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Services for Chemistry Faculty, Provided by the Chemistry Library

To Support your Teaching:

The Canvas course management system is hosted by the Penn Libraries.

We offer the following resources to support student learning

Classes, Presentations, and Workshops
  • Contact Judith Currano (215-746-5886, to schedule a presentation for your class or research group about information resources and strategies of searching for chemical information. Possible topics include:
    • teaching students to use chemical information resources to locate peer-reviewed research and to evaluate their results.
    • teaching students to locate physical properties and spectra of compounds needed for their lab work.
    • presenting instruction or information sessions on newly acquired resources or on new features and releases of familiar databases.
    • reviewing current awareness search techniques.
  • Encourage your students to attend a Physical Science Libraries' Workshop. Workshops on various information resources or techniques of searching are offered every semester.

Course Reserves

  • To have course materials, readings, problem set solutions, etc. scanned and uploaded to your course web site or Canvas site, contact Judith Currano (215-746-5886,
  • To have books and other materials placed on reserve for your students, contact Robert Harris, Library Service Assistant (215-573-6732,
  • If the Chemistry Library does not own material that you would like to place on reserve, we are happy to purchase it for our collection. Contact Judith Currano (215-746-5886, with purchase requests.

The Chemistry Library supports student learning in other ways. We are happy to cooperate with you in any of the following areas.

  • Creating web-based resource pages to assist with research and completion of assignments.
  • Incorporating information literacy/lifelong learning competencies into your course and assignments.
  • Teaching students proper methods of scholarly documentation.
  • Suggesting books on technical writing, creating posters, and making presentations.

To Support Your Research:

Library keys are available to current Chemistry department faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students. These keys will allow you to access the current and bound journal collections twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. To sign out a library key, please see Judith Currano or Robert Harris in the Chemistry Library on any weekday between 9AM and 4:45PM.

Electronic Information Resources Explore our digital databases, e-journals, e-books, e-reference works, and more. Click here for an overview of electronic sci-tech holdings at Penn, or view a selection of chemistry specific resources.

STN Substructure Searching Can't find a preparation for the compound you want? Interested in finding a compound with a similar structure to your target molecule? Substructure searching on the STN database is available to current Penn affiliates only after 5PM on most weekdays.
Please make an appointment with Judith Currano at least two days in advance by calling (215) 746-5886 or by e-mailing

Obtaining books, journal and conference articles Even if the Chemistry Library does not have the information that you need, we can get it for you from another campus location or another university's library.

  • FacultyEXPRESS delivers requested materials electronically or to your departmental office, for all standing faculty.

  • Penn Library Delivers items from other campus libraries to the Chemistry Library for your convenient pick-up.

  • BorrowDirect+ is an "expedited inter-library loan" service that lets you search a combined catalog and directly request books not currently available at Penn; most books arrive within 3-5 working days. The University of Pennsylvania participates in two borrowing consortia: Borrow Direct searches the catalogs of Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Penn, Princeton, the University of Chicago, Yale, and the Center for Research Libraries; and EZ-Borrow searches the catalogs of 42 Pennsylvania libraries.

  • Interlibrary Loan If you need a book or journal article that neither Penn nor any of its Borrow Direct partners owns, the Library's Inter-library Loan department will be happy to help you obtain it in a timely fashion.

  • Purchase Requests If the Chemistry Library lacks a critical text or reference item in your area of research, we will consider purchasing it for our collection. Contact Judith Currano (215-746-5886, with purchase requests.

New Books Plus allows you to virtually peruse new books received, either by subject area or by campus library.

Workshops covering a variety of databases and other electronic products are offered each semester by the Physical Science Libraries. They are targeted specifically to Penn's sci-tech researchers.

Need Proxy Borrowers? Up to 5 Penn people can be designated as proxy borrowers for you. See the Faculty Proxy Borrower Registration form for details.

One-on-one personalized research consultations/orientations are available to you in your office or at the library. Contact Judith Currano, Head of the Chemistry Library, at (215) 746-5886 or to set up an appointment or if you are having any problems searching for or obtaining materials.

YOUR INPUT IS WELCOMED! For more information or to suggest any new services or resources, please contact:

Judith Currano - Head, Chemistry Library
Phone: (215) 746-5886