Frequently Asked Questions

Who was Hiram Watson Sibley?

Son of Hiram Sibley, who presented the University of Rochester with its first library building in the 1870s, Hiram W. Sibley is recognized in the Rochester community for providing funds to start the first music library in Rochester. In 1904, the Sibley Musical Library was founded “for use of all music lovers in Rochester.” Hiram W. became a prominent citizen of Rochester and was involved in various business ventures throughout his life, including railroads, timber, coal, land, and a seed company. Like his father, Hiram W. Sibley gained much financial success, and often shared it with the community. For more information click here.

Can I take recordings/videos out of the library?

Sound and video recordings circulate from the 3rd floor Reserves and Recordings Desk. Patrons will need to provide a call number for each item to give to the desk attendant who will then retrieve the recordings. Eastman faculty members can borrow sound and video recordings from the library for a loan period of two weeks (with an optional two-week renewal). Undergraduate and graduate students can borrow sound and video recordings from the library for one week (with an optional one-week renewal). Community borrowers and Eastman Community Music School students do not have borrowing privileges for sound and video recordings; exceptions can be granted at the discretion of the Reserves and Digital Services Librarian.

Some recordings may be on reserve for courses and won’t be able to circulate out of the library, but they can be charged out for listening and viewing in the 3rd floor Listening Room for three hour intervals. Sound and video recordings include LP records, cassettes, CDs, reel-to-reel tapes, VHS videotapes, videodiscs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, and certain multi-media items.

Can I make a photocopy?

This question is trickier than it might at first seem. Legally, the employees of the library cannot tell you whether you can or cannot make a photocopy of a published work. If the item is in the Public Domain, then certainly you are free to copy whatever you need. If it is still under copyright, or if there is a question about its copyright status, please go here for a fuller explanation of the steps to determine if the intended copying is legal.

Sibley Library has four public printer/photocopiers, two in the hallway near the circulation desk, one in the Current Periodicals Reading Room, and the other in one in the alcove near the reference desk. The first three listed are operated by U of R ID cards, or by separately sold copy cards. Copy cards may be purchased at the reference desk for $5 each. Students may also add money to their ID copy cards through the UROS system.

The copier in the alcove near the reference desk is a coin-op machine, which takes bills or coins. The copiers can also scan documents to email, but are limited in terms of the precision that they offer. We have two scanners in the Listening/Media room on the 3rd floor: one a high speed sheetfeed scanner, and the other a large, tabloid scanner that can scan up to 11×17 paper.

Why can’t I take out closed-shelf items?

There are several possible reasons for this:

  • Closed shelf items may be part of a set of Collected Works (M1-5)
  • The item may not be in good enough condition to circulate
  • It may be a Reference Book
  • The item may be rare or unique item
  • It may be a journal or periodical

Often you will find suitable editions that are part of the circulating collection. In the event that you cannot, exceptions can sometimes be made for closed-shelf items at the discretion of Library Staff.

The item I want is not on the shelf. Where might it be?

There are a number of possibilities. Check the catalog record to determine if the item has a temporary location. Any item in a temporary location can be requested to be used by clicking on the Request This Item link in the middle of the record. Depending on the location and the needs of the item, if could be ready anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks.

  • Acquisitions: the library copy is not usable (either missing parts or pages, or is damaged beyond repair). The turnaround time on these types of items is variable, but usually lengthy.
  • Bindery: the item is either in the Conservation lab scheduled to be bound or it has been sent to a commercial bindery.
  • Brittle Books/Conservation: the item is in need of repair.
  • Cataloging: the item has been received in the library but it has not yet been cataloged.
  • Gift: the item has not yet been cataloged for a variety of reasons.
  • On Order: the library is trying to obtain a copy from a vendor, but it has not yet arrived.
  • Received: the item is in the library awaiting cataloging and processing.
  • Replacements: the library copy is “lost” or “missing” or is too damaged to circulate. A replacement copy has been acquired and is waiting to be cataloged and processed.
  • Serials: the volume is either scheduled to be bound or is damaged and is awaiting a replacement
  • Storage: items are in storage because they have been “retired” due to condition (too brittle, binding has been damaged etc.); there will usually be a replacement copy of the item in the stacks. If the current copy is already loaned out, a recall can be done. If not, occasionally arrangements can be made to view the older copy. If the score is older, it might very well have been digitized and is available for download, the link for which will be in the cataloging record.
  • Remote Storage: the item is housed off campus. In most instances there should be a digital surrogate available to download.
  • Storage Unclassified or In-Process: these are items that are to be cataloged but without an urgent need.

