Students walking in front of Shineman Center
Visit Us

The best way to experience our friendly, learner-centered community is to visit.

Students sitting next to Lake Ontario
Intro video

One video, 60 seconds, countless reasons to consider SUNY Oswego.

Three students walk across campus
Get involved

Explore our nearly 200 clubs and organizations that can forge connections and create opportunities.

Graduates pose during Reunion
Get ready for reunion

Join us for the biggest alumni party of the year, June 8 to 11!

Nighttime view of Sheldon Hall clocktower
Oswego rising

Lakeshore college continues climb in ratings, reviews.

You are here


Why do none of the computers in the library have an up to date version of Mozilla Firefox?


CTS has already been working on updating Firefox on all lab computers, including those in the Library. CTS hopes to have the updates in place within a week or two.

You may be interested to know that CTS spends time evaluating and testing updates before delivering them to avoid situations where either the software or various services do not work. Although the current version of Firefox in the labs is a few months old, it is fully functional. You can look for the newest version soon.

- Natalie Sturr, Coordinator of Library Technology
  February 22, 2016


I want to ask a question and suggest something about the library book catalog and the policy of discarding books. What's the selection process for discarding; and can (or does) the library provide notice about discarded books? I ask these questions because I went to a local used book sale (@ Oswego Players Club) this summer and there were some mint condition books from Penfield Library that were sticker-less and marked "discarded." Also, some library materials I checked out a year ago are no longer cataloged, and not on the shelves. Until this summer I did not know the college library was getting rid of books and that disappoints me. If there were some kind of notice about what discarded books from the library catalog are for sale or for free I would really appreciate it a lot. Thank you.


Thank you for your inquiry, as I'm sure the work of the library can seem very mysterious to those not working here. In answer to your question, our collection development librarians carefully review items before removing them from the collection. The decision to deselect a title is based on such criteria as currency (depending on the subject), relevance to SUNY Oswego's curriculum, condition of the item, and how much it is being used in this library. Sometimes a very good book, or book in good condition, may not be well suited to the needs of our students and faculty and never used. In the course of our deselection process we may consult with the department faculty for the relevant discipline, especially for specialized areas of study with which we are less familiar.

When we deselect books we generally send them to Better World Books or put them in our book sale, then use the proceeds of these sales to purchase new materials to keep our collection current to our users' needs. We do not donate at this time to other local sales, so perhaps they were passed on by one of our sale customers.

There are also reasons other than deselection why a book may no longer be in our collection and catalog, including theft, loss, or the failure of someone to return it. Sadly, these problems occur regularly with the more popular titles.

At this time we do not have future public book sales planned, but there is always a shelf of sale books available in the library lobby. We are working to improve and expand the selection available there, so I encourage you to check this out when you are at Penfield. It is just to the left of the Research Help Desk at this time.

- Barbara Shaffer, Library Director
  September 16, 2015


Hello, I am a non-student patron and I borrow books from the college library. I would really like it if the Interlibrary loan service would be extended to patrons. If patrons were allowed Laker NetID numbers - which are required for requesting ILL books - the service would be rightly extended for library patrons. Currently there's no way to use the ILL service with just a Borrower Card id number. Please consider my suggestion about patrons and the possibility of their Interlibrary loan requests. Thank you.


Thank you for your suggestion regarding Interlibrary Loan services, and your participation in our Community Borrowers program. Due to licensing requirements and limited resources, Penfield Library provides Interlibrary Loan service only for SUNY Oswego students, faculty and staff. For non-SUNY Oswego patrons we recommend Interlibrary Loan access through your local public library. This link will take you to information on Oswego Public Library's Interlibrary Loan service.

- Barbara Shaffer, Library Director
  August 5, 2015



I understand that a lot of money was probably spent on the new chairs in the lobby and I assume the rest of the computer chairs in the library are probably going to be replaced with them at some point. However, I am not a big fan of them because they do not adjust in height. I am an average sized female (5'4") and my feet do not touch the floor if I am sitting in the chair correctly and to make it even worse, my forearms do not rest on the table how they should which results in wrist pain from even a limited amount of typing at such a strange angle. If the chair or the table could be adjusted in height there would be no problem. However, how they are now, I feel that I am quickly advancing any carpal tunnel I may be developing. Is it possible to have height adjusting chairs in the lobby area in addition to the new ones?


