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Reference & Research Help

Five Ways to Get Research Help


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Info & Research Help Desk


Call Us
(During Info & Research Help Desk Hours)

(401) 874-2653


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(During Info & Research Help Desk Hours)

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(During Info & Research Help Desk Hours)

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Searching for Books and Articles @ the URI LIbraries

The URI Libraries provide access to more than 1.5 million books, videos, archival materials, and online resources, as well as articles from tens of thousands of journals. The URI Libraries Search and the Articles & Databases list will start you on your information search.

Circulation Services

Your University ID serves as your Library card; your Library barcode is on the front of your ID. Rhode Island residents age 18 or older may register at the Circulation Desk for a Special Borrower’s Card. Loan periods vary depending on the material and the status of the borrower.  For a description of loan periods and overdue fines, go to the Circulation page from the Library's Home Page.

Reserves Service

The Reserve Collection contains material designated by the University faculty as required reading for specific courses.  High-demand reference material is also kept there.  The collection is located at the Circulation Desk.  The material is borrowed for limited time periods ranging from 2 hours to overnight.  Some material may be accessed electronically.  For more information, go to the Reserves page from the URI Library Home Page.

24 Hour Study Room

Located on the first floor to the right of the lobby, the 24 Hour Study Room is available every night during the Fall and Spring Semesters. To use this room, enter through the entrance located off the library's main entrance lobby.  

Food and Drink Policy

Food and beverages may be consumed in the 24 Hour Study Room. In the rest of the building, only securely covered mugs and water bottles are allowed and also Light Snacks in the Stacks.

Photocopying, Printing and Scanning Services

Multifunction machines (which photocopy, scan text and print from computers) are located in the 24 Hour Room, First Floor Goup Study and Learning Commons areas, as well as on each floor of the Library.  In addition these machines are also available in the Student Computing Facility located in Room LL4 on the Lower Level.  Both photocopies and computer printouts are $.10 per page for black and white copies and $.25 per page for color copies.  Scanning is $.05 per page. Payment is by Ram Account or by a guest card.  Guest cards may be purchased at the kiosk located near the Circulation Desk.  A separate kiosk is also available in the same location for adding funds to a Ram Account.

Wireless Access

The Library has wireless Internet access.  For more information and directions on how to access the network, go to the URI Office of Information Security Page for Wireless Internet Access.

Reference Service

The Info & Research Help (Reference) Desk is located on the first floor. The non-circulating collection includes indexes, bibliographies, directories, and encyclopedias.  Assistance for all Reference Services is available from the Reference staff most of the hours that the Library is open.  The Reference staff may be contacted using the methods listed under "Five Ways to Get Research Help" in the left hand column.  Those needing specialized and in-depth reference assistance may also contact the subject specialist librarians in the appropriate specialty.  Librarians and their corresponding subject areas, along with contact information, may be found at the Subject Selectors Page through the URI Library Home Page.

Reference Databases

The online databases available to URI students, faculty, and staff include Academic Search Complete, LexisNexis Academic, PsycINFO, ERIC, ABI/INFORM, MLA Bibliography, PubMed, CINAHL, and, PAIS, among others, which are available through the URI Library Home Page.  For access to the databases from off campus, please follow the directions on the Remote Access to Library Online Resources Page.

Instructional Services

The Library offers a wide range of instructional programs and services ranging from small group instruction to formal credit bearing courses in Information Literacy.  Demand for this service is high so requests for a library instruction class should be made several days in advance, in order to guarantee a space and an instructor.  For more inofrmation on the instructional program and how to request a class, go to Instruction Services and Information Literacy from the URI Library Home Page.

Interlibrary Loan Service

Books owned by other libraries may be obtained through Interlibrary Loan, or through InRhode Loan if you have an Ocean State Libraries card.  InRhode Loan requests are made through the InRhode catalog. The requestor must be a registered borrower in good standing. Requested material will take approximately 3-7 days to arrive at your local public library. Material that cannot be obtained through an InRhode Loan may be borrowed from another library through Interlibrary Loan. Interlibrary Loan forms and instructions are available from the URI Library Home Page.

Government Publications

The Library is a depository library for United States and Rhode Island publications. The collection consists of over 850,000 volumes in paper, microfiche, cartographic and CD-ROM formats. In addition, there are over 100,000 titles available in online format which can be accessed through the URI Libraries Search. For assistance in using this collection, please contact the Government Publications Office located on the first floor or go to the Government Publications Home Page.

Curriculum Materials Library

The Curriculum Materials Library (CML), located on the first floor, primarily serves the instructional and research needs of students and faculty of the School of Education by providing resources in all formats for grades pre-K through 12. Use of some of the collection is restricted to students enrolled in these programs and their faculty only. For more information on the collection and use, go to the Curriculum Materials Library Home Page.

Special Collections

Located on the second floor, the Special Collections Department consists of the University Archives, the Rhode Island Collection, and Rare Books. For a description of the contents of these collections and use policies, go to the Special Collections and University Archives Home Page. Arrangements for the use of this collection should be made with the Special Collections staff.

Media Resources Center

The Media Resources Center (MRC), located on the second floor, houses all the Library’s audiovisual materials and provides facilities for their use. For more information on the contents of the collection, access and use policies and loan periods, go to the Media Resources Center (MRC) Home Page.

Microform Collection

The Microform Collection is located on the lower level of the Carothers Library.  The collection consists of back issues of selected journal and newspaper titles, dissertations, ERIC documents, and some historical collections.  Microforms may be printed or scanned and emailed.  For assistance with the use of this collection, the staff at the Info & Research Help Desk will be happy to help.  For more information on the contents and use of this collection, go to the Microform Collection Home Page.

Library Student Computing Facility

Operated by Information Technology Services (ITS), the computer lab is located on the Lower Level (Room LL4) and is available to the University community during most hours that the Library is open. Services available include e-mail, word processing, printing capability, Internet access and access to all University Supported Software Programs.

Group Study Rooms

The Library has 21 group study rooms available for those who wish study or work in groups of 3 or more.  Rooms are signed out for 3 hour periods.  For more information on using these rooms, go to Circulation: Rooms Home Page.

Research Carrels

A limited number of research carrels are available for use by graduate students and faculty. For those who wish to apply for a carrel, read the Research Carrel Policy and the Research Carrel Application form or contact the Circulation Desk.

Pell Marine Science Library

The Pell Marine Science Library, located on the Bay Campus, houses a specialized collection on oceanography and related sciences. The Pell Library is open to all URI Library patrons.

Providence Campus Library

The Providence Campus Library, located on URI’s Providence Campus, supports the information needs of the College of Education and Professional Studies. The Library is open to all URI Library patrons.

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