Not sure where to look? Start here!

Summer is halfway over (say it isn’t so!) and we know that some of you are still busy little bees, working hard to complete your summer courses. We work hard in the summer, too, often updating programs and moving things around to better suit your needs. Sometimes, while the library is rearranging and refreshing, some systems, like the catalog or Interlibrary loan, will be offline for a day or two, making it difficult to find the materials you want. This is your guide to finding everything you need, no matter what.

Photo of book stacks in a library

The UIUC libraries have hundreds of resources available to you, right at your finger tips. So even if you can’t find what you’re looking for with one tool, we usually have another one that can get you to your books, articles, and movies. Here are some good places to search for different types of resources:

  1. Books, movies, and anything else the library physically owns. Start with our catalog. This is your gateway to all the libraries’ holdings. There are links to it on the main library page, and the UGL main page.
    • Where do you go if the catalog’s not working? Try one of our newest search tools, Primo. You can follow that link, or find it linked on the main library page under the easy search box. This tool will search for not only books, but articles, journals, and other electronic resources as well. So if you’re only interested in books, make sure to select “UIUC library catalog” from the drop-down menu next to the search box.
    • If the catalog is offline, the information in Primo will be a ‘snapshot’ of what was available when the catalog was last working. The book you’re looking for may have been checked out in the meantime, but you can find out if we own it and where we keep it!
  2. Books that are owned by other libraries. Even with millions of books available, sometimes the one you need will be already be checked out, or missing. In these cases, you can use I-share to search for your item in libraries across the state that share books with us. Use the link we just provided, or choose “All I-Share Libraries” from the drop-down menu next to the search bar in the catalog.
    Drop-down menu options include Local Catalog Only and All I-Share Libraries - choose I-Share to search widely.

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    • If you still can’t find what you need, you can request it through Interlibrary loan. You can follow that link to the ILLiad login screen (ILLiad is the system that lets you access Interlibrary Loan), or find it on the main library page under “Borrowing and Renewing Materials.” Log in with your NetID and password, then choose “Request a Book.” Fill in the details it asks for, then click “Submit Request” to send the information whizzing along to a librarian, who will work to find your items at another library and get them to you. But note: Sometimes, this system will go down, too, so make sure you’ve searched I-Share first. If it’s really not available, ask a friendly librarian for help.
  3. Articles, journals, and other electronic resources. There are so many ways to search for articles and journals, because you have access to hundreds of databases as a UIUC student. If you know a specific database that you want, you can find a link to it using the Online Journals and Databases search. Or you can use the UGL’s Find Articles Guide to help you choose a good place to start. If, though, you are looking for a particular article or journal, and you know the title, author, publication date, etc., you can use a really nifty tool called the Journal and Article Locator to search for only the item you’re interested in. Just fill in your citation information and voila, links to the article will appear on your screen. The JAL is also available from the library main page, listed under “Article Resources.”
    • If you can’t find the article you need using any of those methods, Interlibrary Loan can also help you with that! Just log into ILLiad through the main library page like you would for a book, but select “Request a Photocopy” instead. Fill in the information you have about the articles, and librarians will request a copy of it for you from an institution that owns it.

When all else fails you can always Ask a Librarian through chat, email, phone, or in person. We’re waiting to answer your questions and help you find the resources you need to succeed.

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UGL 101: I-Share

Even though the University library has millions of books (at least 13 million, to be exact), occasionally, you might need a book we don’t have. Especially if you’re looking for books for class at the beginning of the semester. If you find your catalog searches coming up short, the next step is to check out I-Share.

UGL 101: an introduction

I-Share is a group of libraries in the state of Illinois that swap books with one another. If you find a book in the catalog from an I-Share library, you can request it to be sent to the library of your choice (like the Undergrad Desk, for example). The books usually arrive within a week, and you’ll get an email when it’s ready to be picked up. Then, you just need your I-Card and you can check out the books like normal.

Here are a few steps to follow to search for books in I-Share if you don’t find an item in the Local Catalog:

Start at the Online Catalog (there’s a link right from the UGL homepage, too):

The drop-down menu is to the right of the search box and 'keyword' dropbox.

Then change the drop-down menu from “Local Catalog” to “All I-Share Libraries.”

There are only two options.

Then, go ahead and search the catalog like normal by keyword, author, title or subject. Once you’ve found an item you’d like to request, check to see its availability by clicking on the title of the book in the results list. Once you’ve clicked on the book title, there will be a screen that shows the locations/availability of the book. You can then click on “Request This Item” (if there’s only one copy available) or “Request 1st Available” if there is more than one copy available.

The 'Request 1st available' tab is the last tab in the menu on the book's page.

Once you’ve clicked “Request,” you will be taken to a screen to log in with your MyAccount. Haven’t set up a MyAccount yet? No prob! It’s super easy—check out our blog on MyAccount for more info on setting up yours.

After you’ve logged in, you will see a drop-down menu that allows you to pick which library on campus you’d like to have the book sent. Select the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as the pick-up library, and then whichever specific library you’d like as the pick-up location (Undergrad, Main Stacks, ACES, your residence hall library—whatever makes the most sense for you).

The 'Choose Item' will be automatically filled in. You can then select your pick-up library and pick-up location.

Last, click “Request” and you are all done. Viola! For more detailed instructions (including a demo video!), check out the Library’s page on requesting items that are not at Illinois.

As a note, some items may not be requested through I-Share. If a library won’t send the item, you will get a message before you try to log in. There can be several reasons, including: the item is on reserve at the home library for a class; it’s a media item (DVD, VHS, etc); the item already has a request placed on it by another patron; it’s a text book that the home library wants to keep on campus, etc.

If you run into a problem with requesting books through I-Share or can’t seem to find the item you really need, please stop by the Research Desk in the UGL or Ask A Librarian via chat! We’re always happy to help you track down the items you need!

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