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Frequently Asked Questions

For detailed help with searching, please see Research and Searching Tutorials.

Locating Materials and Services

How do I find a book?

Use the EIU Online Catalog to find books, CDs, holdings of magazines and journals, computer files, maps, spoken word recordings, musical recordings and scores, and videos/media.  The EIU Online Catalog also links to the I-Share Catalog, which can be used to search and request materials from 86 Illinois libraries.

Where is this book located?

See the Collection Guide and Booth Library Map to determine the location of your materials. Ask at a service desk if you need help!

How can I order library materials through interlibrary loan (ILL), if EIU does not have the item I need?

You can order a book or other materials through interlibrary loan by filling out the Interlibrary Loan Request Form. Materials from other Illinois libraries may also be requested online through I-Share.

You can order an article through interlibrary loan by filling out the  Interlibrary Article Request form.

You may also fill out paper request forms to submit at the Circulation Desk.  For assistance, call Circulation Services at 217-581-6071 or Interlibrary Loan at 217-581-6074. Please allow plenty of time for this service.

Additional information about ILL is available on the Interlibrary Loan at Booth Library page.

How do I find an article on a particular topic?

To find articles, search the article indexes on the Magazine & Journal Articles page.  These databases contain either full-text articles or citations for articles. For more specialized subject searching, please note the "Resources by Subject" menu that links to particular subject areas.

How can I find out if the library has a particular journal?

When searching a database, look for the Find it @ EIU icon button. For an explanation of this service, go to the Find it @ EIU linking FAQ. Alternatively, check the online Booth Library Periodicals List. For the library's print journals, you can also search the EIU Online Catalog. Simply enter the journal title in the search box and check the "Journal / Magazine" box in the "Limit To" section of the Advanced Search screen.

What is Find it @ EIU linking -- aka Find it @ EIU icon?

See the Find it @ EIU linking service page for help with this resource.

Where can I find something my instructor put on reserve?

Print reserve materials are placed at the Periodicals/Reserve Desk which is located at the bottom of the stairs in the Atrium. CDs, videos and other non-print reserves are placed at the Library Technology Services desk on the 4000 level. These materials are searchable under the "Course Reserves" link in the EIU Online Catalog.

Electronic reserve materials are available from the library homepage under the "Reserves" link in the left-hand menu.

May I access library resources from an off-campus location?

Yes.  Please see the instructions on this page: 
Remote Access to Library Resources

Does the library have videos, CDs, DVDs, etc. to check out?

Yes, the library has holdings of popular and educational items.  The videos, CDs, and DVDs are located on the 4000 level.  You can check the EIU Online Catalog to see if a specific title is available.

Where can I go for help?

The Reference Desk is the place to ask for assistance in finding information you need. However, all service desks can answer questions relating to their area or direct you to Reference for further assistance.


Checking Out Materials

For how long may I check out a book?

Student Loan Periods:

Books: 4 weeks
Current Bestsellers: 1 week
Current Periodicals: 1 day
Bound Periodicals: 1 week
Videos: 3 days
Sound Recordings: 1 week

View the full Circulation Policy

The Panther Card is required to check out materials.  Library patrons are charged a monetary fine and/or replacement cost for overdue and lost library materials.

How many library items may I check out?

There is no official limit to the number of items you may check out.

If I need a book for a longer period of time, may I renew it? For how long? What about a journal?

General Stacks books may be renewed for an additional four weeks. Journals may be renewed once, for one additional day.  Items may not be renewed if they have been requested by another patron.

You can renew a book by telephone at 217-581-6071.  Phone 217-581-6073 to renew journals, and 217-581-6091 to renew media items. You may also renew materials yourself using the My Account feature of the EIU Online Catalog.
You may also renew materials using I-Share. For more information, see this tutorial.

Interlibrary loan books may sometimes be renewed by calling 217-581-6074.

What is my Library number in the EIU Online Catalog?

