Hamersly Library Mission and Vision

Hamersly Library supports Western Oregon University’s dedication to student success and enhances its commitment to discovery, creativity, critical thinking, and diversity by providing and encouraging the use of quality information, media resources, and services.

Hamersly Library envisions:

  1. Expanded and enhanced information resources and technology that efficiently and consistently support the academic programs of Western Oregon University.
  2. A learning community that promotes successful use of resources by instructing, assisting, and encouraging individuals to use information effectively and ethically.
  3. Cooperative partnerships with other information and technology providers to increase intellectual access, complement instruction activities, and promote resource sharing.
  4. Physical environments which are inviting, comfortable, innovative, and welcoming places conducive to study, learning and research.
  5. A creative intellectual environment in which users receive exemplary customer service.
  6. A highly skilled staff who are recognized for information expertise and technological competence and who are leaders in media production and preservation and in library management.

Approved January 2005

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Introduction and Table of Contents

Our mission is to support the teaching and learning process of the Western Oregon University community by providing information resources and services and by promoting their integration into the educational experience. This guide describes the services, print and electronic collections, facilities, and policies of Hamersly Library. The staff is always available to assist you; we welcome your questions, suggestions, and comments.

Services Collections Facilities
reference and instruction collection locations access for persons with disabilities
circulation call number areas computers & copiers
loan periods & overdue fines books & reference study areas
interlibrary loan reserve other facilities
community users periodicals
government documents
juvenile books Floor Plans
microforms First Floor
audiovisuals Second Floor
University Archives & Straub Archives Third Floor

Reference and Instructional Services

Reference librarians and staff are trained to help library users identify topics, find and use appropriate resources for research, and evaluate information. Professional research assistance is available at all hours and through multiple modes of communication.

Web Site

Hamersly Library’s Web site serves as a gateway to the catalog, Summit, electronic indexes and other databases, plus Internet search engines, directories and subject-related material from the World Wide Web. Information about services and policies, staff, and events is available here. You may also reserve study rooms and media equipment through online calendars.

Primo and Summit

Use Primo to find books, periodical titles, audiovisual materials, government documents, and other materials in our library. You can search by keyword, author, title, journal title, and subject. Primo also contains items in other Summit libraries that you may borrow.

Electronic Databases

Databases of journal, magazine and newspaper articles, many with full text, and others with abstracts, plus a variety of other electronic resources are available online at library workstations as well as on and off campus.

Off-Campus Access

Most electronic resources on the library’s Web site are available throughout campus and off campus. Primo may be searched by anyone, without logging in, though some resources and features are only available when you are logged in. Other databases are only available to current students, faculty, and staff and must be entered into via the library’s Web site.


Online subject guides and tutorials are available to help you learn how to locate and use materials. The librarians teach library and research skills and specialized workshops on an individual basis and in group sessions. To schedule a class session or individual assistance call 503-838-8892.

Distance Education Services

Students taking WOU courses at an off-campus site or via the Internet are eligible for the same library services as on-campus students. Among these services are delivery of books, articles and documents to the student, interlibrary loan, access to databases and full-text articles, reference help and other services described in this guide.

Circulation Services & Policies

Borrowing Materials

All Western students, faculty, and staff may check out circulating materials from WOU’s Hamersly Library and borrow materials from other libraries. Your validated WOU ID card or barcode printed from the My Library section of the library website (when accompanied by government-issued photo id) serves as a library card.

Reserve Materials

Reserve materials for classes are held in the reserve area behind the Checkout Desk. All reserve materials are listed in the catalog. Print reserve items circulate for four hours, one day, three days, or seven days as determined by the faculty member who submitted the reserve request.

Summit Borrowing

This service allows you to place your own requests for books and some other materials found in the Summit catalog. (Periodicals and reference books are not loaned.) You can place your requests from any computer that can access Summit. Materials usually arrive at WOU’s Checkout Desk in 3-5 business days. This service is available to current students, faculty and staff at Western.


Borrowers may renew most items themselves, online through My Library in the catalog. Materials may be renewed by phone at 503-838-8902 or in person at the Checkout Desk. If another borrower has requested the item, the renewal is blocked. One renewal is allowed without the need to bring the books back to the library. Renewals for Interlibrary Loan items must be requested from the loaning institution; please call 503-838-8884 or email ilibloan@wou.edu at least three days before the item is due so that we may request your renewal.


Materials may be returned to the book drops, or to a Checkout Desk staff member. Book drops are located near the Checkout Desk and outside near both main entrances to the library. Please return Reserves materials and any equipment directly to the Checkout Desk.

Please refer to our Circulation Policies for loan periods for various materials.

