General Questions: (Locations, Parking, Computing, Photocopiers, etc.)
Where is the library?The Central Library is located within the Central Library/Divinity Library/Special Collections building at the intersection of 21st Avenue South and Scarritt Place.
Where can I park when visiting the library?
Pay parking is available directly across the street from the Library at
the Wesley Place Parking garage, located at the corner of 21st Ave. South
and Scarritt Place.
Where is the main entrance of the Central library?
The main entrance to the Central Library faces the Library Lawn on the campus side of the library building. There is also an entrance from the breezeway between the new and old wings on the 21st Avenue side of the library building.
The main campus entrance is generally accessible to people using wheelchairs. Users in wheelchairs who wish to enter from the 21st Avenue side should use the ramp at North entrance to the breezeway (near the Owen School parking lot). A telephone is available in the breezeway to call for assistance. A staff member will answer the phone and come to unlock an elevator to the Central Library.
Where is a public telephone I can use? A campus telephone is available on the 4th floor of the Central Library in the photocopier room located in front of the main elevators.
Where can individuals or groups study in the library?The most popular study areas in the Central library include the Payne Room Study Space (formerly Microform and Media Center), the Periodicals Reading Room on the 6th floor, an alcove on the 6th floor behind the main elevators, and the Reference Room on the 4th floor (keep in mind there is much activity on this location). Library users may study at any unoccupied carrel unless the person to whom that carrel is assigned returns.
Assigned study carrels are available to graduate students and may be requested at the Circulation Desk.
Is there a typewriter in the library that I can use?
Two typewriters are available on the 4th floor.
Are there computers with word processing software in the library that I can use?
Yes, Microsoft Word software is available on computers in the library located on the 6th floor in the Computer Room and public computers on the 4th floor. You may also want to use computers in the Microcomputer Labs in 119 Garland Hall, 120 Wilson Hall, and in the Molecular Biology building. See the Microcomputer Labs Home Page for details.
Can I read my e-mail from a library computer?The library does not provide computer workstations exclusively for reading personal e-mail; but VUMail can be accessed from Central Library computers. Workstations for reading mail are available in the various computer labs on campus.
Where are the photocopiers?Photocopiers are located on the 4th floor and the 6th floor near the main elevators.
How am I charged for using photocopiers?
Use your Vanderbilt University ID card to make photocopies. Anyone with a Vanderbilt University ID card or library card (including alumni/ae and library access card holders) can add money to their card by going to the Card Office in Room 184, Sarrat Student Center. Students, faculty, and staff can add money to their card on the web (http://thecard.vanderbilt.edu). In order to use your ID card for photocopying, you must have at least $4.50 in your Flexible Spending Account encoded on your card.
Photocopies cost nine cents per page with a card, or ten cents per page cash. There are a limited number of coin-operated photocopiers in the library. Questions about photocopying can be answered at the Circulation Desk.
Are there any coin-operated photocopiers available in the library?There are two photocopiers on the 4th floor that take coins. They are located in the glassed-in area near the elevators.
Where can I get help using the library?Reference service is available at the Reference Desk in the Central Library lobby. Ask at the Reference Desk for help finding specific information, guidance in library research, or assistance in using electronic and print resources.
The Reception Desk at the Central Library entrance can assist with directional questions and issue Library Use Cards.
Library materials may be checked out at the Circulation Desk.
Can I bring food and drinks into the library?
Drinks in covered containers are now permitted, but food is still prohibited
in the library.
Central Library Hours
What are the Central Library hours?In addition to the regular library schedule, hours may vary during exams, between sessions and during holidays.
Central Library Collections
How many books and journals does the library have?As of 2005 the Central Library contained a total of 1,303,841 volumes and 1,216, 659 microforms. The Jean and Alexander Heard Library System as a whole contains a total 3,056,707 volumes, 3,022,373 microforms, and 33,883 currently received serial subscriptions.
Can I suggest books to purchase?Library staff welcome suggestions for items to be purchased for the library. If you have a specific item to request please use the purchase request form on the library web page. If you have general questions or concerns about the collection, please contact the Reference Desk.
Borrowing Library Materials
Can all library materials be checked out?Check the online circulation and library access policies by clicking here.
How do I check out books?All material must be checked out at the Circulation desk. A Vanderbilt ID, or a valid Library Card is required to check out library materials. ID cards are nontransferable. Unauthorized use may result in the confiscation of the ID card.
