Call Ahead for Materials

You can save time by having materials retrieved from the Library's closed stacks and waiting for you when you arrive.  

To request materials in advance, you can:

  1. Call the Reference Desk at 518-474-5355 to request up to three items
  2. Send an email message to the Circulation Unit at
  3. Send a fax to 518-474-5279  
  4. Request materials through Excelsior, the NYSL online catalog at

When requesting Library materials, please include the following information about each item:
Type of
Information needed
Books title, author, and NYSL call number*
Documents title, agency (or author), and NYSL call number*
Journals journal title, date of issue and/or volume #, and NYSL call number*
Newspapers newspaper title and city, date of issue, NYSL call number*
Standards &
title, issuing society/organization, and document number

Contact information (your name, address and telephone number) should also be included with your request.

Most items retrieved from the stacks will be available for pick-up within 1-2 hours.

The materials will be held for you at the 7th floor Circulation Desk. Please call the Circulation Unit at 518-473-7895 to verify that your materials are ready for pick-up before you come. You will need a New York State Library borrower's card in order to borrow any circulating materials.

If the item that you're requesting is already loaned to another customer, you can request that it be reserved for you. We will then notify you when the item becomes available.

*The NYSL call number can be found by searching for that item in Excelsior, the State Library's online catalog.  Some types of materials are not listed in Excelsior.  If you don't find the item you are looking for or would like assistance in using the online catalog, contact staff at the NYSL Reference desk at 518-474-5355.

Last Updated: November 13, 2018/cj