This guide is for a class from a previous semester and may contain incorrect call numbers and dead links.
Common library-related problems
The item I want is not on the shelf.
If the item is not charged out, check the catalog record -- are you in
the right place? Perhaps the item is oversized or not in Firestone. If
you are sure you are in the right place, but the book is missing, place
a "trace" request using the link at the top of the Main Catalog page.
Library staff will search for the book and notify you if it is found.
The item I want is in ... RECAP, Annex, In Process, On Order, In the pre-order process, etc.
Use the request forms at the top of the Main Catalog page to place
requests for RECAP, Annex, and In Process books. Books described as "on
order" or "in the pre-order process" are on order but have not yet
arrived at Firestone Library.
I'm having a problem with one of the online databases or an electronic journal.
First, if you didn't access the database through the link on the library's Articles & Databases
list, try that. If you are on campus, try a different computer or a
different web browser. It sometimes helps to empty your web browser
cache (see http://helpdesk.princeton.edu/kb/display.plx?id=9922 for instructions.) Still have a problem? Use the form at Databases and E-Journals Feedback
to report the problem: library staff will investigate. Be specific:
what browser/operating system are you using? At what time did you
encounter a problem? What error messages did you get? Be patient --
this may take some time. If you are not on campus, see the last item
I want an article from a journal, but I can't find it online.
Sometimes the problem is that the software that links bibliographic
databases to the Main Catalog can't match up the items properly. So
it's always worth directly searching the Main Catalog for the Journal title
to see if we have it in a digital edition, or to find the call number
of the print edition. (Remember, many older journals have not yet been
digitized.) If Princeton does not have the print edition of the
journal, you can place an Interlibrary Loan request for the article(s) you need.
I want to see an item that is in Rare Books and Special Collections or Mudd Manuscript Library.
If you haven't used materials in RBSC before, you may find it helpful to review their Research tutorial. Also consult the RBSC and Mudd web pages for information on hours, photocopying, and other practical matters.
The item I want is not owned by Princeton.
If Princeton owns the book you need, but it is checked out, consider recalling it.
If you don’t have time to wait (ten days for a recall), use Borrow Direct.
This service makes it possible for Princeton students to borrow copies
of books owned by a small consortium of libraries (Princeton University
Library and six partner libraries--Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth,
Penn, and Yale). Generally, the books arrive within four days.
If Borrow Direct cannot supply what you need, you may place an Interlibrary Loan
request for the item. But remember: Borrowing books from other
libraries can take several weeks. Plan ahead! And while many library
materials can be borrowed, some cannot. Most libraries will not lend
original documents, rare books, or books that are fragile or already
I am off campus and need access to Princeton's digital resources. See Connect from off campus for detailed instructions on how to set up your computer for remote access.