Please see the About Your Library Number web page for the latest information on Library ID numbers.

How do I request materials from another library using the I-Share Catalog?

To request materials through I-Share, you need to create an account. This simple one-time process allows you to log in to the catalog using a username and password that you choose. Instructions for creating an I-Share account are available in this tutorial. You may create an account now by following this link.

To request an item, click on the "Request this item" link located directly under the information about each copy, as illustrated below. It works best to request the first or second available copy.


What if my ID doesn't work?

Please call 217-581-6071 or stop by the Circulation Desk.

Will I be fined for an overdue book?

Yes.  Fines for overdue books are 25 cents per day per item.  Audio-visual materials and periodicals are $1 per day per item.   Reserve materials accrue at 25 cents for the first hour and 10 cents per hour for each additional hour the library is open.  The maximum fine is $10 per item.

If an item designated as lost is returned, the patron is assessed the fines that have accrued to a maximum of $10 and a $15 processing fee. The minimum fine for a lost book is $50.

How do I pay library fines?

Library fines are paid to the Cashier’s Office in Old Main. Your bill will provide detailed payment information. Contact the Circulation Department at 217-581-6071 if you have questions.

How can I see what materials I have checked out?

Go to My Account.  Create a login and password to view a list of library materials checked out to you through the EIU Online Catalog. For more information on using My Account, see this tutorial. You may also use My Account to renew materials.

I am not affiliated with Eastern, but I live in Illinois. May I borrow materials from Booth Library?

Yes, if you are age 18 or older. Please go to the Community Borrowers page for more information on services available to Illinois residents.


Other Services

Is wireless printing available in the library?

Yes. PDF files and Word files can be sent as print jobs to Booth’s printers, located on the 4000 level of the library, at Print jobs will be deleted if not printed after 24 hours. Call Library Technology Services at 217-581-6091 for help.

May I photocopy in the library?

Copy machines are located in the copy rooms next to the Atrium on each level of Booth Library. There is also a large copy room to the west of the Circulation Desk.   Cost is $.05 per copy.  Coin-operable photocopy machines are located in several copy rooms.  Microform printers cost $.10 per copy.  It is the responsibility of the individual to comply with U.S. Copyright Law.  The law is posted near each machine.

Is color copying available?

Yes. A color photocopier is available in the copy room on the 3000 south level of the library. Color copies cost $.30 each and can be paid for with the cash-to-chip feature of the Panther Card. A cash-to-chip machine is located in the same room as the color copier.

Does the library have document/image scanners?

Yes. Scanners are available on the 4000 level near the Library Technology Services desk. Scanned images may be saved, or printed on color or black and white printers. Standard printing costs apply. Color printouts cost $.16 each; black and white printouts are $.08 apiece. Printing costs are billed to your EIU account by swiping your Panther Card's magnetic strip at the printing station.

Is there a change machine in the library? 

Yes, in the large copy room to the west of the Circulation Desk there is a change machine and a machine to add cash to your Panther Card.

May I use my Panther Card to photocopy?

Yes, many copy machines in the library take the Panther Card. You may add cash to your Panther Card using the cash-to-chip machine in the copy room just west of the Circulation Desk.

Can I send or receive a fax at the library?

Yes. Please visit or contact the Circulation Desk (217-581-6071) for more information about this service.

Is there a campus phone in the library?

Yes, campus phones are available in the library. Check the library map for locations.

Is there a place for me to get together with a group?

Group study rooms are located on the 4000 level of the library.

Where are the restrooms?

Restrooms are available throughout the library.  Check the library map or ask at a service desk for directions.

What should I do if there is an emergency when I am at the library?

During an emergency, please follow the directions of the library staff.  In the event of an injury or security problem, report the incident to a staff member.

Does the library provide assistance to individuals with disabilities?

The south entrance is accessible to individuals with disabilities.  Facilities are identifiable by the International Symbol of Access: disability symbol.

