Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I locate a book?
2. How do I find out if the Library subscribes to a particular journal?
3. How do I know if a journal in the Library's collection is in hard copy (paper) or microfilm?
4. If I want journal articles on a specific topic, how do I go about finding them?
5. How do I go about obtaining a book or journal article that is not in Sprague Library?
6. Where do you keep your circulating books?
7. Who can check out books?
8. How do I check out Library materials?
9. Can I renew a book or item by phone?
10. Where do you keep the Reference books?
11. Where do you keep Government Documents?
12. How do I find items other than books (e.g. videos, sound recordings, musical scores, etc.)?
13. Where do you keep reserve materials?
14. Do you carry textbooks?
15. Do you have copies of standardized educational/psychological tests?
16. Does the library have a color printer for me to use for my class presentation?
17. Do you have annual reports or 10-K reports for corporations?
18. Where can I make photocopies?
19. Can I access the Internet at the Library?
20. Where can I print my term paper saved in Word?
21. What's the difference between reference and reserve materials?
22. Where are the restrooms and telephones?
23. Do you have a fiction section like my public library?
24. I only have a $20 bill and some singles. Will I be able to make copies?
25. Where do I find your newest books?
26. Where can I find the materials I retrieved after searching the ERIC database?
27. Is there a quiet room where we can study?
Whether you need to find a specific book title, books by a particular author, or subject-related books, you'll find it in the online catalog. The Sprague Library catalog allows you to determine if the Library has the materials you need. It can be accessed in the Library (at designated terminals) or through the Library Home Page.
The Sprague Library has journals in print, microfilm, and electronic formats. Currently, the easiest way to determine if the Library has access to a journal is by checking the Periodicals List which is linked off of the "Articles & Databases" page on the library web site. The list is available at the following URL:
The Periodicals list will let you know what periodicals we have in electronic format, print (located in the Periodicals department), or on microfilm in the Multimedia department. Please ask the reference librarian for help retrieving e-journals.
In addition, the Sprague Library catalog, has holdings information for most of our journals.
Our Periodical Holdings List will indicate if a journal is on microfilm by inserting the notation "microfilm" in a column next to the title. Current paper issues are retained until the microfilm is received. Paper issues of journals are identified by the notation "print".
Microfilm is kept in the Multimedia Resources Department on the lower-level, while journals in paper form are kept in the Periodicals Department. In addition, the Sprague Library Catalog has holdings information for most of our journals.
There are a number of different sources that can be used to find journal articles related to a particular subject. More often than not, students will start with the electronic databases or periodical indexes available in the Reference Department. Ask a reference librarian for assistance.
Faculty, staff, and students at Montclair State University are eligible to participate in the Library's Interlibrary Loan Program (ILL). ILL allows faculty, staff and students to request materials from other libraries when they are not available here. Any questions regarding ILL should be directed to the Reference Department (ext. 4291).
Alternatively, individuals who locate books at a state college or public library that has reciprocal borrowing privileges with MSU can use their student ID and one other form of ID to check them out. The colleges and public libraries that participate in this program include the College of N.J., New Jersey City University, Kean University, NJIT, Ramapo College, William Paterson University as well as Clifton Public Library, Little Falls Public Library, and Montclair Public Library. In addition, our Library has the N.J. Union List of Serials if researchers want to identify libraries that carry journals not currently held at MSU. NJULS is also accessible via the Library Home Page (select "Popular Reference Sources on the Internet" off the home page).
Circulating books are shelved on the second floor (A-Q) and the lower level of the Library (R-Z).
Faculty, staff and students of Montclair State University with a valid ID can check out books. In addition, residents of Montclair, Montclair , Clifton, and Little Falls with a valid library card from their public library as well as one other form of ID can check out up to 3 books. Patrons from outside these towns and businesses can participate in our new "Fee-for-Service" Borrowers program. MSU alumni who belong to the alumni association as well as researchers from other state colleges with a valid ID are also eligible. For further information about circulation policies, please call (973)655-4288
Items may be checked out at the Access Services Desk near the front entrance. We recently added a new self check out machine to expedite this process. Only circulating materials may be checked out. Reference books and periodicals cannot leave the building. Those eligible to check out materials from the Multimedia department, must do so in the department.
