FOLIO Library Catalog

General material use and etiquette

General Etiquette

  • Library spaces are reserved as quiet spaces for research.
  • Phones should not be used in the library. Use the stairwells for short phone calls or the sixth-floor space or lobby for longer conversations.
  • Outside visitors (not BGC affiliated) must be cleared with library staff beforehand.

Food and Drink

  • Food is not permitted in any library space. Please eat all food on the sixth floor.
  • Drinks must be in sealed, spill-proof containers.
  • No food or drinks at all (regardless of container) are allowed in the second-floor Reading Room, Room 209 (Special Collections) or in Digital Collections.
  • Please do not use library materials in the kitchen or dining spaces on the sixth floor.

Using Library Materials

Please respect library materials and handle them with care. Ask library staff for assistance if a book seems too delicate to handle. When using library materials, please keep in mind the following:

  • Pencils or electronic devices should be used for taking notes, not pens.
  • Do not put paper clips, pencils or Post-it notes in books. Corners should not be turned down to mark places in the text.
  • Do not strain book spines by leaving them face down and cracked open, or by stacking open books to hold places in the text.
  • Book cradles and book weights are available upon request from the reference desk.

Photocopying and Scanning

There are photocopiers and scanners on the lower level and the second and third floors. Photocopiers and scanners are only for students, faculty and researchers who have made an appointment. Please do not use BGC photocopiers and scanners for non-BGC or unrelated work.

Library patrons should be mindful of copyright and fair use when photocopying and scanning materials. For example, copying or scanning an entire book does not fall within fair use. If you have questions, this checklist from the American Library Association can help you determine if your reproductions fall within fair-use guidelines.

Click here for a PDF.

When handling BGC Library materials, please adhere to these rules:

  • The covers and pages of books should be supported; do not force books to lie flat on the copy machines or scanners.
  • Oversized, tightly bound, or brittle materials should not be photocopied or scanned. Please abide by the blue “no photocopying” label attached to some materials (applies to scanning as well).
  • Duplicating special collections materials must be arranged with the library staff.
  • Duplicating BGC theses and qualifying papers are prohibited.

Using the Qualifying Papers, Theses or Dissertation Collection

  • This collection may only be used in the Reading Room during staffed reference desk hours.
  • Only one qualifying paper/thesis/dissertation may be checked out at a time.
  • No reproductions (photos, photocopies, or scans) of any kind are allowed. Notes can be taken with pencil or electronic devices.
  • If a student wishes to place an embargo on their qualifying paper after graduation, prohibiting readers from viewing it, please inform library staff.

BGC Policy on Lost and Damaged Library/Digital Collections Materials

Library patrons are expected to treat all library and Digital Collections materials and equipment with care. Any damage beyond normal wear, whether intentional or accidental, shortens the life of the book, periodical, media item, or piece of equipment; on some occasions, a severely damaged item may need to be replaced.

Patrons who return library items damaged either by intentional or preventable misuse (including highlighting, underlining in pencil or ink, or use of adhesive notes) or by accident (e.g., the spilling of liquids and food) will be assessed repair fees determined by the library director according to the severity of the damage.

Patrons who check out Digital Collections equipment (such as cameras and voice recorders) must sign an equipment checkout form and are responsible for returning that equipment to the Digital Collections in the same condition and by the date agreed upon. Any delay or damage, whether intentional or accidental, will result in a fee determined by the Digital Collections librarian according to the severity of the delay or damage.

Replacement Fee

Any library item or Digital Collections equipment that is lost, damaged beyond repair, or not returned in a timely fashion will result in a replacement fee charged to the registered user. This charge will consist of the full cost of replacing the item or piece of equipment, plus a processing fee of $50. Should the library not be able to determine the precise cost of replacement for a library item, the replacement fee will be $100, plus the processing fee of $50, for a total cost of $150. Similarly, the replacement fee for VMR equipment will be determined by the director of IT. All exceptions to this policy must be approved by the library director.

Fee Payment

Damage and replacement fees must be paid by cash or check to the Bard Graduate Center Library. A receipt will be issued. Failure to pay will result in a hold on the student’s record and a block on graduation until all outstanding fees are cleared.

