Library Survival Guide
Welcome to the Libraries! Rensselaer Libraries on the Troy Campus is comprised of two libraries: Folsom Library which houses the main collection and the Architecture Library located in the Greene building. With an emphasis on the collections and services of the Folsom Library, this survival guide summarizes information needed to use our collections and services successfully. If you are looking for a guide that focuses on the Architecture Library, please visit the Architecture Library Survival Guide.
Service Desk Hours (Folsom)
518/276-8310; (Architecture) 518/276-6465
The Architecture and Folsom Service Desks are staffed most hours that the Libraries are open. Books and other materials may be checked out or returned until 15 minutes before the library closes or, in the case of Folsom Library, until midnight on days when that library closes at 3:00 AM .
Librarians are available, on-call, to handle person-to-person or telephone queries, Monday-Friday, 8:30 – 5:00 or by email: ( http://j2ee.rpi.edu/swf/setup.do?target=libraries). Response time to email is usually 24 hours or less. Note: This service is only available to Rensselaer staff, faculty, and students.
Library (Greene Building) 518/276-6465
The Architecture Library was established in 1929 to support the core curriculum of the University's Architecture Program and to supplement the instructional and research activities of the School of Architecture. It houses monographs, periodicals, slides and other multimedia material on architecture and related subjects. The library is located on the third floor of the Greene Building. To reach staff at their service desk, call (518) 276-6465.
Institute Archives and Special Collections (Folsom
Institute Archives and Special Collections is located in the Fixman Room on the third floor of Folsom Library. The department collects, preserves, and provides access to a variety of materials documenting Institute history, science, and technology. The collections fall into three major categories: 1) Archives, which are the permanent records of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; 2) Manuscript collections, which include papers of other institutions and individuals; and 3) Rare books and pamphlets. Collections include departmental records, campus publications, biographical information, photographs, drawings, maps, journals, RPI memorabilia, and a wide range of other materials.
Library Café (Folsom Library, Main Floor)
The Library Café offers a signature sandwich program called “Stacks Deli” featuring wraps, subs, grilled and traditional build your own sandwiches, an impressive line of Green Mountain Coffee with the addition of a full espresso program, freshly squeezed lemonade, cookies baked on site and much more…
- Service Desk Hours (Folsom) 518/276-8310; (Architecture) 518/276-6465
RCS ID and Password or Library Account
This important identification information permits you to view your library borrowing record and to use certain other library services within the Libraries' information system and remotely. Off-campus access to most electronic library resources is restricted to current Rensselaer faculty, students and staff.
The Libraries’ Reserves system lists materials that faculty have identified for specific courses, both print materials held at either Folsom or Architecture Service Desks as well as electronic documents. You can locate a class reserve list searching by either a course’s or instructor’s name or by browsing a school-department list. Class Reserves is independent of Rensselaer’s other LMS and non-LMS course sites.
The Online Catalog lists the books, journals, government publications, Rensselaer theses, CD-ROMs, videos, and archives & manuscript collections owned by the Libraries. It does not provide access to specific articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers. Use one of our many articles-journals databases (http:/library.rpi.edu/update.do?catcenterkey=270) to search for articles.
For assistance, use the online help screens, ask at the Service Desk, call 518/276-8320, or send an e-mail to a reference librarian by clicking on the Ask-A-Librarian ( http://library.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=1731) on the RensSearch homepage. Someone will be happy to assist you.
You need a valid Rensselaer ID card to borrow books. Books are checked out for 16 weeks; sound recordings for 3 weeks; and videos for 3 days. You can borrow up to 75 items at any one time; however, all loans are subject to early recall if needed by another. Reference books, journals, class reserve items, maps and software are generally not available for loan.
Find a Book in Folsom
Books (Print & Electronic)
Use the Libraries' online catalog (http://opac.lib.rpi.edu) to search for a book (or e-book) by author, title, subject or keyword. After completing a search, a list of books, either print and/or electronic, will display. Print titles will be preceded by a book icon; e-titles by an e-book icon.
Limit search results to print books... Click the Modify Search button at the top, then from Material Type select BOOKS and click the Search button.
Limit search results to ebooks...
Click the Modify Search button at the top, then from Material Type select EBOOKS and click the Search button.
Locate a print book on the shelf...
Click on a book title in your results. Note the Location, the complete Call Number and the Status. Book call numbers will start with capital letters; journal call numbers for the Folsom Library will start with a three-digit number.
