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Students: Students

A few key concepts

  1. The library provides $400,000 worth of material you will not find in Google.
  2. The library provides reliable information compared to what might be found on the Internet.
  3. Library tools allow for much more precise want best results, not more results.
  4. You should never have to pay for material...we subsidize borrowing of books and articles.
  5. The library can help you discover, capture, and share information legally.
  6. The library does not purchase required textbooks, but we may have donated copies of some titles.

  See the suite of tutorials in the right column for short "how-to" videos on many research techniques and tools.

View a brief welcome overview of the library from the Library Director.

FAQ for Students

Library policies and procedures are the same for all SXU undergraduate and graduate students.

Do I need permission to use the Library? You are free to use the Library.

Can I use the computers? Over 50 iMacs, thirty five MacBook Pros, and two iPads are available for you. You are welcome to use your own computer in the Library, which has wireless access throughout.

Can I reserve a group-study room? Yes, 10 rooms are available, and you can reserve them through your mySXU portal. Look for the Reserve a Library Group Study Room link within the Resources section. At this time, the Library does not have special study rooms just for graduate students.

Do you have movies? The Library has an extensive movie collection. We have great films, TV series, and educational videos. You are free to borrow four at a time, for up to two weeks.

Does the Library have textbooks? A small selection. For details see our Course Book Collection.

How many books and DVDs can I borrow? All students have the same generous borrowing privileges. You can borrow an unlimited number of books for eight weeks (plus an eight-week renewal). You can borrow up to four DVDs for two weeks, with no renewals. The Library does not offer home or on-campus delivery.

What about new students without ID Cards? Students must create an account in order to use the book catalog. Their Colleague ID, which is a piece of information required in order to generate a Borrower ID, is available from the mySXU portal by going to my.sxu,edu, clicking on Self-Service, Students, Academic Profile, and then My Profile. When asked to enter the Borrower ID, enter the school prefix  2131100 followed by your 7 digit Colleague  number. (This is equivalent to the numbers under the barcode on an ID card, without the leading and trailing letters.)

Is there any charge for interlibrary loan? No.

How do I check out books and videos? Bring the DVDs and books to the main desk by the front door and the staff will check them out for you. You must use your Cougar Card to check out materials.

Can I eat in the Library? Yes, but please be sure to throw your trash away and leave the area clean for the next person.

What about off-campus access? When logged in with your netID and password, you can obtain full-text articles through our many databases. If the Library does not have the full-text article, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan using the Borrow From Other Libraries option, and the article will be delivered to you electronically. Delivery locations for books and videos are found within the Voyager system, and can be designated at the point of request. Books and videos will not be delivered to locations beyond the existing delivery locations. When electronic books and streaming videos are not available, off-site users should obtain their books and other materials through local public libraries.

Ask a Librarian

Student Toolkit

Plan and Prepare

With the Library's Testing and Education Reference Center, you can prepare for CLEP tests, search for scholarships, find the graduate school that is right for you, and take practice exams including the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MAT, MCAT, and TOEFL. You can create a personal account and then take the tests as often as you like. All at no charge!

Suggest a Purchase

To request that an item be purchased, the following information should be emailed to

  • Title of book/video/material
  • Author or creator
  • Year of publication
  • Source of your information (Amazon, web page, etc.)
  • Any other information that might help us identify the material
  • Course for which this material is relevant


Suggested Readings

The faculty have created an annotated list of significant books: Turn-Off-Your-TV Book Club

Best Book lists from many sources are found at Publishers Lunch Bookateria.

You can find book reviews and suggestions within the free Library Thing or GoodReads personal book catalog databases.

You can also browse the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles.

You can browse our collection of fiction or Biography or poetry and then limit by topic/subject.

Another option is the Biblioboard popular ebook and video platform brought to you by the State of Illinois.

The library maintains a Great Books Collection of recognized classic materials within the Bishop Quarter Room.


Quick Tutorials

REMEMBER: Employers want a candidate who knows the difference between a "web search" and "research."

The following tutorials highlight a few key library tools and techniques:

     Book Materials

     Journal Articles

    Capture, Cite, and Share (do NOT plagiarize)


  • SimplyAnalytics (was SimplyMap) contains United States census data, business data, and business points that can be manipulated and mapped. You can rank locations based on variables, create demographic analyses, and map variables to the county or sometimes the census Block.  If you sign in as a guest, you won’t need to create an account. Accounts are needed only to save search parameters and data results. (See our Information and help video page.)

Printing PowerPoint files and Google Docs

The Big Picture

    Example search:



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