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Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), policies and services at the CCNY libraries.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

The City College Library provides interlibrary loan (ILL) services for City College faculty, students and staff in good Library standing. ILL is used to obtain materials NOT OWNED by CUNY for purposes relating to:

  • Research
  • Academic studies  (Textbooks may not be requested)

Learn more about ILL      

All ILL requests are made online through our document delivery system called ILLiad. All articles requested through ILLiad will be delivered electronically to your ILLiad account. Books will be delivered to the Circulation department where you can pick them up. You will be notified via email when ILL items have been received. You must create an account on ILLiad to request items via ILL.

Create your ILLiad account or make a request online

International Students

Glossary of Library Terms

How to use CCNY Libraries

CCNY Libraries includes a collection of over one million books, journals, videos, CDs (and other audio recordings), scripts, dissertations, archival materials, etc. It is an "open stack" library, which means that after you find an item's call number in the library catalog (CUNY+), you need to go into the stacks (or aisles where the books are shelved) to get the book yourself. The first letter of a book's call number tells you the floor where the book is located. The books are organized by their subject matter, so if you find one book on your research topic, others are bound to be nearby.

Cohen Library Floor Plan

Language Dictionaries

Language dictionaries are located in the reference collection in Cohen Library. You can search for a particular language dictionary in the library catalog.

For a dictionary with entries and definitions in the same language, do a Phrase Search for

Subject Heading     "[Language X] language -- Dictionaries"

Example: Subject Heading     Spanish language -- Dictionaries

For a dictionary with entries and definitions in two different languages, do a Phrase Search for

Subject Heading [Language X] language -- Dictionaries -- [Language Y]"

Example: Subject Heading Spanish language -- Dictionaries -- English


English as a Second Language (ESL) Tools and Guides

A TOEFL Preparation Guide is available at the Reference Desk. It is available for use in the library. You must present your CUNY ID card   to request it.


Foreign Language Books/Videos/Audio-recordings

Books in CCNY Libraries are organized by their subject content, not by the language in which they are written. Therefore, all the books in any one language will not be found in one spot.

If you are looking for a specific book, do a Phrase Search for the title (in any language) or the author. If the title appears in a language other than English, the book is in the other language, unless the word "English" appears directly after the title.

If you are looking for books in a non-English language on a particular topic, you must do an Advanced Search and use the "Language Limit" drop-down menu to limit your search to only the books in the language you want.


Foreign Language Periodical Articles

CCNY Libraries subscribe to several databases and journals which provide access to articles in foreign languages.

Lexis Nexis

Full text. For news from sources in other countries, choose News Search, then select Foreign Language. Searches newspapers worldwide.

Ethnic Newswatch

Full text. Bilingual (English and Spanish) full text database of ethnic and minority newspapers, magazines, and scholarly journals published in the US, including magazines on business, child rearing, and ethnic history.

MLA International Bibliography

Citations only. The Modern Language Association (MLA) International Bibliography covers areas such as language, literature, folklore, linguistics, literary theory and criticism, and users can select from several languages.


Reference Desk/Subject Specialists

You can speak with a reference librarian during reference hours or email your research question at Ask a Librarian. Ask a Librarian will respond in 24 hours, M-F. You can also make an appointment with and/or email Subject Specialist. Subject Specialists are Faculty Librarians with advanced degrees and are assigned to every major at CCNY.

In Process Materials

Materials that say “In Process” in the catalog have been requested by a user at another campus and are in transit to being either checked out by that person or returned to its home library. You may request the item; however there may be other people ahead of you in the queue.


You must have a valid CCNY email address to set-up and access CitiNet--the campus wireless account The CCNY IT Department can assist you with any questions you may have.