Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the Stanford Libraries. If you do not see your question listed here, please use our advanced search function to search through our Questions and Answers knowledgebase, our in-depth research guides or contact us for more in-depth help.

Access to movies in the Green Library Collection

I see that you have a movie in your collection that I would like to borrow or purchase. I am not affiliated with Stanford. How can I get or purchase this movie?

Stanford libraries do not sell any of our collections including films. However, the library lends our film collections to our library lending partners: The UC libraries and the SHARes libraries (see list of SHARes libraries). You'll want to contact your local public or university library to see if they can request the film for you. If you want to purchase a specific film I'd recommend that you contact the distributor directly.

Alumni access to electronic resources

Question: Do Stanford alumni still have access to licensed databases, like EBSCO or ProQuest?

Answer: Stanford’s licenses for electronic resources require us to limit access to current Stanford University faculty, staff, students and other authorized Stanford-affiliated users.

However, members of the Stanford Alumni Association now have access to selected online databases through their SAA membership.

For questions about SAA Membership & using the online library databases:

Phone: (650) 725-0692
Email: membership@stanfordalumni.org
8am – 5pm PST, Monday – Friday

Ampex vintage video machine in Green

In September of 2007, a new media display was installed on the first floor of Green East adjacent to the Newspaper collections. The large device enclosed in plexiglass is a early two-inch VRX-1000 videotape recorder, the fourth such item ever produced. It was manufactured by the AMPEX corporation and purchased by CBS for use in their Television Broadcast Network in 1956. The artifacts of the AMPEX corporation are part of the Universities Special Collections.

Historical Collection of Ampex Corporation, 1944-1999.
Gift of Ampex Corporation.
Ampex Corporation was one of Silicon Valley's pioneering technology companies and, for over five decades, an industrial leader in magnetic recording and data storage. The collection, 577 linear feet in size, includes the artifacts of the former Ampex Museum of Magnetic Recording, an extensive photographic archive of more than two hundred thousand images, documentation and product files, and Ampex publications. These materials will provide scholars with a major resource in the history of audio and video recording technology and the early development of Silicon Valley.

Jack Mullin / Bill Palmer Tape Restoration
Project Recordings, c1943-1950.
Gift of Richard Hess.
Richard Hess, noted audio preservation expert and member of the Audio Engineering Society, donated this set of digital recordings. The original audio recordings, made on German magnetophon equipment, were in the possession of William A. (Bill) Palmer and John T. (Jack) Mullin after World War II. They played a role in convincing Alexander Poniatoff, the founder of Ampex Corporation, of the importance of this technology. The digital restoration project recordings document the early days of audio recording in the United States and include performances, outtakes, and advertising from a number of performers, including Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, Dinah Shore, and Peggy Lee.

Appraising books

Question: Can Stanford Library help me appraise the value of a book?

Answer: We are an academic institution and don't do valuations for materials. You would need to see buyers and sellers within this field of materials. Or you can show it to a book dealer. Any major yellow pages will list Books, Used & Rare.

Bathrooms in Green Library

Question: Where's the bathroom?

Answer: Take two right turns off the stairs or elevator in Green Library East Wing, on every floor except the first floor.

Books on Tape

Does the library have books on tape?

No, the library does not have a books on tape collection.

Cash to Card machines

Stanford community members can add money to their StanfordCardPlan at one of the many Cash-to-Card machines that are located on campus. Visitors can buy a Card for $1, and then add money to their Card using the same machines. These machines accept $1, $5, $10 and $20 dollar bills and function as a kind of reverse ATM.

Unless otherwise noted, Cash-to-Card machines are currently available at the following locations:

* Note: The Cash-to-Card machines in Jackson, Math & Computer Science, Swain Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, and Physics libraries are older machines which do not accept most newer bills.

See also:
SULAIR: Services: Photocopying
SULAIR: Printing for Public Users
SULAIR: Printing for SUNET ID Users

Checking out books in Green Library

Where do I check out books in Green Library? Where is the Loan Desk?

