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F. W. Olin Library


General Information | Interlibrary Loan | Reference Books
Using Other Libraries

Reference and Information Desk
Telephone number 510.430.2385. This line is answered by reference staff during library hours. Please note that although the library is open this line may transfer to voice mail if the staff is assisting other patrons in the library.  Please leave a message and your call will be returned. 

This is the starting point for your explorations in the Olin Library. Ask your questions here—from simple locational directions to help in planning a research project.

General Information

The Library is open 88.5 hours a week during the semester. Reference librarians are available until 9:00 pm weekdays to help students organize their research efforts and make the best use of their library resources. Library staff also teach students how to find and use bibliographic resources pertinent to specific needs or assignments.

MINERVA is the library's web-based Online Public Access Catalog.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a cooperative agreement among participating libraries to provide materials such as books, journal articles, etc. to other libraries upon request. Interlibrary loan services are available to current Mills students, faculty and staff. ILL generally takes about two weeks to obtain an item. The average cost is $30 per item, which is currently paid by the library. Due to the costs involved in interlibrary loan, the Library may limit the number of requests per user.

Always check the Mills catalog, Minerva, as well as fulltext databases, before submitting a request. For assistance, please phone the Reference Desk at 510.430.2385, or stop by in person at the Reference Desk.

The Mills Library will try to borrow almost any item that is requested. However, some materials may be difficult or impossible to obtain. These include: rare books, manuscripts, reference books, theses and dissertations, audio-visual materials, and whole issues of periodicals.

The loan period for materials borrowed on ILL is set by the lending library. It is usually two to four weeks from the date of mailing. Often materials lent on ILL may not be renewed. We will contact you by phone or email when the item arrives at the Mills Library. Please be sure to pick it up promptly. The borrower is financially responsible for any damage or loss of materials from the time an item is picked up until it is returned.

Books and other materials borrowed on ILL should be promptly returned to the Mills Library Circulation Desk on or before the due date. A paper band on the outside of the book usually indicates the due date. This band should not be removed. Please be aware that different items will usually have different due dates. Failure to return items on time or in good condition may jeopardize this service for yourself and others.

Request a Book through ILL

Use the "Request a Book" form to initiate an interlibrary loan for a book, score or other non-periodical item. It is important to provide complete and accurate information about the book that you need. Complete information makes it easier to fill the request quickly. The lending library is under no obligation to decipher missing information.

Request a Journal Article through ILL

Many articles are available through library online subscriptions in a fulltext format. Click here to check for ejournal availability. Also, check Minerva to determine if Mills has a print subscription to the journal you need.

If you need to request a journal article via ILL please remember the following:

Provide complete journal title information. Many journals may have similar titles. Give the title exactly as it appears in your citation, even if it is an abbreviation.

The ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is the most accurate way to identify a journal. Always provide it if you can.

Volume and issue numbers are crucial. A volume may have many issues and it is important to be as specific as possible. Publication date and page numbers of the article are also very important.

Reference Books

With few exceptions, reference books are shelved on the long diagonal stacks in call number order. Just as history books in the circulating stacks are cataloged as 900, so, for example, are the history reference books in REF 900. General encyclopedias are REF 030. MINERVA indicates when a book is in Reference.

Using other Libraries

Obtaining a UC Library Card 

Mills students may buy a UC Berkeley Library borrower's card for $100, valid for the academic year. Show your current Mills ID and a California drivers license (or official California ID) and pay by check at the Doe (Main) Library Service Desk during regular business hours. The card confers borrowing privileges. At many UCB libraries, you may use materials in the building without purchasing a card. 





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P: 510.430.2196
E: askalib@mills.edu

Last Updated: 2/22/18