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Library Introduction for First-Generation Students

This guide will introduce you to all of the services available to you at WSU Libraries!

How to Checkout Books

WSU Libraries operates on an "Open Stack" system. That means that you must find the "Call Number" of the book, find it on the shelf, and take it to the circulation desk to check it out. We can help you with this!

You may checkout (take home) up to 299 books at one time. For undergraduates, each book may be kept for SIX WEEKS. Graduate students may keep each book for a semester. If you need the book longer, you must renew it.

To checkout a book:

  1. Make sure that you have Cougar Card that is current and in good standing.
  2. Use our catalog (Search It) at If you need help with this, please visit the Reference Desk on the 1st floor of Terrell Library. We are happy to help you find a book and locate it on the shelf!
  3. When you find a book, write down the call number (explained above). Use the stack chart to locate the book (or ask at the Reference Desk).
  4. Bring the book(s) to the Circulation Desk and show your Cougar Card.
  5. Remember to return your book by the due date! If you bring a book back late, you may have to pay fines. For more information, click HERE.

Course Textbook Reserves

You might not have to buy your textbooks! Please check with the libraries FIRST!

If you cannot find your textbook, please contact the library! We are happy to help you with the process.

Your instructor might put some materials on hold for your class. These have a shorter time limit are located upstairs at the circulation desk. To get the call number (number identifying the location of the book), do the following:

  1. Start from the Libraries main page:
  2. Find the link Course Reserves in the middle of the page, underneath the heading “Research.” Click on it.
  3. If your resources are in print: Click on Find Course Reserves in Search It. You will be asked to enter your WSU Network ID and password (what you use for email and MyWSU).
  4. If your reserves are electronic (often times articles, book chapters), click on Find Electronic Course ReservesYou will be asked to enter your WSU Network ID and password (what you use for email and MyWSU).
  5. Search the department and course number of your class, or search the instructor’s name.  
  6. For e-reserves, type in your course password and access the item from your computer.

For print reserves:

Ordering Books from Other Libraries

Can't find the book at WSU Libraries? No problem! We can order most books for you from other libraries - for free! There are certain restrictions on ordering textbooks so be sure to ask first. 

WSU Libraries belong to a group of libraries around the Pacific Northwest that share materials. Through this system (called "Summit"), you can order any book in the system to be delivered to you at WSU for free. If the book is not available through Summit, you can order it through another system called Interlibrary Loan.

When a book is not available, you will see a YELLOW DOT and the phrase Check Holdings:

 Check Holdings can mean one of several things:

  • The book is checked out
  • The book is missing or lost
  • The book is not located at a WSU library

You may be able to order the book through Summit (for delivery in 3-5 days), or Interlibrary Loan (for delivery in 1-2 weeks). You can see your request options by clicking on either the title or "Availability and Request Options." If Summit is your option, click on the Summit link and log in with your WSU ID (firstname.lastname). Fill out the requested information and you will receive an email when the book arrives. If Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is your option, click on the Interlibrary Loan link and login with your WSU ID to create an ILLiad account.

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us