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Frequently Asked Questions

Find what you need in our searchable FAQ.

Can I check my library account online?

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Yes! Just visit the library's homepage and click on Check Your Account. You'll need your Bluffton University ID, which will have your barcode number on the back.  From your online account, you can track your OPAL and OhioLINK requests, double-check duedates, and renew your materials.  If you have any questions about your account, please call the library at 419-358-3262.
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When is the library open?

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Visit the Hours page to see our regular schedule and adjustments based on the university calendar.
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Can I renew my books online?

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Yes!  Most items will automatically renew when the due date arrives, but you can watch your due dates and renewals with your library account.  Just visit the library's homepage and click on Check Your Account. You'll need your Bluffton University ID, which will have your barcode number on the back.  Once you've logged in, review the list of your checked out items. Check off the ones you want to renew, and click the [Renew Marked] button.  You may be asked to confirm your choice.

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Can the library help me find textbooks for my class?

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There’s no easy answer. Borrowing textbooks can be a tricky proposition. It depends a lot on what type of “textbook” it is:

If it’s a traditional textbook that undergoes frequent updates, then it can be harder to locate. There may not be that many copies out there, even in the OhioLINK catalog, and there can be heavy demand for those. You may have to go back several editions to find an available copy. The content may have changed substantially from the “old” edition to the one that’s on your syllabus. In this case, you should always check with your instructor before using a previous edition.

If it’s just a regular book that your professor is using as a course text, there’s a better chance that it will be available, either at our library, or in OhioLINK or SearchOhio.

Where to look: start with the Bluffton University Library Catalog. Move next to OhioLINK. Then try SearchOhio. Finally, you can fill out an Interlibrary Loan request, but it can take up to several weeks for a book to get here. Also loan periods can vary, and renewals are uncertain.

Library staff can help. If you’re confused about where to look and how to get started, let us help you. We will, however, give you the customary, cautionary speech about frequent lack of availability, the risk of using previous editions, and the mixed success of finding the textbooks you need.

Borrowing rather than buying/renting: If you borrow the textbook, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your due dates.  Renewals are automatic, but can run out before the end of the semester. If someone else places a hold on your specific copy, you will not be able to renew it. To see our borrowing policies, review this page: Borrowing Policies: Undergraduate and AGE Students.

In the end, it certainly can be worth trying to find a copy you can borrow rather than buying/renting, even with all the potential drawbacks. It’s up to you and your particular situation. Need help?  Ask us...

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I need help with research but can't get to the library. Can you still help me?

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Yes! Take a look at our Need Help? Ask Us! page, where you'll find a phone number for the Research and Information Desk (419-358-3450), our email address (researchhelp@bluffton.edu).  Many of our resources have a chat or email button in the lower right corner of the screen - use it to connect with a librarian if one is available.

You can also make a PAWS appointment to talk one-on-one with a librarian about your questions.

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How do I know where a book is located in the library?

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You’ll need the “Location” and the “Call Number” from the library catalog search results.  The combination of these two things will tell you where to go… and you can always ask a library worker for help.  This guide will help you understand our shelving locations: https://libguides.bluffton.edu/whereisit

 

 

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How do I check out books?

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Your Bluffton University ID is your library card.  You can bring anything you want to check out over to the L-shaped "Circulation/Info" desk. There, we’ll scan your card and the book(s) you want, and you’ll get an email to tell you when those things are due back.  For more details, you can read this guide: https://libguides.bluffton.edu/borrowing

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How do I search for books?

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Click on Library Catalog at the library's homepage.  From here, you can search Musselman Library's materials.  If we don t have what you re looking for, you can see other options by searching in the OhioLINK Library Catalog and the SearchOHIO catalog. Request books and other library items online and have them sent here for you to read or use.  Requests usually arrive within 3 to 5 business days.  To learn more, see our Finding Books guide.
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