Using Libraries in Your Placement Area

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This guide will help you identify libraries near your placement. Our Getting Library Materials While on Placement  web page provides research hints and describes how the Smith College Libraries can support you on placement.

Residents of Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Counties

Students living in the local area have full Smith and Five College library privileges: borrowing books, using Request Item, working with reference librarians, submitting interlibrary loan requests, etc. If you live outside these counties, but within a 60-mile radius of Smith (Enfield, Pittsfield, Brattleboro, etc.), you may choose either to use Smith and its services on site or to send requests to Smith via email.

Residents of Boston and Surrounding Towns

At Simmons College’s Beatley Library and Boston College’s Social Work Library, Smith SSW students have access and borrowing privileges. The Boston Public Library also has a strong psychology collection and offers borrowing and interlibrary loan for Boston residents. Many other academic libraries in Boston (UMass Boston, Northeastern, Boston University, etc.) will let you use their materials on site. See Massachusetts Area Libraries for more information.

Residents of Greater Hartford

SSW students have access and borrowing privileges at the University of Connecticut’s Trecker Library at the West Hartford campus, which includes a strong social work collection. You may also use UConn’s medical center library in nearby Farmington on site, but may not borrow. See Connecticut Area Libraries for more information.

Residents of Other Areas

Click here to find information for SSW students about libraries in cities throughout the United States, including New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and more. Each listing includes a link to the library’s web page and contact information.  If you are placed elsewhere, feel free to contact the Smith College Libraries for assistance in identifying libraries near you and determining what their policies are for outside users.  You can also investigate other libraries through LibWeb.

When you arrive at your placement:

  • Ask whether your agency has its own library or can arrange library privileges for you nearby
  • Visit local libraries to become familiar with their resources and services
  • If you are near your alma mater, ask about library services for alumni

Please note: College, university, research, and specialized (e.g., medical) libraries' policies for outside visitors vary widely. Some libraries will allow you to use materials on site; some will provide borrowing privileges; and others will charge hefty fees or won’t even let you in the door. If you need a letter of introduction, please ask what specific information is needed and then contact (413) 585-2960.