The loan desk is right inside the South Portal of Green Library. The South Portal is the entrance across from Meyer Library. Through the turnstile and just slightly to your right ahead, you will see the Loan Desk. The online tour of Green Library has photos and descriptions of this and other locations in Green Library

Color printing

Question: Where can I find a color printer?

Answer: Meyer Library has 2 HP color laser printers, Leela and Fry, on the first and second floor of Meyer. They also have a Canon i950 printer at Meyer. This is a photo-quality inkjet printer. It costs $0.75 per page. Alternative print media (transparencies and photo quality paper) are available at an additional cost. Please look for the sign or ask a consultant for assistance the first time you use the color printer.


Question: I am trying to find a Ph.D Dissertation of Stanford U on line, could you please tell me how to do that?

Answer: Free access to Stanford dissertations online is limited to Stanford students and faculty, or to persons who are on the Stanford campus. If you wanted to get a digital version of a Stanford dissertation, you'd need to purchase it via the usual Dissertation Abstracts ordering process via ProQuest. If you had a Stanford affiliation and SUNet logon ID, you'd use the Stanford Dissertations database on our Databases list.

However, as a non-Stanford person, that isn't possible. I see that you are at a university is not a RLG member, which is the cooperative system that shares inter-library loan. We lend dissertations to one another, but not to non-RLG members, unless the dissertation was published prior to 1953. So unless the dissertation you are searching for is pre-1953, you will either have your library try to find it at another institution that will lend, or you will want to purchase a copy through proquest.

Faculty spouse privileges

Question: I am the spouse of a new faculty member. I'm curious about my access to the libraries and couldn't find a clear answer.

Answer: Spouses of faculty members are eligible for a Courtesy Card that is issued by the ID Card Office (located in the Maude trailer at 632 Serra Street - phone # 498-2273). Both you and your spouse need to be present in order for you to get the Courtesy Card. That card will grant you physical access into the libraries and borrowing privileges. The borrowing period for regular books is typically 4 weeks but may vary according to the type of item borrowed and the library from which it is borrowed. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact the Privileges Office at
sul-privileges@stanford.edu or by telephone at (650) 723-1492.

Films in the Green Library collection

Question: How do I find films in the library?

Answer: The films are kept in closed stacks on the lower level of Green East. You can use Socrates to locate and request films. Open Socrates and go to the advanced screen Combined Search - under the menu Format, select Films/Visual from the pull-down menu.
This will limit your search to only the film collection, eliminating all the book references. You can then search by film title, by actor or director in the Author field, or by genre in the Subject field. A search in the Everything field will retrieve words or phrases which appear anywhere in the catalog record.

Google Book Search: reporting problems with quality

Question: I found a book on Google Books Search (GBS), but the scans are blurry, or incomplete; or the citation information on the GBS page is wrong or incomplete. What can I do?

Answer: We are delighted that you have found books of interest to you through Google Book Search. If you have feedback on the quality of the scanned images and/or the citation information available through Google Book Search, please forward your concerns on to the Google Book Search team, who can work with their specialists to give you more information about this issue.

To send Feedback about particular books to Google Book Search, click on "About this Book", then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Provide Feedback".

Green Statue in the Information Center

Question: What is the green statue in the Information Center of Green Library?

Answer: The green statue in the Information Center is a sculpture titled Ogham Speaks, by Irish artist John Coll, acquired from The Kenny Gallery in Galway, Ireland.

The following description was written by Sarah Williamson:

Ogham - or Ogam - is a script that preserves the earliest known form of the Irish language. Druidic in origin, it appeared in Ireland around the second century AD, carved as a series of lines on the edge of "standing stones" and read from the base upward. Standing stones usually marked an important feature or person in the Celtic landscape. The name Ogham is derived from Ogmios or Ogma, the classical god of eloquence.

