11 Things Every First-Year Should Know About The Library

This term is different than most; but, the library remains committed to supporting student needs whether they are in-person or virtual.

Review the below facts every first-year should know because…



  1. In order to forestall the potential spread of Covid-19, many library services and policies will be different for Fall 2020. The library appreciates student understanding during this time. We’re all in this together as we work to keep our campus community healthy & safe.
    Notable library changes include:

    • Leyburn Library will have abbreviated hours of accessibility:
      • Monday – Thursday: 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m. ​
      • Friday, 7:00 a.m. – midnight​
      • Saturday, noon – midnight​
      • Sunday, noon – 2:00 a.m.
    • A W&L swipe card is required for building entry at all times.
    • While in Leyburn and Telford, masks must be worn at all times in all spaces, ​except for quick snacks ​or sips of beverages.
    • The library will not check out carrels. Carrels can be used temporarily by individuals. Personal materials should be removed upon departure.
    • Full meals should not be eaten in Leyburn or Telford.
    • The library will no longer check out chargers, headphones, or calculators.

Back to the regular library facts…

  1. Most US university libraries use the Library of Congress system to organize their physical book collections, and so do we–not the Dewey Decimal System. The Library of Congress System uses a combination of letters AND numbers for top level categories.
  2. Your university swipe card serves as your “library card.” Just present it when checking out or use it at one our our self-checkout terminals.
  3. The library is a lot more than a warehouse for physical books, although it has those too. It provides access to ebooks, DVDs, online articles, databases, government documents, streaming media, technology for checkout, and more! library.wlu.edu is the portal to find it all AND online content can be accessed on- or off-campus.
  4. The University Library provides access to a variety of databases. JSTOR is great, but there is much, much more available to W&L students.
  5. The library doesn’t own every resource. That’s what Interlibrary Loan is for. If we don’t have a book or article, we’ll get in from another library anywhere in the world. Free to W&L students.
  6. The library staff wants to help you. They are experts in finding, evaluating, and using information…basically, research! Make an appointment with a librarian for a virtual consultation. Or, drop by out virtual LibChat at library.wlu.edu!
  7. You will hear a lot of the Honor System and plagiarism in your time at W&L. The University Catalog recommends the library’s guide to avoiding plagiarism as a helpful resource.
  8. You’ll likely use several different citation styles during college, the library is happy to answer citation questions and even offer support in the use of the Zotero citation manager.
  9. Special Collections & Archives, on Leyburn’s Lower Level 1, houses rare books, manuscripts, and institutional and local history. Special Collections is opened Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. For Fall 2020, there is a 6 researcher cap in occupancy.
  10. Finally, be prepared for even more changes–good changes! Leyburn Library will be home to a future teaching and learning center, CARPE. In preparation for this, you might notice some construction.🚧
    • Because of the construction, Leyburn’s Lower Level 2 will be inaccessible Monday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., during Fall 2020.
    • Leyburn’s Lower Level 1 will be inaccessible in the Winter/Spring of 2021: Special Collections will remain accessible during this time.

We love the library and hope you will too. Reach out anytime with questions.

Leyburn Library Photo