At Williams, we:
We prioritize purchasing materials that directly serve current and projected curricular needs. We also more selectively acquire materials that support faculty research and the programmatic needs of the broader campus community. See the Williams Libraries Collection Development Policy for more information.
Members of the Williams community may use the Suggest a Purchase form to request materials incurring a one-time cost. When requesting purchases, please provide us with as much notice as possible before the materials are needed. The library has initiated a program to purchase select books from Olive Tree Books-n-Voices, an independent, Black-owned bookstore in Springfield, Massachusetts, instead of from Amazon. As a smaller operation, Olive Tree requires a bit more time to fill orders. Even a few extra days of lead time can make the difference between ordering from Amazon and ordering from Olive Tree.
For the most part, we acquire these single items on receipt of request. However, library liaisons will first review purchase suggestions for materials that do not directly support the curriculum or require significant expenditure. We assess requests for ebooks that are significantly more costly than their print counterparts according to how well they meet the following preferred criteria:
A Collections and Systems Department member or your liaison librarian will communicate acquisition decisions with you via email.
Due to the ongoing financial commitment required to maintain subscriptions and the potential for annual price increases to impact the entire resource budget, library liaisons and the Head of Collections and Systems review and evaluate requests for these resources twice a year: journals in the fall and databases in the spring.
Make a request at any time by emailing your liaison librarian. Submit requests for new journals no later than September 15th and those for databases by February 15th. Include the following information:
We evaluate resources on an ongoing basis during the fall and spring. Liaisons may request additional supporting information or the Libraries may establish a trial for the resource during that period. Decisions will be made in November and April respectively so that subscriptions and access can begin with January issues of journals and July access to databases.
Decisions are based on the following criteria:
A list of the resources currently under consideration and decisions made will be available on the Libraries' website. Additionally, your library liaison will communicate acquisition decisions with you via email. The Libraries also report the current year’s subscriptions added and cancelled in the annual report to the Library Committee.
Library reserve is commonly used to
While we encourage you to prioritize providing online access to course materials (through Glow), when online access is not an option (library can't secure online access; source can't be digitized for copyright reasons; interaction with the tangible object is necessary), the library offers a reserve service for tangible items.
You may place on reserve:
Set up and manage your course reserve:
For question about the library's Reserve services, please contact Mary Dzbenski in Access Services.
If you want to add new items to your list, or if the course is new,
Terms of library digitizing Services:
How to request streaming:
Start in the library catalog: search for the film by title
For each request, the library will research streaming rights to determine whether we can legally provide a streamed version. If we can proceed with streaming, films will be made available through your Glow course and you will receive an email notification from the Access Services department.
In the event that we are not legally able to provide a streamed version, we will place the DVD on Reserve for your course.
What's included in the streamed version:
Turn around time:
Streaming requests are processed in the order in which they're received. Investigation of streaming rights and digitization of the film may take anywhere from 1 day to 4 weeks, depending on the volume of requests.
Support / More Information:
Williams College does not have a required course where students learn basic research skills. Instead, library instruction liaisons and Special Collections librarians work with faculty to integrate research skills into their courses. As you prepare your courses, please consider the following options for library instruction.
Embed a librarian in your Glow course. The librarian could
Post customized instruction videos in the course
Example: a recording of a Q & A interview between the librarian and professor about doing research for the course
Example: a screencast introducing the course research guide and resources
Post general instruction videos in course
Example: How to Read a Book (for scholarly research)
Example: Peer Review in 3 Minutes
Create and monitor asynchronous discussion threads
Example: Students do a guided document analysis of digitized manuscripts and/or rare books and discuss
Example: Students view Algorithms of Oppression and discuss how search engine bias affects research
Create an online quiz or other assignment to assess student learning of asynchronous instruction component
Select content from the Information Literacy Toolkit to use in your Glow course
Request a customized course research guide
Post your librarian's virtual trading card to your Glow course
Encourage student to use our Ask a Librarian service
It is best if the concepts learned in the library session can be applied to an assignment in your course. If you do not have such an assignment, see our Creating Information Literacy Assignments page or ask your library liaison for ideas.
Example: Introduction of the liaison librarian and encouragement to schedule research appointments
Example: Introduction of the liaison librarian and research guide for the course
Example: Introduction to digitized sources in Special Collections
In Special Collections: individual appointments for students to consult with material. Works best if there’s a specific assignment the students are responding to, like a short presentation or writing assignment. Contact Special Collections to schedule an appointment.
For Sawyer and Schow: Students can use the research appointments scheduler.
Contact your library instruction liaison or Special Collections.
What is Special Collections?
The Special Collections department comprises Chapin Library and College Archives. It provides access to rare and unique materials.
Chapin Library collects rare books, manuscripts, and other primary source materials, both ancient and modern, in support of the Williams curriculum.
The College Archives is concerned with the history of Williams, and administers other special collections and books from the earliest libraries of the College.
How to work with materials in Special Collections
Including Special Collections materials in your courses
Special Collections librarians are available to work with you and your students. They offer:
Faculty are invited to suggest special collections acquisitions in support of courses or research interests.
Presentations and instruction sessions are offered in these spaces:
Archiving your Syllabi
College Archives archives course syllabi for several purposes:
We archive syllabi in electronic form only. Please e-mail your syllabi as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about collections and services or to schedule an appointment contact a Special Collections librarian.
The library works closely with the Office of Information Technology to integrate library content (articles, book chapters, streaming media) and services (Research Guides, Ask A Librarian service) into your GLOW courses. To that end we offer:
For assistance with library resources, contact your library liaison
For assistance with uploading content into Glow, contact your ITech liaison
Faculty may request scans of library materials.
To request scans: submit requests through the interlibrary loan system
All honors theses written by Williams undergraduates are treated as holdings of the Williams College Libraries. Faculty advising student honors theses should review the College's theses guidelines and share this information with their students. Faculty should be aware of guidelines and procedures, including format and title page guidelines, student/faculty release requirements, and deposit deadlines.
Students submit their thesis electronically as a pdf using our form. The faculty advisor will be asked via email to approve the student's selections regarding access to the thesis.
Theses without access restrictions are available in Unbound: Williams Online Collections.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are free or highly affordable textbooks and learning materials that can be widely shared and/or transformed with the permission of the original author.
Curious about what Creative Commons licensing means or how you can employ it to share your materials and protect them at the same time? Check out the Creative Commons Licensing research guide from Hudson Valley Community College.