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New Interface for Interlibrary Loan Requests

Beginning July 7, the interface for interlibrary loan (ILL) requests will switch from ILLiad to LibrarySearch (previously known as CLICsearch) as part of the migration to our new consortium MnPALS. Existing ILL loans will still be visible through the legacy ILLiad interface; This view-only access to your ILLiad account will be phased out at the end of the year.

Integrating the ILL functionality into the catalog allows:

  • One library account: All your requests going forward will be consolidated and visible in LibrarySearch
  • Easier requesting: find the citation in our large search index and place requests without entering data manually
  • Faster fulfillment: Joining MnPALS means more direct connections to more libraries on a shared courier, including CLIC Libraries, University of Minnesota, Minnesota State University Mankato, and more.

The interlibrary loan form will be available on items in the catalog which we don’t own, as a blank form at the top of the catalog, and in its current location on the library Website under Quicklinks.

Requests can be managed in LibrarySearch under your library account under the Requests tab. You can limit the view by Request Type, or view all your different  types of requests (holds on St. Thomas items, digitization requests on St. Thomas physical materials, and interlibrary loan requests).

Library Account showing where to find ILL requests you have placed

More improvements will be implemented later this year, including the addition of an extended index which will include physical materials for libraries beyond our consortium, 24-hour turnaround time for article and book requests on weekdays, and transparency in requesting terms (how many days you can have the material and how long will it take to receive) and fulfillment steps that mirror familiar e-commerce features.

News & Events, Services

Ask a Librarian – anytime and from anywhere

Ask a Librarian is a vital service available to anyone at St. Thomas to get help with many different questions about the library and research.

Wondering what kinds of questions to ask a librarian?  Here are a few examples:

  • How do I start a research project?
  • How can I find a specific book or article?
  • How do I know if an article or book is a good one to use?
  • How do I cite a source in my bibliography?
  • What types of sources would be good for my project?
  • How do I know if an article is peer-reviewed?
  • I’m trying to find research on a topic and I’m just not finding any, what should I do?
  • I’m trying to find research on a topic and I have way too many results, what do I do?
  • I found an article on my topic but it’s too old, how do I find something newer?
  • How do I know if I’ve found enough sources for a research assignment?
  • I want to look through a specific journal, do you have it?
  • I have an interview with a company, how can I find out more information about that company?

To get answers to these and other library questions, use our Ask a Librarian Service.

Connect with a St. Thomas librarian!

ask a librarian: research help online via chat, text, email, or zoomYou can connect with a librarian via the Chat tool (purple box at bottom right of the library page) or simply send a text (651-504-1324).

St. Thomas librarians will be available to answer Ask a Librarian questions

  • Monday-Thursday 10:00am – 10:00pm
  • Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 pm

What if you have questions outside those hours? 

No worries! We are part of a cooperative reference service called AskMN. That means that during off-hours, our chat and text messages are answered right away by other academic librarians around the country (and in exchange, some of our librarians answer questions from students at other libraries around the country).  If the other librarians can’t fully answer your question, they’ll pass it along to us and we’ll get back to you when we’re back.

You can also ask a librarian via Email.

Email a librarian anytime or use our Ask a Librarian form and we’ll answer within one business day.

Don’t forget about Research Consultations with a subject librarian! 

Our subject librarians are experts in the tools and resources for their subjects.  They are available to meet with you to help with in-depth questions via Zoom, phone, or email: whatever works best for you!  Don’t know who your subject librarian is?  Check our Subject Librarian page to find your librarian and how to contact them.

Circulation, Services

Physical Course Reserves COVID-19 Policy

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused changes which affect our physical course reserves services as on campus classes resume. To keep library patrons and staff safe, the Libraries’ policy is to quarantine all materials that have been used for 72 hours, as recommended by the CDC and IMLS, who are performing studies determining how long the virus is detectable on various library materials. We will still offer a physical reserves option, but the quick turnaround of one copy for multiple users will no longer be possible, and therefore reduce the benefit of using physical Course Reserves.

