Biology Library




Reference  |  Library Instruction  |  Databases  |  Current Awareness Services  |  Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery  Photocopy Services  |  Computers and Other Equipment  Carrels

See also Service related questions (FAQ page)


Reference Services

Reference services are available at the University of Illinois Biology Library from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm weekdays, or by appointment. Reference services offered include help with formulating search strategies, locating information on campus, and verifying citations.  Reference questions may be asked in person, by phone (244-3591).

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Library Instruction

Instructional services are provided by the Biology Library, such as: 

Request a session by completing the Biology Library Instruction Request Form.   For further information please contact, Melody Allison, Assistant Biology Librarian, by e-mail ( or phone ( 333-7461; or 333-3654).



Self-help guides are available to help students, faculty, and staff learn to use the library and our resources. These are available in print at the Biology Library and online. Our guides include:

If you cannot find a particular guide, please ask a staff member.

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Online access to a large collection of bibliographic databases is available to UIUC patrons. Commonly used databases for the life sciences such as Biological Abstracts, Current Contents, PubMed, and Science Citation Index and Zoological Record among many others are linked directly from the Biology Library homepage "Quick Links."  Access to these and many other bibliographic databases are also accessible from from the Online Research Resources (ORR) database via the campus Library Gateway bar on the left side of the Biology Library page.  Search instructions for major life sciences databases can be found at .

You can access all of the online database resources from the public computer terminals in the Biology Library, from any campus computer terminal, or even from a remote computer if you have a UIUC NetID and password.  If you would like some help learning to use any of these resources, stop by the Biology Library Reference Desk, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday, e-mail, consult the available Instructional Handouts, or call 244-3591.

RefWorks (Bibliographic Software), is a Web-based citation management tool which is supported by several bibliographic databases. There are numerous formatting possibilities. References with a bibliography can be placed into Word documents from RefWorks with its “Write and Cite” feature. EndNote libraries can be imported into RefWorks. All citations in RefWorks have a UIUC "Discover" link, allowing you quick access to the e-version of journal articles available through our campus Library resources or, for those articles not available fulltext, an automatically filled out Interlibrary Loan request needing just a click to send.

To use RefWorks you will first need to create an account which is very quick, and free (to UIUC affiliates). Then you will be able to access your account via the Web anywhere anytime using your subscriber login name and password. Note: If you are not using the campus network, you will need to use Your Subscriber Group Code which is provided when you register. For more information, including instructions go to

EndNote (Bibliographic Software). The School of Life Science supports the bibliographic software product, EndNote. EndNote allows you to download bibliographic information from online resources, and to generate bibliographies in specific formats from citations you have downloaded. For instructions on using EndNote to download citations from various article databases, including Current Contents, Biological Abstracts, and PubMed, see the EndNote Guides developed by the Veterinary Medicine Library.  The EndNote Website also has information about using EndNote.  For more information about using EndNote, contact the SOLS Computer Assisted Instruction Specialist, Barbara Meyer at 333-2756 or e-mail

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Current Awareness Services

Email alerts are available for many of the electronic bibliographic databases.  Links to instructions are provided for selected bibliographic databases here. Please ask a librarian if you need assistance.


The New Books List for the Biology Library is compiled monthly, and is posted online.  The monthly New Books List for Biology Library books is created from the University Library's New Titles database to display new titles for a specific month.  For your convenience we also have pre-scripted rolling searches for the  Last 30 Days and  Last 60 Days.  You may also use the University Library's New Titles database to search for recently catalogued titles by library, call number ranges, or combinations of both for a variety of time periods.  There are also a number of sorting options for the results list.  For more information, see the FAQ, Descriptions and Examples


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Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery Services

Make Interlibrary Loan requests (for journal articles not available on campus and books not in ILLINET Online) through the  Information Resource Retrieval Center (IRRC). Click Login to My Account.   Log in with your campus NetID and password.  You may choose Loan Request (for books) or a Photocopy Request (for articles).  Fill out the form - * field are required information.   Articles will be either mailed or provided to you electronically.  Interlibrary loan books in most cases will either be delivered to a selected library, of campus office for faculty or graduated students.  You will be notified by e-mail if books need to be picked up at Central Circulation in the Main Library on the second floor.  Journal articles typically take 7-10 days to fill; and books may take up to 3 weeks.

If you have questions about interlibrary loan, ask any librarian or call the Interlibrary Loan office at 333-0832. 

