The Circulation department provides many services related to borrowing library materials, including check-out, renewals and course reserves.

Check out

In order check out library materials, the following identification is needed:

  • WSU faculty, staff and students
    WSU-affiliated users will need a valid WSU identification card, which can be obtained at the Student Services Center. Faculty members who intend to have teaching or research assistants check out material for them should inquire about proxy cards at the Circulation Desk.

    You don’t have a proxy? Current students, faculty and staff may complete the Library Designee Form (pdf) -- one signed form per visit. This form will not be accepted without your signature. Identification will be required from both you and your library designee at the time of checkout (see form for instructions).

  • WSU Online students
    Students who are part of a WSU Online program need to obtain their WSU identification card directly from the WSU Online department. Please see WSU Online for assistance.
  • Summit Users
    Faculty, staff and students from institutions that are part of the Oregon/Cascade Alliance consortium will need to present valid identification from that institution.
  • Community Users
    Residents of southwest Washington can apply for a library card, which will allow you to check out books from the library and to order books from other WSU Libraries. Applications are available at the Circulation Desk.

Check-out (Loan) Periods

Check-out periods for items vary. Some general guidelines are:

WSU Items

  • Books: Most books check out for 6 weeks for undergraduate students, staff and off-campus borrowers, and one semester for graduate students and faculty.
  • Journals: WSU Vancouver journals cannot be checked out.
  • Media: 3-5 days
  • Children's books: 2 weeks
  • Reserves: 2 hours - 7 day. varies

Summit Items

  • The loan periods for most items checked out through Summit is 6 weeks.
  • Media items (videos, DVDs, etc.) can be checked out for 6 days.
  • No renewals on Summit items.

Interlibrary Loan Items

  • Items requested through Interlibrary Loan / ILLIad will have different check-out periods. Please check the item for information on when it is due.


All materials checked out are subject to recall if needed by another borrower. Since circulation periods vary, always be sure to notice when an item is due at the time you check it out. Remember that fines do accrue for overdue items. You can view your Record online to check the due dates of items you have checked out.


If material is needed beyond the original loan period, it must be renewed. Renewals can be accomplished online by manage your Search It account in or may be requested at the Circulation Desk, in person or by telephone.

  • Recalls: Items that have been recalled by another user cannot be renewed.
  • Summit: Items checked out through Summit can not be renewed.
  • Reserve: Items on reserve cannot be renewed.
  • Interlibrary Loan / ILLiad: Items ordered from other libraries through interlibrary loan / ILLiad cannot be renewed online. Please contact the Interlibrary loan department for assistance at 360-546-9683 or

View your record

You can use the manage your library accounts page to see what you have checked out or requested through Search It, Summit and/or ILLiad.

Overdue Items

Library materials become overdue if not returned by the due date. An overdue notice is usually emailed as a courtesy reminder. You are responsible for returning borrowed items on time whether or not an overdue notice is received. To ensure that you receive email notices, please ensure you have setup email forwarding in myWSU.

Fine Information

The fine system is used by the library to encourage maximum accessibility to materials. Different kinds of materials have different check out periods and different fine costs. Fines accrue during all hours the library is open. Fine invoices are mailed directly to the borrower. Payments can be made at the Cashier's desk in the Administration Building or by mail to the Office of the Controller, WSU, Pullman, WA 99164-1016.

Questions or problems about a particular fine may be directed to the Circulation Desk.

Reserve Items

Heavily used items and those requested by instructors for assigned class reading are kept at the Reserve Desk, located beside the circulation desk. Because of the demand for these items, loan periods are shortened, fine rates are higher, and materials cannot be "recalled." There are no renewals on reserve items.

To locate reserves for a specific course, visit the Find Course Reserves page.

Information on how to place items on reserve can be found on the Instructor Reserves Information page.


If you need a book which is already checked out to another borrower, you have several options. You can use Search It or ILLiad to request a copy from another library. Or, you may "recall" it by using Search It. To do this:

  1. Locate the book in Search It.
  2. Click on the "Get It" button
  3. Input your network id and password and ask that the book be delivered to the WSU Vancouver Circulation Desk.

A "recall" may be requested any time; however, each person is permitted to keep borrowed WSU books a minimum of 2 weeks. Once a "recall" is initiated on a book, the borrower is notified that another person is waiting and given five days to return the material to the library. When the material is returned, the person requesting it is notified that the material is waiting at the Circulation Desk. Books that have been "recalled" are subject to higher than normal fees if not returned by the new due date.

Missing Items

If an item is not checked out and you cannot find it on the shelf, please report it to the Circulation Desk. This will start a systematic search for the missing item by members of the library staff. If the item is found, you will be notified. If the item is not found at the end of the search, a decision regarding replacement is made.

Change of Address

Please ensure that the university has a current address on record for you. Faculty, staff and current students can check and update their addresses and phone numbers through myWSU. Note you will need your Network ID to login. Address information can be found under "my Profile" located on the left-hand side of the page.

Community borrowers can request a change of address form at the Circulation desk.

To ensure that you receive library notices regarding overdue and/or requested items, please ensure you have setup email forwarding using myWSU.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding your library account, fines, checked out items, renewals or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!

Security System

To ensure that library materials are properly checked out when they leave the library, an electronic security system has been installed. When a book is checked out, the Circulation attendant desensitizes it, allowing it to pass through the security gate. Material which has not been desensitized will cause the alarm to sound. Occasionally a non-library item will trigger the security system. Whatever the cause, when the alarm sounds, all books and packages will be examined to make certain that library materials have been properly checked out.