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Architecture Library Survival Guide

Welcome to the online guide to Rensselaer's Architecture Library. For more information on Rensselaer Libraries in general, see the Rensselaer Libraries Survival Guide.

Table of Contents:


Kyla Collings, Operations Coordinator

Jeanne Keefe, Visual Resources Librarian

Fran Scott, Architecture Librarian

Semester Hours:

Monday - Thursday 8:30 am - 9:00 pm
Friday - 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday - 1:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday - 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Summer Hours:

Monday - Thursday 9:00 - 6:00 pm
Friday - 9:00 - 5:00 pm

Hours are subject to change during holidays and intersession.

Circulation Desk - Telephone number - 276-6465

Circulation Desk is staffed all hours that the library is open. At the Circulation Desk items can be checked out or returned, class reserve and other reserve material can be obtained, and one can receive reference assistance. Your Rensselaer ID is required for use of reserve material and the ID is kept until the material is returned.

Rensselaer Libraries Online Catalog

The Online Catalog lists the books, journals, government publications, Rensselaer theses, CD-ROMs, videos, and archives & manuscript collections owned by the Libraries. The online catalog contains records for material in electronic format as well. It does not provide access to specific articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers. Use one of our many research databases to search for articles.

For assistance, use the online help screens, ask for assistance from the librarians, call 276-6465, or send an e-mail request to a reference librarian by clicking on the Contact Us link on any RensSearch Web page. A librarian will be happy to assist you.

How to Find a Book or Journal in the Libraries

Use the Libraries' online catalog to search for a book by author, title, subject or keyword, or a journal by title. Print or write down the Location and the complete Call number (found in the first two lines of the catalog record and in the highlighted box), since all materials in the Libraries are shelved by Call number. Book call numbers will start with capital letters; journal call numbers will start with a three-digit number. Materials housed in the Architecture Library will have locations beginning with the phrase "Arch Lib." If the Status is "Check Stacks," the item is in the library. If other than "Arch Lib" use the Collection Locations Web page or paper handout to determine the floor location. If the Status gives a due date, another user has checked out the book. You may place a hold on the book at the Circulation Desk or online by clicking on the Request button.

There is also a more detailed on line guide on "Find How Our Books and Journals Are Organized " which explains various options.

Connect New York

Connect NY is a consortium of libraries in New York State, with combined holdings of over 3 million items. Now these items are only a mouse-click away! You can request material online, simply by clicking the Connect NY button in our library catalog. You'll usually receive the requested items within 48 hours! This service is now available from our library catalog or by going to http://www.connectny.info.

InterLibrary Loan (ILLIAD)

If the Library does not own a specific item, we will try to borrow it from another library. Most requests are obtained locally within 10 to 12 days. Request forms are available online through the Libraries' ILLiad system. For more information, contact the Interlibrary Loan Department (276-8330) or visit the ILL Web page.

Class Reserves

Class reserves can be found on the library's web gateway RensSearch. The class reserves web page lists materials held at the circulation desk for specific courses, and uses Adobe's Acrobat to display materials available in pdf format. Links to faculty-maintained course pages are also displayed when known. Reserve materials are listed alphabetically by school, then alphabetically by department. Within department listings, materials are in order according to the Registrar's course numbering system. The green "Item (number)" that follows the description should be used when requesting material from the Circulation Desk. You need the name of the course and item number. All class reserve material is library use only, unless otherwise noted by professor.

Remote Access to Services

The Rensselaer Libraries attempt to offer services that are akin to those available to Troy-campus users to Rensselaer students, faculty and staff members who either cannot get to campus or who choose not to use on-site facilities. However, geographical distance, the nature of certain materials, and the state- of-information-technology determine how those services can be provided. A summary of available personal remote services including information about using the Libraries' Web Proxy Service and about accessing the Libraries' Research Databases appears on the Accessing Resources from Off-Campus page on RensSearch.

Photocopy Machine

The copy room in the Architecture Library contains a self-service photocopy machine and a VendaCard Encoder.

The copier operates with VendaCards only. It holds three (3) sizes of paper - 8 1/2 x 11, 8 1/2 x 14 and 11 x 17. The cost is 8 cents per page using a VendaCard.

A VendaCard is a plastic card similar to a credit card that is used for photocopying in place of money. A card can be purchased from the VendaCard Encoder. The card cost $1.00 (.50 for card and .50 worth of copying). You can also add money to your card on this machine. The Encoder will only accept $1 bills and does not give change. It is advised that you do not put more than $10 on the card.

Photocopy Services

The School of Engineering operates a copy center that will accept both cash and internal charge jobs and, also, has a pick up and delivery service with Kinko's Photocopy Center in Albany. Students needing B & W transparencies can use copiers in the Union. Hills on Broadway in downtown Troy offers full color copying for both transparencies and paper.

Color scanners are available in Greene, VCC and CII.


The library subscribes to approximately 100 print journals in architecture, but has steadily increased its access to full text electronic journals in the field. Many of the electronic journals are searchable through the Libraries catalog. A full list of subscribed ejournals can also be found on the RensSearch "A to Z Electronic Journals List."

Print journals do not leave the library except under unusual circumstances and with approval from a librarian. If approved there is a 2 hour time limit with a fine of $2.00 per hour over limited time. There is a form that needs to be filled out by Patron at Circ Desk and an ID card is held with the form until the journal is returned.

The Architecture Library has a flatbed scanner in the public search area for scanning non-circulating items such as journals.

In-House Research "piles"

Journals and books being used for research may be left in a "personal use" pile up to a week. A note with your name and date on the pile is required. After a week, the items will be shelved unless date is changed.

Slide Library Policies


The Maximum number of slides that may be signed out to one patron at any given time is 160 (two full slide trays).

Slide trays may be borrowed from the slide library only if the School of Architecture Office has exhausted its supply.

Slides borrowed for in-house lectures, etc. must be returned the same day. Special arrangements must be made with the Visual Resources Librarian Jeanne Keefe for out-of-town lectures requiring use of slides.

To borrow slides and trays a blue card must be filled out completely with the following information: patron's name, RPI ID Number, local telephone number and a list of the accession numbers from all the slides being borrowed. Library staff at the circulation desk handles the blue cards and returned slides.

Slide Library Equipment

Equipment such as projectors, viewers, light tables, etc. may not be removed from the library. Photo equipment such as camera, copy-stand, lenses, lamps, etc. is for use in the library by library staff only.

Slide Reproduction

School of Architecture faculty may submit request forms when new slides need to be produced. We will photograph new images in keeping with the collection policy with regard to curriculum support. The slide library does not produce slides for personal use; however, faculty may request extra sets (at a cost) once their slide collection request has been reviewed.

The slide library does not accept slide requests if forms are missing or are not completed in full.

Slide Scanning

The Visual Resources Librarian will scan slides for the faculty for use in their lectures or for use in Web-CT course work. The scanned image will be retained by the library for future use. Please allow at least two weeks for this labor intensive and time consuming process.

FYS 10/04