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Find It for Free

Where to look for low- to no-cost course materials.

About This Guide

This guide is intended to aid students and faculty with finding and acquiring low- to no-cost course resources. If you would like assistance, please reach out to your subject librarian.


If the library has a copy of a book or other material required for your course, your professor may have put it on reserve at the library.

  • Print reserve materials can be requested at the Q&I desk and are loaned out for several hours at a time.
  • Electronic reserve materials are available through the library’s website.

Use the Course Reserves Search to search for reserve materials by course ID, instructor name, department, and more.

Visit our Course Reserves for Students page to learn more about borrowing reserve materials.


If you can’t find your course materials in the Course Reserves Search, try using DiscoverUR on the library’s homepage to search the whole library.

  • Use the filters on the left to narrow your search. For example, if you’re looking for an e-book, filter by “Books” and “Available Online.”

Interlibrary Loan

Use Interlibrary Loan to borrow books and articles that we don’t have access to at our library.

  • You can use Interlibrary Loan to borrow physical copies of books from other libraries and PDFs of articles from journals to which UR does not subscribe.
  • Please note that Interlibrary Loan cannot be used to borrow e-books or textbooks.
  • Visit our Interlibrary Loan guide for more information.

Open Library

The Internet Archive’s Open Library has a large collection of digital books that you can borrow for an hour at a time.


HathiTrust is a digital library with over 15 million volumes of books, journals, and government documents.

Public Libraries

University of Rochester students can get a Monroe County Library card by going to any Monroe County Library System location.

  • In order to apply for a library card, please provide your ID and a piece of mail with your local address on it.

Anyone who lives or goes to school in New York State is eligible for a New York Public Library digital library card. Visit the New York Public Library’s website to get started.


For help finding materials, contact

For general library questions, contact

Feel free to make an appointment with a librarian any time.