Materials Policies

To provide equal, open, and ongoing access to a wide variety of library materials in good physical condition, please handle library materials carefully. Many materials are fragile or irreplaceable.

Willful mutilation or destruction of library materials or property, e.g. by marking, underlining, removing pages or portions of pages, removing bindings, removing library markings, or in any other way injuring or defacing library materials is a criminal offense subject to academic sanctions and/or legal prosecution.

All library materials must be checked out from the Circulation Desk before being taken from a library. Unauthorized removal of library materials or property will be treated as theft.

Book & Gift Donations

The WSU Libraries accept gifts in kind. The Libraries accepts donations of books, journals, maps, music, media, and electronic materials in good condition. All gift materials become the property of the WSU Libraries upon receipt.

The Libraries reserve the right to determine retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations relating to the use and disposition of every gift. Materials not selected for addition to the collection will be disposed of in accordance with university policies for surplus property and state law (see Surplus Property Guidelines.) Decisions on the retention of gift materials are made in accordance with standard procedures for selection of library materials as outlined in WSU Libraries Collection Policies.

For more information, please refer to the Gift & Book Donations page.

Borrowing Privileges

A valid WSU ID allows borrowing of materials and access to online library resources and databases. If you are not affiliated with WSU, you may apply for a library card at the Circulation Desk in any of the Libraries. Bound journals are loaned to Pullman affiliates for 6 days. Circulation periods for other materials, such as juvenile books and microfilm, are determined by the individual library. Since circulation periods vary, always be sure to notice when an item is due at the time of check out

  • Undergraduate Student Loan periods are typically 6 weeks.
    • Students on official leave or working on incompletes may contact the Access Services Manager to inquire about ongoing access to the WSU Libraries.
  • Graduate Student Loan periods are typically one semester.
    • Students on official leave or working on incompletes may contact the Access Services Manager to inquire about ongoing access to the WSU Libraries.
  • Faculty/Staff (including emeriti) Loan periods are typically one semester.
    • Faculty members who intend to have teaching or research assistants check out materials for them should inquire about proxy cards at the Circulation Desk.
    • Emeriti may contact the Access Services Manager to have full library privileges.
  • Visiting Scholars Loan periods are typically six weeks.
    • Visiting scholars with a network ID and password can be added as affiliates for the duration of their visit upon request. Visiting scholars without Network IDs are treated as community members.
  • Community Members Loan periods are typically six weeks.
    • Washington State residents who are not affiliated with Washington State University may use Libraries resources and services and borrow library materials per the Washington Administrative Code (504-40-020). Residents who are 16 years old or older may apply for an off-campus borrower card at any WSU Libraries Circulation Desk with a valid ID. Acceptable forms of ID that can be used for signing up for a borrower card include identification from a federal agency, state agency, or another academic institution. Guest users may request WSU Libraries items to be held at a Circulation Desk by filling out a Search Request Card.
  • Library Designee
    • Current students, faculty, and staff may designate someone else to pick up and check out library items using your library account by using the Library Designee form.
      • One signed form per visit, per library.
      • This form will not be accepted without your signature.
      • WSU ID is required from the library account holder at the time of check out.
      • Valid photo identification will be required from library designee at the time of checkout (see form for instructions).

If material is needed beyond the original loan period it must be renewed. Material may be renewed at a WSU Libraries Circulation Desk, by telephone, or in person. Additionally, you may renew materials online through your library account in Search It. Some materials are not renewable. Please contact Access Services for questions or problems.

Borrowing from Other Libraries (Summit & Interlibrary Loan)

If material essential to your research is not owned by the WSU Libraries, you may request that the Libraries obtain the information for you from another library through Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service.

Borrowers of materials from other institutions are responsible for the safekeeping and timely return, in addition to payment of any library fees or fines associated with those materials. For more information, ask at the Libraries’ Circulation Desk.

Collection Development

WSU Libraries does not typically purchase textbooks. Please visit the Collection Development policies page for more information about collection development policies.

Course Reserves

Electronic course reserves are listed in the Blackboard course space for which the item is on reserve.

Physical items on reserve in Holland/Terrell and Owen Libraries are available at the Circulation Desk upon request. Physical items can be searched in Search It by course name or course instructor. Because of the demand for these items, loan periods for reserves are shorter and fine rates are higher. Loan periods are decided by the instructor, and many reserve items are only available for use in the Libraries and cannot leave the building. A valid WSU ID is required to check out these materials.

The Animal Health Library has an “open” reserve collection which patrons can use directly without asking.

For more information about Course Reserves, including a Reserves Request form for instructors, please see

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Please see WSU’s policy on OERs.

Fines & Replacement Costs

All material checked out from the WSU Libraries is subject to fines and fees if late, lost, or damaged, up to and including replacement costs. Different kinds of materials have different check out periods and different fine schedules. Fines accrue during all hours the library is open, including holidays. An overdue notice is usually sent as a courtesy reminder; however, you are responsible for returning borrowed items on time whether or not you receive a notice.

Bills for outstanding fines are mailed directly to the borrower. Payments may be made to the Office of the Controller online or in person. Library fees must be paid before student is allowed to graduate/receive their diploma or request transcripts. Any questions about library charges may be made through the Library Fines Questions form.

For more information on fines and fees, including rates of accrual, please see

Textbook Purchases

WSU Libraries does not purchase textbooks. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is not a substitute for the purchase of textbooks; most ILL materials are loaned for two to four weeks, and some cannot be renewed.

Laptop Checkout

Laptop checkouts are limited to current WSU students, faculty, and staff only. Laptops are available on a first come, first served basis. For more information about laptop checkout, please see