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Alternative Library Resources: Books

This guide provides resources available outside of the library resources held within the CCC library system.

Harold Washington College Library strives to purchase books to meet the needs of students and faculty across its entire community. However, it is impossible to predict every topic or need that will arise for our community members.

First Stop: City Colleges of Chicago

We always recommend first checking the holdings at CCC libraries. CCC students may borrow books from all CCC libraries using only their CCC ID card/credentials. Search for books at all CCC campuses, including HWC, through the online book catalog. If a book is held at another campus, students can request it to delivered to HWC through the catalog- look for the "Request It" button and follow the steps. Students will be notified through their CCC email when the book is available for pick-up and need only to stop by the Circulation Desk to pick up and check out the book. Alternatively, students may travel to other CCC libraries and check-out resources simply by showing their HWC ID card.

Second Stop: I-Share

The CCC libraries have limited membership to a wider consortia of college libraries throughout the state of Illinois that share book resources. Students and faculty may request books from any library in this consortia. Loan terms remain the same as normal HWC loans (two weeks between renewals), with all material due back prior to the end of the semester. In order to utilize I-Share:

  1. Search the I-Share VuFind Catalog for the book or subject that you are looking for. 
  2. Fill out HWC library's Inter-library loan form: here.

Books requested through I-Share take between 3-5 business days to arrive at HWC library.

Third Stop: Chicago Public Library

While the CCC libraries strive to meet your information needs in-house, sometimes the easiest alternative to locate books is through Chicago Public Library.

  1. Visit the CPL website to search for books and more. Please note, when looking at book records, it will mention which branch the book is held at.
  2. In order to check out physical material from the library, you will need a library card. You can get a card at the same time that you check out material- requirements to get a library card can be found here

Chicago Public Library offers a dynamic array of resources and programming. We do encourage you to become active CPL users as it will remain your primary library if you stay in  Chicago after completing your tenure at HWC.

Final Stop: OCLC WorldCat

If searching for a specific book and it cannot be located in the CCC libraries, an I-Share library, nor Chicago Public Library, HWC library does borrow through a broader inter-library loan system known as WorldCat, which is a comprehensive book catalog for all libraries within the country and beyond. As this option has additional fees associated with it, it is to be used as a last resort.

  1. Search the WorldCat catalog here.
  2. In order to borrow, patrons must complete this form.