Michigan State University

Current Periodical and Microforms FAQs

Can periodicals, journals, or magazines be taken out of the library?

All materials located in Current Periodicals/Microforms Unit are restricted to in-building use. Requests to allow items to leave the building should be directed to the Service Desk Supervisor, who shall grant permission only in cases where in-building use presents a severe hardship. It is possible to photocopy items, including microfilm and microfiche in the Main Library MakeCentral located on 2 West adjacent to the Current Periodicals and Microforms.

Where are back issues of newspapers or newspapers on microfilm?

Newspapers on microfilm are arranged alphabetically and chronologically on the black shelving near the current periodicals.

Where are bound journals kept? OR Where is the Magazine collection?

There is no longer a specific area designated "Magazine collection". The bound volumes of journals formerly in the magazine collection are now located at their specific call number location in the regular stacks. To locate a specific bound journal it is necessary to obtain its call number from the catalog.

What does "Recent unbound issues in CURRENT PERIODICALS 2W" mean?

This refers to recently published, or newest, issues of a periodical. Unbound issues can be found in their original softcover format and are shelved as individual issues. If you are in doubt about a particular issue, please feel free to ask for assistance at the Service Desk.|

Can photocopies of microforms (microfilm and microfiche) be made? Where?

Yes. Special machines equipped to view, scan and photocopy microfilm and microfiche are located in the Main Library MakeCentral on 2-West. Saving scans to a USB Drive or CD is free and printing is available for a charge.

What form of identification do I need to look at materials kept behind the Service Desk?

Two forms of identification are acceptable; an MSU student or faculty identification card OR a Community borrowing card issued by the library. If you have never used the library before, please go to the Patron Services Desk (Main Lobby) to register your MSU I.D. or apply for community borrowing privileges.

What does status "Bind Prep" or "Sent to the Bindery" mean?

A status "Bind Prep" message means that the volume is available. These items are available at the Current Periodicals/Microforms Service Desk. A status "To Bind" message means that the volume is currently unavailable. These items become available again in approximately 4 weeks from the date they were sent. The date an item was sent is displayed in the check in box in the catalog, directly below the "To Bind" message.

What is the difference between microfilm and microfiche?

Microfilm comes on a reel. Microfiche comes on a 4X6 transparent sheet. Microforms is a generic term that refers to both.

The Library Online Catalog indicates that this journal is on microfilm. But when I looked for the year I needed, it was not there. How can I tell what is actually on microfilm and what is only bound?

Some catalog records list both the microfilm and bound volumes together, but many are broken into a microfilm record and a paper copy record. While most of the film holdings and bound volume holdings do coincide, some do not. To be sure that the volume that you are seeking is on microfilm, you must check the copy holdings screen of the catalog microfilm record.

Why aren't the Sunday Classifieds for many U.S. daily newspapers available on the day they are published?

Some major U.S. dailies are not distributed to the library directly. Instead they are received through the U.S. mail. This takes aproximately 3-5 days.