Faculty Research Assistants

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Guidelines & Forms for Borrowing & Requesting Library Materials

Initial Registration

Before using the Five College "Request Item" service or the Interlibrary Loan service on behalf of a faculty or staff member, you must submit a research assistant registration form. Print out the registration form below, complete both sections of the form, and bring it to the service desk in Neilson Library. You will be issued a proxy library card.

    Print Registration Form

Requesting Five College Materials

You may request Five College books on behalf of a Smith faculty or staff member, using your proxy library card. For Five College journals, journal articles, or books not accessible via "Request Item" (e.g., art and music books), see the next section.

Requesting Interlibrary Loan Materials

Use interlibrary loan to request materials not owned by the Smith College Libraries and not available via Request Item (see above).

  • If Smith owns the item, but you can't locate it on the shelf, please ask for help at the circulation desk.
  • If the item is checked out, recall it using Request Item.
  • If an item has been declared billed, missing, lost - or is at the bindery - it may be requested via interlibrary loan. In this case, add a note to the request regarding the item's status.

Registering for Interlibrary Loan as a Faculty Research Assistant

  • To begin using the interlibrary loan service, you must register as a first time user. The registration form is available on the Libraries' website under Library Services/Interlibrary Loan/Register for ILL.
  • Read through the information on the First Time Users page.
  • On the registration form itself, register under the faculty/staff member's name, with your name listed as the authorized user. (See additional instructions on the registration form re: barcode, address, etc.) As part of the registration process, you will be asked to choose a username and password.
  • Remember to share your username and password with the faculty/staff member you are working for, so that s/he can access the account, if needed.
  • Once you've registered, you will be connected automatically to the main interlibrary loan menu, where you can make requests, monitor your requests, ask for renewals, etc. Interlibrary loan request forms are available on the Libraries' website under Library Services/Interlibrary Loan/Login.

Interlibrary Loan Notifications

  • When ILL books arrive, the faculty/staff member will be notified via e-mail. You or the faculty member may pick up the books at the Neilson Library circulation desk. Please return books on or before the due date to the same desk
  • Articles and other photocopies will be sent one of two ways. If, at registration, you answer "yes" to Prefer Electronic Delivery of Articles, the faculty member will be notified via e-mail that a PDF article has arrived. It will be accessible from the ILL main menu under View/Download Electronically Received Articles. If you answered "no" to Prefer Electronic Delivery, a photocopy of the article will be sent to the faculty member's address.


  • ILL books can usually be renewed. To request a renewal, log onto your interlibrary loan account and click on View/Renew Checked Out Items.
  • Note that the lending library (not Smith) determines whether a renewal will be granted and - if so - for how long. The faculty member should watch his/her mail for either a renewal confirmation message with a new due date or for a renewal denied message.
  • Should the renewal request be denied, the book must be returned immediately. However, ILL can try to borrow the same book for you from another lender.


  • ILL books may be recalled at any time by the lending library. If a recall notice is received, the ILL office will contact the faculty member, asking that the item be returned immediately.
  • Should a book be recalled, ILL can try to borrow the same book for you from another lender.

Interlibrary Loan Assistance

  • If you have any questions about filling out the request forms or need help completing a citation, please ask for help at the Neilson Library reference desk (x2960 or via email to neilref@smith.edu).
  • Request an individual research appointment if you will be doing substantive research for the faculty/staff member and therefore need an introduction to research tools.
  • You can check the status of outstanding requests on the ILL Main Menu under View/Modify Outstanding Requests.
  • If you need additional information, stop by the Interlibrary Loan Office (Neilson Collection Services), call (413) 585-2962, or email snnill@smith.edu. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Service Desk Contacts

Library Location Name Phone Email
Neilson Library, Young Science Staff Anders Griffen (413) 585-2882 sciinfo@smith.edu
Neilson Library F. Reese Julian (413) 585-2910 neilcirc@smith.edu
Josten Performing Arts Library Janet Spongberg (413) 585-2930 josinfo@smith.edu
Hillyer Art Library Lisa DeCarolis (413) 585-2940 hillinfo@smith.edu