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Research Guides | Library | Amherst College

2020-21 Library Services

Checking Out Materials

Requesting materials for pickup

All circulating material—including DVDs, books from the Music Library, and Five College Library material—can be requested online for contactless pickup. Use the Request Item button in Search Everything or Books & Media (the library catalog).

screenshot of search result with Request Item option circled

screenshot of search result in library catalog with request item option circled

Please be patient, as any material coming from outside the library (other colleges or returned by another user) needs to be quarantined for at least 72 hours, per guidelines.


Where to pick up materials

There are self-serve contactless pickup tables in the lobby, with materials organized by patron last name. You’ll get an email with more information when your requested items are ready to be picked up.

If you are not cleared to enter campus buildings, please let us know! We will place your material for pickup in a locker in Frost's vestibule.


Browsing materials (3rd floor only)

If you are cleared to be on campus, you can access books located on the 3rd floor (A-HX) to be checked out at the front desk M - F, 9 am - 5 pm


Returning materials

All book returns may be done in the book drops in the Frost Library vestibule. 

Requests, Hathi Trust, ILL

Recalling books

At this time, we’re not able to recall books. If you need a book that is currently checked out, please use our request service, and we’ll try to get an e-book for you. 


Hathi Trust e-books

If you see an item status of “Access Online at Hathi Trust” for a book owned by Amherst, we have temporary access to an e-book copy via https://www.hathitrust.org. Log in with your Amherst username and password in the upper right for full text access. If that book is only owned by a Five College library, we unfortunately do not have access to the Hathi Trust e-book; use our request service, and we’ll try to get an e-book for you. See more detailed access instructions, or ask us if you have any issues!


Five College Delivery

We have resumed Five College Delivery. You can request Five College library materials (print books and other circulating materials) using the Request Item button. Five Colleges students, faculty, and staff can also use the Request Item button to request Amherst circulating materials for pickup at their home institutions.


Interlibrary Loan

You can continue to make Interlibrary Loan (ILL) requests for individual book chapters and articles, but many libraries still aren’t lending physical books. If we can't fulfill your request, use our request service, and we’ll try to get an e-book for you. Our subject librarians are also happy to work with you to help identify alternate materials that will meet your needs. 

Remote Thesis Students

Students studying remotely who are registered for a thesis can use this form to request a limited number of books to be mailed to them once a month. Be sure to follow the steps in the form to check for e-book access, make a purchase request for an e-book, or touch base with your subject librarian with any questions.