Library FAQs

Using the Library and Services:
Library Computers:
Borrowing Books and Movies:
Doing Research:
Citing Sources:
Media and Instructional Support:
For Faculty and Staff:

Have a question that is not listed? Please contact us and we'll add your question and answer to the list!

Using the Library and Services

Q: How do I find and use course reserves?
A: Electronic course reserves can be accessed through MaconCat. Click on the Course Reserve link in the yellow bar and search by your instructor or course. Non-electronic course reserves (books, movies, etc.) may be borrowed from the Circulation Desk. Please see How to Find and Use Course Reserves for additional information.

Q: How are the books organized?
A: Books are organized by subject according to the Library of Congress classification system.

Q: Can I get materials the library doesn't have?
A: Yes. Log on to ILLiad to request books and articles. Please see Interlibrary Loan for additional information.

Q: Is there a glossary of common library terms?
A: Glossary of Library Terms

Q: What are the "Stacks"?
A: The shelves on the second floor where circulating books are located.

Q: Where are the books?
A: Most are in the Stacks on the second floor. New and Pop books are on the first floor of the Library, near the computer classroom. Reference books are on the first floor past the Reference Desk.

Q: Where are the restrooms?
A: First-floor restrooms are next to the computer classroom. Second-floor restrooms are directly above these, in the Flip-Flop Beach area.

Q: Where is the photocopier?
A: A color photocopier is located on the first floor near the Butler Pavilion on the west (Henry Street) side of the library.

Q: Can I access MaconCat and databases from off-campus?
A: Yes. MaconCat and Journals A–Z are publicly available to anyone with internet access. Databases and electronic journals are restricted to current students, faculty, and staff of R-MC. When you access a database from off-campus you will be asked to enter your campus ID and password. If you have trouble please see the Troubleshooting Tips.

Q: When are the librarians at the Reference Desk?
A: During the semester, librarians are usually at the Desk Monday–Thursday from 11am–4pm and Sunday–Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm–9:30pm. Classes, meetings, and other commitments may keep the librarians away from the Desk during the day, but users are encouraged to ask for assistance at the Circulation Desk or to seek out librarians in their offices. Librarians are usually available 9am–5pm on weekdays.

Q: When is Special Collections open?
A: Monday–Thursday from 1:00pm–5:00pm, or by appointment. Contact Mary Virginia Currie or see Special Collections for additional information.

Q: What are the Library's hours?
A: During the semester the library's hours are as follows:
        Monday–Thursday: 8am–midnight
        Friday: 8am–8pm
        Saturday: 11am–6pm
        Sunday: 11am–midnight
When the College is open but classes are not in session, the Library is open Monday–Friday from 9am–5pm. The Library also has special hours during January Term and Summer School. Please see the hours pages under Library Information for details.

Q: Where are some group study rooms?
A: Two rooms for up to 6 people each are located next to the Writing Center on the second floor of the Library. Rooms for smaller groups are near the Oliver Classroom on the second floor.

Q: Can the public use the Library?
A: Yes. Please see the Public Use Policy for additional information.

Q: How can I submit a comment or make a suggestion about the Library?
A: Please contact Ginger Young, Library Director, with general comments, suggestions, or complaints. Please see Contact Us to reach an individual staff member.

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Library Computers

Q: Can I print from Library computers?
A: Yes. Printing costs 12¢/page for black-and-white and 35¢/page for color; pay with a print/copy card, which you purchase from the DAC machine near the photocopier. To print from a library computer, make sure the “LibraryLab” printer is selected in the Printer Name drop-down menu. Additional instructions are on the computer. Then go to the print station in the Library lobby and follow the directions on the screen.

Q: Why can't I use Word on the Reference computers?
A: The Reference computers are reserved for users conducting research with the Library's electronic resources. If you need to work on a paper or use other applications you may use the computers at the Media end of the Library, in the Computer Classroom, or in another lab on campus.

Q: How do I save to my U: drive?
A: Your U: drive can be found in the “My Computer” folder on your desktop.

Q: How do I checkout a laptop?
A: Laptops are held behind the Circulation Desk and can be borrowed for two hours at a time. They must be used inside the Library.

