For a great start to the new semester, Alkek Library offers drop-in orientations at the beginning of each semester. If you are new to Texas State and have never been in the library, all you need to do is check the schedule for the time and then just meet at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor as you enter the main lobby. There is still time left to take advantage this open walking-tour.
If you prefer to tour Alkek Library from the comfort of your home or dorm room, we have an online tutorial as well as still photos and mp3 audio tours for you to enjoy at your leisure.
If you have a question, need directions or want to get a jump start on your research, you can stop by the Reference Desk, call us at 245-2686 or get online help using the Ask-A-Librarian service. We offer multiple ways of online help. You can chat with us using your preferred chat client by adding us to your contacts, or you can chat w/a librarian using the many Ask a Librarian widgets placed on various pages throughout the library website. There is an email option, and you can also schedule an individual consultation. New this semester we now offer the option to meet online with a librarian using videoconferencing software.
Also new this semester we have added an additional way to contact us! Now you can also TEXT-A-LIBRARIANby texting # 512-761-8398. We are using a Google Voice number, so we can receive offline message in case you send it after hours.
We also offer workshops on using RefWorks, an online resource for bibliographic management. These are held in our classroom 101, downstairs from the main lobby. Our workshop schedule is updated periodically, so check back often for other classes.
Many of our research resources are available remotely. Access to many journal articles, newpapers, magazines are available online. If you want to know if we have access to your favorite newspaper or magazine you can search for it by using the Periodical List. Or, if you already have a topic you need to research, you can use one of the subject research databases. For more information about using the databases, see this research guide. There are also other research guides arranged by subject which offer you the best resources for your research topic.
Other popular library resources are Reserve and E-Reserve. You can check Reserve by professor or course for materials your professor has placed there for your class to use. Sometimes your textbook will be on Reserve. Other things like chapter readings, articles, videos, or old tests may be on Reserve. If your professor uses the E-Reserve service, they will give you a password to access the materials.
The final tip for a successful semester: Don't pay for journal articles! If you find an article you need, but the library does not have a subscription, then you can utilize the Interlibrary Loan Service to get a copy of the article. This service is also available for books and other materials. It is a free service.
Welcome to Texas State and remember: librarians are here to help you succeed!
Check to make sure it is the same edition you need. Sometimes the library has older editions. If this is the case, check with your professor to see if it's ok to use an older edition.
If it has a Due Date that means it is checked out. You can "request" the book, and when it is due back, you may be next in line to check it out.
Search Reserves by Course or Professor to see if it is on Reserve.
It is possible that another professor put it on Reserve—you can check out those also (for 2 hours, inside library use only).
A professor’s personal copy won’t appear in the Catalog, but you can find it under Reserves.
If the book is NOT available in Alkek, you can use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to try to borrow a copy from another library.
ILL is an option, but it's not guaranteed that a lending library will loan the book or how long they will lend it for.
It's free to use the Interlibrary Loan service, but you have to create an ILLiad account first.
You can also check Other Libraries (such as UT) to see if the book is available locally, and then obtain a TexShare Card to go there and check the book out.
Finding TextBooks Cheap:
Buy it used at a local bookstore or online through places like Amazon.
Chegg.com is a site for renting textbooks—both ebooks and hard copies.
Coursesmart has ebooks. They require a software download and are sold by limited-time subscriptions—typically by semester, so it’s like renting. Usually there is a choice of downloading an ebook to one computer, or logging into a site to view the text.