Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Recycle your tech packaging

If you ordered or purchased a computer, TV, or other large piece of technology recently, it probably came packaged in a box and protected by crumbly, white styrofoamy stuff that was molded to perfectly cradle your new toy. Instead of tossing that box and white stuff in the Dumpster, why not send it to RecycleTech, who will transform it into new CD/DVD cases, picture frames, or other plastic goodies?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Requesting books through interlibrary loan

How do you get a book that's not in our collection? You've already done a search in our new HillCat interface, Polaris, and we don't have what you need. What then?

You can search beyond our collection right from our catalog, and you can request an interlibrary loan with just a couple of clicks. Here's how.

Underneath your search options, click on "Select Databases":

Our catalog will be checked by default. Check the box next to OCLC WorldCat and click the "Set Selected Databases"button.

Enter your search terms again and make sure that you are searching in 2 selected databases. If you are searching for a specific format or edition, click on the "Advanced" button in the search options line, which will allow you to combine specific search requirements (e.g., both the title and the author and the date of publication).

When you re-run your search, you will see the number of items from our collection, along with a separate line for the number of records available from other libraries. Click on the number in the OCLC WorldCat line.

Now you can browse through the different materials that match your search. The display options will be similar to what you see for items that we have at Reeves; cover images, item type, summaries, and more may be available for different items.

When you find a book that you want to borrow, click on the "Place Request" button.

This will take you to a log in screen. If this is your first time accessing your library catalog account, you will need to activate your account by following the directions here. Otherwise, use the username and password that you have selected.

Once you are logged in, click the "Submit Request" button.

You will see a reminder that you are requesting an item from outside our library. Click "Continue."

You will then be taken to a confirmation screen that informs you that "your request has been placed." You will receive an email from the library when the book arrives and is ready for you to pick up. This typically takes 1-2 weeks for books.

If you are asking for something that may be rare (such as an older item, a limited edition, or something in a foreign language), you may want to check the web interface of WorldCat first ( to make sure that several libraries own the item you need. If a book is only held by two or three libraries in the world, the odds of our being able to borrow a copy will be low and you may need to find a source that is more widely-held.

For our full interlibrary loan policies, click here. Happy searching!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Your library account

In order to place an interlibrary loan request, see a list of items you have out from the library, or renew items that you've borrowed, you will need to activate your library catalog account. For specific instructions on renewing an item once you're already logged in, see the bottom of this post. 

Once you have accessed your account for the first time, you can set your username and password to what whatever you wish.

First, go to the library's home page ( and click on the "Find Books" link:

On the next page, click on "Reeves Memorial Library Catalog (HillCat)":

Once you are in the catalog, click on the "My Account" tab:

Select "Log In/Register":

The first time you access your account, you will need to enter your barcode number. This should be your student or employee number (found on your SHU ID card) plus 000001 (000002 if you are using a replacement card... or 000003... or 000004). The default password is 4321.

Once you are into your account, verify your contact information. Beneath it you will see a link to change your login information:

Once you expand this section, you have the option to create a username and change your password. We strongly suggest that you do so.

Please create a secure username and password combination that you will be able to remember. The library staff will not be able to look up your username or password for you (we are able to reset only).

If you have any trouble with this process, please contact the front library desk at 724-838-4291 for assistance.


Once you're logged in to your account, select the drop-down menu and choose "Items Out."

This will take you to a list of the materials you are currently borrowing. Place a checkmark next to the item you want to renew and click the "Renew Selected Items" button.

Unless someone else has requested the item or you've already used up your maximum number of renewals, you should see a confirmation screen. To see your new due date, click the "Back" button.

Monday, February 13, 2012

New Steelcase furniture!

Check out the new addition to the downstairs lounge area:

As well as interactive presentation/viewing screens and a semi-circle work area, this new trial furniture features electrical outlets and screen hookups (Macs will need VGA adapters). Just pull out a "puck," plug in, and collaborate away!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Just added

A few new titles that we've added to our collection. These new books will be added to our juvenile collection (some in picture books and some in chapter/YA books) and should be of interest to our Spanish students!

Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States, edited by Lori Marie Carlson

Cuentos que contaban nuestras abuelas by F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada

Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal by J.K. Rowling

Crepusculo by Stephenie Meyer

We've also added Tales Our Abuelitas Told (the English version of Cuentos que...), Cool Salsa, La Llorona/The Weeping Woman by Joe Hayes, A sembrar sopa de verduras by Lois Ehlert, and Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English by Alma Flor Ada.