Tucson Headquarters Library - FAQ

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  • Who may use the Tucson Headquarters Library?

    Library Services is a department within Research and Science Services, but the library serves all NOIRLab  staff. 

    Individuals from Steward Observatory and LPL may also use the Library, upon consultation with the Librarian.

  • Where is the Library located and when is it open?

    The Library is located in Room 140 of the Tucson Headquarters building. For people with a keycard to the building, the Library is open 24 hours a day. Currently, the Library is closed along with the building closure. Contact Sharon for assistance with library materials.

  • How is the Library organized?

    Books and journals are cataloged according to the Library of Congress system. The astronomy collection (QB) is located on the main floor of the Library. Science, physics and engineering texts are in the basement floor of the Library.

    Most observatory publications (QB4) and archival materials  are stored in a separate area; ask Sharon for assistance.

    More information on our collections and their arrangement can be found at the Library's Collections webpage.

  • How do I find books?

    The Library has a cloud-based online catalog that lists materials in both the Tucson Headquarters Library and the La Serena, Chile, Library.

    Most of our collection is indexed in this catalog, but some items published before 1970 may not be. To check whether or not an older item is owned by the library, look in the paper card catalog (located next to the computers on the main floor of the library).

  • How do I find journals?

    Journals  are listed in the online catalog. Astronomy journals are located in the stacks on the main floor; general science, physics, mathematics, engineering, and optics journals are located in the stacks on the basement floor. If you're looking for an observatory publication, contact Sharon for information and access to this collection; not all of the observatory publications have catalog records yet.

    Our Serial Holdings document lists call numbers for physical journal copies.

    Journals that we have electronic subscriptions to are listed on our Electronic Journals web page.

  • How do I borrow Library books?

    To "check out" a book, sign your name on the card in the back of the book and drop the card in the designated wooden box (located on the display rack to the left of the whiteboard on the main floor). Be sure to put the date on the card, and please put your phone number or email address also.

    Books that may not be taken from the Library are marked "Library Use Only." Note: Journals are almost always "Library Use Only"; please copy what you need from journal volumes and return them promptly.

  • How long may I keep borrowed items?

    For staff, there is an indefinite loan period for most Library items. This means that a book may be kept until it is recalled. However, users are still urged to return Library items in a prompt manner.

    Please remember that you are responsible for items you check out: this may include the cost of repair or replacement.

  • How do I return books?

    The book return is a wooden box located to the right of the Librarian's office door. Just drop your items inside!

  • What if the Library doesn't have an item I need?

    Many items are available across the street at the Steward Observatory library or at the University of Arizona Libraries. Some Tucson staff are eligible for library cards with the University of Arizona (see Human Resources) and are encouraged to take full advantage of their extensive book and journal collections. The Librarian will assist you in locating and obtaining both hard copy and digital articles from sources throughout the world.