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Covid-19 Continuity: Explore the library's online resources and services, or consult our service updates.

Research Guides

Covid-19 Continuity of Library Services

Service Updates

The library remains open online. Students can reserve quiet study space Monday through Thursday between 9am and 5pm at this link. We continue to plan for and work toward a return to onsite services that centers the safety of everyone at The Graduate Center, including library staff and faculty. Our target date for the resumption of materials circulation is Monday August 16, 2021.

Online library services continue to be expanded as we work and research remotely.

Borrowing and Digital Delivery

Access to the Physical Collections

Our physical collections, including print books and journals, dissertations, microfilm, and audiovisual materials, remain inaccessible to both patrons and library staff, but the library is open online. At this time, we do not offer scanning or grab-and-go services. If there is an item that you need in the library's physical collections, consider placing an interlibrary loan request, using the ebook search service or contacting your liaison librarian to look for alternative access. Hathitrust's Emergency Temporary Access Service also provides access to digital copies of approximately half of the GC Library's print collections while our collection is inaccessible; log in at with your GC Network credentials to see all of the available scans for GC affiliates.

Returning Materials and Late Fees

CUNY libraries have suspended regular overdue fines as well as fines for recalled items and we ask that you keep the books you have checked out until further notice. All CUNY libraries now allow at least nine renewals of circulating items and will automatically renew items checked out to you. Additionally, interlibrary loan staff will automatically request renewals of ILL items on your behalf.

If you have an urgent need to return library books, the main security desk in the lobby of the GC is accepting library returns. Patrons who need to return equipment or media such as laptops, DVDs, or headphones should email to make arrangements.

Book returns may also be mailed:

ATTN: Library Returns
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Please note that returned books will not be checked in until the building reopens, so items will remain on your account until that time.

Recalls and Holds

No items currently checked out will be recalled while the building remains closed. Intercampus lending, or CLICS, is currently suspended.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan is still fully operational via our regular ILLIAD system while the Mina Rees Library is closed, but can only deliver items electronically at this time.

Any item can be requested, regardless of whether the GC or any CUNY library owns a copy.

Book chapter requests, rather than requests for whole books, tend to be more successful requests during COVID. Publishers' websites, Google Books or any online preview pages are good places to look for table of contents in order to see tables of contents and to decide what to request. You can also request tables of contents through ILL.

Please contact us at if you need any further information about our services.

Technology Loans

The library has suspended all equipment loans at this time.

Graduate Center Laptop Loans

Students may request a laptop from IT Services using the request form.

In order to borrow a laptops you must meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Be registered for Spring 2021 classes with no registration holds on your record.
  • Be able to show a GC ID if you will be picking up a laptop.

Contact IT Services for further assistance.

Library Collections and Resources

Online access to library resources is limited to Graduate Center and SLU affiliates and requires a GC Network ID. Your GC Network ID will also provide access to Interlibrary Loan Services at the GC.

GC Network ID credentials are not the same as CUNYfirst credentials. In most cases, your username is your first initial followed by your last name; if you are at SLU, log in with your EMPLID and password provided by SLU IT.

Forgot your password? GC affiliates can use GC IT's self-service password reset site. SLU affiliates should contact SLU IT at

Need to view or manage your current book loans? Log into your Library/OneSearch account using your CUNY Login. As of August 3, 2020, CUNY Libraries no longer use a barcode number to access your account online.

In addition to your Library/OneSearch account, there are other accounts users need at CUNY. These include a GC Network Account, GC Email, CUNYFirst, CUNY Portal, CUNY Virtual Desktop, CUNY Academic Commons, OpenCUNY, and others. Learn more about them on the CUNY Accounts page.

Ebooks: How to find online monographs

  1. Use OneSearch: The majority of our GC Library ebooks display in this search. GC affiliates have access to ebooks that CUNY licenses for all campuses and those in our GC collections; both of these corpuses display in the GC view of OneSearch
  2. Databases A-Z: all of our ebook collections are included here. You can even see those that are not restricted by DRM.
  3. View links to our ebook collections along with news and search tips on our Ebooks Research Guide.
  4. Search Hathitrust (now with special Emergency Access Service which holds scans of 50% of the GC Library's print collections). These items do not display within OneSearch, so log in at to see full ebook holdings (choose CUNY Graduate School and University Center from the drop-down when you log in)
  5. Make a request for a book chapter via Interlibrary Loan
  6. Use our Ebook Search Service: a librarian will check all available ebook collections for you within a few business days
  7. Do you have credentials for another CUNY campus or another university where you work? Remember even other CUNY schools will have different ebook titles.
  8. New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Queens Public Library collections also include many ebooks that could be accessed remotely
  9. Speak with your liaison librarian for assistance in finding and searching for ebooks.

Streaming Film and Media

Consult the library's Film Studies Research Guide for a list of streaming media options.

Online Access for Graduate Center Alumni

GC alumni have access to a limited selection of library databases through a partnership between the library and the Alumni Affairs Office. Complete the Graduate Center Alumni Registration Form to request access. The Alumni Affairs Office will reply (please allow 1-2 business days) with a username and password to access Databases for Alumni.

Open Access resources (indicated by this symbol:) on the the Graduate Center's A-Z Database List are freely available.

Library Facilities and Spaces

Study spaces

Starting June 7th, current students from the GC and School of Labor & Urban Studies (SLU) as well as CUNY faculty may reserve study space in the Mina Rees Library. The space is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Thursday, and closed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Be sure to make your reservation before 4pm on the day before you come in and bring your confirmation email and Graduate Center ID, SLU ID, or CUNY Faculty ID to enter the building.  Full details are available on the study space reservation page.  