Loan Periods

Whenever you check out materials, you will receive a receipt listing the date that each item is due. We suggest that you retain each receipt as a reminder. You may also see due dates and renew items through My Library. The Checkout Desk (503-838-8902) will give you due date information or will renew books over the phone. Additionally and as a courtesy, we will notify you via e-mail when materials you have checked out are overdue. The reminders do not substitute for your knowledge of the due dates. For students, staff, and faculty, the reminders are sent to your WOU email account. Community borrowers need to inform the Checkout Desk with any updated email information.

Standard Loan Periods Students Faculty Staff Community Borrowers
Books, documents and periodicals 6 weeks (plus 1 renewals) 6 months (plus 1 renewals)
6 weeks (plus 1 renewals)
6 weeks (plus 1 renewals)
K-12 curriculum materials
1 week (plus 1 renewal)
3 week (plus 1 renewal)
1 week (plus 1 renewal)
Do not circulate
Summit Loans
6 weeks (no renewals) or 6 days for selected materials
6 weeks (no renewals) or 6 days for selected materials
6 weeks (no renewals) or 6 days for selected materials
Not available
Interlibrary Loans
Loan period varies
Loan period varies
Loan period varies
Not available
AV materials 1 week (plus 1 renewal)
3 week (plus 1 renewal)
1 week (plus 1 renewal)
1 week (plus 1 renewal)
Reference materials, microforms, newspapers
Do not circulate for any patrons
Print reserve materials Loan period varies from four hours to seven days Loan period varies from four hours to seven days Loan period varies from four hours to seven days Professors’ reserves not available;

WOU materials 4 hours

State-adopted textbooks Do not circulate for any patrons

We have established these standard loan periods in order to provide equitable access to materials in our collection for all patrons. If the standard loan period for a particular item does not meet your needs, please let us know. We consider making adjustments to loan periods on a case-by-case basis in order to accommodate special needs.

Overdue and Other Fines

WOU circulating books $.50 per item per day
WOU periodicals, AV materials $.50 per item per day
Reserve materials and equipment (except equipment) $.50 per item per hour
Summit loans $.50 per item per day
Interlibrary loans $1 per item per day
Lost or damaged material (except equipment) Up to $115 per item

Fines are billed through the University’s Business Office and can be paid at the Cashier’s window in the WOU Administration building during regular business hours.

Interlibrary Loan Services

Interlibrary loan is a method used to request journal articles and other library materials not available in the WOU Library and not available through Summit. Our library borrows from and lends to many other libraries throughout the country. This service is for WOU students, current and emeritus faculty, and staff and is a service subsidized by the library. Most articles arrive within three to five days, most books within two weeks. We deliver journal articles to you electronically.

Increasingly, databases integrate interlibrary loan request abilities into their systems. Look for buttons or links that read “Find it @ WOU” (usually at the individual item level rather than the list level). For article requests not found through one of these databases, the library’s Web site has a request form.

Services to Community Users

While the students, faculty and staff of Western Oregon University are the library’s primary constituency, Hamersly Library staff serve members of the general public as well. Some of the available services are outlined here.


Reference librarians can direct an information search and assist in using materials available in an academic library. Reference and Instructional Services Reference librarians and staff are trained to help library users identify topics, find and use appropriate resources for research, and evaluate information. Professional research assistance is available at all hours and through multiple modes of communication.


A special borrower’s card enables members of the community to check out books from Hamersly Library. Those who qualify for this card include adult residents of the local area; WOU alumni; emeritus faculty; spouses and domestic partners of WOU faculty; Oregon Military Academy participants; faculty, staff and students of Summit institutions. Ask at the Checkout Desk for details.

Summit and Interlibrary Loan

We regret that we cannot extend Summit borrowing and interlibrary loan services to our community users. However, public libraries usually offer interlibrary loan services to their patrons and can borrow from other public libraries as well as academic libraries.

Computer Use

Community members and special borrowers may use the library workstations for educational purposes, but only during hours of low use when workstations are still available to primary users. Local high school students whose instructor schedules a class or who consult with a librarian themselves may also use the workstations under the same conditions. All community users must sign in at the Information Desk.


Community users are welcome to use the other facilities of Hamersly Library. The library’s primary users may take precedence with certain facilities, such as group study rooms.

Print and Electronic Collections

Collections Floor
Recreational Reading Materials
Reference Materials
Reserve Materials
Books: L.C. Call Numbers A-F
Books: L.C. Call Numbers G-Z
Periodicals: Titles A-J
Periodicals: Titles K-Z
Government Documents
Juvenile Collection
Archives (by appointment at the reference desk)
Audiovisual Materials
K-12 Curriculum and State-Adopted Textbooks


Circulating books are shelved in Library of Congress call number order on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The call numbers help arrange the books according to broad subject areas. While you are welcome to browse the shelves according to these call numbers, related materials may be in other subject areas. You can conduct a more complete subject search through the catalog.

