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Services for SEAS Graduate Students, Offered by the Engineering Library

Welcome to the Engineering Library

The Engineering Library offers a multitude of resources to assist you in your research and teaching while you are at the University of Pennsylvania. Below is a brief overview of the services the library offers to SEAS graduate students. Please contact Doug McGee, Head of the Engineering Library, for a more in-depth introduction to the materials and services available to you.


Penn's Electronic Library

Electronic Information Resources Explore our digital databases, e-journals, e-books, e-reference works, and more. Click here for an overview of electronic scitech holdings at Penn, or peruse E-Resources in specific subject areas. Most resources, with the exception of the Cambridge Engineering Selector, are also available off-campus via the Library's Proxy Server. For information on using specific resources from off-campus such as SciFinder Scholar, Beilstein or Gmelin CrossFire, please refer to or contact chemistry librarian Judith Currano at (215) 898-2177 or

PennAlerts allows you to receive the latest tables of contents from your favorite journals.

RefWorks is a library-supported citation management program used to import citations from databases, search a personal library of citations, and insert citations into a journal article or document in the style of your choice.

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


Using the Physical Library

The Engineering Library is located on the second floor of the Towne building. The library houses an extensive collection of circulating books and non-circulating print journals and reference books, in addition to its many electronic resources. Graduate students are given a semester-long loan period and may renew materials in person or online. Tables, carrels, and lounge seating are all available. A portion of library seating has been designated for quiet individual study, but the remainder of the space accomodates group study and/or individual study. The Group Study Room at the east end of the library contains a white board. Two televisions equipped with VCRs are available for videos on reserve at the circulation desk.

Study Collection Teaching assistants may want to let students know about these supplemental textbooks for in-library use. The collection is located near the entrance of the library.

Computing Resources include 8 Dell workstations equipped with CD-RW drives. Access to the library's web site, online catalog, electronic resources, Internet, e-mail, MS Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Photoshop, RefWorks, DrJava, Maple, MDL ISIS Draw, and NCBI-Cn3D is provided. Additionally, 8 laptop computers are available for checkout and use within the library. Wireless connectivity for laptops is available throughout the entire library (and Towne Building); in addition we have several data and power ports available. Ethernet lines and earphones may be borrowed from the circulation desk.



Workshops covering a variety of databases and other electronic products are offered each semester by the Science & Engineering Libraries. They are targeted specifically to Penn's sci-tech researchers and are excellent introductions for new users, as well as being great refreshers for familiar resources.

Opportuni-Tea Seminar Series task-focused information retrieval seminars covering topics such as: researching employment opportunities, managing references and citations, and keeping current in your field. Tea and other light refreshments are served at each of these Friday afternoon seminars.


Obtaining Material Not Held at the Engineering Library

Even if the Engineering Library does not have the information that you need, we can get it for you from another campus location or another university's library. Visit for a list of delivery and access services available to graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Penn Library Delivers items from other campus libraries to the Engineering Library for your convenience.

  • BorrowDirect+ is an "expedited interlibrary loan" comprising two reciprocal borrowing services, E-Z Borrow and BorrowDirect. Both services let you search the combined catalog of member libraries and directly request books not currently available at Penn; most books arrive within 4 working days.

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

  • Purchase Requests If the Engineering Library lacks a critical text or reference item in your area of research, we will consider purchasing it for our collection. Contact Doug McGee (215) 898-8170, with purchase requests.

  • Drexel University Libraries Free courtesy borrowing is available to Penn graduate students and faculty at Drexel University Libraries. Penn graduate students must obtain a Reciprocal Borrower's letter from the Van Pelt Library Circulation Desk, and present it, along with their current PennCard, to Drexel Library Circulation staff. Faculty must present their current PennCard to Drexel Library Circulation staff to be registered for borrowing at Drexel.


Services for Teaching Assistants

Course Reserves

  • To have course materials, readings, problem set solutions, etc. scanned and uploaded to a course web site or Blackboard site, contact Doug McGee at (215) 898-8170 or
  • To have books and other materials placed on reserve for your students in the library, contact Revathy Iyer, Library Service Assistant, at (215) 898-7266 or


Need Further Assistance?

One-on-one personalized research consultations/orientations are available to you in your office, at the library, or over the phone or by e-mail. Contact Doug McGee, Head of the Engineering Library at (215) 898-8170, to set up an appointment.


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

Douglas McGee
Head of the Engineering Library
217 Towne
Phone: 215-898-8170