No, all items must be renewed in-person at the Access Services Desk or online through the "My Library Card" link in the Sprague Library catalog.
The Library's Reference Collection is located in the Reference Department on the main floor opposite the entrance. It includes indexes, abstracts, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference material.
Documents come in many formats - audio and video cassette, CD ROM, maps, microfiche, and paper. Because they come in so many formats, they are located in several areas in the library - Government Documents, Reference, Periodicals, Multimedia Resources, and Circulating Books. The location of your document will be listed in the holdings information box in the Sprague Library catalog. The documents in the Reference and Circulating Books areas will have Library of Congress classification numbers. Those in multimedia formats will have a media number, e.g. Videotape no. 5643. Microfiche or documents in the Government Documents area have a SuDocs classification number. Ask a reference librarian for assistance with locating government documents.
Again, these materials can be looked up in the Sprague Library online catalog. They can be searched by author, title, subject and keyword in the same way as books. Furthermore, there are search limiters that can be used to restrict your search to one type of media (e.g. videotapes, sound recordings, etc.). Please ask a librarian for help if you have questions on how to search Sprague Library online catalog.
The actual materials placed on reserve by professors are kept behind the Access Services Desk. The Access Services Department maintains a list of reserve items in looseleaf binders on their service counter. A high percentage of reserve material is available through our electronic reserve system. To access e-reserves, go to the following URL:
In general, the Library does not purchase textbooks used in courses on campus. However, always check the Sprague Library catalog, just to be certain.
No. The Curriculum Resource Center in the ADP Center (655-5220) maintains a collection of tests. However, the library does have several reference sources which evaluate tests (e.g. Mental Measurements Yearbook, and Test Critiques). ETS Tests on Microfiche, a michofiche collection of non-standardized tests, is available in the Multimedia Resources Department.
The library has a Student Technology Resource Room, located on the lower level in the Multimedia Resources Department. This service, a collaboration between the library and the Information Technology department, provides student with assistance with multimedia aspects of academic projects. Go to the following URL for further information and policies:
Annual and 10-K reports may be retrieved by searching the electronic databases ABI Inform and Lexis-Nexis. These databases may be searched in the Reference department. Ask a reference librarian for assistance.
Photocopy machines are located in the Reference Department and in copy rooms on the main and upper-levels near the elevator. Microfilm and microfiche reader/printers are available in the Multimedia Resources Department. All copies cost $0.10 per page.
Internet access is provided to students in the Reference department, but there is no printing available. You may also access and print from the Internet in any computer lab on campus, including the computer lab located on the second floor of the Library.
There is a computer lab, managed by the Information Technology department located on the second floor of the Sprague library. You may use and print from Word and many other computer applications in the lab.
Reference materials include items such as encyclopedias, indexes, abstracts, and other up to date research materials. They cannot be checked out of the library, but you are free to make photocopies. Reserve materials are items held at the circulation desk at the request of the faculty. The faculty member determines the length of the loan period for each item. Students need a valid MSU ID card to check out reserve materials.
They are located on each of the three levels of the library, near the elevators.
No, but you can check the Sprague Library catalog for the author or title.
The copy machines will accept single dollar bills. There are machines in the Periodicals department that will give change for a five dollar bill, but we cannot guarantee that you will be able to change larger bills. Plan to carry small change when you come to the library to make copies.
There are display shelves of new books in the Reference area against the wall.
If an item has an "EJ" number, it is a journal article. You can check our Periodicals Holdings List or the Sprague Library catalog to see if we subscribe to the journal. If it has an "ED" number, you may access two ways: View and print it from microfiche available in Multimedia Resources, or go to one of the special workstations in Multimedia Resources and use "ERIC Full Text" to bring up the document by entering the "ED" number. Ask the reference librarian for additional information.
Yes, there are 4 study rooms on the second floor of the library. You will need at least 3 people in your group to use a room. Ask the staff at the circulation desk for details.