John Coll notes that "A unique achievement of the Irish nation is that it has produced four Nobel Prize laureates, W. B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, and Seamus Heaney. The success of these modern writers is, I feel, rooted in something that began in the mists of time with our Celtic ancestors. Their verbosity and joy at playing with words has been remarked upon by many early observers. I felt that this should be celebrated ins sculpture - the result being Ogham Speaks."

Coll's use of a standing stone or othostat-type design suggests this historical link. To further enhance this ancient feel, the Nobel laureates' names are depicted in Ogham on each of the stone's edges. As viewed from the base upward, each face emerges from the stone in a series of steps; the distinctive character of each particular writer is revealed by the individual texture of his face.

Harvard dissertations via Interlibrary Borrowing

Question: Do Harvard dissertations circulate via interlibrary borrowing?

Answer: Many dissertations, including Harvard's, do not circulate via interlibrary borrowing (ILB). It depends on the lending library. Click ILB to submit request, so it can be reviewed. If the dissertation is non-circulating, many are available through Dissertatons Express.

How to hold a library item

There are several reasons why you might want to request a hold on a book:

1. If a book is checked out by another patron, you may request a hold or recall on the book via Socrates, our library catalog.

2. If a book is at one of our auxiliary libraries (SAL1&2 or SAL3), you may request (or "page") the book so it is delivered to Green Library or a branch library.

3. If the book is still very new and we've ordered it but have not received it yet, you may request a hold on it.

In these three scenarios, here's how to request the book:

1. Look up the book in Socrates
2. Click on the "details" button to see the full record of the item
3. Scroll to the bottom of the record and click on one of the request links

Besides these online options, you may also request a book by filling out a paper hold/recall form, available at Green's Loan Desk.

Some more information about requesting a book that is checked out to someone else:

  • The request "with SUNET id" link will recall the book (the patronwho has it checked out will be notified that they should return the book within a week).
  • The request "without SUNET id" link will place a hold on the book (the due date of the book won't change but you'll be notified when the book comes back).

If a book is listed as in the "stacks" at Green or another library on campus, please come to the library to pick it up. We don't hold books that are available on the shelf here.

How to locate books found on Google Book Search

Question: I found a book on Google Books Search (GBS) that is owned by Stanford University Libraries. Can I borrow the book, or get a digital copy of the book (or of specific pages of the book)?

Answer: We are delighted that you have found books of interest to you through Google Book Search. In Google Book Search, you can click on "About this Book", then click on "Find this book in a library" (on the right side of the page). This will provide you with a list of libraries throughout the country who own the book. If you do not have access to any of the owning libraries, then your can request the item via Inter-Library Loan through your local library.

Stanford cannot send you copies of the pages, as the scanned copies of these items are currently available only through Google Book Search.

Interlibrary services office

Question: Where are the interlibrary services offices?

Answer: You can always ask for help at the Information Center Desk. However, to find the office, pass the IC desk, look to your left to locate Current Periodicals. Go straight to the back and you will find a door with a sign that says IC, ILL. Step through and ask the first person on your right.

Internet access for visitors

Question: Can I use the Internet in the Green Library. I am just a short-term visitor and where can I find the computer to use?

Answer: We have public terminals that visitors can use. The computers are located in front and behind the Information Center desk (to the right of the main entrance). As a visitor, you are required to register at East (main) entrance. Please check this link for the detailed information.

Library access for families of faculty members

Question: Can faculty members obtain library access for their families?

Answer: Spouses of faculty members are eligible for a Courtesy Card through the ID Card Office. That Courtesy Card allows access and borrowing privileges at the Libraries and is valid for the duration of the faculty member's affiliation with Stanford. Children of faculty members are eligible for free borrowing privileges if the child is a current student at a high school, college, or university. Children in elementary school or middle school must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to enter the library. Children of faculty who are no longer students may get visitor-level privileges.

Library privileges for visiting scholar

Question: I am a visiting scholar doing a 6 months internship in applied physics at Stanford. I have a Sunet ID and an email account here, but since I was recruited as an hourly employee here, I do not have a student ID, but a temporary access card. For my research internship, I really need to borrow books from libraries.

