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Off-site Services for Social Work Students

social work library

Library Services for Students in Worcester

The Boston College Librarians would like to extend a warm welcome to GSSW students enrolled at the Worcester State University location. We are committed to providing you with prompt assistance with your research needs. This site is designed to answer some frequently asked questions about our services for off-site students.

How can I get help from a librarian?

There are several different ways to get help with your research. You are always welcome to do one of the following:

  • Contact the Social Work Library by phone by calling 617-552-0109. A librarian can call you back during regular business hours in order to minimize long distance charges.
  • E-mail a librarian by writing to You will receive a response within 24 hours.
  • We have a texting service. Send us a text message from your mobile phone, and you will get a response from a BC librarian.
  • Consult the research guides to get a list of suggested databases, books and web sites that will help you begin your research.
  • Use BC 's Ask a Librarian 24/7 . Service. This service offers you the opportunity to have a live, online chat with a librarian. You can have an online chat with a librarian from your own home computer or office by clicking on the Ask a Librarian 24/7 link. Through this service, professional librarians are available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also request to have an online chat specifically with a social work library by calling us at 617-552-3277 or e-mailing us at .

Where do I find course readings listed on the course syllabi?

  • Copies of required books for each course are available on reserve for “in-library” use at Worcester State University Library. The BC collection is kept at the Circulation Desk. Check with your site coordinator for specific policies and procedures at your campus.
  • Copies of required journal articles are available through individual course sites on Blackboard Vista.
  • Copies of recommended or supplemental journal articles or books are available by request from the Social Work Library on the Chestnut Hill campus. Send a message to to make a request.

How can I get books from a Boston College library?

Students enrolled in the Worcester program may request a mail delivery of books from the Social Work Library or any of the other BC libraries (except Law). Search the Holmes catalog to identify books that you want for your research. Please allow at least one week for this service. To request a book from a BC library, send a message to and list the titles of the books that you want. Be sure to include your home address.

Can I get books that are not owned by a Boston College library?

There are several ways to obtain books from other libraries:

  • Request a book through Boston College 's interlibrary loan service.
  • Because of a reciprocal agreement, BC GSSW students who live in the western part of the state have borrowing privileges at Smith College Libraries. Before you visit the Smith library, contact the Smith reference librarian, Pam Skinner at so that your card will be ready for you.
  • All BC students have borrowing privileges with libraries in the Boston Library Consortium including the UMass libraries at Amherst, Worcester, and Dartmouth. To request a BLC card, please contact the social work library by e-mailing We will send a BLC card to you. Take the BLC card to a participating library, and you will be given a BLC borrowing card for that library.

How do I use BC databases from home?

  • All you need to do is go to the Social Work Library homepage. Under “Find Journal Articles”, select Social Work Databases.
  • When you click on one of the databases, you will be prompted to enter your username and password.

How can I get copies of journal articles?

  • As you look through journal abstracts in a database, you will see an Find It button that will lead you to a menu of options for getting the full-text of the article.
  • In many cases, the Find It menu will have a direct link to an online version of the article.
  • If no online version of the article is available, the Find It button will link you to Holmes, our online catalog. Holmes will indicate if we carry a print journal of an article in the library.
  • If we carry the print version of the journal in our library, you can fill out the document delivery link in the Find It menu. The article will be e-mailed to you within 24 business hours.
  • If BC does not own the journals that you need, you can request an article through interlibrary loan (this is also a link in the Find It menu).

What happens when I am taking courses on the Chestnut Hill campus?

When you are taking classes on the Chestnut Hill Campus, you will have the same privileges as all other part-time students on the main campus. Students will be expected to use the course reserve books in the Social Work Library or to make photocopies of the assigned chapters. We encourage students to get all the journal articles and books you need when you are on the Chestnut Hill Campus. Site delivery and mail delivery of books is not available, nor will articles be scanned and emailed to students. Contact the Social Work Library staff if you have questions or concerns about these services.