If the item does not have a temporary location, and is simply missing from the shelf, you can also check:

  • Pre-stacking (the area of shelves behind the circulation desk)
  • Carrels on the third and fourth floors
  • The area near where the item should be in case it is simply out of order
  • Think of logical places where it might be shelved mistakenly (e.g. ML or MT for an M-classed item; M1503 for an M1508 classed item; M457 for something with the call number M457.4)

How can I renew my items online?

Items checked out to you will automatically renew at the end of their original loan period, up to the number of renewals your patron type allows. You can always check your account to see what you have checked out. From the Sibley homepage click on the word “Account” at the top of the screen and choose Library Account. Enter your AD/password. Then click “Sign In” and you will see a display of items charged to you. This screen will also show any requests you have made, as well as any fines or fees that you owe.

What are the library’s hours?

How do I get to the library?

What resources does Sibley have for members of the Rochester community?

How can I get access to New Grove, e-reserves, and other online library services from home?

The item I want is not yet cataloged. How can I get it?

If you find something in the catalog that has a temporary location of “Catalog Department,” “Gift,” “Storage Unclassified” or “In-Process,” you can have that item cataloged, bound, marked, and made ready for you usually in 2-5 days. Click on the “Request This Item” link. Fill in your barcode or AD/password plus your last name, and fill out the online request form. Make sure that you ask to “Pick item up at my circ desk” (“Get checked out/overdue item for me” is used when another patron has the item checked out), and on the last page make sure to indicate that you want the item picked up at the Sibley Circulation Desk.

How can I listen to recordings of Eastman faculty and students?

The Eastman Audio Archive comprises Eastman recordings of concerts from 1933 up to the present. All recordings after 1988 (and selected earlier recordings) may be found in DiscoverUR. Pre-1988 recordings not found in Voyager are searchable in the Composer/Title and Performer card catalog, housed in the Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections.

Performances found in DiscoverUR may be ready for immediate listening. To see if there is a service copy available, look at the record for a second location, and a call number that begins with an “S.” These copies are available at the Reserves and Recordings desk. If no service copy exists, go to Special Collections and fill out a “Service Copy Request” form. Recording engineers from Technology & Music Productions will transfer the original recording to a service copy CD, and you will be informed when it is available.

Can I get a book from another U of R library without going there?

Absolutely! Once you find what you are looking for in the catalog, if a library other than Sibley holds that item, you can click on the “Request This Item” link. Fill in your AD/password and fill out the online request form. Make sure that you ask to “Pickup at My Circ Desk” (“Get Checked Out Item” is used when another patron has the item checked out), and on the last page make sure to indicate that you want the item picked up at the Sibley Circulation Desk. Once it arrives in Sibley, usually in a day or two, you will be notified by email that the item is available for your use.

How can I get something the library doesn’t own?

Sibley may be the largest academic music library in the US, but we may not have everything that you need or want. There are two ways to obtain needed items. To request that the item be purchased, please send an e-mail to our Acquisitions and Serials Department: We will review the request and notify you if the item has been purchased and when it is available. The speed of the ordering process depends on how long it takes our library vendors to obtain the item and ship it to us. Particularly with orders to European vendors the process may take eight weeks or more. To request that a needed item be borrowed from another library via Interlibrary Loan, search Worldcat for what you need, and click on the link that says Sibley Interlibrary Loan. Once you log into ILLiad, the necessary data from Worldcat will be imported so that we can successfully complete the transaction. If you need help using Worldcat, please ask at the reference desk. The amount of time this will take will depend on the nature of the request, and what library will send it to us. It could take 2 weeks or more (or much less, if from a nearby lender).

How can I access the internet with my laptop?

The University of Rochester maintains two wireless networks that can be accessed from anywhere in Sibley. One is used by members of the UR/ESM community, the other is an open access network for guests.

More information on accessing the wireless networks.