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Social Work Library


Alumni Services

Located on the lower ground floor of McGuinn Hall, the Social Work Library supports the teaching and research needs of the Boston College School of Social Work (BCSSW)

Alumni Services Overview

What happens to my access when I graduate? You are always welcome to contact us for assistance with your research and you can visit the library for onsite access.

Borrowing physical items (Alumni, BC Retirees & Guests)

Alumni can borrow physical items at all the BC Libraries except the Law Library. The loan period for alumni is 28 days with two renewals per item permitted. At the Educational Resource Center (ERC) alumni can borrow items (excluding all educational and psychological tests) for 14 days with one renewal (28 days total).

BC retirees can borrowing physical items at all the BC Libraries. The loan period for retirees is one year with four renewals per item permitted. At the Educational Resource Center (ERC) retirees have borrowing privileges (excluding all educational and psychological tests) for 14 days with a four year renewal period.

Guests have borrowing privileges at all the BC Libraries except the Educational Resource Center and the Law Library. The loan period for guests is 28 days with two renewals per item. 

Retirees may continue to use their Eagle One card to borrow library materials. Alumni and Guests should refer to the Guest, Retiree and Alumni Borrowing page for information on applying for a library card.

Online access for BC Alumni

We have arranged for remote access to the following databases for BC alumni:

  • Adam Matthew Primary Source Collections - digitized primary source material on a variety of topics, geographic areas, and historic periods.
  • ATLA Historical Monographs Collection Series 1 & 2 - more than 29,000 titles focused on religion and theology.
  • ATLA Religion Databases - essays, book reviews, and journal articles related to theological and religious studies.
  • JSTOR - archive journal content licensed by Boston College. (Ebooks are not included).
  • OECD iLibrary - the online library of the OECD including books, papers, and statistics.
  • Project MUSE - scholarly journals in the humanities and social sciences from university presses and scholarly societies.
  • Firsthand (The Vault) - career information on a wide variety of industries and specific companies.

Login or Register for access on the BC Alumni Community Research Resources page

Free Journal Databases

PubMed Central
PubMed Central (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine. PMC includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources.
Search PubMed more broadly for journal abstracts on psychiatric issues. 

Massachusetts Regional Library System
The Massachusetts Regional Library System offers Massachusetts library card holders access to full-text journal databases under the Research & Articles tab. All you need is a library card from a public library in Massachusetts to access these resources anywhere.

Child Welfare Information Gateway
A searchable website with free research reports, suggested books, and articles.  If the full-text of an article or book chapters is not available, you can request it through the interlibrary service at your local public library.

Local Libraries

The Boston Public Library offers ecards that allow you to access their online resources anywhere as a Massachusetts resident. Other local library systems might have similar memberships. 

Other university and college libraries in your area might allow walk-in guests, like Boston College, to use their online resources while on their campuses. Check with your local higher education institution for more information.

Free Online Journals and Tools to Locate Open Access Articles

Many online publications provide free access to their content. Three important social work journals that provide full access on the web are:

Campbell Systematic Reviews
The journal publishes systematic reviews, evidence and gap maps, and methods research papers in social welfare and other social sciences and applied practices.

Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics
This peer-reviewed journal explores the ethical issues that impact social work practice.

The New Social Worker Online Current issue is available online. Articles are geared for new graduates who are looking for career advice.

Many more Open Access journals of interest to social workers can be found through the Directory of Open Access Journals.

Open Access Button
The website and the Chrome browser plug-in uses the article information you are viewing to search open access sources for an available copy of an article.

The browser add-on works in Chrome and Firefox. The tool adds an opened lock tab to the right of your browser when it detects that the article you are viewing is openly available.

Evidence-Based Practice/Practice Guidelines

These websites feature free information about evidence-based practice, practice guidelines, and systematic reviews:

The Campbell Collaboration
SAMSHA's Evidence-Based Practices
Social Programs that Work


Useful websites for practitioners can be found on the the Social Work Library in-depth Research Guides.

An excellent current awareness site for social workers is Information for Practice, sponsored by the New York University School of Social Work.

The following are professional associations for social workers:

General Contact Information

Social Work Library, McGuinn B38
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3810

Phone: 617-552-0109


Maps and Directions to Boston College

The Social Work Library is located on the lower ground floor of McGuinn Hall.