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Staying Informed in Social Work Practice: Library Services

This guide presents resources and suggestions for keeping current with social work research after you graduate from the University of Denver. Thanks to Sue Wortman, Social Work Librarian, University of Michigan, for providing the model for the guide.

Guide Overview

This guide is organized into seven sections:

Library Services provides an overview of services available to you after graduation, including information about subscription database and online journal access and alumni borrowing privileges.

Staying Informed presents information about creating RSS feeds and email alerts to selected social work journals, as well as links to blogs, discussion groups, newsletters, and organizations.

Open Access lists individual open-access journals and directories of open-access journals and repositories, in addition to resources for freely-available Congressional Research Service reports and Congressional activities.

Government Databases offers a selection of databases from the Census Bureau, the GPO, and different agencies, including National Criminal Justice Reference Service, ERIC, Child Welfare Informaiton Gateway, and SAMHSA databases.

Think Tanks and Nonprofits features links to foundations and repositories of foundation publications, as well as to the Rand Corporation and the Pew Charitable Trust Resource Library.

Other Free Resources provides links to free databases that cover medical literature, health and social sciences systematic reviews, alcohol studies, childcare and early education, posttraumatic stress disorder, restorative justice, social science research, and public data, in addition to Congressional and Colorado General Assembly resources.

Policy Research Guide links to the research guide created for SOWK 4120 Social Welfare Policy, with its list of freely-available resources and websites for continued policy practice.

Library Guest Computers

Guest computers are available in the Main Library at the Anderson Academic Commons.

Access to most databases is available onsite, however, you will need to obtain an Alumni card/visitor pass to login.  If you have questions about onsite access to a specific database, please contact the Research Center.

Access to RefWorks

You will continue to have access to your RefWorks account after graduation, however, you will no longer be able to link out from the account to our licensed database content.

Library Services for Alumni

Library Services Continued After Graduation:

After graduation, you can continue to access the library.  With your DU Alumni Card, you will be able to check out up to 25 books at a time for a three week borrowing period, with unlimited renewals.  Media (DVDs, video, audio) can be checked out for one week, with one renewal.  Please note that your former Student ID will no longer function as a library card.

To use the Research Center computers, you will need to login with your DU ID (the "87-" number) and passcode.  If you don't remember your ID number, please visit the Leo Block Alumni Center to acquire your Alumni card.  The Center is open Monday through Friday and is located on Asbury Avenue, across from the Richie Center.

If you have your Alumni card/ID number but don't have a current passcode, you can have your passcode set over the phone. Call University Technology Services at 303-871-4700.

The staff at our Main Library Lending Desk can give you a free, temporary login.  This login changes daily, so if you plan to visit us regularly, it will be to your advantage to set up a long-term personal login.

Most subscription databases can be accessed on campus from the Research Center computers.  A few of our databases are restricted to current students and employees of the University.  Please contact the Research Center if you have questions about accessing a specific database.

You will continue to have interlibrary loan privileges after graduation.  Please email Interlibrary Loan at to have them change your status to alumni. Once this is accomplished, you can request journal articles, books, and other materials for delivery or pick up at the library.

Library Services Lost After Graduation:

Due to licensing restrictions, you will no longer be able to access our subscription databases and online subscription journals from off campus after graduation.  You will continue to have access to publicly-available databases from off campus.

Other Information:

If you are moving away from the Denver area, consider using an academic library in your new location.  Many public universities will permit visitors to search their databases and possibly access full-text articles. 

You can also use your local public library, which will typically give you access to general, multidisciplinary databases, such as Academic Search Complete.  Public libraries may also belong to consortiums that will enable you to borrow materials from regional research libraries, as well as provide interlibrary loan services.  Remember that you will still have interlibrary loan privileges, however, through the University Libraries.

For more detailed information, please see the Alumni Privileges page.

Reference Librarian

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Jenny Bowers
University Libraries

2150 E. Evans Ave.

Denver, CO 80208

(303) 871-3403