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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What if Cornell doesn't have the item I want?
A: The catalog will prompt you to use Interlibrary Loan or Borrow Direct to borrow the item from another library.

Q: How can I find course reserves?
A: Our Course Reserves service allows members of the Cornell community to access all course reserve materials through the course reserve option in the Library Catalog. E-reserves materials may also be accessed through Blackboard or course Web sites.

Q: Cornell has a book I want, but it's at a library that isn't convenient for me. Can I get a book delivered to another library?
A: There are more than 20 libraries in the Cornell University Library system, and you can have books delivered to many of them by clicking the Request Item button in the Library Catalog.

Q: Who has access to Cornell restricted resources?
A: Current Cornell students, faculty and staff have access to restricted resources, including off-campus access for most electronic resources. Due to our contractual agreement with the vendors, we cannot allow for remote access for those who are not currently Cornell students, faculty or staff members. We do allow walk-in access for many resources, but restrictions may apply in some cases.

If you have a sponsored NetID, we may be able to grant you temporary access to restricted resources, but this is not guaranteed. Your sponsor will need to send the Library specific details on why access to our resources is necessary and for how long access will be needed. Sponsors can contact the Library Public Services office at 116 Olin Library (5-5069) or for more information.

Q: Do you have any adaptive technologies like screen readers?
A: See our list of AT resources.

Q: How can I use Library restricted resources when I'm off campus or traveling?
A: Current members of the Cornell community should be able to use Library licensed electronic resources from anywhere. You must be able to authenticate yourself as a member of the Cornell community using your NetID and password.

If you plan to use Library resources while traveling, you should consider installing software to connect to Cornell via VPN (Virtual Private Network). The VPN adds secure access to Cornell campus networks and is usually not blocked by firewalls

Q: Do all Cornell campuses have access to the same electronic resources?
A: Available electronic collections vary between Cornell campuses, especially between Ithaca, Geneva and the Weill Cornell Medical College. The collections overlap extensively, but some specialized resources are only available at certain locations or to users registered with specific programs. If you can't find what you need or require assistance, please contact a librarian. Medical College personnel with a dual appointment to the Ithaca campus should contact for help.

Q: What can I do about wireless problems in the Library?
A: Please contact CIT for assistance with RedRover, Cornell University's wi-fi network service.

Q: Why do I get a "session has timed out" message when I've only been using the Library site for a few minutes?
A: If the cache setting in your browser is set to never reload pages, you may get a "session has timed out" message after a short period of inactivity. To fix the problem, adjust the cache setting so that pages are checked and reloaded more often. Also, try clearing the cache.

Q: What if I am having trouble with the Cornell image collections?
A: If you are experiencing problems using ARTstor, you can go to ARTstor's system requirements page or their general help page.

For Luna Insight, please consult the recommended system configuration or Luna's general help page. If you continue to experience difficulties with Luna Insight, please report your problem by sending an email to (support available Monday-Friday, 8-5pm).

If you need further assistance with the image collections, please contact Marsha Taichman, Fine Arts Library, at Also, the Visual Resources Web page provides an overview of image resources at Cornell.

Trouble Connecting

Members of the Cornell community can use restricted Library resources from both on and off campus, but occasionally users run into problems connecting.

Here are some issues to consider before filling out our Technical Problem Report Form:

Authentication Required
For off-campus access to restricted resources, you will need to authenticate yourself as a current member of the Cornell community with your NetID and password. If you find yourself on a Web page that has access restrictions, you can try using the Passkey bookmarklet tool to gain access to the Library's licensed resources. Simply click on the bookmarklet icon and you will be redirected to the Cornell Web log-in screen to check for your valid Cornell affiliation.

If you are asked for a special username and password (not your NetID and password), there may be technical issues with the resource. Please ask a librarian for assistance.

Individual Resource Is Down or Misconfigured
A particular journal or database may be unavailable due to problems at the publisher's Web site, or the Library may need to make changes to its own configuration. If you’ve tried a few times to access a resource but still can’t, please don’t hesitate to report this so we can look into what’s going on.

Browser Incompatibility
Many different browsers are available, and most resources should work with most browsers. If you are having trouble, rule out browser incompatibility by attempting access with a recent version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Browser Settings
Cookies need to be enabled. Some resources won't work if your browser's cookie settings are too restrictive.

Odd behaviors can occur when cookies or cache files become corrupted. Try clearing your cookies and cache and restarting your browser. If your browser is configured to go through a proxy server, you may run into problems accessing Cornell resources.

Pop-Up Blockers
Pop-up blockers in Web browsers won't prevent you from connecting to a particular site, but they may interfere with your ability to display some of the resources within that site.

Many universities, businesses, hotels, and airports have set up firewalls to block potentially harmful network traffic. These firewalls may also block your access to Library resources; however, most firewalls will allow VPN (Virtual Private Network) traffic. See CIT's information about installing VPN on your computer.

If you still can't connect, go to our Technical Problem Report Form.