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Services for Alumni

social work library

This page has information about the services that the Social Work Library offers to alumni of Boston College. The Social Work Library encourages all alumni to continue to use the Social Work Library during your careers as social workers. You are always welcome to contact us for assistance with your research.

Borrowing Books from Boston College

  • All Boston College alumni are eligible to get an alumni borrowing card.
  • Apply for an alumni borrowing card at the O'Neill circulation desk. Be sure to bring a form of identification with you when you apply for a card.
  • The loan period for alumni borrowers is 28 days with a maximum of two renewals.
  • Alumni borrowing cards allow you to borrow books from all Boston College Libraries except the Educational Resource Center and the Law Library.

Visiting the Social Work Library

If you live in the Boston area, you are welcome to visit the Social Work Library during our regular hours. You are warmly encouraged to get help from a social work librarian and to use our online resources at our guest computer. We have a variety of electronic journals and database that you are welcome to use and access when you visit the Social Work Library.

Free Journal Databases

PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, provides access to over 12 million MEDLINE citations back to the mid-1960's and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources. This database is particularly useful for clinical social workers because it is a source of a variety of journal abstracts on psychiatric issues. If the full-text of an article is not available, you can request the article through the interlibrary loan service at your local public library.

Massachusetts Regional Library System
The Massachusetts Regional Library System offers Massachusetts library card holders access to a variety of full-text journal databases. All you need is a library card from a public library in Massachusetts, and you will be able to access these databases from your own computer.

Child Welfare Information Gateway
A searchable website with free research reports, suggested books, and articles.  If the full-text of an article or book chapters is not available, you can request it through the interlibrary service at your local public library.

Pilots: An Electronic Index to Traumatic Stress Literature
A free, searchable database of journal articles and research papers on trauma issues. Some full-text articles are included. If the full-text is not available, you can request the article through the interlibrary loan service at your local public library.

Free Online Journals

Many online publications provide free access to their content. Three important social work journals that provide full access on the web are:

Journal of the Society for Social Work & Research

Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics
This peer-reviewed journal explores the ethical issues that impact social work practice.

The New Social Worker Online Current issue is available online. Articles are geared for new graduates who are looking for career advice.

Social Work & Society Social Work and Society is dedicated to critical analysis of the relationship between social work, social policy, the state and economic forces. It is international in scope and coverage.

Many more Open Access journals of interest to social workers can be found through the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Evidence-Based Practice/Practice Guidelines

These websites feature free information about evidence-based practice, practice guidelines, and systematic reviews:

The Campbell Collaboration
National Guidelines Clearinghouse
SAMSHA's Evidence-Based Practice Kits
National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices
Social Programs that Work


Useful websites for practitioners can be found on the the Social Work Library in-depth Research Guides.

An excellent current awareness site for social workers is Information for Practice, sponsored by the New York University School of Social Work.

The following are professional associations for social workers:

The American Psychological Association
Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups
Association of Oncology Social Work
The Clinical Social Work Federation
International Federation of Social Workers
National Organization of Forensic Social Workers
NASW Online
North American Association of Christians in Social Work
School Social Work Association of America
Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care