If the STATUS is "Available," the book is in the library. For its floor location, use the Folsom Book Stacks link ( http://library.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=339) If the STATUS lists a Due date, another user has checked out the book.
You can place a hold on the book at the Service Desk or online by clicking the Request button at the top of the book's catalog record webpage. You'll be prompted for your RCS ID and Password or Library Account Information (https://opac.lib.rpi.edu/patroninfo).
View and/or download ebooks ...
Click on the book's title in the search results, and then click on the Connect from/to link. You may be prompted for your RCS ID and Password or Library Account Information (https://opac.lib.rpi.edu/patroninfo).
To see details for viewing and/or downloading an ebook from a specific vendor... see Ebook Subscription Vendors and Policies, http://library.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=2071
an Article, Journal, or Newspaper in Folsom
Use the A to Z Article databases to find journal or newspaper articles. Both print and electronic journals are listed in the Libraries’ online catalog; electronic journals are also listed in the e-journals database. Updates for these two resources are usually, but not always in sync. So, search for journals BOTH in the online catalog (http://opac.lib.rpi.edu/"), as well as in the e-journals database (http://sfx-serv.lib.rpi.edu/sfx_troy/az.
Connect NY combines the library catalogs of 18 academic libraries in New York State allowing each other’s users to borrow materials. To request a book, you will need your RCS ID or Library Account information for authentication. Expect delivery within 4 to 6 business days.
If the Library does not own a specific item and it's not available via Connect NY, we will try to borrow it from another library. Most requested materials can be obtained within 10 to 12 days. Request forms are available online through the Libraries” ILLiad system ( https://illiad.lib.rpi.edu/illiad/YRM/logon.html). For more information, contact the Interlibrary Loan Department (518/276-8330) or visit the ILL Web page ( http://library.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=528).
Software Applications on Library
All RensSearch machines have basic software for library research, including the Microsoft Office Suite. The PCs on Folsom 1, 3 and 4 near the center stairs also have Photoshop and Acrobat Professional. To view the software installed on the 1st Floor PC lab machines, see ( http://www.rpi.edu/dept/arc/pcinfo/pcinfo.html).
Printing from Library Workstations
If you are a current RPI faculty, student or staff, you will have access to printing when you log on to a library workstation. A black and white printer can be found on all floors of Folsom. A color printer is available on Folsom’s 2nd (Main) floor. The default printer is the black and white printer on the same floor as the work station you're using.
Public scanners are available in the Folsom and the Architecture Libraries. Scanners are located on Folsom 1, 3 and 4 near the center stairs. Photoshop and Acrobat Professional are installed. Most of the scanners have an additional capability for scanning film or slides.
Public photocopy machines are available on the 2nd (Main) and 4th floor of Folsom, as well as in Architecture. Photocopies are 15¢ each; microform copies are free.
and Meeting Rooms
Small group meeting rooms in Folsom Library are available for up to 3 hours' use each day by any Rensselaer group of 2 or more persons on a first-come, first-assigned basis. Reservations by student groups must be made in person at the Service Desk on the day of intended use; reservations by faculty and staff may be made in advance by contacting the Library's Administration Office (x8300). Reservations not claimed within the first 10 minutes of a reservation period may be reassigned.
Additionally, small group study rooms located on the 1st, 3rd and 4th floors are typically left unlocked for both individuals and groups to use on a first-come, first-use basis. Near the end of semesters, some of these rooms can be reserved in advance in order to accommodate the needs of groups to finish class projects.
Librarians offer training sessions upon request. All sessions are free-of-charge and open to Rensselaer faculty, students, and staff. The sessions are usually held in the Fischbach Room or the first-floor PC lab of Folsom Library.
Please note that if you do not already have an RCS account, you will need to obtain one at the VCC Help Desk ( http://helpdesk.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=145) before class. For courses offered by ACS (Academic Computing Services), check the Academic and Research Computing Short Courses ( http://helpdesk.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=294).
Center for Communication
The staff of the Center for Communication Practices (formerly The Writing Center) will work with you on ANY kind of writing and ANY type of oral presentation. It's easy to make appointments online on their website. Every writer and speaker can use kind, constructive feedback! The CCP is located on the first floor of Folsom Library.
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Maintained by Colette O. Holmes, Management Librarian, Folsom Library, Troy, NY.