How to Check Out a Reserve Book

| September 25, 2012

The economy is dour. Textbook prices have skyrocketed. Student enrollment is up at most institutions. Free copies of textbooks at libraries are in high demand. These are all things you already know.  What you might not know, however, is how to check out a book on reserve from the library.  Here is a handy guide:

FAST FACT: to grab a book from reserve, you simply walk up to the circulation desk and hand one of us the call number of the book. A call number looks like this: QA 276.12 M4 2013

For the slow facts, please read on.

First: what is a reserve book?

Well, to handle the student demand for textbooks assigned by professors for classwork, we tend to put a copy (or possibly two copies) on reserve.  The good news about reserve books is because you can only check them out for two hours at a time, they tend to be here, behind the desk, waiting for you to read them. (The bad news is you can only check them out for two hours.) But to concentrate again on the good news: in a pinch, you can almost always get your reading done for class tomorrow if your professor thoughtfully put a copy on reserve.

How do I figure out if a textbook is on reserve?

When your professor hands you a syllabus, you can check the status of any title in EDUCAT which is our online catalog for books for Teachers College Library. You can look up titles, authors, and subjects from any of the computers here in the library, but handily you can also access the website from home, or dorm, or office, or smart phone.

Here is a screen shot of where EDUCAT lives on our library’s homepage. Note the punk librarian yellow spray paint, leading you to the link for EDUCAT.

Once you’re in, you can enter the title of the book, the author of the book (last, f), or if you forget the title and author completely you can search by keyword or subject. (PS: You cannot search by the name of the course.) Your book, if we have it, will show up in a list of possible titles.  Click your title to see the status of the book.  Here is a screen shot of what it looks like to search for a highly popular book on reserve, STATISTICS.

I chose the above example because it highlights well various details you’ll want to know about a book when you look it up.  First, note that we have multiple editions of this textbook.  The top one was published in 2009, while the bottom one was published in 2013. The publication dates are highlighted in yellow on the screen.  Second, you can tell that the book is on reserve, as opposed to  one you can check out for the entire semester, by looking at the LOCATION section over to the left (see big yellow arrow). Notice that the 2009 edition has one copy in the MAIN section, which means it’s in the stacks upstairs, if not checked out.. The 2013 edition, however, is entirely on reserve. Also note that one of the three copies is actually the CD-ROM in the back of one of the books. So really, we have two physical copies of this book.  Next, note the STATUS section over there to the right. The copy that would be in the MAIN section is in fact checked out.  The due date is 2-18-13. (If you want to recall this book, simply click the recall button, and whoever has the book with get an email suggesting they return it in 10 days, at which point you’ll be next in line.)

And finally: notice the call number of this book!  If you write down the call number and hand it to one of us at the circulation desk, we will be able to retrieve the book for you.  It’s that easy!

Happy studying!