Borrowing Information

If library materials have a status of “available” and are on the shelf, users are asked to pull the materials themselves. The University Library staff will pull materials in the following circumstances:
  • User cannot physically access the stacks (email library@wlu.edu for this service);
  • Books/DVDs are needed by undergrad faculty (either for pick-up or scanning).

Borrowing, Renewing, & Fines

The books in our library collections are shelved in call number order using the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. Materials in the U.S. Government Documents Depository collection on Level 4 are shelved by the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification system.

Materials in Leyburn Library

    • MAIN FLOOR: current periodicals, newspapers, reference collection, DVDs, music CDs, & books on CD (arranged by call number)
    • LOWER LEVEL 1: books with call numbers A through BQ
    • LOWER LEVEL 2: books with call numbers BR through F
      • Most BF items are in Telford Science Library
    • LOWER LEVEL 3: books with call numbers G through PQ
    • LOWER LEVEL 4: books with call numbers PR through Z, all books labeled Folio, bound volumes of journals & magazines (alphabetically by title), government documents, & VHS tapes (by call number)
      • Most Q-TP items are in Telford Science Library

Materials in Telford Science Library

    • LEVEL 3: reference collection & call numbers A through QA
    • LEVEL 4: reference collection & call numbers QB through Z (including books labeled Folio)

Loan Periods

  • Books & Audio Books
    • W&L Undergraduate & Law Students: Three month loan period.
    • W&L Faculty & Staff: Year from date of check-out.
    • VMI & SVU Faculty & Staff: Complete a registration form at Leyburn Library Information Desk. Year from date of check-out.
    • DSLCC, VMI, SVU, Mary Baldwin, Local Middle & High School Students, & Area Residents (Lexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County): Complete a registration form at Leyburn Library Information Desk. Four week loan period.
    • Friends of the Library Members: Three month loan period.
  • VHS Tapes & DVDs
    • Three day check-out.
      • Not all patron types may check-out this type of material.
      • Local Residents may have up to 3 videos/DVDs checked-out at any one time.
  • Music CDs
    • Seven day check-out.
  • Course Reserves
    • 2, 4, or 24 hours according to the specifications of the faculty member who has placed them in this collection.
      • Only current W&L facuty, staff, and students may check out course reserve materials.
  • Non-Circulating Items
    • W&L faculty, staff, and students may check out bound periodicals and reference items for 24 hours.
    • Items from Special Collections, microfilm, and newspapers may not leave the University Library.


  • Items may be renewed online or emailing us.
  • Items may not be renewed if they have been requested by another person.
  • Books are subject to recall two weeks after date of check-out.
  • Books, Audio Books, and music CDs may be renewed three times, VHS Tapes & DVDs may be renewed twice, and there is no renewals for non-circulating items.

Fees for Lost or Recalled Materials

  • Recalled materials: $1.00 per day.
  • Non-circulating items if lost be billed at a cost of $1000.00 each.
  • Long overdue items will be billed. The bill will reflect the replacement cost.
    • Lost books = $60
    • Videos = price varies (email us for details)
    • Technology Items = price varies (email us for details)
  • W&L Undergraduate students with lost materials totaling $50.00 or more may be blocked from registering for classes or from obtaining transcripts until the fines have been paid.
  • Other users with lost materials in excess of $50 may be prevented from checking out library materials until their fines are paid in full.
  • Payment may be made by cash, check (made out to Washington and Lee University), General Debit/Charge (current students only).
  • If you believe you have lost library materials please email us as soon as possible to work out payment plan.
  • Refunds may be issued if the library material is located within 7 days of the payment of the replacement cost.
Food For Fines: Undergraduate students may pay their overdue fines with canned goods. The items will be donated to W&L’s Campus Kitchens project. This arrangement applies only to current W&L students. Lost library materials must be paid for with cash, check, debit, or charge.
  • $1-5 in Fines = 2 cans
  • $6-10 in Fines = 4 cans
  • $11-20 in Fines = 8 cans
  • $20-50 in Fines = 16 cans

Recalling Checked out Materials & Searching for Lost/Missing Items

Recall Library Materials

  • To recall checked out items, search for the title in our library system then log-in to your library account and click on the link labeled “Request”. You will be notified via email when the item is ready for check-out.
  • All library materials are subject to recall two weeks after check out.

Lost/Missing Items in the University Library Collection

If you need assistance locating an item in our collection please ask a library staff member for help.

Donating Books and Other Materials to the University Library

Rare and Special Collections

If you are interested in donating rare or special collections material to the University Library’s Special Collections and Archives, please contact University Librarian K.T. Vaughan to discuss options: (540) 458-8589 or kvaughan@wlu.edu. We are eager to discuss donations of manuscripts, ephemera, maps, rare books and incunabula, or personal papers.

Scholarly and Popular Books, Journals, and Other Materials

The University Library generally does not accept book, journal, or other donations for inclusion in the circulating collection, due to a lack of staff time and space for processing gifts. If you would like to donate particularly unique materials that are relevant to the W&L curriculum and that the library does not already own, please contact University Librarian K.T. Vaughan to discuss options: (540) 458-8589 or kvaughan@wlu.edu.

