Ask a Librarian Hours for Labor Day Weekend 2017

The Ask a Librarian service will be closed on Sunday, September 3 and Monday, September 4 in honor of the Labor Day holiday.  While we are not available, the Ask Us 24/7 chat service will be here to answer your questions. If you need to speak with an Empire State College librarian, we return on Tuesday, September 5 at 9am and will respond to any voicemail or email messages left for us then.

Ask a Librarian will be back on our normal business hours on Tuesday, September 5 at 9am.

Normal Hours: 

– Sun: 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
– Mon-Thu: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
– Fri: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.



Where can I find the books and e-books for my course?

You may be wondering where to find your textbooks or maybe you just want to know if the library has your textbooks. Did you order e-books online through the bookstore and you now need to know where to find them?

The first place to check for your textbooks is the college bookstore at They have information on how to find your books, how to order online and their contact information listed there. If you have any questions or need help ordering your books, contact the bookstore directly.

If you ordered e-books for your courses through the college bookstore, you should have received an email with the information about how to access your e-book. You can contact the bookstore if you do not have this email and they can assist you.

You are welcome to check the library e-book catalog to see if we have any of your textbooks in our online library but it is rare that we have textbooks available. You can search the e-book catalog by clicking on Books on the library homepage at If you do a search and your book is not listed, unfortunately, the online library does not have that book.

You may also have readings located in your course. Often the instructor will list how to access the reading or might include a link to the reading. If a reading is in the Online Library, your instructor will usually say so or link to it from your course.

When all else fails or you still are not sure what to do, it is always best to check with your instructor.

image of college textbook stack

LexisNexis Access Error 404

We are currently experiencing issues with access to our database, LexisNexis Academic. When trying to click links or search,  you may get an Error 404 – webpage not found. The issue has been reported to LexisNexis support and should hopefully be resolved soon. We will keep you updated and apologize for any inconvenience.

How to Find, Use, and Cite Images Online

Even when you have permission to use an image, you should cite the original source, creator and/or copyright owner. Many websites will have a statement of usage or terms of use listed for their images – this is their guidelines for permission they give you to use their photos and they rules they want you to follow.

It is best practice to find credible images in collections that allow you to use their images; this means they have licenses that allow their use.

The library does have some image resources listed under Multimedia on the library homepage.  Keep in mind, that even with library image resources, you need to make sure you have permission to use the images and you always need to cite when you use anything from in the online library.

There are many Creative Commons cites that allow you to do this. Some examples of sites like this:

Many of you are probably used to using Google to search for images. One very important thing that you want to keep in mind when doing this is that Google Image Search is just a search, it is not the website that the image is on and it is not the original home of that image.  To find the actual source of that image, which is what you need to cite if you use it, you need to click on the image in Google Image Search and then click the “Visit Page” button on the right side of the image.

An example of a Google Image Search for panda bear images


Click the “Visit Page” button to see the original source of this image to find info you need to cite the image. (“National Geographic Kids Giant Panda Facts and Pictures”, 2015)

This is the original source for this image. I need to use this URL address as my retrieved from link in my citation. I also need to make sure this site gives permission to use this image.

(“National Geographic Kids Giant Panda Facts and Pictures”, 2015)

Once you get to the original website the image was found on, you want to look for source information for the image.  See if you can spot the information on the copyright owner or photographer (author), the date, the name of the website, the title for the image.  This is all information you need to cite the image.  You also want to make sure this site allows you to use this image. Look for some mention of terms of use on the webpage.

The example website I used, National Geographic Kids, calls this “terms of service.” Click on this to see their permission information if it is not listed with the actual image on the page. When I get to their Terms of Use page, there is a lot of information but eventually there is a section called “Limited Content License” that talks about using information, images, text, etc. from their website.

(“National Geographic Kids Terms of Use”, 2017)

(“National Geographic Kids Terms of Use”, 2017)

This can get a bit complicated, so you can see why it is often much easier to use one of the creative commons image sites that already gives you permission and information to cite is fairly easy to locate. Either way, always cite the original source, if you are able to find it.

How to cite images in your assignment and resources list:

On the library website, we link to citation style guides that will give you all of the information on how to cite many types of resources. Direct links are below.




Reference List:

National Geographic Kids Giant Panda Facts and Pictures. (2015, February 17). Retrieved July 20, 2017, from
National Geographic Kids Terms of Use. (2017, July 11). Retrieved July 20, 2017, from

How to create links to items in the online library

You may have discovered that when you copy and paste the link from your web browser when viewing an article or e-book in the online library, and then try to share it or go back to it later, it doesn’t work. That is because linking to items in the online library requires something called a permalink or a persistent URL.

Why do I have to do this?

This is because only those with Empire State College logins can access our paid for subscription databases and collections. In order to link to the article (or other item) in the online library so someone with a college login can access it, the link has to be made in a way that lets them login with their own information. When you are viewing an article, that link in your web browser is only good for your current logged in session.

How do I create a permalink?

Every database and collection in the online library is a bit different, based on what vendor we subscribe to for that collection. For directions on how to create permalinks, we have it broken down by each collection for you. Visit our Permalink (PURL) page for directions

How to login to save articles for later in an EBSCOHost folder

We have many databases through EBSCOHost and a great feature they have is the folder. Other databases have similar options.   We get quite a few calls or chats from students wondering why their saved items aren’t there when they log back in.  The issue is that your Empire State College login gives you access to the databases in the online library but it doesn’t make the special features work in those databases. Each database comes from a different company or vendor and they each function a little differently so their special features, like saving for later, require a free login account that you create with that database.

Once you create a personal account, any items that you save will automatically go into your folder for you to be able to access them easily later. You will be able to use the same personal account in any of the EBSCOHost databases at the library because this EBSCOHost login works for all of their databases.  The same goes for other databases, for example we have multiple databases from Proquest so if you create an account in one Proquest database and go into a different one, that account should work for all Proquest databases.

How to create a personal account in EBSCOHost:

  • From the Sign In Screen, click the Create a new Account link.
  • The Create a New Account Screen appears with Personal Account entered in the Account Type field. Fill in the fields on the Create a New Account Screen. When you have completed the fields, click Submit.
  • If all the information was accepted, a message appears that provides your user name and password. Click OK. You will be automatically logged in as a personal user. You should note the user name and password you created so you can log in at a future session.

Once your personal account is created and you are logged in, you should see My EBSCOHost.

How to use the folder:

To save articles, click the Add to folder link at the bottom of each article listing. To add all items on a page to your folder, click the Alert/Save/Share link and click Results (1-10) at the top of the menu. Result numbers to be added will change as you page through the list of results.

As you add the articles to the folder, you can click the Folder icon (or the Go to Folder View link) and review which items have been added. The Image Quick View feature provides the ability to view thumbnails of the images in an article right from the Folder screen.

You can print, e-mail, save, or export many results all at the same time using the Tools in the right column.

If you have signed in via My EBSCOHost, any search results that you collect in your folder will be automatically saved at the end of the session.

You can also create custom folders to sort the articles that you save. You can specify which folder you want to save to when you click Add to Folder.

How to create customized folders:

  • Click on Folder in EBSCOHost.
  • Click on New next to My Custom (see below).
  • A form should appear where you can create a folder name and add any notes you would like. Hit Save.

For more information about creating or using a personal account in EBSCOHost or how to use the folders, please visit an EBSCOHost database through the library website at and select Article Databases. From there scroll to E and choose EBSCOHost. Once in an EBSCOHost database, click on Help on the upper right hand corner and browse for your topic.