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US 1100: Quinn: Alkek Library 101

Learning Objectives for Alkek Library 101

At the end of this section you will be able to:

Identify the main services at Alkek Library available to you.

Identify the types of information sources Alkek Library Provides.

Know how to get research help from librarians.

Checking out items and Renewing them

Checking out Books

Most books and videos can be checked-out of the Library. Bring the items you want to check out to the main floor Circulation Desk (512.245.3681).

  • Undergraduate students may check out books for 28 days
  • Graduate students may check out books for 6 months.
  • Faculty may check out books for 1 year.
  • Videos and most A/V items check out for at least 14 days -- for all students & employees.
  • Some resources must be used in the Library, or have reduced check-out periods.

Renewing Books

  • Renewal periods are the same as the original checkout period.
  • Renew items online using My Account (requires Texas State NetID and password, available after receipt of courtesy notice), in person at the Circulation Desk, or by calling Circulation (512.245.3681).

Fun Facts

Alkek Library has....

More than 1.5 million books

The limit for how many books you can check out is 100 items.

The 3rd floor houses two skeletons (replicas) in addition to other replica body parts, test kits, and other media

The oldest book in the library is a copy of La Relacion by Cabeza de Vaca, published in Valladolid, Spain, in 1555. You can read it online here:

Thought Bubble Braincation

What do you like most about Alkek Library?

Thought Bubble Braincation
I can check out up to 100 items: 0 votes (0%)
It is a quiet place to study: 2 votes (100%)
I can use online databases from anywhere: 0 votes (0%)
The friendly staff: 0 votes (0%)
The research guides available online: 0 votes (0%)
Total Votes: 2

Learn More: Video Introduction to Alkek Library

Finding Library Items in the Catalog

Search the library catalog for print resources, ebooks, movies, and more!


The library catalog is a type of database, so you can use the same search strategies you would use in a database, including "phrase searching," Boolean operators, and truncation.



Each item in the library's collection has its own catalog record, like the one below.

Here you can see the item's location and call number and also its status. If it says AVAILABLE, the item should be on the shelf.

Alkek Library Features & Services Directory

2nd Floor (Main Floor) Second Floor Map

Reference Desk--Get in-person help here. You can get help from a librarian via chat, email, in-person, by phone (512.245.2686) or by text (512.549.2032)

Circulation & Reserves Desk

  • Print copies of reserve items (books, old tests, articles, etc.)
  • Check books out books with your ID here.
  • Fax service--$1.00 a page
  • Get change for copiers
  • Lost and Found

Workstations and Printers

  • Access Internet and Microsoft production software (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and etc.) on all but a few of the computers.
  • If you have problems printing, there is a printer help station or you can ask for help at the Reference desk.

3rd Floor Third Floor Map

Media, Kits, Models, & Language Collections

  • 3-D Models (skeletons, body parts, etc) & test kits
  • Language Learning collection
  • DVDs, CDs, Video & Cassette tapes

Newspapers, Magazines, Journals & Microfilm/fiche

  • Current issues shelved alphabetically by title of periodical.
  • Older issues are bound together by volume or replaced by microfilm/fiche.

KIC Scanner

  • This scanner allows you to scan and then either email the document to yourself or save it to a USB drive.

4th Floor Fourth Floor Map

Computer Lab & Laptop Checkout

  • The Computer Lab provides both PC and Macintosh hardware, with a more extensive software collection.  Software includes Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and SPSS. 
  • Check in at the Computer Lab desk and leave your student ID while using computers.

Government Information/Maps/Curriculum Materials

  • Alkek Library is a Federal and State depository for government documents.
  • Maps, and a special map plotter printer, are available.
  • Textbooks used in the Texas public schools (elementary and high school) may also be found here.


Floors 5-7 (also called "The Stacks")

  • Most of the books and other materials you can check-out of the library are on these floors.
  • Individual and group study rooms are available on these floors.
  • The 5th & 6th floors are designated as the "quiet floors." 

Test Yourself!

Take this quiz to test your knowledge of Alkek Library.

Keep in the Loop with Alkek Library's Blog

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