Requesting a title for library purchase

Requesting a title for library purchase

  • The library welcomes acquisitions suggestions for the collection.
  • Requests for materials used for thesis and dissertation research are encouraged.
  • You can make an acquisitions request any time by e-mail to [email protected]

Using Library Materials


  • Faculty and staff are permitted to check material out to their offices for as long as necessary.
  • Library materials are not permitted to leave BGC buildings.
  • Please complete book check-out and returns at the second-floor reference desk.

Caring for books

  • Do not put paper clips, pencils, or Post-it notes in books. Corners should not be turned down to mark places in the text.
  • Do not strain book spines by leaving them face down and cracked open or by stacking up open books to hold places in the text.
  • Book cradles and book weights are available upon request from the reference desk.

Special Collections materials

  • To use special collections material in class, please contact library staff at least 24 hours in advance to make arrangements.
  • Materials will be delivered to your classroom on the day of class.
  • Personal requests to consult Special Collections material can be made directly at the second-floor reference desk or via e-mail at [email protected].

Course Reserve Guidelines

  • Instructors may place required readings for their courses on reserve in the library, making them convenient and accessible to students.
  • Each course receives equal shelf space, accommodating an average of 100 books. If your course reserve exceeds its shelf, the library staff may ask that you trim your list.

What may go on reserve:

  • Library books, copies of your own books, and personal photocopies may all be placed on reserve.
  • Periodicals, reference books, and special collections material may not be placed on reserve. Contact library staff at least 24 hours in advance to make arrangements.
  • The library does not photocopy materials for reserve. Faculty members must provide their own scans or photocopies for students.

How to format reserve lists:

  • If your course has been taught previously you may contact the library to reuse a previous reserve list.
  • For new courses or course reserve additions, please prepare a list of citations including author’s full name, title, publisher and edition, and, most importantly, the BGC Library call number.
  • To order new books, please provide the full citation to library staff. Orders can take several weeks to arrive, so please plan accordingly.

Where to submit reserve lists:

  • Please submit reserve lists to the library staff member assigned to your course.
  • Please submit a copy of your course syllabus to help the library keep track of your reserve materials. Your syllabus will be used only by library staff for this purpose and will not be shared.

When to submit reserve lists:

  • Lists and materials should be submitted by August 1 for the Fall semester and by December 15 for the Spring semester. Lists submitted after deadline cannot be guaranteed to be completely on the Course Reserve shelves by the first week of classes.
  • If you need to add materials to your course during the semester, please submit new material at least one week before the readings are due in class. Submitting all lists and materials at once is preferred.

Printing and Scanning

  • Library printers are located in the lower-level study and on the second and third floors.
  • An overhead book scanner is located on the second floor by the reference desk.
  • Desktop scanners are located in the Digital Collections.
  • The cover and pages of a book should be supported while being duplicated; do not force books to lie flat on machines. Ask for book weights and supports at the reference desk.
  • Oversized, tightly bound, or brittle materials should not be reproduced.
  • Please abide by the blue “no photocopying” label attached to some materials. If you have any doubt about whether a book should be reproduced, ask a library staff member.

Student Shelves

  • The library is non-circulating (meaning everything stays on-site), so every student is assigned a shelf for their library materials.
  • You may check out books from the monograph stacks and periodicals stacks to keep on your shelf.
  • Fill out a check out card for each item placed on your shelf. Write legibly, include your first and last name, and month/day/year. Place the card on a re-shelving cart.
  • Keep your shelves orderly: shelve books vertically with titles facing out. Do not overcrowd books on your shelves. If you need more space, talk to library staff.
  • Do not put personal belongings on your library shelf. Anything other than printed material should be kept in the lower level lockers.
  • Course reserve books, folios, oversized books, and reference books cannot be stored on student shelves.
  • When you are finished using the material, place all library materials on re-shelving carts, except for course reserve books, which you should return to the appropriate course reserve shelf.

Appointments are required for outside researchers and alumni. E-mail [email protected] with requested titles and call numbers from Folio. Walk-in visitors or unconfirmed appointment requests cannot be accommodated.
Library Staff
Heather Topcik
Director of Research Collections
[email protected]

Barb Elam
Digital Collections Metadata Librarian and Study Collection Manager
[email protected]

Anna Helgeson
Associate Director of the Library
[email protected]

Sebastian Moya
Technical Services and Systems Librarian
[email protected]

Mike Satalof
Archivist and Digital Preservation Specialist
[email protected]

Vic Panata
Library Fellow
[email protected]