Category Archives: Collections – books, periodicals, etc.

Purchase Suggestion

Is the VCU library thinking of subscribing to Scopus literature search engine? I think this would be a valuable asset to faculty and students at VCU.

From: a faculty member
Lynne Turman, Head of TML Collections, replies…
Thank you for the comments and suggestion.  Scopus has been under consideration but it represents a significant financial commitment and at this point we are not able to entertain a subscription.  We will continue to evaluate the product and negotiate for more favorable pricing.  VCU Libraries does subscribe to Web of Science which has many of the same features as Scopus and provides coverage back to 1965.  Thank you again for taking the time to send us your comments.  

The Student Skills Section in Cabell Library

I love the Reference skill section of the library, however my ability to read many of the books there is limited due to a hectic schedule. Can you please purchase another copy of Learning Outside the Lines for check out. This resourceful book is one among several others that reads like a novel and is difficult to read during time I have while on campus. I appreciate the library’s efforts to improve the student experience here at VCU.

From: a library patron

Cristina Ramirez, Collection Librarian for Social and Behavioral Sciences, replies…

Thank you for the suggestion to add a copy of “Learning Outside the Lines: Two Ivy League Students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD give you the Tools for Academic Success and Educational Revolution” by Jonathan Mooney and David Cole to the stacks. The Student Skills Section in Cabell Library Reference has been a popular section for students to browse and learn news skills, techniques, and concepts. We will purchase
an additional copy for normal loan checkout. We appreciate your recommendation and are glad that you have found this and many other titles beneficial and helpful from the collection.

Encyclopedia Suggestion

I came across this online encyclopedia by wiley interscience – encyclopedia of reagents for organic synthesis. It is pretty helpful but I don’t think it is available to us VCU students. Please see if you could make this available to us.

From: a graduate student

Lynne Turman, Head of Collections at Tompkins-McCaw Library replies…

Thank you for the suggestion to subscribe to the online version of the Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis. A one-year subscription to this reference work is over $6,000 and the print copy can be purchased for $8,500. The present budget for new acquisitions is insufficient to fund a subscription or print copy at this time. However, we are always interested in hearing from you about items to consider in the future. For your convenience, materials in any format may be requested by submitting the Purchase Suggestion Form ( ) located on the VCU Libraries web site. Again, thank you for your interest in helping VCU Libraries build the best collection of resources to serve the University’s research and academic communities.

Journal Suggestion

Please purchase a subscription to Current Protocols in Cytometry. It contains information on a number of important techniques needed for both patient care and research at the VCU School of Medicine.

From: a faculty member

Lynne Turman, Head of Collections at Tompkins-McCaw Library replies…

Thank you for the suggestion. We welcome and actively solicit suggestions from VCU faculty and students for enhancements to our collections. Many factors go into the decision to subscribe to a particular journal, including reputation, journal impact factor, cost, relevance, etc. The cost for a subscription to Current Protocols in Cytometry is over $4900. We will place this title into consideration for new journals in the future, depending on budget allocations.

You may find two other resources useful for locating information on this topic: Nature Protocols and Cold Spring Harbor Protocols. Both are new subscriptions and contain numerous full-text protocols on research methods. VCU Libraries has a site license for access to these titles back to 2006.

Borrowing priviledges for VCU alumni

Do VCU alumni have access to checking out books? I read through the different patron types but I do not believe I fit in any of the categories anymore. I graduated from VCU 2 years ago and am now doing graduate work through a different school. I am currently living back in Richmond and am working on my thesis and wanted to see if there was anyway I could use Cabell Library’s resources. Thank you for your help!

From: a library patron

Kimberly Separ, Director of Development and Community Relations, replies…

Thank you for your inquiry and for your interest in the Friends of the Library donor program. The Friends of the Library donor program is open to VCU alumni, individuals, families, community members, and friends. The Friends of the Library are donors who support the mission, programs, collections and services of the VCU Libraries. The Friends are committed to helping the VCU Libraries build its resources and collections to provide for the ever-expanding needs of Virginia Commonwealth University’s world-class teaching and research missions. Additionally, the Friends fund and promote an exciting series of community lectures and events, including the annual Friends of the Library book sale. Donations made to the VCU Libraries are tax deductible as allowed by law.

Additional information about donor levels and privileges, including borrowing privileges, is available online. Thank you for your support of VCU and the VCU Libraries!

Collection Suggestion

I am trying to locate a textbook I can use while I am waiting for the one I ordered to arrive. I think it would be SUPER helpful if the libraries had textbooks that students could use AT the library (so a student doesn’t check it out for weeks)for situations like this or if a student couldn’t afford textbooks, etc. I saw the library carries my Immunobiology book but it is checked out until NOVEMBER! That is almost the entire semester which is completely unhelpful to other students. I am specifically looking for a graduate school class textbook: Microbiology 7th edition Prescott, Harley and Klein

From: a graduate student

Lynne Turman, Head Tompkins-McCaw Library Collections replies…

VCU Libraries has a long-standing policy of not purchasing course textbooks. Course textbooks change from year to year and become outdated quickly. Sometimes a text that has been purchased for the Libraries collection is later adopted as a course textbook. If one student checks out this book, the remainder of the students in the course will not have access. VCU Libraries provides Course Reserve Services to help with this problem. Faculty can request that the VCU Libraries copy of a text be placed on Reserve and can choose the time period for each loan – from 2 hours to 7 days. Instructor or department owned textbooks can also be placed on Reserve. More information on Course Reserve Services is available on the web at

How to Suggest Purchase of a Journal Subscription

I am a student within the sciences and was wondering what has to happen in order for a new journal to be added either electronically or within the library. Global Biogeochemical sciences is a great journal and yet we do not have access to it. Thanks!

