Below are answers to some questions that are frequently asked by faculty and staff at Lafayette. If your question isn’t answered here, please contact a librarian at 610-330-5155 or

Borrowing materials

For how long may I borrow materials?

Faculty and staff may generally borrow books for one academic year. (Loan periods for ILL materials vary and are set by the lending library.) Videos and DVDs circulate for one month. Bound periodicals circulate to faculty for one week and current periodicals circulate to faculty for two days for research/teaching purposes only.

Can my spouse/partner or children borrow materials?

The Libraries extend borrowing privileges to spouses/partners and to children aged 16 and over; visit the Skillman Library Circulation desk for cards. Spouses/partners and children may borrow books for one academic year.

Can I renew my books and DVDs over the web?

Yes. You may use a feature in the Library Catalog to renew the materials you have checked out from Skillman and Kirby. From the Catalog home page, select “Your library record” from the right-hand column and log in using your Network ID and password (or your name and your barcode number). Note that you will not be able to renew an item if someone else has placed a hold on it, if you have already reached the renewal limit for the item or if it’s too soon to renew it. To renew materials borrowed via interlibrary loan, log on to the interlibrary loan system and select the option to “View/Renew checked out items” in the right-hand column.

How can I get a book that’s checked out?

The fastest way to obtain an item that is checked out is by requesting a copy from another library using interlibrary loan. If you are unable to obtain an item via interlibrary loan, you may have the item recalled by placing a recall request at the Circulation Desk or by sending an email request to The person who has the book will be asked to return it, and you will be notified when it is back in the library.

May I use my Lafayette ID to borrow materials from other libraries?

With a valid Lafayette ID, faculty and staff (and students) may borrow materials in person from any member library in the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (Cedar Crest, DeSales, Lehigh, Moravian, and Muhlenberg). Borrowing privileges for faculty are also available at a number of other Pennsylvania academic libraries that are part of the PALCI consortium. More details are available at the PALCI web site.

Can I have a student acting as my research assistant check out materials on my behalf?

Yes. Lafayette College faculty members may arrange to have their research assistants borrow library materials for them by proxy. Both Skillman and Kirby Libraries can only extend this privilege if the faculty member employing the research assistant completes this authorization form. If you have more than two Research Assistants, please fill out another form. For questions or additional info, call x5151 or

The faculty member is responsible for all materials borrowed, lost or damaged in his/her name and must notify when hiring (or terminating) his/her research assistant. All notices and correspondence regarding loans to library materials will be addressed to the faculty member, not the research assistant.

Can I have journal articles and book chapters owned by the Libraries sent to me?

Yes. Journal articles and book chapters from Lafayette-owned materials will be scanned and delivered as PDFs to your ILL account. Log into the interlibrary loan system and select the “Document Delivery Request” option from the main page. Requests should be filled within 24 to 48 hours. Due to copyright restrictions, requests for document delivery should be limited to items needed for private study, scholarship, or research (the library cannot scan for course packs or reserves).


How do I request that the Library add a book or film to its collection?

We’re happy to get your purchase recommendations, and can usually purchase requested books and films. You may submit them in any way that’s easy for you: you can send catalogs or bibliographies to your department’s collection liaison (either the faculty coordinator or the librarian) or you can use our online suggestion form.

Faculty who have film requests related to research interests or course curricula, including licensing requests for streaming, should submit a Faculty Media Request Form.

How do I request that the Library add a journal subscription to its collection?

Periodical subscriptions are reviewed once a year in early fall by each department. Suggestions for changes to your department’s periodicals list should be made to the faculty collection coordinator in your department.

Digital Repository

How do I make my articles available via Lafayette’s Digital repository?

Send your final draft or the published version of your scholarly articles to the Library by using the digital repository submission form. Library staff will check on publisher policies and deposit articles as allowed. More »

Electronic Resources

Where can I find a list of your databases?

From the Library homepage, click the Research Tools tab. For the databases in your field, choose your subject area under Subject Specific Research Tools.

Do you have a list of all of your electronic journals?

Information on all of our electronic journals is in the Library Catalog. Simply do a journal title search for the title you’re interested in. If you’d like to browse, we do have a list of electronic journals available at Lafayette, but be aware that it’s very long.

Does the Library have e-books?

Yes, we have e-books from a number of publishers and vendors. Information about our e-books is in the Library Catalog. If you would like to search across a general collection of academic e-books, try one of the options listed on our Ebooks research tools page.

Can I access the Library’s electronic resources from off campus?

