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Research Services: FAQs


Library Materials

  • Does the library have textbooks?  
    • While we don't purchase every textbook used at Union, we do have some. Try searching the catalog for your textbook's title. If you don't find the book, click the ConnectNY and NExpress icons within the catalog to search other institutions' collections. You can also try placing an Interlibrary Loan request. In none of these cases can we guarantee that the particular edition you need will be available.
  • Will the library buy materials for my research?
    • The library considers requests for research material. Use the Suggest A Purchase form to ask. You might also try asking your professor if their department has funds to buy research materials for students.
  • How long does it take to get something via Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?
    • It depends. Digital periodical articles may arrive from lending sources within hours after they are ordered.  Books may take from a few days to a few weeks.  Some requests for books or periodical articles may require much longer if coming by mail from far away. Please discuss any special needs with the Head of Access Services or the Interlibrary Loan Specialist in our ILL & Document Delivery Department.

Technical Questions

  • Where can I get computer help if I have a problem?
    • The USTAR TechTeam offers assistance with virus protection, basic technical support for ITS supported software, networking problems, and some hardware issues. They are located at the far end of the Circulation Desk at Schaffer Library, and offer Sunday through Thursday hours when fall, winter, and spring classes are in session. The help desk is available in the ITS offices in Steinmetz for help troubleshooting problems as well.
  • Where can I do specialty printing or faxing?


  • Why do I have to pay for printing?
    • Your per-page printing fee covers paper, supplies, and maintenance for all the public printers on campus. For more information contact the Copy Center in Reamer Campus Center.
  • Where can I study 24 hours a day?
    • The library is generally open 24 hours a day from just before final exams until the end of the exam period. Many of the science and computer labs are card accessible to students in those departments as well.

How do I access databases from off-campus?

  • Connecting to library resources off campus requires VPN (Virtual Private Network) software. Here is how to install it on your computer:
  1. Open your web browser and navigate to the web page
  2. Set the Group to FACULTY, STAFF, or STUDENT depending upon your “status” at Union College.  Enter your Union College username (without the and your password.  Click "Login" and then "Continue."
  3. Click "Start AnyConnect" in the center of the page. You may receive a security warning at the start of the installation. Click "Yes" or "Allow" in order to continue the installation. Follow the instructions for download.
  • Note: If the download stalls, wait until the dialog box prompts you to download the full package. Click the suggested link, and install as you would any other program. When finished, open AnyConnect, and enter the login details above.