Answer: If the department that you are affiliated with has named you a Visiting Scholar (as opposed to a scholar who is visiting), then you should have been given a Visiting Scholar card. If so, you may bring that card to the Privileges Desk in Green Library during regular business hours (8am-5pm, Mon-Fri) along with a current photo ID (passport, driver's license, university ID, etc.). We can then use those items to issue you a library card.

If you are not a Visiting Scholar but are working as an hourly employee, You may have your supervisor fill out the attached form. You must then bring that completed form to the Privileges Desk during regular business hours along with a photo ID and we can then issue you a library card.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office.

Library study carrels

Question: I'm an incoming grad student, and I'm wondering if there are study carrels or lockers available to students?

Answer: We do have some carrels in the Green Library available to graduate students. In order to get a carrel you need to fill out an application form for the Bing Wing Carrels. Lockers are also available in the Green Library to all students. You must apply for a locker at the Privileges Desk in Green Library during regular business hours (8am-5pm, Mon-Fri).

Library use after graduation

Question: I am graduating this quarter. I learned that my SUID has 120 day grace period, I wonder if I can get into the library and borrow books during that grace period.

Answer: Once you graduate, your library privileges as a student are deactivated. Actually, it's your SUNet ID that has a 120 day grace period. However, that won't work for accessing databases.

If you want to borrow books, you may purchase a borrowing card at the Privileges Desk in Green Library during regular business hours (8am-5pm, Mon-Fri). The cost is either $120.00 for three months of privileges or $300.00 for twelve months of privileges. You may access databases if you are physically present in the library but not from off-campus.

Login problems on Macs and/or PCs

Question: What do I do when I cannot log-in?

Answer: Some users have experienced problems logging onto the iMacs and PCs. This seems to effect users who,

  1. have not reset their passwords in a long time
  2. have not used a cluster computer in the past 2 years (which would have required them to reset their password)

The iMacs connect to an LDAP server in order to authenticate users using their SUNet ID account. Users who have not changed their password in years are on an old kerberos database which doesn't work with the LDAP server. When the user resets their password, they are moved to a new kerberos server that is compatible with LDAP.

Resetting your SUNet ID password
You can either do this by going to StanfordYou.stanford.edu or using PC-Leland. PC-Leland is the quickest way to do this. Find a machine that is running PC/Mac-Leland. You'll see an icon in the system tray for PC-Leland. To reset your password using PC-Leland:

  1. Right-click on the PC-Leland icon in the system tray
  2. Make sure that you are logged into PC-Leland. If you are logged into PC-Leland, go to step 3 If you are not logged into PC-Leland, select "Login..."
  3. Select "Change Password..." Type your current password in each of the empty boxes that appear
  4. Click "Ok".
  5. One last thing, when you login to Windows machines, make sure you login to the stanford.edu domain (unless you know you have an account in one of the other listed domains).

The changing of the password fix is a one time fix so you should not have to do this again. Soon, we should not being seeing this problem anymore. Most users have probably reset their password by now.

Mailing Address to return books to Green Library

Question: I was wondering to what address I can mail books I checked out of Green Library?

Answer: You may mail your books to the following address:

Loan Division
Green Library
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-6063

If your delivery service requires a street address:

Cecil H. Green Library
Access Services Dept.
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6063

Missing book search

Question: I'd like to know who to contact if there is a book that I'm looking for that's listed as being not checked out, available on the shelves, but that is not where it should be?

Answer: Please fill out the Search Request Form at the Loan Desk in Green Library. A staff from the loan dept will send you email when they locate the book.

Also, check the detailed record for the item in Socrates, paying special attention to the Library and the Location information.

Non-Stanford remote access to Library's Electronic/Digital Resources

Question: I am not affiliated with Stanford, but I saw an electronic resource on your website that I would like to access. Can you give me the password or tell me how to access it? Can I purchase access privileges?

