Services for Faculty

Collections Searching the Catalog
Recommending Books Reserves
Library Instruction Research
Circulation Periods Copyright Information

Welcome to Williams Library of Northern State University! We may not seem as large as the library you used during your graduate studies, but give us a chance. We can offer you the services you need from a highly trained staff and an ever-growing collection. Before you can take advantage of our services, you must have your faculty ID activated for use as a library card. To do this, simply bring your faculty ID to the library’s circulation desk and we’ll activate the card for you—it takes only a few seconds. And remember to bring your faculty ID with you every time you come to the library and plan to check out materials.


Our Reference Collection is on the first floor and is continually updated. Government Documents (cataloged using the SuDoc system) and the Oversize Collection are on the west side of the first floor. The Main Collection is housed on the first and second floors. You’ll find a wide variety of materials in the Main Collection, including books, videos, audio recordings, and an extensive collection of ebooks that can be located using the library’s online catalog. The Curriculum and the Children’s Collections are on the east side of the second floor. The Children’s Collection is cataloged using the Dewey Decimal System since most school libraries use that system of classification. Otherwise, we use the Library of Congress classification system to label and shelve our materials.

The Archives, a closed collection, is housed in the library’s lower level. In the Archives you’ll find historical documents on the university, the region, and the state of South Dakota. Among the resources in the Williams Library Archives is the Harriet Montgomery Water Collection, an extensive collection of materials about natural resource issues, particularly water development issues in the upper Missouri River basin and the northern plains.

The Periodicals Collection is on the east side of the first floor and contains current issues of journals. Older journals are bound and placed in the Main Collection or replaced by microfiche housed in cabinets next to the Reference Collection. Print indexes are located in the Reference Collection, and electronic indexes (many of which are full text) can be accessed on our Online Databases page. Scattered along both floors are group study rooms for our patrons, which are available on a first come, first served basis.

Williams Library offers a wide range of licensed Online Databases that cover the broad spectrum of academic disciplines; many of these resources offer full-text materials. Use the Online Journals List on the library Web to locate a specific full-text journal in the library’s extensive collection of online journals. Find subject-specific lists of online databases on the Databases by Subject page on the library Web. The library’s collection of online databases is under constant review and new resources are added throughout the academic year.

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Searching the Catalog

You can search the NSU library catalog from your office or any computer with internet access.

    Go to the Library's home page and click on Library Catalog. A screen appears that defaults to a search in NSU's catalog. However, you can choose to search any or all libraries in the SDLN system, or several newspaper and journal databases. After you’ve made your choice, click on GO.
    Select the field you want to search by (author, title, subject, keyword), enter the search term, and click on GO.
    A list of items appears. Click on the number next to an item, or the item's title to see a display of the full record.
    Interlibrary Loan
    Among the fields displayed is the location and availability of the item. If the item is not available in the Williams Library collection, click on InterLibrary Loan in the upper righthand corner of the screen. If the item you wish to locate is not found in the library catalog, you can submit an Interlibrary Loan request using the blank request forms located under the My Library Card tab at the top of the screen.
    Note: you will need to log in to the catalog (use the 14-digit barcode from the back of your NSU ID and your last name as your password) in order to place an interlibrary loan request.
    InterLibrary loan items can also be ordered using the InterLibrary Loan Form under Library Services on the library's home page.

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Recommending Books and Other Materials

We encourage you to recommend books and other materials for the Williams Library collections. We offer access to several resources to assist you in finding out more about new materials in your field. If you find something you believe to be important to our collection, submit the material request form (Online Form or Word) or send an email to and let us know what you need.


Bring items you wish to place on reserve to the circulation desk. You’ll need to complete a reserve form for each item you wish to place on reserve. You can find an online version of the Reserve Materials Form on the library’s Web site. When items are placed on reserve, it is the responsibility of the instructor to meet copyright criteria or obtain copyright permission. Learn more about copyright on the Reserves and Copyright page on the library Web. Allow 1-3 days for the processing of reserve items. We suggest that you clarify with your students when the reserve items will be available and that a student ID is required to check out reserve material.

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Help with Research

Our librarians are available to assist with your students’ research projects and your own research. You and your students can call the reference desk at 626-3018, send an email, participate in live chat, or stop in person to meet with a librarian. Reference librarians or reference assistants are available at the reference desk during the hours the library is open and classes are in session. Check the Library Hours Web page for a schedule.

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Circulation Periods

The loan period for faculty is for the entire academic year, with bound periodicals and interlibrary loan (ILL) items being the exception. Bound periodicals have a three-day checkout period and ILL items are subject to the circulation period specified by the lending institution. Please note that items you check out are subject to recall. If another library patron places a hold on an item you have checked out, you must return the item by the date given on the recall notice. Faculty members are billed for lost items and late interlibrary loans. If you have any questions regarding borrowing privileges or services, ask a librarian.

Copyright Information

While selecting resources for use in the classroom, a question of potential copyright infringement may arise. To assist you in resolving these issues, a Copyright Information webpage has been created. If you have a question or situation that is not addressed by this webpage, contact library staff at:

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