We had sample chairs out for about a month and received positive feedback regarding the chairs that we ultimately purchased. We understand, though, that chairs are not one-size-fits-all, and will be mindful of your comments as we continue to purchase new furniture for the library.

In the meantime, the older, red adjustable chairs are still in the library, with several in the computer area and in Penfield Classroom 1 for use. Also, two workstations next to Penfield Classroom 1 allow you to adjust table height, which may be an option for you.

Again, thank you for your comments! Please let us know if there are other issues or concerns you may have.

- Marilyn Ochoa, Associate Director and Building Coordinator
  May 12, 2014


I would like to make a suggestion concerning media loans. When items are returned to the 2nd floor desk (laptops, iPods, and other high cost items), I think it would be a good practice to provide a written receipt of its return. If the item becomes lost or stolen from the 2nd floor desk before personnel log its return, then responsibility falls back to the library patron.

I was sent an email this morning that the iPod I borrowed was "overdue". I returned the iPod after my evening class on April 8th, but unfortunately have no physical proof (as a receipt could provide). I have already spoken with library staff who are looking into this. However, I am still concerned about how this will affect me (if the iPod is not found) and could similarly affect others in the future.


I understand your concern, and at this time there is no system in place at Penfield Library -- or any other library I'm aware of -- for issuing of such receipts. There are detailed procedures in place for accepting and processing returns of loaned technology to minimize any problems, and sometimes there are circumstances where all pieces of the loaned item are not accounted for which can delay check-in. That said, we will certainly take your suggestion into consideration, and you are welcome to wait at the service desk when you return more expensive items until they have been checked in and your account is cleared.

- Barbara Shaffer, Library Director
  April 23, 2014


Why does the library allow tour guides to carry out tours for potential students within the library? Everyday, myself and students around me have been constantly distracted by the the tours coming in and the loud voices of the tour guides (although I understand this is part of their job). You can hear the tour guides shouting from the third floor and it is very distracting. Is there someone from the library that can contact the admissions office and request for the tour guides to talk about the library outside Penfield but upon entry, allow for families to observe and wander in silence out of respect for students that are trying to study or do work.


We encourage admissions to include the library on prospective student tours because we believe that an important part of learning about a college is learning about what the library has to offer. I do understand your concerns, however, and appreciate our current students' need for limited distractions during their study time. Because of this we have spaces specifically designated as quiet spaces, particularly the third floor. I find that if I go inside the doors on the third floor it is rare that sounds from other floors are audible. It may also be helpful for you to know that this week is especially busy in terms of admissions tours, due to public school spring break. I will keep your suggestions in mind when we meet with admissions tour guides in the future, to see if we can work to better meet everyone's needs.

- Barbara Shaffer, Library Director
  April 16, 2014


Why doesn't the library have the ability to offer more print (pages) to students that need them? If you are working on multiple papers and only have the weekend to access the library (because you have a full-time day job) it becomes very difficult to complete your work if you run out of print pages.Not every student has the ability to go to Culkin during business hours to pay for additional print. It would be great if we could do that at the library.


Because printing is a function of Campus Technology Services the addition of print pages is not something that we handle at the library. However, it is very easy to get additional printing at the library when you run out of your quota. There is a print queue called "community printer". At any of the lobby machines you can choose this printer option, and your print-out will go to the circulation desk printer. You can pick it up there and pay 15 cents per page, the same price you would pay for adding to your quota. I hope this service meets your future needs.
-- Barbara Shaffer, Interim Library Director
  April 10, 2012


Have someone stationed on the third floor to "police" the area. I NEED the quiet offered by that floor, and nothing makes me crazier than when six people come to sit together and "work" up there.


I am very sorry to hear that you were not able to find the quiet you needed at the library, and agree that those violating the posted policies are being disrespectful of the study needs of other students.

As you know the third floor is intended to be a quiet space, but we depend on students such as yourself to let us know when help is needed with enforcement. Routinely library staff visits the third floor, especially in the evening hours, to check for noise. Unfortunately this is not always at the same time that there is a problem, and it is hard to fix a problem we are not personally observing.

If you have this experience again I encourage you to contact the librarians on duty immediately so we can come and relocate those not observing the quiet policy. If you have a cell phone you can call 315-312-4267, or go to the Research Help Desk on the first floor (before 9 PM). After 9 PM you may report this problem to the staff at the second floor Service Desk Check-Out Desk (1st floor).

-- Barbara Shaffer, Library Director