Booth Library's TTY (text-writing telephone) number is 217-581-6072. The library also has a CCTV magnifying reader and a Galileo Reading System to assist individuals with visual impairment.  Please call the library at 217-581-6072 or ask a staff member if you need personalized assistance.

Where is the lost and found?

Lost items found in the library are held at the Circulation Desk.

Lost Panther Cards are sent to the Panther Card Office (3040 Student Services Building). Their phone number is 217-581-6596.

Can I make overheads at the library?

Yes, overheads can be made at Library Technology Services on the 4000 level. 

Where can I get on the internet?

The computers in the open lab on the 4000 level provide open internet access. 

Is wireless networking available in the library?

Yes. Follow these instructions (PDF reader required) for connecting to the library's wireless network using your laptop.

Where can I check my e-mail?

The computers in the 4000 level computer lab may be used to check e-mail and access the internet.

Where can I do word processing?

The computers in the 4000 level lab provide word processing software.

What are the guidelines for submitting an EIU thesis to the library?

Preparation and submission instructions for your thesis can be found in the Thesis Manual on the Graduate School's Thesis and Research page.

Research Questions

What is the difference between databases and internet search engines?

The library subscribes to numerous online databases that allow you to search for information from established, reputable sources. By contrast, information that is freely available on the web may or may not be from a reputable source. It's important to remember that you generally get what you pay for. Be sure to evaluate carefully any information retrieved using an internet search engine. 

How can I find journal articles?

Full-text databases such as EBSCO Academic Search Complete and others contain full-text articles.

Citation databases allow you to search for articles and citation information, but generally do not provide full-text. In addition, indexes such as these sometimes allow you to search for books, book chapters, dissertations, and other information.

To search for articles online, go to the Magazine & Journal Articles page. Some specialized indexes are available in print only. For help in identifying and locating these indexes, ask at the Reference Desk.

Once you find an article citation, look for the Find it @ EIU button. For an explanation of this service, go to the Find it @ EIU linking FAQ. Alternatively, check the online Booth Library Periodicals List. You can also do a "Journal / Magazine" search in the EIU Online Catalog.

What is a peer-reviewed, refereed or scholarly journal?

Peer-reviewed, and refereed journals (sometimes referred to as scholarly journals) contain articles that have gone through a peer-review process.  When an author submits an article for publication, it is sent to others in that field of study for review.  The reviewers will often suggest changes for the author to make and decide if the article should be published at all. Usually such articles are research-based and contain a bibliography.

What is microfilm or microfiche?

Microfilm is a type of photographic film containing microphotographs of the pages of a book, periodical, etc. It comes on reels.

Microfiche is a flat piece of film containing microphotographs of the pages of a book, periodical, etc. It looks like a sheet of plastic.

Special readers are available for viewing microfilm and microfiche in the microforms area, 1000 North.   Please ask for assistance at the Reference Desk.  It is possible to copy from microfilm and microfiche.  The machines take Panther Cards or coins and the cost is $.10 per copy.

A multi-function microform reader, the ScanPro 1000, is also available in the microforms room. This machine is attached to a PC and allows the user to save digital images from microforms to a flash drive. Document images can also be printed on the attached laser printer for ten cents per page.


Library Building

What are the library's hours?

Booth Library is open 98 hours each week when classes are in session. Hours are listed on our website and on cards available for pickup at every service desk and inside both entrances. Hours are also posted on the doors at both entrances to the library.

The library's electronic resources are available online 24/7.

For whom is Booth Library named?

Booth Library is named for Mary Josephine Booth (1876-1965).   She headed the library for 41 years, from 1904-1945, except for 2 years during World War I, when she worked overseas for the Red Cross and the American Library Association.   She retired in 1945, five years before the library building named in her honor was completed. Her portrait hangs in the north foyer of Booth Library.

Where can I find information about the library renovation?

An information page about the library renovation project is available on our website.