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Many of the ISU Library's resources and services can be accessed remotely, without visiting one of our physical facilities. "Remote" users--whether they are simply across campus, or halfway around the world--can search the ISU Library catalog, read full-text books and journals online, ask questions of subject specialists, or request that books, journals, and other research materials be delivered to an office or home address. All of these services and more are offered by the e-Library@Iowa State University via the World Wide Web. The following is a list of ISU Library resources and services available to remote users. Some services, as indicated, are available only to individuals formally affiliated with ISU, including students enrolled in off-campus courses; other services are available to the general public.
The ISUCard -- your passport to library services: Individuals formally affiliated with Iowa State University -- students, faculty, staff, visiting scholars, scientists, and researchers -- are all eligible to receive an ISUCard, the official form of identification used by Iowa State. If you have questions about this card, visit the ISUCard website, or contact the ISUCard Office at 515 294-2727. On campus, this card serves as a photo ID and determines borrowing privileges for library materials. Remotely, the number on your ISUCard validates your eligibility for many of the services listed below. When requesting these services remotely, you must provide not only your ISUCard number, but also a 4-digit Library pin#, which ensures additional security.
Online Catalogs: The ISU Library's online catalog is a central component of its electronic resources. The Library Catalog indicates which books, media, computer software, journal subscriptions, etc., are either housed in the Library, or can be accessed electronically via the Library's website. The e-Library@Iowa State also has links to the online catalogs of other libraries in Iowa, in the U.S., and in other countries.
E-journals, e-books, and other full-text resources: The e-Library provides access to an ever-expanding list of full-text resources, including over 50,000 electronic journals. Note that most of these resources are merely "licensed" by the Library, through contracts with commercial database vendors, and the content is stored on servers outside the ISU network. Consequently, when you attempt to access these resources remotely (i.e., from a location outside the ISU IP domain), the Library’s proxy server will prompt you to login with an ISUCard number and 4-digit Library pin#. Once you’ve logged in, the proxy server then passes your request to the vendor’s server, identifying you as an authorized user. Please also note that, when attempting to access e-journals and other licensed content remotely, you should NOT use a VPN (virtual private network) client. The VPN client (in effect) bypasses the Library’s proxy server and delivers your request directly to the commercial database vendor, but without identifying you as an authorized user/subscriber.
Reference Services: Through the Library's online Ask a Librarian service, remote users can conveniently ask questions ranging from "What is the population of New Delhi?" to "How do I cite an electronic journal in a bibliography?" Skilled reference staff and subject specialists will respond quickly to your queries via email.
Instructional Services: Faculty in the Library's two subject departments (Science & Technology, Social Sciences & Humanities) are engaged in a variety of instructional activities throughout the year, most of them within the Library or in campus classrooms. Instructional services to remote users, particularly faculty and students involved in distance education, is a challenging area for future development. If you have comments, suggestions, or requests regarding instructional services, please consult the lists of subject specialists for Science & Technology or Social Science & Humanities, and contact the appropriate subject librarian by phone or by email.
Document Delivery: Not everything is available full-text in an electronic format. There will be times when it is necessary to have a copy of a document or a whole book sent to your home or office. The Library's fee-based Document Delivery Service (DDS) serves this type of need. Library materials can be ordered via web form, paper form or phone. The Document Delivery Service is a convenient way of requesting delivery of many types of library materials, regardless of whether the ISU Library owns them or not. It is also the only way to have original materials (i.e., books, microfilm, videotapes, etc.) obtained from other libraries forwarded directly to your home or office. The base fee of $5.00 for ISU faculty, staff and students is subsidized in part by the ISU Library.
Interlibrary Loan: When in need of library materials not owned by the ISU Library, you can request them via Interlibrary Loan. Requests can be submitted via a web form or in person in Room 198B, Parks Library. There is no charge for standard service. If the request is for a photocopy, the document will be mailed directly to your home or office. The loan of books, microfilm, videotapes, and other so-called returnables, must be picked up in the Interlibrary Loan office. If you need an interlibrary loan quickly, there is a fee-based priority service available. Priority requests must be submitted in person in Room 198B, Parks Library.
Electronic Reserve: Increasingly, much of the material that ISU instructors place on "Course Reserve" (i.e., for course-related, short-term loan) is now available in a full-text PDF format via the Library's Electronic Reserve system. Anyone registered for a class who has a PC, World Wide Web access, and Adobe Acrobat software can now view and print copyright-cleared documents virtually any time and any place.
Media Services: Occasionally, instructors place videotapes of classroom lectures on reserve at the Parks Library. Some of these are for campus-based courses and workshops, others for extended learning. For availability, check the Electronic Reserve system, under your instructor's name (or course name and number). Currently, instructional videotapes must be used within the Library, but planning is already underway to support future streaming of video on the web.
Research in Primary Resources/Special Collections: The mission of the ISU Library's Special Collections Department is to identify, select, preserve and promote the use of rare and unique research materials that support major research areas of Iowa State University. The department's extensive website contains a growing number of digitized documents of potential interest to remote researchers, along with virtual exhibits and displays.
Library Hours: Or course, remote users may sometimes wish to visit the ISU Library in person. Library hours vary throughout the year, but are kept up-to-date on the e-Library website. Please review them before making your trip to campus.
Last modified: Monday, 21-Dec-2009 09:10:11 CST
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