Reference Collections

Electronic reference resources include many general and specialized indexes and abstracts of periodicals, newspapers, and books on all topics. Some contain full-text articles. World Wide Web access is also provided for reference and research purposes. Print reference resources are located in the reference area. These include general and specialized encyclopedias, almanacs, atlases, directories, dictionaries, statistics, literary criticism, brief biographies, telephone books, Oregon college catalogs, maps, and some print indexes and abstracts. Librarians have collected these multiple formats into reference guides.

Reserve Collection

Some reserve materials are available electronically, while others, in print format, are shelved behind the Checkout Desk. All reserve materials are listed in the catalog. In addition to materials placed on reserve by faculty for specific courses, the reserve collection includes previous master’s comps and publications by and about Western Oregon University (history, culture, governance, plans and policies, etc.).

Periodicals and Newspapers

All periodicals and newspapers are shelved alphabetically by title on the 1st and 2nd floors. Microfilm and microfiche copies of some older issues are found in the microforms area, also on the 1st floor. Additionally, about 10,000 journal and newspaper titles are held electronically through various databases. Search the Journal Title Search for the library’s holdings in all formats.

Government Documents

Hamersly Library is a complete depository for current Oregon documents issued by various state agencies. These are separated from the book collection and are housed on the 2nd floor north. They are arranged by agency and their call numbers are found in the catalog. The library has a limited collection of U.S. documents selected on the basis of WOU’s institutional strengths. Most of these materials are integrated with the regular book collection, but some are housed on the second floor north near the Oregon Documents. Increasingly, both state and federal government documents are available in full text online. Web pages exist to help you find these documents, and additional help is available at the Reference Desk.

Juvenile Collection

The library has a collection of children’s and young adult literature located on the north end of the second floor. It includes picture books, fiction and nonfiction titles and Newbery, Caldecott and other award winners.

K-12 Curricular materials and State-Adopted Textbooks

Various publishers’ K-12 textbooks, kits, and other curricular materials on all subjects, as well as state-adopted textbooks for Oregon elementary and secondary schools and other curriculum materials, are located on the 2nd floor.


Microfiche and microfilm collections, along with readers, scanners and printers, are housed on the first floor. In addition to back issues of newspapers and periodicals, microforms collections include ERIC documents, criminal justice microfiche and government documents.

Audiovisual Materials

Videos and other non-print materials are located in the northeast corner of the 2nd floor. The materials are searchable in the catalog and are arranged in call number order on the shelf.

University Archives and Robert W. Straub Archives

The archives holds a collection of historical materials produced by or about the university, as well as materials concerning the career of Governor Robert Straub. Staff are available to help locate information and photographs about past and present student life, university activities, history of campus buildings, and biographical information about former faculty and alumni.

Library of Congress Call Number Areas

Most academic libraries, including the Hamersly Library, categorize their collections with a system developed by the Library of Congress. Materials are classified by subject, but unlike the Dewey Decimal system (in which subjects are assigned numbers), the subjects are assigned letters. The first table below shows the general outline of the scheme; the second provides some detail. The Library of Congress provides a further breakdown of the subclasses.

Library of Congress Classification General Outline
A General Works, Encyclopedias M Music
B Philosophy, Psychology, Religion N Fine Arts, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture
C Civilization. Biography P Language, Literature
D History of Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania Q Sciences, Math
E-F History of U. S., Latin America, Canada R Medicine
G Geography, Anthropology, Folklore, Sports, Recreation, Dance S Agriculture, Forestry
J-K Political Science, Law T Engineering, Technology, photography, Home Economics
H Social Sciences, Business. Statistics, Criminology U-V Military Science
L Education Z Bibliographies, Library Science

The broad subject areas designated by the letters are divided into smaller subject areas by adding one or two additional letters and a set of numbers. The call number of a book or other item, based on this classification scheme, determines the item’s placement in the shelves.

Library of Congress Classification–Some Subclasses
A: General Works N: Fine Arts
AE Encyclopedias NA Architecture
AX Almanacs & Directories NB Sculpture
B: Philosophy, Psychology, Religion NC Drawing, Design, & Illustration
B-BD Philosophy ND Painting
BF Psychology NE Print Media
BL-BX Religion NK Decorative & Applied Arts
C-F: History P: Language, Literature
CT Biography PE English Language
DA-DR Europe PN Comparative Literature
DS Asia PQ French & Spanish Literature
DT Africa PR-PS English & American Literature
E-F Americas PT German & Scandinavian Literature
G: Geography, Anthropology, Folklore, Sports, Recreation Q: Science
G-GF Geography QA Math & Computer Science
GN Anthropology QB Astronomy
GR Folklore QC Physics
GV Sports & Recreation QD Chemistry
H: Business, Social Sciences QE Geology
HB-HD Economics QH-QR Biology
HE-HG Business R: Medicine
HM-HX Sociology S: Agriculture & Forestry
HV Criminal Justice T: Technology
J-K: Political Science, Law TD Environment
KF U.S. Law TK Electronics & Computers
L: Education TR Photography
M: Music TX Nutrition
ML Literature of Music U-V: Military Science
MT Musical Instruction & Study Z: Bibliography & Library Science

Library of Congress Call NumbersLetters (as shown in the above two tables) are combined with numbers to create call numbers, which serve two purposes: to indicate where books are located, and to group material on the shelf by subject.

