Requesting NYSL Materials Electronically through
Instead of visiting the Library in person, calling, or sending a fax, you can submit requests for New York State Library (NYSL) materials from your computer by using Excelsior, the Library's online catalog, which is available 24 hours a day via the Web.
You must have a User's ID to request materials electronically via Excelsior.
- If you are a NYSL registered borrower or resident borrower, your User ID is your
NYSL Borrower's Card number ("P" or "R" number).
- If you are not eligible for a NYSL Borrower's card, you can request materials for onsite use by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on becoming a registered borrower or registered non-borrower, call the Circulation Desk at (518) 473-7895 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Requests that are submitted through Excelsior are printed and processed every hour from 9:00am - 3:00pm, Monday - Friday. It takes 1½ - 2 hours for these materials to be retrieved from the Library's stacks and processed.
A separate request must be placed for each item. The request module in Excelsior will not accept lists of items. There is no limit on the number of requests that can be placed electronically.
Pickup and Delivery Options:
State Agency or Legislative employees: Items can be held at the Circulation desk on the 7th floor for pick-up OR can be copied or charged out to you and sent to one of the following locations: the LOB Service Point, the State Campus Service Point, ENCON, SED/Education Building, to NYC sites visited by the OGS courier or your office via Interagency mail. Materials will be sent to registered borrowers located outside the Capital District via UPS.
Attorneys, Doctors or Historians: Items can be held at the Circulation Desk for pick-up OR can be copied (see Photocopy Charges Chart for photocopy fees) or charged to you and sent to your office or home address via UPS or US mail.
Retirees (State Government): All items must be picked up at the Library's Circulation Desk.
Non-borrowers: All items will be held at the Circulation Desk for onsite use only.
Instructions for Requesting Item(s):
- Login to the NYSL Website at http://www.nysl.nysed.gov.
- Click on the "Catalog / Digital Collections " button.
- Click on the "Search Entire Catalog."
- A search screen will appear. Enter a search and click on one of the target search fields (ie. search everything, author, title, subject, series).
- A list of results will appear. Use the checkboxes to mark list items for Print/Capture. (Note: you may also use the checkboxes when viewing the full/detailed catalog record).
- Click on the Request button when you are ready to request the item(s).
- A list of types of requests will appear. Click on the appropriate type of request. ("Request this book from the State Library" or "Request This Journal or Newspaper From the State Library").
- A blank request screen will appear. Create a request by filling in the appropriate fields.
- Article Author and Article Title fields: These fields appear only on the "Request This Journal or Newspaper From The New York State Library" request screen. This information must be included on the request if you want NYSL staff to photocopy the article for you.
- Date/Vol/Iss/Pgs. Field: This field appears only on the "Request This Journal " request screen. You can request a specific date or a range of consecutive dates (such as Jan-Dec 1978 or 1960-1962).
- Article Verification: This field appears only on the "Request This Journal ." request screen. This information is useful if the item is not found as cited.
- Note field: Tell us about any special handling instructions (such as "If item is not on shelf, please place on hold for me", or "Call me when items are available for pick-up", etc.).
- Location field: This field refers to the location code of the item such as C, Z, R, ZL, etc.
- Book volumes field: If the item is a multi-volume set, indicate if you are requesting all volumes or only a specific volume.
- Pickup/Delivery field: Tell us how you would
like the request to be processed:
State Agency or Legislative employees:
An item can be held at the Circulation Desk for pick-up; or an item can be copied and sent to you; or an item can be charged out and sent to you.
Materials can be sent to one of the following locations: the LOB Service Point, the State Campus Service Point, ENCON, SED/Education Building, to NYC sites visited by the OGS courier or to your office via interagency mail. Materials will be sent to State or Legislative employees located outside the Capital District via UPS.
Attorneys, doctors or historians:
An item can be held at the Circulation Desk for pick-up; or an item can be copied and sent to you (see the Photocopy Charges chart for the photocopy fees) or an item can be charged out and sent to you.
Materials can be sent to your office or home address via UPS or US mail.
(State Government) Retirees:
All items must be picked up at the Library's Circulation Desk.
All Items will be held at the Circulation Desk for onsite use only.
- Telephone number field: This is the telephone number where you would like to be contacted.
- User ID field: The User ID is your NYSL Borrower's Card number. This number appears on the back of your NYSL Borrower's Card. If you are a non-borrower, the User ID is the "E" number that's been assigned to you.
- Call number, copy and item id fields will be filled in automatically.
- Click on "Place Request". Your request will be sent to the NYSL.
After an electronic request has been processed, a Circulation Unit staff member will send you a message to inform you of the status of your request. To view this message, go to "Your Records".
- Click on the option "Your Records" at the top of the screen.
- At the next screen, click on "View Your Records".
- The "View Your Records" screen will appear. Enter your User ID (NYSL Borrower's Card number) and Pin number and then click on "Display Your Records". (A Pin number is generated automatically by Excelsior when a new borrower is registered.) If you don't know your Pin number, call the Circulation Unit at (518) 473-7895.
- A screen will appear with the following options: bills, checkouts, holds, request/library messages. Click on "request/library messages".