Question of the Month
From the Catherwood Library reference librarians
PLEASE NOTE: The Reference Question of the Month is kept current only during the month for which it was written. Archived questions will not be updated, and over time may contain inaccurate information or broken web links. We provide archived questions as a service, since much of the information will remain accurate and of continued interest to the ILR community.
Question: HELP! I'm new to the Catherwood Library this semester. What would be helpful to know about the library and its services?
Answer: CATHERWOOD - The Martin P. Catherwood Library, School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, is the most comprehensive resource of its type in North America supporting education and research in nearly every aspect of the workplace.
The Library also houses the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives—the most venerable archives of its kind in an academic institution.
Helpful hint: Do pay careful attention to alarmed exits throughout the building. If drinking fountains appear to activate as you approach, you are not seeing things, they were designed that way!
SERVICES - Catherwood Library staff will assist you with checking-out library materials and help you use other services such as renewals, recalls and traces for items you cannot find in the stacks.
The main floor (2nd floor) Circulation desk is where you will find items on reserve for specific courses, items you have had recalled for your use, and where you can ask for information on photocopy vendacards. To the right of the Circulation desk is a room with coin and vendacard photocopiers and microfilm/fiche reader printers. Across the lobby are elevators leading to the third floor open stacks where you will find ILR cataloged books that are not designated as Reference or Reserve items. To the left of the elevators is the women's restroom. A unisex restroom is available on the third floor.
Helpful Hint: Many course reserve materials are available as electronic course reserves. Check the instructor's reserve list in the Library catalog.
An information desk, current periodicals and audiovisual materials are located in the first floor Silent Reading Room, though materials cannot be charged out in this area. At the north end are two group study rooms. Restrooms are outside the library door on this floor.
Helpful Hint: Check out a reserve item any day two hours or less before closing time, and it will be due back two hours after opening time the next day.
RESEARCH - Catherwood Reference services include in-person, phone, and e-mail reference assistance; on-campus instruction; outreach programs; fee-based research services; and creation of unique instructional materials.
On the main (2nd) floor, pass through the double doors to enter the Reference area. This is where you will find Reference stacks and a reading room with computers and full access to a wireless network for your use. The Reference desk is covered by student and permanent staff trained to assist you in finding information for your class assignment or research project. (This is also where you will find that hole punch, heavy duty stapler and pencil sharpener when you are doing work at the Library.) If you are having trouble identifying a topic, finding the exact information you need, citing your work, or even navigating the Catherwood website, this is the place to contact.
Helpful Hint: Don't assume you have all the info available online since some electronic information arrives in CD format and is only downloaded onto computers in the Reference area. In addition, some material may only be available in print format. DO ASK!
ARCHIVES - The Kheel Center is the most venerable labor-management archive of its type in North America. Its artifacts and documents illuminate labor and workplace history - specifically the needle trades, railroads, teachers, arbitration, mediation, and management theory.
The Kheel Center is located to the right of the Circulation desk on the main (2nd) floor of the library. When doing historical research, archivists can guide you through the Center's extensive holdings of historical management and labor collections, personal papers and oral histories, visual images, and memorabilia.
Helpful Hint: Kheel Center hours and policies differ from the rest of the library so be sure to ask about these.
Ready to Begin? Try the ILR Research Portal.