Example: A 1990 book by Cheryl Simon Silver entitled One Earth, One Future has the

call number GF 75 .S55 1990

GF represents geography, specifically human ecology.
75 focuses on global warming.
.S55 is based on the author’s last name, or (in some cases) the title of  a volume containing works of many authors. The number is treated as a decimal, so  GF 75 .S55 would come before GF 75 .S6 on the shelf
1990 represents the year of publication.

Access for Persons with Disabilities

The Hamersly Library and its collections are fully accessible. Services are listed below, and the library staff can address additional needs as they arise.

  • a telecommunication device (TYY) for the hearing impaired at 503-838-8418
  • instant messaging/chat
  • ADA workstations in the reference area and in room 108 with ZoomText (enlarging software with speech capabilities)
  • an Optilec visual magnifier (CCTV)
  • audio-visual equipment on portable carts and in group study rooms
  • portable listening device for the hearing impaired for classes, meetings, or public events
  • handicapped parking in the east lot

Computers & Copiers

Reference and Instruction computing

The library has about eighty desktop computers in three areas: the reference area on the first floor, the computer alcove in the southwest corner of the second floor, and in room 108. These desktops have the full range of campus computer lab software. Room 108, which has twenty-five workstations, is the library’s computer classroom. This room is often scheduled for library instruction. When not in use as a classroom, 108 is available as a computer lab. The schedule for this room from the online calendar is posted near the door each morning. The library also accepts reservations for the 2nd floor Computer Alcove, which has nine computers set up in double-wide study carrels.

Network Connections and Laptops

Students, faculty, and staff may connect laptops to the campus network within the building. For wired connections, active ports are are individually marked; they are generally located on the west side of the first and second floors in study and conference rooms, in the student lounge and in study carrels. Network cables are available at the Checkout Desk. Students must register their personal laptops with University Computing before plugging into these connections.

For wireless connection, please see www.wou.edu/wireless . You will need to login to access their options.

Media Equipment

TV monitors, VCRs, DVD, CD, and cassette players are available in all group study rooms and in study carrels near the audiovisual collection.


Black & white and color printing is available in the reference area and Room 108 (the classroom/computer lab), and in the 2nd floor Computer Alcove. Laptops using the campus network also print to the library printers.


A KIC overhead scanner is in the first-foor copy center.  It scans to several file formats and outputs to email, cloud storage, USB drive, and to smartphones and tablets via QR codes or wireless connections.  In addition to the KIC, flatbed scanners are attached to computers in 108 (the classroom/computer lab) and in the reference area near the copy center.


Copiers are located on the first floor (west of the Checkout Desk). Copying is available with cash ($.10/per copy). The campus Print Shop provides a full range of copying services.

Microfiche and Microfilm

Three readers/printers are located on the first floor near the copy machines. You can print directly from the microform or can scan and save to the campus network or other storage area.

Study Areas

Group Study Rooms

The Hamersly Library is well suited to small group work with 17 study rooms, seating four, six, or 8-10 people. In addition, there are many areas throughout the building that offer study space. All study rooms may be reserved in advance through online calendars or by calling the Information Desk at 503-838-8418. The Room Use policy describes usage priorities.

Student Lounge

The student lounge is near the Monmouth Avenue entrance. Eating and drinking are allowed in this area. There are vending machines and a microwave here, along with a message board, two televisions, two desktop computers and data ports to plug in laptops.

Quiet Floor

The third floor is designated as a quiet area. Note: The first floor is an instructional area and is likely to be active and relatively noisy.

Other Facilities


Restrooms are located on each floor in the hallway close to the elevator. The student lounge also has a restroom.


Phones to dial on campus and locally are located in the hallways near the restrooms and outside the student lounge. These phones also place credit card calls. Pay phones are outside both entrances to the building. A TTY machine is available at the Reference Desk.

Conference Rooms

Conference rooms of various sizes are available. To schedule them, use the online calendars or call the Information Desk at 503-838-8418.


Students may use the lockers located in the first floor hallway across from the restrooms. Keys are available at the Checkout Desk.


Vending machines for drinks and snacks are in the student lounge. A microwave is available for student use.

Book Drops

A drive-up book drop is near the east entrance. You may also return books in the drops outside the west entrance and near the Checkout Desk.


The library sponsors exhibits of art and other materials throughout the year in the second and third floor lobby and gallery areas.

//added for spring 2020