Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

International Studies Research Lab Orientation: UIUC Library Resources

A guide to the UIUC Library, Federated Searching, SFX, and Current Awareness, created especially for visiting scholars during the International Studies Research Lab.

Using the Library Catalog

The Basic Search in the library catalog allows you to search for items by keyword (the default option), title, author, subject, or ISBN/ISSN. To start searching:

1. Access the Library Gateway.
2. Click on the Catalogs tab under the Easy Search box.
3. Select U of I Catalog (the first entry).
4. Type your search into the box at the top of the screen.

Library catalog basic search box showing different search types

To search the I-Share catalog, which contains collections of university libraries throughout the state of Illinois, click on the dropdown menu next to the search box and choose "All I-Share Libraries":

Library catalog showing I-Share catalog dropdown


Narrow Your Results

Once you start your search, the library catalog gives you options to filter your results under "Narrow Your Search." You can narrow by format, location, topic, subject, language, era, and more. When you click on an option you are taken to a new results page.

Catalog options to narrow your search

User Account

Create a VuFind Account

By creating a VuFind Account, you will more easily be able to request items from different locations across campus, and be able to send them to any other location to pick them up. You can also keep track of due dates, and easily renew materials online.

For more information on vufind, take a look at the CARLI's Frequently Asked Questions about vufind.

*Please note that I-Share items are unavailable to some GASRL participants. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.

The Main Stacks

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff are granted entrance to the Main Stacks upon presentation of a valid i-Card.

To Use the Main Stacks at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library:

If you have stacks access:

  • Present your ID card to the attendant at the back circulation desk.
  • For the security of the collection, no food or beverages, backpacks, bags, parcels, or purses are allowed in the Main Stacks.  Lockers are available to store your belongings while you are in the Main Stacks.
  • Please charge out the items you wish to borrow at the back circulation desk before exiting.  If the security gate alarm sounds, please return to the back desk.

If you don't have stacks access:

  • Locate and write down the call number of the item(s) you need.  We will need the entire call number in order to locate your item, so please write down everything - numbers, letters and punctuation.
  • Your items will be paged (retrieved from the stacks) for you.  You may page up to 4 items at a time.
  • When the items have been retrieved we will call out the last 3 digits of your library ID number and place the book on hold for you awaiting pickup.

Oak Street Storage Facility

**Please keep in mind that 2020 ISRL participants will not be able to check out print books during the duration of their lab. Thank you. 

The University of Illinois University Library has 13 million volumes and is constantly growing. Materials that have not circulated a certain number of times within a period of time, or are deemed too fragile for conditions within the Main Stacks, are sent to the Oak Street High Density Storage Facility. This warehouse contains about 3 million volumes of the collection, providing a climate controlled environment for library materials.

Depending on what visiting scholars are researching, they may have to request items from Oak Street. This is not a problem, and the wait time is comparable to that of requests traveling from other campus libraries. Users cannot visit the facility and browse the collection because items are sorted and shelved by size, not by call number or subject. Items can be delivered to any library location across campus. SRL visiting scholars might prefer to choose the IAS Circulation Desk or the Main Circulation Desk as pick up locations.

Here is how to Request items from Oak Street using the Classic Catalog**:

NOTE: When using the VuFind Catalog, you must have a User Account. Create a user account to make renewing and requesting materials easier while using the VuFind Catalog.

  1. Locate the desired item in the Classic Catalog.

  2. Click the "Request" link in the top right-hand corner of the page.

  3. On the page that appears: 
    Select your "Home Library" if requesting a book not on the UIUC campus. 
    Enter the 14 digit library borrower ID from your I-Card 
    Enter your last name

  4. On the next page: 
    "Choose a pick-up library" for delivery of your book 
    Reenter your library borrower ID 
    Enter the date the item is no longer needed, if applicable. 

  5. You will receive an e-mail indicating when and where the books are to be picked up


**Please inform a member of the GASRL staff at least 1.5 weeks prior to your arrival if would like an item from the Oak Street Facility