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Services for SEAS Graduate Students, Offered by the Engineering Library

Below is a brief overview of the services the library offers to SEAS graduate students. Please contact Doug McGee, Engineering Librarian, 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 Assistant Director for Engineering & Physical Sciences Libraries Doug McGee at (215) 898-8170 or

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.




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 Penn Libraries

Even if the Engineering Collection 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 Canvas 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, Engineering Librarian, 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
Engineering Librarian and Assistant Director for Physical Science Libraries
Phone: 215-898-8170