Cornell University

Catherwood Library

Catherwood Library, Ives Hall, 607-255-5435
Research Tools for ILR Student Interns

Catherwood Library is the starting point for your research--whether you are on the Ithaca campus or embarked on an internship in New York City, Washington, D.C., or Geneva, Switzerland! 

This guide provides:

Contact information

Did you know that reference help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?  That means that whatever time zone you are in, there is a librarian ready to help you.  We can offer this service because we are part of a cooperative reference service, Question Point.  If you need help searching a Cornell database or finding a quick fact, either a Cornell librarian or one from the cooperative will provide assistance.  Please make your question as specific as possible, identify yourself as a "student," and be sure to provide your Cornell email address. To use this service, or contact CUL librarians via phone or text message, visit CUL's Ask a Librarian page.

If you want to connect to an ILR reference librarian, our M-F phone number is 607-254-5370.  If we are not able to answer your call, leave a message or email us at  More contact information is found on our web site.

Electronic Library Resources

Your valid NetID and password are all you need to connect to millions of electronic journal and newspaper articles, hundreds of research databases, and an exponentially growing number of e-books that are provided through Cornell University Library subscriptions.  You can go straight to the resource you need via Find e-Journals or Find Databases, or test the waters by cross-searching many resources with Find Articles

In most cases, full text of the electronic resource is only a couple of clicks away--provided by the e-Journal subscription, in conjunction with a research database, or through the GetIt!Cornell link.   If you have trouble retrieving electronic full text, it might be because Cornell does not subscribe to the resource or an electronic version of the resource you have selected (see next section), or there could be some connection problems.   See the library's guide to connecting from off campus to troubleshoot and report connection problems.

Many students find using the ILR subscription of Lexis/Nexis beneficial for doing off-campus research.  Lexis/Nexis provides full text of many trade publications, magazines, business directories, and newspapers.  It also includes most tools needed for legal research.  Another benefit is that authentication for Lexis/Nexis is through a user-created custom ID, and thus, circumvents some of the known authentication quirks found with other electronic resources.   To get an access code for Lexis/Nexis, you must attend an hour-long training session here in Ithaca.  The exception to this is if you have had a Lexis ID and the training previously.  If you received training and a code in an ILR class, such as ILRCB 201, you qualify for continued Lexis access.   Lexis IDs expire every fall.  If you are away from Ithaca and find that your ID has expired, please contact for a new access code. 

Use of most electronic library resources is restricted to current members of the Cornell community.  The ILR subscription to Lexis is limited to individual educational use.

Document Delivery and Special Loan Requests

If you need a journal article or short book excerpt that is not available electronically, the Cornell Library has a service, MyDocumentDelivery, through which current students, faculty, and staff members can request scans of print journal articles and small excerpts from books.  These scans are made available to the requester as pdfs on a web page for a limited amount of time.   The small fee that is normally charged is often waved for registered students who are spending the semester away from Ithaca and need materials to fulfill academic requirements. 

Copyright laws prohibit library document delivery services from reproducing whole books or large sections of books.  If you need books for your research, the best option is to check them out before you leave campus.   Keep in mind, though, that all circulation policies apply.   Your off-campus books are subject to recall if needed by another Cornell user.  You are responsible for returning books by the due dates, including recall due dates.

Another option would be to use the collection of a public or college library in the locale of your internship.   See Libraries For Use By ILR Credit Interns for options in Washington, New York City, and Albany. 

Please notify ILR Reference staff  if you need additional help accessing library materials. 

Key Research Databases and Strategies

Lexis/Nexis (ILR Subscription)
The ILR Subscription to Lexis/Nexis is more extensive and useful than the campus-wide LexisNexis Academic.  Many critical information resources are combined into one dynamic site.  Access to the subscription requires training and an ILR access code. Special materials are available for human resources and employment and labor law, including full-text books. Using your favorite browser, you can keep on top of the latest news (includes full-text of the New York Times and other major and minor newspapers), stay abreast of the hottest legal topics, and find current information on legal and legal-related products and services. More than 1.6 billion full-text documents are available for your personal, educational purposes.  Don't leave campus without getting the training!

ILR Library Subject Guides
ILR Librarians have compiled subject research guides that parallel the School's majors.  These guides will point you to the best resources for completing the academic requirements of your internship. 

Best of the Web (picks from the ILR Library staff)
The guides found on the Best of the Web page point you to free Internet resources that have important content.  Use of these guides is appropriate when your employer asks you to research a topic.  Find sources of free full text, the best government and international resources, and guides for labor and human resources sites. 

ILR Subscription Databases
The ILR Library subscribes to several databases and other resources that are useful to HR and Labor practitioners.  Access to these subscriptions is restricted to the ILR School, Catherwood Library, and/or designated Reference workstations within Catherwood.   However, ILR librarians can provide some mitigated assistance with these resources.  If your boss asks you to research the latest trends in benefits, what arbitrators are deciding when it comes to drug and alcohol problems, or the success of union elections, please contact  We can research succinct topics and provide guidance on how to do more extensive research. 

We want you to have a successful experience with your internship.  Please let us know if we can help!

ILR Reference Staff