From: a graduate student

Ronke Lawal, Collection Librarian for Engineering and Science, replies…

Thank you for your suggestion. Materials in any format may be requested by submitting the Purchase Suggestion Form located on the VCU Libraries Web site. We take requests from our community very seriously. Many factors must be considered in the decision to subscribe to a journal, including relevance to the curriculum, reputation, accessibility, and cost. Because of budget limitations, we are not able to subscribe to all resources that faculty and students request. However, your request will definitely be considered. Once again, thank you for your interest in VCU Libraries.

Using Flickr to Promote VCU Libraries Digital Collections

How wonderful it would be if VCU Libraries extended its audience to the world in regards to VCU’s digital collections? As a graduate of VCU, 2006 and 2008, I intend to stay connected to VCU and its Libraries. One of my favorite parts of VCU Libraries is its digital collection of historic Richmond images. Recently, Oregon State University provided an example of its digital archives on Flickr ( Flickr is a website with photo storage, sharing and organization, making photo management an easy, natural and collaborative process. Get comments, notes, and tags on your photos, post to any blog, share and more! (quote Flickr) Please consider adding VCU and Richmond, VA’s rich history to Flickr to broaden your audience!

From: a Friend of the Library

Alex Lorch, Acting Head of Special Collections and Archives, replies…

Thank you for the comment regarding our digital collections archive and your suggestion to use Flickr to broaden our digital collections’ audience.

Indeed, your comment is very timely. VCU Libraries has been working over the past two years to add a number of its fine collections to its digital library. Earlier this month we were pleased to announce the launch of the VCU Libraries Digital Collections most recent addition: images of the Jackson Ward Historic District.

The Jackson Ward neighborhood and its buildings hosted a thriving African American community from the post-Civil War period through the early 20th century. However, efforts at urban renewal and other projects since the 1950s brought the wrecking ball to many of these architecturally and historically significant buildings. We hope to add several other Richmond and VCU-related collections in the next year.

As I’m sure you are aware, our digital library is available world-wide to anyone with an Internet connection. Very recently, however, Special Collections and Archives has decided to identify some collections to post to the Flickr site on a trial basis. As staffing permits, we will begin to upload some of these materials into Flickr in the next several months.

Thanks, again, for your interest in the VCU Libraries and for your commitment to us as a Friend of the Library. Please let me know if I may assist you with future questions or comments.

Correction to the Rarely Seen Richmond Digital Collection

An item in your digital collection, Rarely Seen Richmond, is mislabeled: photo is of Confederate Soldiers & Sailors monument (as printed on the postcard) on Libby Hill, but instead it’s labeled “Lee Monument.”

From: a library patron

Alex Lorch, Acting Head of Special Collections and Archives, replies…

Thank you for visiting the VCU Libraries Digital Library Collections and for your comment about the mislabeled postcard in the Rarely Seen Richmond Collection. We will correct the information as soon as possible.

Journal Suggestion

A few weeks ago I filed a request for National Enquirer to enter the library’s permanent collection of periodicals. My request was denied on the basis that it is a rag and has no academic merit. I strongly disagree with this verdict and am wondering if there’s any way I could petition this further. I can’t help but feel that National Enquirer is an enriching publication, no less worthy than say, Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar. National Enquirer provides unparalleled insight into a dimension of culture most of us are totally unaware of. I firmly believe that it would be welcomed by students interested in American studies, mass communication/media, and beyond.

From: an undergraduate student

Karen Cary, Head of Collection Management, responds…

We appreciate your interest in the collections at VCU Libraries, including your request for the National Enquirer. The guiding principle of collection management is to develop collections that support the University’s academic programs. Collection management librarians choose materials that best serve two primary University functions: instruction and research.

We develop collections to reinforce and enhance the quality of instruction across the curriculum. University faculty rely upon VCU Libraries’ collections to prepare course materials and student assignments. Likewise, students use these resources for course-related study and to complete assigned projects.

Because research is also vital to the University’s mission, VCU Libraries provides faculty and students with collections resources that promote the intellectual inquiry and experimentation that form the research process. The role of VCU Libraries is to obtain the information essential to our researchers’ investigations.

Unfortunately, budgetary constrictions limit our ability to purchase all resource materials useful to students and scholars of every discipline. In the case of the National Enquirer or any other resource requested by a member of the VCU community, there is a way for you to further petition your request. You may contact me at or by phone at (804) 828-8773. I would be happy to meet with you to discuss your request.