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Library Resources for CUNY Central Employees: FAQ

Where's my home library?

If you are a faculty member, student, or staff at a CUNY college, that campus library is your home library and you should ask a reference librarian there how to activate your library privileges. Note that faculty members are often entitled to different services and longer borrowing periods than students, so if you are both a faculty member and student at two different or the same CUNY college, you should ask for an account with your faculty ID at the applicable campus library. With library privileges at any CUNY library, you have access to all that library's electronic resources as well as the electronic resources from the Central Office and you can walk into any CUNY campus library and borrow books there.*

If you are a CUNY central office employee with no college affiliation, your home library is CUNY central. You are entitled to access to all of the electronic resources on our resource page and, with your CUNY ID, you can walk into any CUNY campus library. To access any of the electronic resources from home or a non-CUNY location, you will need your CUNY Login credentials. To borrow books at any campus library*, you will need to know your barcode (soon to be made available in CUNYfirst and accessible via the CUNYfirst My Info app).

*Please note that the CUNY School of Law does not allow other CUNY faculty, staff, or students to borrow books.

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How do I get a library account to borrow physical material?

If you are a CUNY Central Office employee (and/or a student, staff, or faculty member at any one of the CUNY campuses), you already have a library account you may use to borrow physical material. To borrow materials in person, you will need to bring your CUNY ID card to the service desk of the lending library.

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What do I need to access CUNY Central e-resources?

From any CUNY location, you can go to the list of Library Electronic Resources and click on any resource link for access. If you are home or in some other non-CUNY location, you will use your CUNY Login credentials to sign in.

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If I am prompted for a user ID and password, what do I enter?

If you are accessing one of CUNY Central's Library Electronic Resources from a CUNY location, you should not be prompted for a username or password.

If you are at home or another non-CUNY location, you will be prompted for your CUNY Login credentials, not a user ID and password. If you are prompted for a user ID and password, you have most likely tried to access the resource outside of the CUNY e-resource page or OneSearch. Please use one of these library tools to access library resources to ensure you do not hit a paywall.

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Which CUNY libraries can I use?

With your CUNY ID, you can walk into any* CUNY library and use their print and e-resources on site. (There are a few exceptions—some libraries have licenses to databases that only allow use for their own students; these are a small exception, though, and not the rule.) Once you have a library account, you can also borrow books.

* Please note that the CUNY School of Law does not allow other CUNY faculty, staff, or students to borrow books.

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Are there any other libraries I can access with my CUNY privileges outside of the CUNY library system?

As a resident, student, or employee in New York City, you are eligible for library privileges at New York Public Library (with branches in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island), Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library!

Unlike public libraries, academic libraries in New York City are not open to the public or to staff or students from other academic institutions. However, if there is a particular source that you've identified and you've located it at another New York academic library, you can ask for a NYC METRO Library card. This is a one-time pass so that you can visit a library. For one of these passes, please contact the CUNY Office of Library Service's Head of Budget and Collections (formerly Electronic Resources Librarian), Nancy Egan.

If you have a long-term research project that you think requires use of the NYU or Columbia libraries, you can learn about Manhattan Research Library Initiative (MaRLI). This initiative enables approved New York Public Library cardholders with a demonstrable research need not met by currently available resources, to borrow materials from NYU, Columbia, and NYPL.

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I work for RF, do I have library privileges?

Your library privileges are the same as those of Central Office staff members. However, you will first need the following:

  1. CUNYfirst account — Contact the Human Resources department at the campus where you work and ask that they create a CUNYfirst account on your behalf. This will generate a CUNY Login account for you that you will use to access all of the CUNY Central library e-resources.
  2. Library account — Speak with someone at your campus library to create a library account on your behalf. This will allow you to borrow physical items from that library.

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If I find a book I want at a CUNY library, do I have to go to that library to borrow the book?

No, you can order the book through the inter-CUNY delivery system (CLICS) and have it delivered to the CUNY library of your choice. You can have it delivered to any CUNY library that you live or work near.

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How do I order a book through the inter-CUNY delivery system (CLICS)?

You can search for a book in CUNY OneSearch. If you find a book in the results list, you can click on Locations to see where copies of the book are available. If it is not available at the library of your choice, click on Request. Follow the instructions (you will need your CUNY Login credentials). Once you've placed a request for a book, you should receive an email notification within 2 to 7 business days. After receiving the notification, you'll have 10 days to pick up the book. Bring your ID to pick up the book.

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Do I have to return a book at the same CUNY library that I borrowed it from?

Absolutely not! You can return any CUNY library book at any CUNY library.

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What do I do if I need a book right away?

The quickest way to get a book is to go right to the library that owns it. However, if the library is too far away or you don't need it that quickly, use the inter-CUNY delivery system (CLICS).

See also: How do I order a book through the inter-CUNY delivery system (CLICS)?

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What do I do if I need a book that is not in the CUNY system?

If your home library is one of the CUNY colleges, you should ask at that library about interlibrary loan (ILL). This is an international borrowing and lending system that makes books and other material available all over the world.

If your home library is CUNY Central, please send an email to ols-request@cuny.edu.

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Can I get a subscription to The New York Times Digital?

Yes! Anybody with an email account that ends in cuny.edu or cuny.tv can have a complimentary subscription to The New York Times Digital.

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Can I access resources at the Law Library?

You can use the CUNY School of Law library on-site. However, unless you have a CUNY School of Law affiliation, you cannot access their password-protected databases or borrow their books.

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Do I have access to Lexis‐Nexis or Westlaw?

If CUNY Central is your home library, you have access to Lexis-Nexis Academic from the list of CUNY Central's Library Electronic Resources. This is not the Lawyer's edition but it does contain a wealth of legal materials, including all state & federal cases and statutes & law reviews. You cannot access Westlaw.

If you have a different home library, you should ask a reference librarian at that library.

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How do I search all of CUNY Central's e-resources and the CUNY colleges' collection of print books in one easy search?

You can use CUNY OneSearch → to search across the CUNY catalog and most of our electronic resources. If you need help using OneSearch, please use the tool's help pages, found linked in the upper right-hand corner of every page in OneSearch.

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How do I access e‐books?

You can find e-books, along with a vast array of e-resources and print materials, in CUNY OneSearch →.

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How can I use e-books on my mobile device?

Many of our e-books can only be downloaded chapter by chapter in PDF format. However, ebrary, the large CUNY-wide subscription to e-books that contains over 100,000 titles, makes it possible to download entire e-books to your mobile devices.

Intructions for downloading e-books from ebrary →

 

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How can I borrow a book for my manager?

You can become a deputy borrower for your manager by setting up a proxy borrowing account. The CUNY Libraries can only take the request for a proxy account from the manager, not the person who will borrow for the manager. Your manager must already have an account at the applicable campus library.

It is important that your manager know that they will be responsible for any lost or overdue book fines incurred in their name!

Please contact the applicable campus library for more information on setting up a proxy borrowing account.

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I'm completely new to library e-resources. Can I get a quick tutorial on how to use these resources?

Yes! You can contact the CUNY Office of Library Services's Head of Budget and Collections (formerly Electronic Resources Librarian), Nancy Egan. If she is not available, any of our staff will be happy to help you.

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What if I just can't find what I'm looking for?

You can contact the CUNY Office of Library Services's Head of Budget and Collections (formerly Electronic Resources Librarian), Nancy Egan. If she is not available, any of our staff will be happy to help you.

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What if I have more questions?

CUNY Libraries — Manhattan

CUNY Libraries — Brooklyn

CUNY Libraries — Queens

CUNY Libraries — The Bronx

CUNY Libraries — Staten Island