Answer: If you do not have a SuNet ID (if you are not a currently registered student, staff, or faculty) you cannot get remote access to any database or e-resource licensed to the Stanford Campus. That's limited to people with current SUNet IDs. You'd need to come to campus to use it. It would be illegal for Stanford to sell or re-market access to such databases, as it would violate the use agreement for academic site licensing.

Printing and Copying: How to add money to my copy card or Stanford card?

How do I add money to my card to pay for printing or copying?

You can use the Cash to Card machine near the Loan Desk in Green Library, as well as in other locations. See Printing-- For SUNet ID Users for more information.
Students can add money to your StanfordCardPlan through Stanford ePay using Axess - see Overview: StanfordCardPlan

Visitors, please see Printing -- For Public Users of the Library.

Printing: Locations of printers in Green Library

Question: Where are the printers located in Green library?

Answer: Click here for information on where to find printers located in Green Library

Printing: laptop access to Library printers

Can I print from my laptop here in Green to a Green Library printer?

Yes you can. All the directions to set up your laptop for accessing networked printers on Campus are on the Printing web site. The box at the side, Printer Setup Instructions, tells about each system configuration. The list of printer names on Campus, including the Libraries, is at View Printers for: on this page. However, the library list of room locations for particular printer names is on the Libraries' website.

Printing: Procedures for reporting printing problems

Question: What are the procedures for reporting printing problems?

Answer: Follow the procedures listed here.

Replacing lost book

Question: I'm truly sorry that I lost a book borrowed from the library. How much fine do you charge for lost books? May I buy a new version of the book to make up?

Answer: We charge a $75.00 replacement fee and a $5.00 non-refundable billing fee for each lost book. You may supply a replacement copy as long as it is an exact copy of the lost book. By exact copy, we mean that the ISBN number of the book you supply to us must match that of the missing book. The ISBN number for this book is 0393047814. If you can supply a replacement copy, you will not have to pay the $75.00 replacement fee but you will be charged a $25.00 processing fee.

Research Assistants

Question: Do you know of any research assistants that I can hire to help me?

Answer: Hoover Archives has a list of names - you can inquire through e-mail at archives@hoover.stanford.edu.

Returning library books

Questions: Do books have to be returned to the same library they were checked out at, or may they be returned to any of Stanford's libraries?

Answer: Yes, you may return books to a different library than the one from which they were charged out. The Libraries have arrangements to send books back to the owning library. However, if you can manage it, we recommend that you bring the books back to the owning library to ensure the book gets back to its proper library in a timely manner.

Stacks in Green Library: Where are they?

I looked up a book in Socrates and it says it's in the STACKS in Green Library. Where are the Stacks?

There are 3 floors of "stacks" in the East Wing and 7 floors of "stacks" in the West (Bing) Wing. Green Library also has other locations so make sure your catalog record says the book is in STACKS. Some other locations are: IC, HASRC, SSRC, Special Collections, Media Microtext Colletion, IC Stats, IC Ready Reference.
Here is a map (not to scale) of the stack areas.
Here is a Stack Directory by Call number (we also have pocket Stack Location Guides at the Information Center desk).

Student library job

If you are a Stanford student and you want to work in one of our Libraries, check out our Jobs page for current openings. A library is a great place to work!

Where can I find information about the libraries' hours?

Go to the Libraries' hours page.

Wireless at Stanford

Question: Where can I find information about wireless at Stanford?

Answer: For detailed information on wireless at Stanford, refer to the following link:

Wireless at Stanford

Here are some quick notes on wireless at Stanford:

    • The libraries offer wireless access, with some restrictions at branch libraries
    • Meyer, Green and Cubberley library allow visitors to connect to the wireless network as long as they have a SUNet ID.
    • Wireless access within the walls of a branch library is ONLY accessible by devices that have been registered in Stanford's network database (Netdb). [Only until we migrate to the ITS wireless network in April/May 2008]
    • Wireless access is available around MoonBean's Cafe

Please use the above link to get more information.