Our British Lending Library Document Delivery service can provide faster access to some journal articles which are not available on campus.  For more information about this service call 333-3591 or 333-0281 or e-mail

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Photocopy Services

Biology Library

The Biology Library has a fee-based photocopy service for providing photocopies of articles from materials owned by the Biology Library. This service is available to UIUC and UIC-Urbana Campus patrons who have access to an University of Illinois departmental or grant account.  We cannot charge an individual directly. The charge for the service is $0.18 per page. The articles will be mailed to your campus address.  Only written or e-mailed requests are accepted. The online form should be used for requests. This form may be sent to the Biology Library through campus mail, or through email to: We try to respond to requests within 48 hours (Mon - Fri) of receiving them.

If you have a departmental or grant account, you may also use one of our auditron photocopy machines, located at the north end of the reading room, to photocopy items yourself.  The charge for the service is $0.09 per page.  Ask at the Circulation Desk for instructions on using these machines or to request a departmental copy card.  For departments wishing to request there own auditron photocopy cards, see instructions for requesting photocopy cards with departmental accounts.

There are also photocopiers available for public use (see below).  



Other Library Life Sciences Division Libraries

The Veterinary Medicine Library also has a photocopy service, please consult their Information Services page for details.

The Library of the Health Sciences, in the Medical Sciences Building, provides a photocopy service called InfoQuic.

The Natural History Survey Library has a photocopy service as well. Please consult their Interlibrary Loan Options page to learn more (the information about their photocopy services is at the bottom of the page).



Campus Library System

The UIUC DocExpress service is a campus Library fee-based service for photocopying materials for University faculty, students, and staff for materials held at the UIUC campus libraries.  Fees are $3.00 per article for faculty members, or $5.00 per article for students and staff, which can be paid for through authorized departmental accounts, or VISA ® or Master Card ® credit cards. 


To get started go to the Library IRRC Interlibrary Loan page and click on the  UIUC DocExpress link under For UIUC Faculty, Students, and Staff .  You will be asked to login with your NetID and password  Before making a request, an account for payment will  have to be created.  The form will automatically display, if you do not have an account.  Once the account is created, you may make the request by following the instructions provided. 


A RUSH Service is also available for items at a charge of $15.00 per citation.  This fee may be paid by VISA ®, Master Card ®, a personal check, or departmental account.  RUSH material arrives within 72 hours unless there is difficulty in obtaining the item.  If the borrowing office is unable to fill you request within the allotted time, you will not be charged the RUSH fee and every effort is made to continue to obtain the item.  For any questions, please call or email Cherie` L. Weible, Asst. IRRC Librarian at (217) 244-9907 or

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Computers and Other Equipment

Public Computer Terminals are available in the Biology Library.  You may use these terminals to search the online catalog, article databases, or conduct other research.  Office 2003 applications (Word 2003, Excel 2003, and PowerPoint 2003) are also available for course-related activity, scholarly research, and other activities directly related to the educational, research and public service mission of the University.  Use of library workstations to access electronic services offered by the Library takes precedence over other activities.  Internet access is available on all of the public terminals in the Biology Library.  For information about non-library campus computer sites, see Campus Information Technologies & Educational Services (CITES) sites.

See Electronic Information Policy for Library Users for policy information.

Laser Printer. You may print from Biology Library computer terminals to the laser printer in the Biology Library. Color printing is not available. The charge is 10˘ per page, billed to your personal UI account. You need your Net ID and password (assigned by Campus Information Technologies & Educational Services (CITES) to use the Biology Library laser printer.

Photocopiers for public use are located in the Reading Room. There are two coin (or value card) operated machines at the south end of the Reading Room. Current prices are 15˘ per page (any size) for cash, and 8.5˘ per 8.5x11 (letter size) page or 9.5˘ per 8.5x14 (legal size) page for value cards. The two copiers at the north end of the Reading Room can be used to charge copies to University departmental and grant accounts. Ask at the Circulation Desk for instructions on using these machines or to request a departmental copy card.

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Carrels (individual study cubicles) are assigned to people on an academic year basis. Priority is given to graduate students and faculty of the School of Life Sciences. Some carrels are available for general use, and these are not locked. None of the carrels have network connections. Contact the Biology Librarian, Diane Schmidt (333-0281) to request an assigned carrel, which are given out only at the beginning of the fall semester.

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03-12-2008 mma