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Borrowing Books and Movies

Q: For how long can I borrow materials?
A: Loan periods vary depending on the user, according to the following table. Please see Circulation for additional information.

Material Student Faculty/Staff Community
Book 4 weeks Renewable May 31 4 weeks
Pop/Juv Book 4 weeks 4 weeks 2 weeks
Video/DVD 3 days 3 days n/a
CD 1 week 1 week 1 week
Audiobook 4 weeks 4 weeks n/a
Headphones 5 hours 5 hours n/a
Journal n/a see Circulation staff n/a

Q: How much are the overdue fines?
A: Students and community members are subject to fines for any overdue material, according to the following table. Items continue to accumulate fines regardless of whether the library is open. Please see Circulation for additional information.

Material Fine
Book 25¢/day
Video/DVD $1/day
CD $1/day
Audiobook $1/day
Reserve 25¢/hour

Q: How can I return materials when the Library is closed?
A: Please return books to Campus Safety if the Library is closed. Remember, the Library is usually open on weekdays even when classes are not in session, such as during Spring Break.

Q: How do I renew my books?
A: Go to MaconCat and log in (Students, use your ID number, the same as your MyMaconWeb login number. Until you change it, the default PIN is CHANGEME.) Click Account Activities in the gray bar and select Renew My Materials. Mark the items you wish to renew and click Renew Selected Items. You may also renew items in person or by calling the Circulation Desk (752-7257). Books may be renewed twice, unless there is a hold on them.

Q: How do I know when my books are due?
A: Go to MaconCat and log in (Students, use your ID number, the same as your MyMaconWeb login number. Until you change it, the default PIN is CHANGEME.) Click Account Activities in the gray bar and select Review My Account to see due dates.

Q: What do I do if the item I need is already checked out?
A: If an item is checked out, you may sign in to MaconCat and place a hold on the item. When it is returned, you will be notified by email, and we will hold the item at the Circulation Desk for seven days. The Place Hold link is on the left of the Item Details screen. You may place holds only on items that are currently checked out.

Q: Why is the book I have borrowed being recalled?
A: If you have already renewed a book at least one time and another patron puts a hold on it, you will receive a "recall" notice.

Q: Can I use other local libraries?
A: Yes! R-MC students and employees are eligible to get library cards for the Pamunkey Regional Library, which includes the Ashland Branch Library. The library is located along the railroad tracks and within walking distance of campus. The R-MC community may also borrow books only from any of the libraries in the Richmond Academic Libraries Consortium (RALC). Students will need to obtain a RALC pass from a librarian in order to borrow books from these libraries; faculty and staff do not need a pass but must present their R-MC ID. Use WorldCat to determine which library has the book(s) you need. (Faculty and staff who wish to borrow films from RALC libraries should contact Kelli Salmon in Interlibrary Loan.)

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Doing Research

Q: How do I find books for my paper/project?
A: You can use MaconCat, the Library's catalog, to search for books and other materials the Library owns. See Find Books, Music, and Movies for links to other library catalogs. If you have difficulty finding books, please ask a librarian for assistance.

Q: How do I find articles for my paper/project?
A: You can find articles by searching databases of periodical articles. Browse the alphabetical or subject lists of databases or use the Resources by Subject page for your subject area in order to identify appropriate databases to use. See How to Find a Periodical Article for more information.

Q: Where are the journals?
A: The majority of the Library's journals are available electronically. Search Journals A–Z for the title of the journal you are looking for. Journals kept in the Library are in several places on the first floor. Recent issues are in the Butler Pavilion, and bound issues are toward the back of the building, in front of the Abernathy Room. Microfiche and microfilm are available around the corner from the Reference Desk. Please see How to Find a Periodical Article for additional information or ask a librarian for help locating a particular issue.

Q: What is the difference between popular and scholarly articles?
A: Popular or Scholarly?

Q: What is the difference between primary and secondary sources?
A: Primary or Secondary?

Q: How do I evaluate print and internet sources?
A: Evaluating Sources

Q: How do I find resources on current issues and controversial topics?
A: Issues & Controversies

Q: Can I use materials in Special Collections?
A: Yes. Please see Special Collections for policies and additional information.