How long can books be checked out?The loan period is stamped on the date due slip for all material. The length of the loan period depends on the category of the borrower or the type of material, these categories and their loan period can be found on the circulation policy page.
Materials in the following collections do not circulate:
Can I renew books without coming into the library?You may renew books in person at the Circulation Desk, but not by telephone. You can renew books online by going to the Heard Library webpage and clicking on the 'Renew Materials' link located under 'Library Services.' Note you must login to your account in order to renew charged materials.
What should I do if a book I want to use is already checked out?
You may recall books that are checked out. To do this, click on the 'Recall' icon located in our online catalog (Acorn) at the bottom of the bibliographic record for the book you want to recall. You will be notified as each item becomes available. Books that are checked out may be recalled from any borrower. Once recalled, the original due date changes and the books must be returned within 7days. The fine is $1 per day for an item not returned by the recall due date.
What do I do if a book is overdue?A fine is imposed when an item is not returned by the due date. Fines accrue at the rate of 20 cents per day for most material and 30 cents per day for material in the Leisure Reading Collection and Government Information Department. Non-circulating items borrowed from the library with special permission and recalled items have an overdue fine of $1 per day.
If you have a book which becomes overdue, the library will send you an overdue notice. Failure to return a book will result in the borrower being charged for the price of the book, a replacement fee ($35.00), and a billing fee ($15.00). Borrowing privileges may be suspended until charges are paid.
What if I cannot find a book the library is supposed to have?Ask for help at the Circulation Desk. At your request, Circulation staff will search for missing books. You will be notified as each item becomes available.
Where do I return books?All items checked out must be returned to the Circulation Desk or deposited in one of the Book Returns located inside and outside the libraries on campus. In addition, there is a Book Return in Carmichael Towers. Book Returns are emptied several times daily, except the Carmichael return, which is emptied once a day.
Can I use and check out materials from all of the Vanderbilt University Libraries?Registered Vanderbilt students, staff and faculty have reading and borrowing privileges in all Vanderbilt libraries, upon presentation of valid University identification.
Finding What You Need: Acorn, the Online Library Catalog and Periodical Indexes
What is the Acorn library catalog?(Click above to connect to Acorn.)
Acorn is the library system's computerized catalog. Acorn is just one of the databases available through the libraries' computer network, which also includes databases of periodical articles and other information.
How do I find books in the library using Acorn?Look up books and other materials on Acorn at one of the public terminals. If you are not familiar with Acorn, ask for help at the Reference Desk.
How do I learn to use Acorn?Acorn includes many help screens that explain how it works. Reference staff can assist with using Acorn. They also offer regularly scheduled instructional workshops.
Can I find all library materials through Acorn?All libraries in the Heard Library system are included in the Acorn online catalog, and 99% of the libraries' collections are cataloged in the Acorn system. Most library materials (books, serials, etc.) are included in Acorn, with the exception of:
How do I locate an item in the library after I have found it on Acorn?After you have found an item on Acorn, use the locations charts and floorplans to locate call numbers in the Central Library. The locations charts and floorplans are located throughout the library.
Can I use my own computer to search the electronic databases?Remote access to Acorn and many abstracting and indexing databases is available on the World Wide Web.
Can I use the Internet from the library's public terminals?Access to the Internet is available from the Reference workstations.
How do I search for articles on my subject?The Reference collection includes many indexes and abstracts that list articles and other material by subject. Some are available in electronic format on computer workstations, and many are in printed form in the Reference collection. Reference staff can help you identify the appropriate indexes for your area of interest and instruct you in their use.
Does the library have bestsellers and recreational reading?The Library has a Leisure Reading Collection of bestsellers and recreational reading located on the 4th floor. Books from this collection circulate for a 2-week loan period for all borrowers.
How can I find articles published before those indexed on the computers?Many electronic databases are continuations of printed sources that list the same type of material. The Reference staff can help identify and assist you with these printed sources in the library.
Central Library Locations
Is there a map of the library?Location guides for the library materials are located throughout the building.
You can also take a virtual tour of the Central Library, in order to acquaint yourself with our facilities.
How do I get books or journals Acorn says are in the library Annex?
There are three ways to request an Annex item.
1. Each item that is housed in the Annex has a gray bar "ANNEX REQUEST"
button beside the item's call number and location. Click on this link
Course-Related (Reserve) Materials
How do I find class materials the professor said are in the library?
