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Library FAQ's for Faculty   Tags: faculty, faqs  

answers to questions frequently asked by faculty
Last Updated: Sep 1, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

FAQ's for Faculty Print Page

Getting More Library Information

What is the best way to get more information about library services and collections?

Go to the library's home page at  This page outlines library services and provides access to the online catalog and the research databases.  You may call us at one of the numbers listed on the web page or email us at


Library Hours

What are the library hours?

The Finney Library in Columbia is open Mon.-Thurs. 7:45 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 7:45 a.m.-4:15 pm, and most Saturdays noon-4 p.m. during fall and spring semesters. Specific Saturday openings, hours for summer and breaks, and changes in hours will be posted in the library and on the library website. Hours for library extended campus locations will be posted on the library website and at the individual sites and centers. You can make arrangements with the library director for additional hours if your students have library research needs beyond the posted times.


Finding Books

How do I find out what books the library has available?

Go to the library’s homepage at Click on “Library Catalog” under Find Books at the top of the page. You can search by Keyword, Author, Title, Subject, Call Number, and in several other ways as well as limiting by location or item type.

For ebooks, click on Ebooks under Find Books at the top of the page.  There will be several ebook collections from which to choose.


Materials from Other Libraries

Can the library get materials for me from other libraries?

Yes, we do provide an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service, i.e., we can obtain books, copies of journal articles, and sometimes other materials for you from other libraries. Call us, email us, or stop by.

ILL’s usually take about two weeks to arrive, but the time can be longer or shorter depending on which library is able to provide the item. We have agreements with most libraries in the state to provide ILLs without charge, but sometimes we can only obtain items from a library that charges a fee. We will contact you if a fee is involved.


Recently Added Books

How do I find out what materials have been added to the library recently?

The online catalog has a “New Titles“ feature that enables you to search for materials added to the library’s collection in the last four months. This is available from the library’s homepage at, under the “Find Books” tab. You can limit by time period and location.


Availability of Databases

How do I find out what databases are available?

From the library’s homepage at, look under “Find Articles,” then Databases by Subject or Databases A-Z.


How Databases Differ from Free Internet

How do the library’s databases differ from free internet websites?

The journal and newspaper articles and other materials in the databases have been selected by reputable publishers and editors for their accuracy, authority, currency, and objectivity. Very few of these materials can be found free on the internet. These databases give students a range of better quality sources for their research than they can find by using internet search engines such as Google or Yahoo.

Although the library continues to maintain a few journal and newspaper subscriptions in paper and microform, most access to journal and newspaper articles is through one of the databases.


Access to Specific Journals

How do I know if the library has full text access to a particular journal or newspaper?

Use the Journals by Title link under Find Articles on the library’s homepage at This list shows whether a title is full-text in a database. Use the online catalog to determine if the journal or newspaper is held in print or microform.


Library Instruction

Can I bring my class to the library for a tour or instruction?

Yes, we provide tours and instruction to meet the needs of your class. When students have a library assignment, we can, with advance notice, tailor the class to address the needs of the assignment. We will also consult with students about library research on a drop-in basis or by appointment. Library instruction is available at teaching locations. Just call or email us.


Recommended Library Resources

Would a list of recommended library resources work better for you?

We will develop a list of recommended library resources (based on your syllabus) that you can post on your Online Campus page or web page and modify or add to at your discretion.


Online Librarians

I am teaching an online class. Can I have a librarian in my class?

Yes, we provide online librarians to help your students work through the library maze to find the journal articles, books, or course reserve materials that they need whether these materials are in print or online. We will also help students resolve technical difficulties in accessing online library materials.


Largest Databases

What is your largest multi-subject database?

General OneFile from Gale Cengage Publishing covers the widest range of topics. It has over 100 million articles from over 10,000 titles and includes articles from popular magazines, academic journals, newspapers, and news wire services as well as other content. Wilson OmniFile also covers a wide range of topics and contains several million articles from popular magazines and academic journals.

Newsbank U.S. and World Newspapers has the widest range of articles from U.S. and world newspapers.


Multimedia Databases

Do any of your databases include multimedia materials?

Yes, the largest streaming video database is Films on Demand with over 5,000 titles.  American History in VideoWorld History in VideoTheater in Video, and Ambrose BBC Shakespeare offer additional streaming video titles. ARTstor has art objects.Classical Music Library offers music, and Encyclopedia Britannica includes streaming videos.  Other databases may also include multimedia.


Access from Home

What kinds of library materials can I access from home?

Almost all of the library databases can be accessed from home with your PVT (network) username and password. For more information about the PVT account, consult the Columbia State Information Technology home page.

The online catalog which lists print books and other materials does not require a PVT login.


Extended Campus Services

I teach in Clifton, Lewisburg, Lawrence Co., or Williamson Co. Do my students have access to library resources in Columbia?

Yes, we routinely send books by courier to the extended campuses. Students may also access the library’s databases at the extended campuses or from home. They can interact with us directly in Columbia using the contact information on the library’s website, or they can have the library assistant at the extended campus make the request for them.


Online Library Tutorials

Would an online tutorial work better for your students?

We will be glad to develop a library tutorial to meet the needs of your particular class.


Suggesting Materials

Can I suggest materials for the library’s collection?

Yes, call us, email us, or stop by. We welcome suggestions. Keep in mind that we develop the collection to meet the research needs of the community college student.  If you need these library materials for a class, please give us as much advance notice as possible.


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