Book Sale Donations

We accept donations for our occasional book sales, which support library programming and purchasing. Please contact University Librarian K.T. Vaughan for information about when and how to donate books for the sale. The library will sell, donate, catalog, or otherwise dispose of books and other materials at its discretion. Rockbridge Regional Library (RRL) accepts book donations for their monthly Friends of the Library sales. To donate to RRL, please fill out the form at https://www.rrlib.net/donate/.

eBook Policy

Unlike print books, the University Library does not own eBooks. Instead, publishers require the library to acquire institutional licenses for eBook titles through a variety of vendors. The library can purchase a perpetual license or rent titles short term. The library maintains access to perpetual titles as long as the library has a contract with the vendor (ex: Ebook Central). In the event the library does not renew a contract with a vendor (ex: Ebook Central) access to those licenses will be lost. In some cases, a licensing agreement for the same book may differ across different vendor platforms. Many publishers utilize digital rights management or DRM when licensing eBooks. DRM can limit the number of users, how the book is accessed (example: ONLY via Adobe digital editions), or if a patron can print/save/copy. Given the differences in licensing and pricing structure, the University Library prioritizes eBooks that can be purchased in the following formats:

  1. Unlimited Access - Digital Rights Management (DRM) Free. These eBook licenses include unlimited access to patrons without restrictions on printing, saving or copying. This model is preferred.
  2. Unlimited Access - These eBook licenses include unlimited access to patrons, but may have restrictions on printing, saving, or copying. (Example: A student wants to print out a 30 page chapter from an eBook to read for a class, but the license only allows the student to print 10 pages of the book, or a student wants to save the eBook to their device to refer to later, but the eBook does not allow saving to personal devices).
  3. Non-Linear Access - These eBook licenses can be used by any number of patrons concurrently for a total of 325 loan days for the title. The loan will reset each year. (Example: 4 students loan an eBook for 3 days each. 4 students x 3 days = 12 total days. Those 12 days would be subtracted from 325 to equal 313. This means there are 313 loan days left for the title this year). The same restrictions may apply to non-linear access titles as unlimited access titles.
  4. Linear 1 User or 3 User eBooks - The University will not license 1 User or 3 User eBooks as textbooks required for a class, or as supplemental readings for a class. Many of these books have digital rights management restrictions that are more restrictive than the other eBook purchasing models. These restrictions are placed on them by publishers, authors, or other third parties. (Example: A 3 user eBook is assigned for a class. 3 students are actively using the ebook so the 4th, 5th, and 6th student were turned away and were unable to access the book needed for a class discussion the following day. The students have to keep checking back to see if a one of the first 3 students have released the book). An additional challenge with this access model is that there is a 1-hour lockout period after the eBook is returned, or if a user changes web browsers or devices. This can be frustrating for students and makes studying/research more difficult.

If instructors would still like to assign an eBook that has a linear 1 user or 3 user restriction, they can still do that outside of the library. Google Play/Amazon Kindle are some alternatives available that would allow students to access materials inexpensively for individual access directly on those platforms.

Guest Computer Use

Our guest computers, in Leyburn and Telford Libraries, are to be used research purposes. Guests, who have used our computers in excess of one hour, may be asked by a library staff member to yield time to other users. All computer users must comply with the Washington and Lee University Computing Resources, Network and Email Use Policy Information.

Posting of Notices in the University Library

Notices, posters, signs, and flyers, from university organizations and departments, are allowed in the University Library provided they are hung in approved locations.

Library staff will remove W&L related notices if they are outdated, not in approved locations, deemed inappropriate, and/or not associated with recognized student organizations.

Non-W&L notices must be reviewed by the Access Services Librarian (Office M32) before posting and be non-commercial in nature.

Contact Elizabeth Anne Teaff with questions.

Approved Locations for Posting Notices

  • Leyburn
    • Bulletin boards on each floor (located across from double elevators)
      • The main floor has additional bulletin board locations near each entrance
    • Inside restrooms
  • Telford Science
    • Bulletin board (4th floor near the elevator)

Room Reservations

  • Reservations must be made for dates and times that University Library is open.
    • If the library is closed our rooms may not be used. Typically, we are closed in the evenings and weekends during academic breaks and the summer months.
  • Reservations may not exceed 4 hours per day.
    • If reservations exceed 4 hours per day, you will be notified that your reservation(s) has been canceled. You must input your reservation again in 25Live to comply with our protocols.
  • If a reservation is not claimed within the first 30 minutes after its start time, it is considered cancelled.
    • Anyone may use the room at that point.
  • Academic classes and exams take priority over other events.
    • In the event of a scheduling conflict, we will make every attempt to accommodate both parties.
  • Unattended items are moved to the Library’s Lost & Found.
    • Students may not leave belongings in any area (other than lockers on LL 2 & 4) for more than 24 hours.
  • All reservations must comply with the Washington and Lee University Facilities Use Policy.

U.S. Federal Depository Library

Collection and Access

Leyburn Library of Washington and Lee University is a selective Depository for U.S. Government information. The physical collection includes roughly 100,000 publications, in paper (mostly shelved on Lower Level 4 in compact shelving) and microfiche (mostly shelved on the Main Floor) formats. Most, but not all, of these materials are listed in the W&L library catalog and may be checked out at the Information Desk.


Questions about U.S. Government information may be directed to Emily Cook, who serves as depository contact.