How Do I...?
1. How do I find books?
2. How do I find journals?
3. How do I find articles?
4. What is Article Linker and how do I use it to find articles?
5. How do I use the microforms collections?
6. How do I borrow a DVD or video?
7. How do I get a book or article not owned by the Library?
8. How do I check out and renew a book?
9. How do I renew books online?
10. How do I find materials on reserve for a class?
11. How do I request material from the Off Site Collection?
12. How do I use the library from off-campus?
13. How do I request that the Libraries purchase a book (or other material)?
14. How do I get help with my research?
15. How do I search STARS using CJK?
16. How do I find answers to other library-related questions?
Books can be found by author, title or keyword in STARS, which is the online catalog and circulation system for the Stony Brook University. It is the catalog of the SBU Libraries´ collections, except for the Health Sciences Library, which has a separate catalog. For books not held by Stony Brook, check Other Library Catalogs. Books not at the University Libraries can be obtained using Interlibrary Loan (ILL).
If you are trying to find out if a specific journal (magazine, periodical, newspaper) is physically held in the Library (in paper or microform), search for the journal title in STARS. Online journals are also listed in STARS but the most complete list is in the alphabetical list of E-journals. If you are looking for articles about a particular subject or by its title or author, please see How do I find articles?
A good place to start looking for articles published in journals, magazines, or newspapers is to go to the Subject Guide to Databases and select the subject area closest to your area of interest. There you will find links to online databases that enable you to find articles on your topic published in thousands of sources. If you know the title of the database you want to use, you can go directly to the alphabetical list of databases and find it there. Often these databases include the complete articles they index; in other cases, only citations and/or abstracts (summaries) of the articles are available. If this is the case, use the procedures outlined in “How do I find journals?” to determine if we have the specific volumes and/or dates of the journals where the articles you’re looking for have been published. In addition, if you see an Article Linker icon or the phrase, "Link to fulltext," in the database you’re using, you can use that link to lead you to the articles you want. For more information, see How do I use Article Linker to find articles?
Article Linker is a library service that allows you to connect from the references you obtain in an online database search to the complete texts of the articles cited when the full text is not available in the database itself. When you click on the Article Linker icon ( ) in the results of a database search, a menu will appear offering a number of options. If Article Linker determines that you should be able to access the complete article online, a link will appear on the menu that will take you to that article. Another link on the menu will formulate and automatically run a search for the journal in which the article appears in our online catalog, STARS; another link will run the same search in the Health Sciences Library Catalog. If either of the catalog searches finds an entry for the requested journal or magazine, be sure to check the holdings column of the entry to make sure that we own the actual volume/date in which your article appears.
Microforms are greatly reduced photographs of newspapers, journals, books, magazines, government documents, and miscellaneous unpublished research. Ask staff at the Information Desk in the Central Reading Room for assistance in locating microforms and using equipment. The total number of works in microform in our library greatly exceeds the number of paper volumes. Many individual items in microform are listed in STARS, but others can only be located using specialized bibliographies and indexes. For more information see Microform Collection.
DVDs and videos may be borrowed at the Circulation Desk in the Main Stacks, third floor. The loan period is 7 days for patrons having a current SBU ID card or Courtesy Card. It is possible to view most VHS and DVD materials in the Viewing Room in Core East, third floor of the Main Stacks, on a first-come basis. Check Video Collection for more information.
Use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to obtain books or journal articles not owned by the University Libraries. This service is available at no cost to faculty members, currently enrolled students, and University staff.
Library material may be borrowed at the circulation desk in the Circulation Department in the Main Library Stacks, or at service points at branch libraries and collections.
Library material may be renewed in person at the circulation desks. For more information, check Circulation's Borrowing, returning, renewing section.
At the end of the term, your borrowing privileges expire unless you have already registered for the up-coming semester. You can't renew if you're not registered.
1. In STARS, click on the Sign-in button on the right hand side of the toolbar at the top of the page. Follow instructions to sign into your STARS account.
2. Click on MY ACCOUNT under Sign-in button.
3. Click on LOANS under ACTIVITIES.
4. Follow on screen instructions to renew books.
5. Sign out after you're done.
For more information, check Circulation's Borrowing, returning, renewing section.
Reserve materials are readings designated by faculty members for particular courses being taught at the University. The purpose of placing material on reserve is to ensure its availability to a large number of students in a short period of time. Materials can include books, periodical articles and even items from an instructor´s personal library. Materials are held on reserve at the circulation desk on the third floor of the Main Library Stacks and at other locations, including branch libraries, the Science and Engineering Library, and Video Services. For more information see Course Reserves.
Library holdings which are maintained in the Off Site Collection can be requested using the Interlibrary Request Form. Be sure the click on the correct request type button after logging in.
Many library materials are now available online and can be accessed through the Libraries' Website. STARS (our online catalog) and many Web resources are available without restrictions. Most databases, many electronic books, and most online journals are restricted to current Stony Brook faculty, students, and staff, as required by licence agreements with the producers of these resources. For these resources, your NET ID and NET ID password are required. See Remote Access To Online Resources for more information.
You can make a request online by sending an e-mail to one of our Subject Selectors. You can also fill out a “Request for Library Purchase” form available at the Reference Desk in the Central Reading Room.
Help is available on a walk-in basis from Reference and Information Services in the Central Reading Room of the Melville Library. Help is available by phone or online from our Ask a Librarian service. Classroom instruction in library research is provided by Library Orientation and Instruction Services. Check out our Subject Guides for online rersources, research tips and tools. In addition, a number of tutorials are available: the interactive Library Research Tutorial, as well as others.
See the CJK FAQs for a detailed answer to this question.
If you don't know where else to turn, inquire at the Reference Desk in the Central Reading Room of the Melville Library. If it is not convenient to come into the Library, use Ask a Librarian to inquire by phone, e-mail, or online chat.