, DVD or other A/V materials may have a number or call number. Ask the circulation staff for the location and/or retrieval of materials.

Dissertations at most Alliant libraries are filed alphabetically by author's last name, with the following exceptions:

In Fresno, dissertations are filed by call number. The format is:

DIS (refers to the area of the library)

2001 (year completed)

A1 (where A is the first letter of the author's last name).

 

In San Diego, all CSPP dissertations and those for Alliant (2001 onward) are filed alphabetically. USIU and California Western dissertations are filed by call number. The format is:

BF (Library of Congress call number)

USIU (university)

2001 (year completed)

A1 (where A is the first letter of the author's last name).

I found a book in the catalog, but I can't find it on the shelves.

  • Check to make sure the item is marked "Available" in the catalog and is not a reference or reserve item.
  • Check if the item is located in the main collection, or is in a separate section, like dissertations.
  • Check to make sure it is in your local library. The location of the item is identified on the left side of the screen.  If you are looking at the brief display record it might say “There are additional copies/volumes of this item.”  Click on the title to show additional copies.
  • If the item is located at another Alliant library, you can request it. See How can I request a book or dissertation from another Alliant library?

I tried to put a hold on an item, but I couldn't.  Why?

  • Holds may not be placed on tests or assessment materials.
  • Items in locations such as reference or reserves cannot be placed on hold.
  • Your library account may be expired or blocked because of unpaid fines.  Contact the library regarding the problem.

I don't live near an Alliant campus. Can I have library books shipped to me?

  • Alliant libraries do not ship materials to students, due to the costs of postage and the time the materials would spend in transit.
  • If only a chapter or two are needed, the library may be able to scan the material and email it to students not able to visit the library in person. Contact library@alliant.edu to request this service.

How do I find and access eBooks?

  • Start with a catalog subject search.
  • When you receive the list of results, the eBooks are listed as "E-RESOURCE."
  • Follow the link in the record to access the content [Example]. Happy reading!



Updated and edited by rschiff 7/14/2014; links checked 4/28/2015 by rschiff.

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