During the building closure, construction of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Data Visualization on the lower level continues according to plan.

All staff and faculty who wish to enter The Graduate Center must adhere to the Graduate Center Building Entry Policy.


There is currently no access to printing service through the library. Contact IT Services for assistance with alternatives.

Research Help and Reference Services

Graduate Center librarians are available for remote research help during our online service hours.

Email: Complete the question submission form and receive a reply by email during reference hours.

By Appointment: Schedule a one-on-one research consultation (phone or videoconference) by contacting your subject librarian.

Chat: Chat with an academic librarian 24/7. If available, a CUNY librarian will answer your chat.

Our chat service is available 24/7 and will be answered by a CUNY librarian, if available. When CUNY librarians are not available, an academic librarian from one of our partner libraries will assist you.


Contact Us

Interlibrary Loan:
Dissertation Office:

Workshops and Instruction

See our events calendar for library workshop listings. All workshops are delivered online.

Information for Instructors

Instructors can request library research instruction for classes by contacting their liaison librarian or filling out our class visit request form.

Course Reserves

Due to the move to distance learning and building closures, the library is fulfilling reserve requests with e-books (if they are available). We will do our best to provide online versions of your reading materials, which will be available in our E-Reserves system.

Instructors should review our full Reserves Guide for details about deadlines and making requests.

Reserves Quick Links

Reserves During COVID-19 (Fall 2021)

Our current policy remains that we will not purchase new or additional physical items for Reserves. We will do our best to provide online versions of your reading materials. Please bear in mind that some textbooks are simply unavailable to libraries as e-books.

Teaching faculty should complete the Course Reserve Request Form to request an item be placed on reserve (even if the library does not own the item).

  • Include as much information as possible when placing the request (call number or OneSearch link if the library owns the material, link to Amazon or ISBN if the library needs to purchase the material).

  • There is a reserve limit of 30 items per course. However, due to budget restrictions each course will be limited to 10 e-book purchases when requesting new material.

  • It generally takes 4-6 weeks for an item that GC Library does not own to be purchased, processed, and placed on reserve.

  • The library only handles book reserves at this time; articles and other items can be organized in Blackboard or by other CUNY tools for sharing with classes.    

    • Because of purchasing restrictions and delayed delivery of campus budgets, we do not have the capability to purchase new streaming videos. If the library already licenses a streaming video through one of our databases we will help you link to the item for your course.

Material which CAN be placed on Reserve

  • E-books
  • E-book Chapters
  • Streaming videos that the library has already licensed

Material which CANNOT be placed on Reserve

  • Interlibrary loan books
  • Library periodical issues or volumes
  • Scans of an entire book
  • Streaming video that requires a new license

Need assistance finding openly available materials for your course? For information about Open Educational Resources (OER) or Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC), see our OER Guide.

The Library will notify the instructor when materials are added to their Reserves page. Please note that new purchases will require additional time to process (order, receive, and catalog). Requests made prior to the deadline will be made available prior to the start of the semester, unless you are notified otherwise. Contact Reserves to check the status of your request.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan is still fully operational via our regular ILLIAD system while the Mina Rees Library is closed, but can only deliver items electronically at this time.

Any item can be requested, regardless of whether the GC or any CUNY library owns a copy.

Book chapter requests, rather than requests for whole books, tend to be more successful requests during COVID. Publishers' websites, Google Books or any online preview pages are good places to look for table of contents in order to see tables of contents and to decide what to request. You can also request tables of contents through ILL.

Please contact us at if you need any further information about our services.

NYPL and Public Libraries

New York Public Library (NYPL)

On-Site Research

Branch Libraries:  Beginning July 6, all available New York Public Library branch locations will reopen with close to full service, including general library use and seating, unlimited browsing, computer access, and more. See NYPL's reopening page for the latest information.

Research Libraries:  Beginning July 6, while appointments will still be required for most research collections use, service will be expanded at select locations to permit walk-in visitors who want to sit in public reading rooms, including the Rose Main Reading Room at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, for quiet study, thought, and computer use. Sign up for Research at NYPL email updates to receive announcements regarding NYPL's research services.  

Researchers may schedule an appointment to visit any of the New York Public Library’s four Research Libraries – the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Performing Arts, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, or the Business Center at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library (formerly the Science and Business Library, or SIBL).  Before doing so, you’ll need to meet virtually with an NYPL librarian, so be sure to plan ahead, and schedule enough time in advance for your research needs.

Getting a new NYPL card

NYPL Print Book Services

  • Research Borrowing Programs: Graduate Center affiliated researchers are eligible to borrow select NYPL research materials usually reserved for on-site use. The NYPL's Research Books by Mail and Grab-and-Go for Researchers programs have been suspended now that general research collections are available on-site. 
  • Request Research Library Materials: Request general research materials in advance to make the most of your time at the library. 
  • Scan & Deliver Service: Eligible general collection items held at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts may be requested by clicking the Request button wherever it appears in the Shared Collection Catalog.
  • Circulating Collections: As of July 6th, NYPL is offering nearly full service in the branch libraries, including general library use and seating, unlimited browsing, laptop and computer access, and more.  Request items for pick up at the branch of your choice.

Databases and Ebooks

See our NYPL research guide for links and updates

Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library

The Brooklyn Public Library and Queens Public Library both have print pick-up services and electronic collections available online. See this post for additional links to their programs and to find out how to apply for a library card.

The Brooklyn Public Library is now offering expanded services, including browsing, holds pick-ups, and computer reservations at most of their open locations. View the branch map and learn more on the BPL's website

The Queens Public Library re-opened with unlimiited browsing, open seating, and expanded hours on July 12th.  Full details are available on the QPL's website


Frequently Asked Questions