Boston College Fact Book 1996 - 1997


Special Library Services


Quest - Library Information System

The Quest Computer system of the Boston College Libraries provides access to over 1.6 million volumes including books, media materials, microforms, newspapers and periodicals. Quest may be searched by author, title, call number, subject or key word from workstations in the libraries or by dialing in to the system from other locations either on or off campus; also, a separate file (NEWT) offers access to books recently added to the library collections. This is also searchable by author, title, subject, and call number. Also, major periodical indexes in the humanities, social sciences, law, and the sciences may be searched through Quest.

Computer Searching

State of the art CD-ROM networks in the O'Neill Library and the Law Library give patrons immediate on-site access to many databases in the fields of education, psychology, business, the social sciences, nursing and medicine, law, and public affairs. Dial-in access to the networks is available from other campus libraries and faculty offices. Additional CD-ROM databases are available on individual workstations in O'Neill Library and other campus libraries. New databases are added regularly and patrons should check with the Reference Department for a list of current titles. The FirstSearch service is also available through Quest. It gives access to the OCLC bibliographic files, containing over 30 million records.

In addition to the search capabilities noted above, the Libraries offer patrons and researchers access to several hundred on-line databases that may be used for the retrieval of bibliographic information, text, and statistical information. To use these databases, a researcher may plan a search strategy with a reference librarian and have the librarian perform the search, or the researcher may choose from among a smaller number of on-line services, such as Dow Jones or BRS/After Dark, and, after training, perform the search himself or herself for a lesser fee. The Law School Library has on-line access to LEXIS and WESTLAW as well as other databases. Access to some of these files may be limited by contract to members of the Law School community.

The Libraries also facilitate access to many computerized databases in business, economics, and the social sciences on magnetic tape. Contact the Reference Department for more information, and to arrange for demonstrations, workshops, or presentations to classes or departments.

Interlibrary Loan

The Interlibrary Loan Service is offered to students, faculty, administrators, and staff to facilitate obtaining materials not available in the Boston College Libraries. Books, photocopies of journal articles, microfilm, theses, and government documents may be borrowed from other libraries. Except for unusual items, the waiting period is from one to four weeks; for anyone willing to use the material at the holding library, a computerized system at the reference desk will provide locations. Request forms and further information are available from the Interlibrary Loan staff in each library. Requests can be made using VAXmail (type ILL at the $) or by using the Library form on Microsoft Mail, or by using electronic forms available on the Libraries web site.

Boston Library Consortium

The library is a member of the Boston Library Consortium, a group of area libraries which includes Brandeis, Boston University, Brown University, Tufts, Wellesley, Northeastern, MIT, Massachusetts State Library, Boston Public Library, the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, and the University of Massachusetts System. Faculty and graduate students may apply for a Consortium borrower's card at the Reference Department in the O'Neill Library. Further information may be found in the User Guide and the Consortium Handbook, available in all libraries. A gateway to the BLC on-line catalogs and the BLC InfoSource is available at the O'Neill Reference Desk and may also be accessed from other locations on or off campus.

United States Government Publications

Boston College is one of 1,400 Federal Depository Libraries located throughout the United States. This status entitles the O'Neill Library to receive, on a selective basis, United States government publications at no cost with the stipulation that they be made available to the general public. Most of the material circulates in the same manner as books. Inquiries related to the use of government documents should be directed to the Government Documents and Microforms Department on the first floor of the O'Neill Library.

Media Center

The Media Center on the second floor of O'Neill Library houses information in many formats - videocassettes, laserdiscs, 16mm films, compact discs, audiocassettes, and phonodiscs. Books with accompanying computer diskettes are also shelved here. All media may be used by patrons within the department in individual carrels. Classes with the faculty member present may reserve one of our two classrooms. Faculty may reserve the Faculty Preview Room for their use alone or when working with smaller groups. Loans are restricted to B.C. faculty. The Center includes the Vision Resource Room - an area of adaptive computer equipment and software for students with vision impairments.

New England Library Information Network/OCLC

Through membership in the New England Library Information Network (NELINET), our users have on-line access to publishing, cataloging, and interlibrary loan location information from the data bank of OCLC, Inc. which contains over 32.5 million bibliographic records from the Library of Congress and other national libraries and from over 20,000 other libraries world-wide.

Source: University Librarian


Date Posted: February 19, 1997
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