What and where is the Cage?
This is where our Special Collections are housed, on the lower level of the Library. They include artists' books, archives, graphic design and illustration annuals, and other rare and/or fragile materials. Only Decker staff librarians may enter the Cage.
How can I see artists' books from the Cage?
There is an online visual catalog where you can view the collection. You can access it from the Library's homepage by clicking on the Book Arts Catalog link or go directly here: danube.mica.edu/ABCat/site/index.cfm. There is also a printed copy of the catalog available at the Reference desk. Cage materials can be used at a designated table within the Library by presenting your valid I.D. card to a librarian on the lower level.
How many books are in the Library Collection?
The Library contains almost 64,000 monographs; the main focus of the collection is in the visual arts, while maintaining a broad, balanced collection in the humanities.
Why are the books organized by size?
The collection is divided into sections like “quarto” (books over 12 inches tall) and “stacks” (books under 12 inches tall) to make maximum use of shelving space; i.e. all the smaller (stacks) books are grouped with a uniform shelving height. This also allows for large books like “folios” (books over 15 inches tall) to lay flat on special larger shelves.
What folio books can I check out from the Folio Room?
The folio collection comprises both reference and circulating books. Any book that is not reference may be borrowed for 21 days. Reference books may only be borrowed by faculty members, for 24 hours.
How do I request a book that is checked out?
If a book is currently checked out to another patron, a Circulation staff member can place a hold on it for you and then notify you once it has been returned.
How do I renew my books online?
You can view a list of your checked-out items -- and renew items -- using the Library Catalog and clicking on "My Account". This feature requires a PIN which can be obtained by visiting the Library Circulation Desk or calling (410) 225-2272. You will also need your MICA I.D. number, and to be a currently registered Library user. Items can be renewed just once through the catalog; for further renewals, visit or call the Circulation Desk.
How can I find out what books or periodicals other libraries have?
World Cat (worldcatlibraries.org) can show you materials located in other libraries throughout the country, or those nearby by keying in your zip code. You can also use local libraries (there is a link located on the Library’s homepage) to directly borrow materials by using your currently validated MICA I.D. card. You can search their library catalogs from this page.
How do I request books or media from other libraries?
If you need a book, film/video or article that is not owned by Decker Library, you can request a copy from another library. Interlibrary Loan requests can be made in person at the Reference Desk, online through the Library catalog (click on "I need material"), by e-mail (email@example.com), or by phone (410-225-2273). You do not need to determine where the material is located - library staff have access to a database to select potential sources for the interlibrary loan.
I came to the Library with my class recently. How can I listen to your instruction again?
At this time we do not have audio instructions (watch for them in the future). However, the Library's website contains a lot of the information that was presented during your class. For instance, there are INFO links for many of the research databases as well as information about using the Library.
How do I navigate the Stacks and Quarto sections of the Decker Library?
The books are organized by subject using the Library of Congress Classification System, with call numbers using a combination of letters, numbers and decimal points. You can learn more about the LC system here, on the LC website. There is a handout with a summary of the system at the Reference Desk. Write down the call number and the location of the book (e.g. stacks, quarto, folio, reference, etc.) from your catalog search.
Once you have the call number and location of the book from the book catalog, go to the appropriate section (e.g. stacks, quarto, folio, reference) and find the call number range by looking at the signs on the ends of the book shelves. The system runs alphabetically with the letter “A” on the far right of the shelving area in both stacks and quarto areas. The individual shelves "read" from left to right, then top to bottom and continue to the top of the next shelf range.
First, find the section for the first letter(s) of the call number (e.g. N, NA, NB, SB, TR, or Z), then look for the numbers which are arranged numerically (e.g. 9, 10, 15, 15.5). Then, look at the next letter and numbers which follow a dot (e.g. .C41). The letters will also be arranged alphabetically, but the numbers that follow read as decimals, such that .C41 comes before .C5. Here is a webpage that shows books arranged correctly according to this system.
Tell me more about the Media Resources Collection. Where can we view slides; is there a projection room?
The Media Resources Collection contains a collection of over 215,000 slides and 4,000 videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to borrow materials for classroom and individual study. Slides, DVDs and videos may be viewed there during regular MRC hours. As of 7/2010, the film/video portion of the Media Resources Collection is cataloged within the Decker Library catalog.
How do you choose what magazines you subscribe to?
All materials are selected on the basis of relevance to the curriculum and also considering the recreational interests of the students, faculty and staff.
Are language software programs available in the Library?
We have some books to learn languages or improve language skills, however, the International Affairs Department, located on the second floor of the Bunting Center, has an online version of Rosetta Stone. As of 9/16/2010, they have: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish (Castilian and Latin American), Swedish, Tagalog, Turkish, and Vietnamese. For more information contact the International Affairs Department at 410-225-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I access an E-Book that I found in the Decker Library's online catalog?For on-campus access to E-Books found in the Decker Library's online catalog, click on the link displayed by each E-Book title within the catalog search results list, or within the E-Book's full catalog record display. This takes you to the access page for that title, and you can begin navigating through the E-Book via the Table of Contents.
From Off-Campus, E-books are available within the EBSCOhost interface, using the following link:
Link to E-Book Search, for off-campus
Log-in with your MICA username and password. You can then use the search interface to find materials, and navigate through each E-Book via the Table of Contents.
Can I still use the library once I graduate? In particular can I still use the databases from home?
MICA alumni are welcome to continue using the Decker Library on site, and can obtain borrowing priveleges for an annual fee of $25.00. Alumni can borrow a maximum of five items at a time. Unfortunately alumni are not permitted to use remote access to databases, nor to use interlibrary loan. However, please note that most public libraries will provide interlibrary loan service to their registered patrons as well as provide remote access to their subscription databases.
For more information go to our Alumni page.