Many faculty members place required readings on reserve for their classes.
Inquire at the Circulation Desk.
Questions about Reference Service
What is reference service?Reference service is the personal assistance provided to users in pursuit of information. This service can range from general directional questions to specific in-depth queries. The Reference staff can help users identify answers to specific questions or interpret information in specific library resources. Reference staff can provide assistance with using library reference books and databases, advice on conducting library research, and help with locating books and articles for a research paper.
What kind of questions should I ask reference staff?You may ask any question regarding the information you seek. Reference staff will provide assistance to you or direct you to appropriate resources.
What are the hours of reference service?
Fall and Spring Semesters:
Can I ask a reference question without coming into the library?Yes, you can telephone the Reference Desk at 322-2407, or request reference assistance and information services by using the online reference service.
Does the library have all journal and magazine articles I find listed on the library computers?No, the databases on the library computers come from many different publishers and organizations, and list material within a specific scope, e.g. economics material in the EconLit database. These listings are not based on the collection at Vanderbilt, and we do not own everything found in the databases. Look for , or use Acorn, the library's catalog, to check library holdings for the journal, magazine, or book titles you find in other databases.
How do I find magazine and journal articles listed in bibliographies or library computers?Use Acorn to look up the magazine or journal title, and check the holdings of that title to find out if we have the specific volume or issue you need.
Why can I not find some of my reference call numbers in the reference room, even though I can find similar call numbers on some shelves in the middle of the room?Most of the Reference Collection is shelved by call number, beginning in the Parkes Armistead Reference Room and continuing just outside the Reference Room. In addition to this call number arrangement, some Reference material is shelved in special locations within the Reference Department. For example, the Ready Reference Collection, shelved in the Reference Room on Bookcase 1, contains the most-used Reference material, such as dictionaries, almanacs, and statistical sources. Please ask Reference staff for help in locating Reference material.
Questions about Government Information
What are the Government Information Department hours?Regular Government Information hours are:
What is the telephone number?
Who may use U.S. Government publications?
United States Government Publications are available in the Vanderbilt Libraries to all interested persons without charge.
Can I check out government publications?
Most general government publications circulate for two weeks to Vanderbilt University students and faculty. However, reference materials, statistical yearbooks, and difficult-to-replace items do not circulate.
Do you have Tennessee government publications or publications of other state governments?
State government publications are not included in this collection. Tennessee state government publications are available at the State Library and Archives, 403 7th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219. The telephone number is (615) 741-2561.
Do you have United Nations publications and other international agency publications?
The Government Information Department has a collection of United Nations publications from 1946 to the present and substantial holdings of European Union and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development publications.
Do you have other countries' government publications?
The Government Information Department has selected publications from other countries including statistical yearbooks, parliamentary debates from Great Britain, and other materials.
Do you have US government maps?
The Science/Engineering Library is a depository for selected United States Geological Survey and Defense Mapping Agency maps. The telephone number is (615) 322-2717.
Can you help me with a patent or trademark search?The Science and Engineering Library became a Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) in 1985. The telephone number for patent and trademark information is: (615) 322-2717.
Do you have copyright information?The Government Information Department has the Catalogue of Copyright Entries and will assist patrons to connect to the Library of Congress copyright database on the web.
What government information databases do you have?The Government Information Department has extensive databases including Congressional Universe, Statistical Universe, Index to United Nations Publications, World Development Indicators, and many CD-ROMs from the Bureau of the Census and the Government Printing Office.
An extensive list of government information sites available to the general public can be found on the Central Library's Government Information page.
Do you have tax forms available?The Government Information Department has federal tax forms and publications. Federal tax forms are also available on the Web at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) site.
Where can I park?
Pay parking is available directly across the street from the Library at the Wesley Place Parking garage, located at the corner of 21st Ave South and Scarritt Place.
When was the Central Library built?
Construction on the Central Library (also known as the Joint University Library) began in 1939. The library was dedicated on December 6, 1941. For a more detailed account of the history of the Central Library, read Prof. Paul K. Conkin's article in the Summer 2006 edition of the Acorn Chronicle.
What is the name of the sculpture in front of the library?
The sculpture, by artist Greg Wyatt, is called The Tree of Learning. It was unveiled on May 27, 2000. For more detailed information about the sculpture, see the Vanderbilt Register article on the unveiling.
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| 419 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37240
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Send comments to Frank Lester