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 or scan books, photographs, documents and other matierals?
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 from any web browser (https://montclair.on.worldcat.org/discovery) or through the Library Homepage.
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 Journals A - Z List which is linked off of the Library Homepage. The list is available directly using the following URL:
The Journals A - Z 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 Journals A - Z 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, MSU faculty, staff, and graduate students can borrow library materials from participating members of VALE (Virtual Academic Library Environment), a consortium of academic libraries in New Jersey. Upon presenting a photo ID and an authorized VALE Reciprocal Borrowing Application Form, available from the Access Services Department at Sprague Library, the lending library will issue a guest borrower card that is valid for one (1) academic year and expires June 30. Borrowing privileges are subject to the circulation policies of the lending library. Materials borrowed must be returned directly to the lending library. A list of participating VALE libraries is available on the VALE Web site. In addition, patrons can use our online catalog to identify libraries that carry journals not currently held at Montclair State Uniersity.
Most of circulating books are shelved on the second floor (call numbers A-Q) and the lower level of the Library (call numbers R-Z). A selection of new books and popular reading material (New York Times best sellers, graphic novels, popular ficiton and non-fiction) are located on the first floor of the Library.
Faculty, staff, students and alumni of Montclair State University with an MSU ID can check out books. In addition, residents of Essex and Passaic counties with a valid library card from their public library as well as a state issued photo 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. Researchers from other state colleges with a valid photo 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 also have 2 self check out machines to expedite this process. Only circulating materials may be checked out. Most reference books and periodicals cannot leave the building. Those eligible to check out materials from the Multimedia department, must do so in that department.
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. Many reference books are also available as e-books and can be accessed via the Sprague Library catalog.
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.
Books placed on reserve by professors are kept behind the Access Services Desk. Multimedia items placed on reserve are kept in the Multimedia Resources Department. You may search for course reserves items online through the Sprague Library catalog by Title or by Course Information via the Course Reserves Module. Electronic reserves material is available online through course modules hosted on the Canvas LMS. To access Canvas, 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 with Tests in Print and Test Critiques). ETS Tests on Microfiche, a michofiche collection of non-standardized tests, is available in the Multimedia Resources Department. Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print is available online.
The library has a color copier in the copy room located near the elevator on the main level. You can print a color copy of a file stored on a flashdrive. Color copies cost $0.50 each.
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 on the main level near the elevator. Microfilm and microfiche reader/printers are available in the Multimedia Resources Department. All black & white copies cost $0.10 per page. The Library also has 2 free, easy-to-use BookScan stations that allow users to quickly scan items and either email the file, or save copies to a flashdrive or to Google Drive. Scanned items can be printed at the print service counter on the lower level of Sprague Library.
Yes, there are several different WiFi networks available at Sprague Library. For information and instructions about using these networks please visit http://www.montclair.edu/oit/documentation/network-access/.
There are printers at the service counter managed by the Information Technology department located on the lower level of Sprague library near the Multimedia Resources Department. You may use and print from Word and many other computer applications using these printers. In addition, IT also offers a laptop loan service that allows students to borrow laptops for 4 hours at a time. Borrowed laptops can also be used for printing.
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. Course reserves materials are items held at the Access Services desk or the Multimedia desk at the request of the faculty. The faculty member determines the length of the loan period for each item. Students need a valid Montclair State ID card to check out course reserves materials.
*MSU students, faculty, and staff may inquire at the Reference Desk about borrowing some Reference materials for a period of up to 3 days.
They are located on each of the three levels of the library, near the elevators. Note: there is no men's restroom on the lower level.
Yes, Sprague Library has a browsable popular reading collection ("Pop Picks") located on the first floor of the Library. This rotating collection includes New York Times best sellers, graphic novels, and popular fiction and non-fiction titles including books that have been made into recent movies. You can also check the Sprague Library catalog for a specific author or title.
The copy machines will accept single dollar bills. Plan to carry small change when you come to the library to make copies. Otherwise, consider using one of the 2 scanners available in the Library in the Access Services and Reference Departments to email copies to yourself or save copies to a flashdrive. There is no charge for using the scanners.
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 Journals A - Z 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 2 people to use a room, and the rooms are allocated on a first come, first served basis with no advanced reservations allowed. Rooms may not be renewed during busy exam periods and keys must be returned when the circulation desk closes. Ask the staff at the Access Services desk for details. There is a silent study room for graduate students and faculty on the lower level of the Library. Groups may not use that room to work on projects. Keys to the Graduate/Faculty study room are held at the Multimedia desk.