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Citing Sources

Q: How do I cite full-text articles from Library databases?
A: How to Cite Full-Text Items Found in Library Databases

Q: How do I cite sources in APA style?
A: Citing in APA Style

Q: How do I cite sources in MLA style?
A: Citing in MLA Style

Q: How do I cite sources in Chicago Manual Style?
A: Citing in Chicago Style

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Media and Instructional Support

Q: Can I borrow a video camera?
A: You may borrow a video camera for class projects. Please have your instructor request the equipment through email ( or before you come to pick it up.

Q: Can I borrow a voice recorder?
A: You may borrow a voice recorder for class projects. Please have your instructor request the equipment through email ( or before you come to pick it up.

Q: How do I log in to Moodle?
A: Go to the Moodle home page at User your R-MC network username, including, and your network password. In order to get into a course site, you must obtain the KEY from your course instructor.

Q: Where can I print a large-format poster? Do I have to pay for it?
A: The Media & Instructional Support Office prints large-format posters for a fee. The standard size of research posters is 5’ x 3’, and the cost is $30.00 per poster.  Students should ask the course instructor to email in advance to have a poster printed.  We only print materials related to courses or College-sponsored research projects; we do not print personal or group photos.

Q:Where can I buy blank CDs and DVDs?
A: The MIS Office has a small amount of blank media for sale. The pricing information is posted on the front desk.

Q:Where can I get help to make and edit sound and videos?
A: You are welcome to walk in during the MIS office hours, Monday–Friday, 8:30am–5:00.m.  During off-hours, you may check the Tech Tutors’ schedule posted on the door of the Production Room (near the group workstations). Our staff and the Tech Tutors help you with the design and creation of digital images and sound. They also teach you video-editing and using media to enhance your presentations.

Q:Where can I watch non-Region-1 (PAL) DVDs?
A: Haley 102, Haley 108, and the “lounge area” in the Butler Multimedia Learning Center have multi-region DVD players.

Q:How do I connect my laptop to the large flat screen TV in the Viewing Station?
A: The VGA cable attached to the connection box works with most PC computers. Simply plug the other end of the cable to your laptop. If you have an Apple computer or your PC/Windows laptop does not have a 15-pin port, come to the Media & Instructional Support office to borrow an HDMI cable.

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For Faculty and Staff

Q: Who is my department's librarian liaison?
A: Librarian Liaisons to Departments and Programs

Q: Whom do I contact about having the library purchase materials?
A: You may contact your Librarian Liaison with requests for materials. Please see the Library's Collection Development Policy for additional information.

Q: How do I put an item on reserve?
A: Reserves

Q: Whom do I contact about scheduling library instruction for my class?
A: You may contact your Librarian Liaison with requests for instruction. Additional information is available on the Instruction page.

Q: Does the Library have copyright guidelines?
A: Yes. Please see Copyright Guidelines for McGraw-Page Library.

Q: What is the College's Intellectual Property Rights Policy?
A: Please see Randolph-Macon College Policy on Intellectual Property Rights.

Q: How do I reserve a laptop?
A: Please use the online form to reserve a laptop and other equipment. You will then come to the MIS front desk to sign the check-out form for borrowing it. 

Q: Who can help me with Moodle?
A: Go to for login information, online tutorials, and workshop schedules. Lily Zhang ( is happy to discuss pedagogical questions with you and give individual instruction on using the system.

Q: Who will help the students make a video or multimedia presentation for class assignments?
A: Students can always get help from the MIS office for media production. However, if media production is an important part of the class assignment, you are asked to contact Lily Zhang ( in advance.  Examples of media production include: recording interviews, editing commercial or internet videos, adding sound to slides, video-taping skits and other student activities, and creating large-format posters. In many cases, a 1-hour instruction session will be proposed to give your students general ideas of the production process and information on where to borrow equipment and get assistance.

Q: For how long can I check out a movie to show in class?
A: Three days, but we are happy to extend the checkout period as necessary.

Q: How can I set up a personal account in MaconCat?
A: For security reasons, you must come to the Library in order to set up your personal MaconCat account. Having an account will allow you to view and renew items, as well as place holds on checked-out materials.

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