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University Libraries - Library Annex Frequently Asked Questions

Library Annex Frequently Asked Questions

How fast can I get a book or journal from the Annex?

Library Annex items will normally be available for pick-up within 24 hours (Monday through Friday) of placing the request. Materials requested before 11:00 a.m.,  Monday through Friday will be available at the Circulation Department by 3:00 p.m. of the same business day. Materials requested after 11:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, will be available at the Circulation Department on the following business day.

Where can I have Library Annex materials delivered?

Most Library Annex materials will be delivered to the Circulation Department at Thomas Cooper library; however, there are exceptions. These exceptions include South Caroliniana Library and Law Library materials. Other items that are delivered to a location other than the Thomas Cooper Circulation Department are Special CollectionsMap Library and Educational Film Collection. For additional information please visit the Library Annex Policies page.

May I use materials onsite at the Annex building?

Yes, University affiliates such as: Faculty, Staff, Graduate or Undergraduate students, Thomas Cooper Society members, and Alumni members, who wish to consult large works, may request that items be held at one of the two Library Annex reading rooms.  Please note that the Library Annex does not have check-out capabilities, thus materials must be used on-site.  

Non-university affiliates who wish to consult large works may also request that items be held at one of the two Library Annex reading rooms.  However, please note that photocopy services may be limited for non-university affiliates.  Consult Library Annex management for more details.

Because the Annex is a high-density storage facility and not a browsing library, the stacks area is closed to the public. All retrieval of requested material is taken care of by the Annex staff.

If a patron wishes to view the material onsite, please select “Library Annex – Columbia” as your Pickup / Ship to Location; see below.
Request Verification

It would be most efficient if a patron provides information for requested materials at least two hours in advance. The Library Annex will then have the materials ready when the patron arrives. Walk-in requests will be placed into work orders and will be processed by priority. In such case, a patron will have to wait for the retrieval process to be carried out.

Please contact the Library Annex at 803-896-0780 to verify availability and to reserve a reading room.

The Library Annex reading rooms are equipped with a desktop computer, 13inch TV, VCR and DVD player making it possible for users to get online, view videos and DVDs held at the Annex.

Why is the Annex an off-site facility?

Overcrowded stacks make it difficult to locate library materials, jeopardize their condition, and takes up space originally intended for study and research.

The library Annex was developed for the University Libraries to house, preserve, and relieve the overcrowding of the book stacks while maintaining and providing access to library materials of research value. The Library Annex allows the University Libraries to improve the functionality of the University Libraries both in terms of research and study space. It also allows the University Libraries to maintain a current and efficient circulating collection. In addition, The Library Annex facility provides optimal environmental conditions for the materials it houses (it's kept at a constant 55 degrees and 50 percent relative humidity) therefore preserving and extending the material's life span.

How many volumes will the Library Annex hold?

Depending on the size and type of materials selected for transfer, the Library Annex will hold up to 1.5 million items.

What kinds of materials are shelved in the Library Annex?

Most media types of lower-use materials, old and/or fragile materials, archival materials, and materials available online are all good candidates for Library Annex relocation.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions, concerns, suggestions, or complaints about the Library Annex?

You may submit any questions, concerns, suggestions, or complaints on our Annex Feedback page. The Library Annex will reply to submissions within two (2) business days. Or you may contact the Library Annex Manager at

Can Library Annex items be reinstated back to the library's general collection?

Faculty, Staff, and Students of the university may request that items housed at the Library Annex be recalled and returned to the library's general collection. The Collections Development Department will review each request in a case-by-case basis. If you have a question pertaining to the Thomas Cooper Collection, please contact Gary Geer at: For all other collections (South Caroliniana Library, Business Library, Law Library, Music Library, Special Collections Department, Map Library, etc…), please contact the reference department of the respective owning library.

Is the Library Annex staffed?

Yes, there are 4 full-time staff members at the Library Annex during regular business hours. The Library Annex business hours are: Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you need assistance after hours, please contact the Thomas Cooper Library Circulation Department at: 803-777-3145.

How many books can I request from the Annex?

There is no limit to the number of items one may request from the Library Annex.

Will someone contact me when my request is available?

For general collection items belonging to Thomas Cooper Library,  the Math Library or the Business Library an email will be sent by a Thomas Cooper Circulation staff when the item is placed on hold and ready for pick-up at the Circulation Department. For items belonging to the Music Library an e-mail will be sent by a Music Library staff. Other Libraries such as; Caroliniana Library and Law Library do not notify their patrons when the item is available for pick-up.

What happens if there is a problem with my request?

The Library Annex staff will notify the patron via e-mail detailing the problem(s) with your request. If there is no valid email address, The Library annex staff will make every effort to contact the patron via the telephone. If we are unable to reach you via e-mail or at least leave a voice message and it has been more than three (3) business days since you have placed the request, please contact the Library annex at: 803-896-0780 or via e-mail at:

What is the most common problem the Library Annex encounters with a patron's request?

The Library annex will occasionally receive requests for materials that are not housed at the Library Annex. To avoid this problem, please consult the Library's online catalog to verify the location of the item in question before submitting your request. If you need assistance, please ask one of the reference librarians at the Reference Desk.

How can I tell if an item is located at the Library Annex?

Materials stored at the Library Annex have the following location Columbia Annex in the University Libraries online catalog:
screenshot of an item in the catalog that belongs to the library annex

Where can I return items borrowed from the Library Annex?

Materials borrowed from the Library Annex should be returned to the Thomas Cooper Library, Circulation Department or any of the library drop boxes through out campus. For more details please visit:  Please do not remove the Library Annex identification bands that are placed on all borrowed items.  We need them so that we can correctly identify Library Annex materials and process them accordingly.

What is Scan and Deliver?

Scan and Deliver service supplies articles or book chapters from the Library Annex collection directly to your desktop in PDF format, which can be read with Adobe's Acrobat Reader. This is a free service.

Who can use the Scan and Deliver service?

Anyone affiliated with the University (Faculty, Staff, Graduate or Undergraduate student, Thomas Cooper Society member, and Alumni member) or anyone with Library borrowing privileges.

Non-university affiliates may also request Scan and Deliver requests. See Scan and Deliver policies page for more information.

Is there a page limit per Scan and Deliver request?

The Library Annex will process requests for articles or book chapters of fifty (50) or fewer pages in length. All requests for articles in excess of fifty (50) pages must be made for the entire volume, which will then be sent via courier to the Thomas Cooper Library and made available for pick-up at the Circulation Department. Please note: Federal Copyright Guidelines require that only one article or book chapter be requested per request.

Is there a limit to how many Scan and Deliver requests I can submit?

There is no limit to how many Scan and Deliver requests a patron can submit.

How many articles from one journal can I receive at one time?

There is no limit to the number of articles or book chapters a patron can request from one particular journal issue or book that is housed at the Library Annex as long as it does not amount to the entire works. However, patrons may request the entire works be sent in its original form to Thomas Cooper Library for patron use.

How long will it take to receive my document?

Scan and Deliver requests will be delivered to the patrons ILL Express account within 2 business days of submitting the request.

What's my password?

Your log-on username and password for Scan and Deliver are the same ones created when registering for your ILL Express account.

If you are a first time user you will have to fill out the ILL Express registration at: See below: Register

What if I have a problem with my document?

If you have a problem viewing your document, pages missing or have text cut off, please contact the Library Annexor the Scan and Deliver Department to have the article resent.

What to do if I delete my document before I use it?

Articles are accessible for 30 days (including weekends and holidays). If you mistakenly delete an article during that time, please contact the Library Annex or the Scan and Deliver Department to have the article reinstated.