All physical Course Reserves materials will be quarantined after each use for 72 hours with no exceptions.

Some strategies faculty and the Libraries should use to mitigate the need for physical Course Reserves during the pandemic are included below. For help with any of these services, find contact info for course materials staff at our different libraries.

  1. Choose an alternative reading or video from our electronic and streaming collections. Your subject liaison librarian can help.
  2. If we can buy an electronic version of the title requested, we will and will offer that instead of the physical version.
  3. For books, if only a fair use portion of the work would suffice, we will digitize that portion instead of checking out the material. This will not apply to videos or audio. Contact the Head of the Music & Media Collections for help with questions about media.
  4. If the material is in print and available for purchase, students should be encouraged to purchase their own copy.
  5. Instructor personal copies can be added as additional copies available for checkout.
  6. Our Course Materials staff are available to work with you to create a Resource List with electronic materials and make it available in your Canvas course.
A library staff member wearing a mask gives a patron a book via a cart during COVID-19
Circulation, CLICsearch

Circulation Procedures During Library Building Closure

The library buildings are closed due to COVID-19 safety precautions, but we can still loan you physical materials if you are able to come to the library to pick them up. Here is what you need to know:

  1. Place hold request(s) for St. Thomas items in CLICsearch. If the item has no request option, it cannot be requested. Call if you’d like assistance: (651) 962-5494. Sorry, no walk-up requests can be accepted. Only library staff may be in the library buildings at this time.
  2. Wait to receive an email in your St. Thomas email inbox letting you know your request is ready to be scheduled for pickup. The email will include instructions about the pickup location and how to arrange a pickup time. * Note that we currently have no courier service to deliver books between the different libraries, so you will have to pick up items from their home library location.
  3. Call to schedule a pickup time between 10 AM and 2 PM Monday through Friday. It may take up to 2 business days to process your request. Same-day service is unlikely.
  4. Come to the library location to pickup materials, and follow the instructions you’ve been provided via email to let staff know you are here to pickup your materials. Procedures may vary depending on pickup location.
  5. Follow instructions to return materials. Books can be deposited in the book drops at the OSF and Ireland Libraries. Keffer Library items can be returned where they were picked up. Do not deposit media items like DVDs and CDs in the book drops as they can be damaged or destroyed. To return media items, come to the library between 10-2 Monday through Friday and call the number listed on the front door to return items. We will open the door for you to drop them off.

Please note:

  • We are following CDC guidelines on quarantining and disinfecting materials, but the ultimate responsibility for your personal safety lies with you. Books and media cases can be wiped down with disinfectant wipes. However, do not use disinfectant wipes on CDs and DVDs.
  • It is recommended to quarantine your items for 24 hours before using.
  • CLIC items are not available for request.
  • Circulation is currently only available for current St. Thomas Faculty, Staff, and Students.
Libraries, Library Week, Media/Music Collections, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Services, Special Collections and Archives

National Library Week – April 19-26, 2020

It’s time to Celebrate National Library Week!   You’re invited to have some fun each day from your place.  You’ll find the ever-popular annual Online Trivia Contest to play each day; Jigsaw Puzzles to solve online; Historic and Artistic pages to color;  a Bingo card to complete while learning about the many services offered online by the library!

Check out the latest from our Music and Media Resources Collection and how we can help you make it through these days at home – and more!

We invite you to visit the Library Week webpage often and enjoy Library Week!

Libraries, Media/Music Collections, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Services

Booking A Viewing/Listening Room in the Library

Do you and your classmates need to view a film that’s required for a course? Have you been assigned a group project connected with movies or music? Then it’s time to reserve a viewing room! In addition to individual viewing stations Music and Media Collections also offers two group viewing options that can be used during the Music and Media hours of operation.

Two to six students can use Media Viewing Room LIB 104C, located in Music and Media Collections. In this private space view/listening to DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, or connect your laptop.

