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Services for Students

Services for All Students

Services of Special Interest to Honors Students:

Abell Library offers a variety of services to the Austin College community. Most of the services listed below are available to all students, but certain privileges are designated only for honors students.

Services for All Students

Research Assistance

Abell Librarians can assist you in a number of ways:

Come by the Circulation Desk and ask to speak to a Reference Librarian.  One is on call from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. We can assist in selecting and searching in databases for journal articles, selecting appropriate subject heading to locate books using our catalog, and much more.

If you’d like to make an appointment with a specific librarian, call or email that librarian.  

You can also “Ask a Librarian.”  Look for a response from a librarian within 48 hours, excluding weekends.  The librarian will make every attempt to answer your question(s) or refer you to a source to obtain your answer.

Reference Collection

Our collection of Reference Books may include resources to help you get started or offer additional insights as you read other books and articles related to your topic. Don’t overlook this valuable collection of information, which includes specialized dictionaries and encyclopedias, chronologies, biographical resources, and bibliographies. You can limit a subject search in our library catalog to type: REFITEM or ask a librarian for assistance in locating appropriate reference materials.


On- Off-Campus Access to Austin College Subscriptions

This icon Austin College Access Onlydesignates a resource that is a restricted service for Austin College Access Only.

TexShare Library Card

Abell Library is a member of the TexShare libraries that have agreed to extend free reciprocal borrowing privileges to each other's faculty, students, and staff. Each library has specific rules and regulations regarding access to their materials, so check the Lending Policy of a particular library for policies, hours, and phone numbers before making your trip. You must have a TexShare Library Card from your home institution BEFORE you are able to borrow materials from other institutions.

Apply for a free TexShare Library Card at the Circulation Desk. Student cards are valid for one semester.


Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan (ILL) is a cooperative service provided by libraries throughout the United States and is intended to be a supplement to, not a replacement for, the resources of our library.

One should thoroughly examine and use the materials available in Abell (The Reference librarians can offer advice for obtaining available resources from Abell's collection or from other libraries, and they also can help you to fill out the form necessary to place a borrowing request).

Allow five to ten days for requested material to arrive from the lending library (Though interlibrary loan is based upon cooperation between institutions, some do charge for loans or for photocopying. Abell Library will usually pay charges for student requests, but we may ask you to verify that you still need the material for a specific course project).

Books borrowed through ILL are held at the Circulation Desk, while photocopies are sent to you by campus mail.

Book Request Form

Article Request Form


Laptop Checkout Policy

Abell Library has four laptops for student use in the library. Students who check out a laptop must first complete one copy of the laptop contract, which states:
  1. I understand that this equipment is a 4-hour library loan and cannot leave the building. I will not take the laptop from Abell Library.
  2. I will immediately inspect the laptop upon checking it out and agree that it is in good condition.
  3. I will not tamper with hardware or existing software. I agree to protect this equipment from theft and/or damage. I understand that the Austin College Campus Police will investigate any loss of a laptop or any missing components, and I will cooperate with such investigations.
  4. I agree to accept full financial responsibility for failure to return the laptop and accompanying equipment, and any damage incurred to the laptop through abuse, misuse, or operation contrary to any instructions supplied with the laptop while it is in my care. Approximate cost of the laptop is $1,000.
  5. I agree to go to the library Circulation Desk immediately if this equipment is damaged, lost, stolen, or malfunctioning.
  6. I agree to return the laptop to the Circulation Desk by the time due and personally give it to a library staff member or library student employee before I leave the Abell Library. I will return the laptop no later than 15 minutes before the closing of the library. Fines will be charged at the rate of 60 cents per hour with a maximum fine of $10.00.
  7. I will never leave the laptop unattended. If I leave it unattended, I may lose permanently the privilege of borrowing a library laptop.
  8. I will follow the same practices with this laptop as those specified in Austin College's Network Responsible Use Policy.

Laptop privileges will be revoked if a borrower violates any part of this agreement. In addition, any blocks on a patron record (overdue books, ignored recalls, etc.) will also prohibit laptop borrowing.

C/I Research Guides


Library Staff


Special Services Just for Honors Students

Individual Thesis Consultation

Abell's librarians are available to meet with honors students to discuss research techniques and possible resources to locate information for your specific thesis topic. Please schedule an appointment with any librarian to help you use research tools available at Abell Library and obtain resources from other libraries.

Extended Check-out Privileges

As an honors student, you have an opportunity to increase from a 28-day to a semester-long check-out for books.  This is NOT an automatic change, so please go to the Circulation Desk and talk to Abby MacFarlane, Circulation Supervisor, or Andrew Smith, Public Services Librarian, for more information on how to obtain this privilege.  As always, check your due date receipts and your emails from the Abell Library.

Study Rooms

Contact Donna Flatt, Assistant to the College Librarian, to reserve one of the library’s study rooms for honors students and to obtain a key.  These rooms are located on the west wall of the second floor of the library and are usually shared by 3 honors students.  Ports are activated for laptop use in all of these rooms.

If you have questions or comments about any library services, please contact us in person or by e-mail or phone.

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©2007 Abell Library Center Austin College 900 North Grand Avenue Sherman Texas 75090-4400 | Phone: (903) 813-2236 | Direct Comments or questions about this page to Shannon Fox | Updated January 27, 2016