Special Borrower Policy


To become a Special Borrower, an applicant must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Area Resident: Individuals living in Polk, Yamhill, Marion, Linn or Benton counties are eligible for a Special Borrower Card.
    1. Resident must be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Western Oregon University/Western Oregon State College/Oregon College of Education/Oregon Normal School Alumni
  3. Spouse of WOU faculty or staff.
  4. Current student, faculty, or staff member of another college located in one of the counties listed above. [Corban College or Linn-Benton Community College].


Special Borrowers must observe the following policies:

  1. General, juvenile, document, journal, and recreational book collection material may be checked out for a 6-week period; Audio/visual material is a 1-week period.
  2. The Special Borrower Card is not transferable.
  3. Cards are renewable on their expiration date if the patron has no outstanding fines/charges or unreturned items.
  4. Courtesy notices are sent only via email.
  5. Interlibrary loan and Summit borrowing are not available to Special Borrowers.
  6. It is the responsibility of the card holder to notify the library immediately of any change of name, address, telephone number, or email.
  7. Items must be returned to this library. Book drops are located outside the East & West entrances and 1 inside the building. Return receipts are sent through email
  8. Fines for overdue items are set at the rate of $0.50 per item per day, maximum $20.00 per item. Special Borrowers should pay their fines/fees at the Cashiers window in the WOU Administration Building as they are assessed and billed.
  9. Privileges are suspended if total unpaid charges reach $10.00 and remain suspended until they are paid. You may be asked to show a receipt of payment for verification.
  10. If an item has reached 40 days overdue and has not been returned, the patron is billed for the replacement of the item in addition to the fine:
    1. Replacement Fee:      $75.00
    2. Processing Fee:        $20.00
    3. Fine:                       $20.00
  11. If the item is returned before a replacement has been ordered or within one year of the due date, whichever comes first, the replacement & processing fee of $95.00 is refunded.
    1. The overdue fine continues to be the responsibility of the Special Borrower. Borrowing privileges are suspended until the item is returned and all fines/fees are paid. If the item has not been returned within one year or is returned after a replacement item has been ordered, the full assessment must be paid.
  12. Renewals are possible if not on hold for another borrower. Items can be renewed once: phone & online renewals are allowed. (Items are subject to recall if needed by WOU students, staff or faculty.)

Library access for Independent Scholars

Independent Scholars are those who desire library privileges beyond the access provided through the free Community Borrowers program and who pay the $50 Continuing Access Fee.  The library may provide Independent Scholar status to alumni or former students, non-admit students, or other interested parties. (Admitted and continuing students not enrolled for any given term may pay the same fee to retain their student status during the term.)

The $50 Continuing Access Fee provides standard student access to library facilities and collections, most notably

  1. borrowing from the local collection and through Summit
  2. access to library ebooks
  3. as well as off-campus access to the subscription databases.

The above services are fixed licensing expenses for the library, and so the fee provides for authorized WOU access to them.

Additional charges are variable:

  1. Per- transaction costs incurred by the library on behalf of the Independent Scholar.  These costs include but are not limited to
    • Borrowing fees and shipping costs for Interlibrary loan (beyond the scope of the Summit borrowing servic
    • Pay-per-view articles.
    • When borrowing fees and pay-per-view costs apply, we will solicit approval prior to incurring the charge.  We will not solicit approval for any shipping charges before incurring the charge, but those charges will be passed on to the Independent Scholars as they accrue.
  2. Overdue fines and replacement costs.
  3. Computer printing.

Contact Janeanne Rockwell-Kincanon (503-838-9493) for more information about the Independent Scholar status and to begin the application process.

For subsequent terms, after your Independent Scholar status is initially established, contact either Lori Pagel in the library (503-838-8881) or the Business Office (503-838-8201) to charge the Continuing Access Fee (detail code A077) to your account. Pay either online through the WolfWeb system or in person at the Business Office.  Please note that activating or reactivating your account is a manual process–there is no automatic connection between the payment and the activation process, or even a notification to us that you are doing this. You must present confirmation to us that this charge has been added to your account: either a) present to the Checkout Desk a receipt from your WolfWeb account showing the charge, or b) ask pagell@wou.edu to confirm your payment. Then, during standard business hours, we can make the changes necessary for you to have access.

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