Up to 12 students can use Viewing Room LIB 109 to view DVDs, Blu-rays, or connect your laptop titles to the flat screen! Please note: No food or drink is allowed in the viewing rooms.

To book one of these rooms, got to OSF Library homepage and open the “Films” tab and select “Book A Media Viewing/Listening Room.” After selecting the date, duration, and the room you would like to reserve, log in with your UST email and password. Complete the booking details form and click “Submit my booking.” You will receive an automated email with your booking information. Visit the Music and Media Collections for more information! We’re located on the first floor of the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library to the right of the Main Circulation desk.


By Sarah Pavey

News & Events, Services

New! Text shortcodes

This semester we have implemented text shortcodes to help you connect to the library from your phone. Now you can use shortcodes to find hours, reserve a room, renew materials and report any issues within the library, or text with a librarian about your library questions. By using these shortcodes you can quickly get information about the library to your phone.

Text the library at (651) 504-1324 using these shortcodes:

  • HOURS for a link to library hours
  • GROUPSTUDY for a link to reserve a group room online
  • RENEW for a link to renew your checked-out items
  • REPORT for information on reporting an issue in the library (clean up, noise, something is broken, etc)

You can also text any reference questions to (651) 504-1324 and a librarian will get back to you during reference hours.

Database Highlights & Trials, Libraries, Services

EZ Proxy login page changing to use Single Sign On

You may have noticed that if you log into Canvas and then head over to CLICsearch or another St. Thomas resource you are already logged in. That is because the University of St. Thomas has been moving towards Single Sign On to combat login fatigue.

However, you may have also noticed that even if you are logged into Office 365, Canvas, and CLICsearch, EZ Proxy would still ask you to log in before accessing one of the library databases.

Beginning Wednesday, August 29, 2018, the repetitive EZ Proxy Login will be no more, it will now all be done through the already familiar St. Thomas login page we know and love.

What do you need to do? Nothing!

No links will change as EZ Proxy is just changing the login page it presents to users.

Here’s the schedule of events:

  1. Tonight around midnight we will make the switch temporarily as a final test and then revert back.
  2. Tomorrow around 9am we will permanently change the configuration.
  3. Technical staff will be around all day Wednesday and Thursday to make sure things go well.

Library staff will monitor the situation. From what we can tell there should be no impact on services as it is just replacing one login with another.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Have a safe and happy Launch Day!

Higher Education, Services

Reduce Course Materials Costs: We’ll Help

Textbook prices have been increasing at a greater rate than the Consumer Price Index for the last three decades, but the rate of increase has itself taken a dramatic upturn in the new century as shown in this graph based on Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census data:

Comparison of textbook costs to the Consumer Price Index over time

This dramatic increase is leading to students deciding not to purchase course materials, which negatively impacts student learning. According to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) study, Fixing the Broken Textbook Market:

  • The average student spends $1,200 on textbooks per year.
  • 65% of students said that they had decided against buying a textbook/coursepack because it was too expensive.
  • 82% of students felt they would do significantly better in a course if the textbook/coursepack was available free online and buying a hard copy was optional.

The future doesn’t have to be bleak. There are a couple of options to reduce or even potentially eliminate course costs for students for a course:

  1. Open Educational Resources (OER) – There are a wide variety of freely available textbooks and other open courseware that can be customized, repurposed, or used as-is for a course. The library suggests places to find these on the Textbook Alternatives Research Guide.
  2. Resource Lists Canvas Add-on – Since January, the University Libraries and STELAR have worked together to offer a Canvas add-on that allows instructors to create, manage, and deliver lists of course materials in Canvas. This system can be utilized to make course materials more affordable because the Resource Lists system filters the readings through existing library holdings which have already be licensed or purchased by the library. Learn more about Resource Lists, see the how-to documentation, or contact Greg Argo at if you’re interested in using it for an upcoming course.