Yes. To log in to subscription resources from off campus, connect to the resource using a link from the Library’s web site or catalog, then log in with your Network ID and password (the same credentials you use for email). More >>

How can I use Lafayette’s WebBridge in Google Scholar when I’m off campus?

To see WebBridge when you’re using Google Scholar off campus, configure your “Library Links” preferences for Lafayette College. More >>


Can I ask a librarian to meet with my class?

Yes, we’re happy to meet with any of your classes to instruct them in finding and using the information they need for their assignments. We tailor all our sessions to the individual needs of your students. To learn more or to arrange a session for your class, contact Lijuan Xu, Associate Director for Research & Instructional Services (610.330.5152). More »

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

How long does it take to get something from interlibrary loan?

The time it takes for ILL materials to arrive varies with the difficulty of the request, the proximity of the lending library, and the material type. Book requests that can be filled from Lehigh Valley schools arrive in several working days, while more involved requests can take several weeks. Journal articles are typically delivered within a day or two, but that can vary as well. Keep in mind that requests submitted Friday through Sunday most likely won’t get processed until Monday, which will add to the time it takes to obtain the materials.

How can I renew my interlibrary loan materials?

To renew materials borrowed via interlibrary loan, log on to the interlibrary loan system and select the option to “View/Renew checked out items” in the right-hand column

Open Educational Resources

Are there options or resources available for replacing expensive material in my course?

Yes, there are several possibilities for reducing course material costs for your students, ranging from placing your textbook on reserve to adopting or creating an Open Educational Resource (OER). For more information, contact Ben Jahre, Head of Electronic Resources. More »

"Processed" Books

The Library Catalog says the book I want is being processed. What does that mean?

Items being processed are physically in the Library but are waiting for call numbers and other details to be assigned by Technical Services. If you need an item that is being processed, it can usually be obtained within 24 hours. Fill out the online form that is linked from the item’s record in the Catalog or ask at the Research Help Desk.

Reserving rooms

How do I reserve a room in Skillman?

Lafayette faculty and staff may reserve the Gendebien Room (Skillman 206) for academic events via the College’s scheduling program. All reservations are subject to approval by Library staff. Classrooms in the Library are used for library and instructional technology instruction. Study rooms can be reserved by Lafayette College students, faculty and staff, however, they are primarily intended for student study and research purposes and not meant for business meetings of the College.


How do I place materials on reserve?

To place materials on reserve, you must complete a Course Reserves Form for each course. Forms submitted by 2 p.m. will be placed on reserve by the end of the day. At the beginning of the semester, however, there may be a delay of 24 to 48 hours. You are encouraged to place materials on reserve before the start of the semester. Personal copies placed on reserve will be returned to you at the end of each semester. Click here for more information »

Will the Library scan my materials to put on reserve?

The Library does not offer scanning services for reserve materials, but faculty may scan their own materials and make them available on their course web site or link to full-text articles available from one of the Library’s subscriptions.

Can I reserve films to show in my class?

Yes. You can reserve films for classroom use by contacting the Circulation Department at We recommend reserving films well in advance so as to ensure their availability by the date needed.

Retired Faculty/Staff

What library benefits do I receive as a retired faculty or staff member?

Both retired faculty and staff continue to have borrowing privileges to books and DVDs from the Lafayette College Libraries. Loan periods for books are generally for one academic year, although browsing books as well as DVDs have shorter loan periods. Spouses/partners of retired faculty and staff also retain their borrowing privileges. Only retired faculty with a valid Network ID retain access to interlibrary loan and the Library’s electronic resources.

Saved Searches

How can I prepare saved searches to run in the Library Catalog?

You can save searches in the Library Catalog and have them run automatically on a regular basis by using the “save search to preferred searches” feature. More >>

How can I prepare saved searches and alerts to run in Web of Science?

By creating a personal profile in Web of Science, you can receive automatic notification whenever articles of interest are cited in a new article or when new articles on a particular topic, by a particular author, or published within a particular journal are added to the database. For details, see Web of Science’s brief video tutorials on Creating Citation Alerts and Saving Your Search and Creating Alerts.


Is there a scanner that I can use?

All of the Macs as well as the PCs in the Instructional Technology Studio (outside the ITech offices) are equipped with scanners and software for manipulating scanned images. There’s also an easy-to-use book scanner in the photocopier room on the main level.

Storage Materials

The Library Catalog says the book I want is in Storage. What does that mean?

Items with the location “Storage” are in locked area in Skillman (usually because they are old or used infrequently). They can be retrieved for immediate use by requesting them at the Skillman Circulation Desk.