K-12 Group or Individual Research Visit Guidelines: Use of Library Resources

Information about arranging and preparing for group research visits to Western Libraries for area schools.

Whatcom One Card

The One Card program allows anyone who lives or goes to school in Whatcom County to check out library materials from any public or academic library in the county, and to return items to any participating library in Whatcom County. For details and information about requirements, click on the link below:

Access to Resources

Visitors from area schools are welcome to use the libraries resources. Ask for research assistance in the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio,  or get help using resources or equipment at the Circulation service desk.


Western Libraries' website provides access to information about library resources and services, to our extensive collection of library guides, and to Western Libraries OneSearch.

Western Libraries' OneSearch, our unified interface (or catalog), is searchable online from off-campus. Use it to help your students identify relevant materials on their topics before the research visit. Please note: Online fulltext resources discovered using OneSearch, as well as our Article Databases, are NOT accessible remotely, but may be available at the library.

OneSearch is a single search interface that allows patrons to simultaneously search several article databases, catalogs, and other data sources for books, journal articles, videos, scores, maps, and more! OneSearch includes Summit/WorldCat, the Orbis-Cascade Alliance union catalog, which combines holdings from over 38 Washington and Oregon academic libraries, as well as holdings from national and international libraries. In house workstations also access journal articles(Please note that visitors do not have access to Western's Interlibrary Loan service... materials may be requested from other libraries through your public library. 


Western Libraries OneSearch is accessible at the library at the following locations:

    • Public-access Library Workstations provide limited-time access to OneSearch, electronic article databases, and other library resources, as well as the Internet and web-based email. Request a password to use our public workstations at the Circulation Services Desk on Haggard 2. Picture ID is required. (Please note that these computers do not have word processing or other productivity software, and that visitors do not have access to the WWU computer labs.)
    • OneSearch Quick Search terminals are located throughout the library. No password is required. Use to look up books by topic.

In-library use of most materials: Includes books, journals, newspapers, government documents, microforms, audio/visual recordings, and article indexes and databases. See box below for information about borrowing materials.

Government Information: The Government Documents Collection is open to anyone. Most materials circulate and can be borrowed for three weeks with valid identification.

Printing, Copying & Borrowing Materials

Printing & Copying Materials:

You must use a copy card to print out or copy materials. Blank copy cards cost $1.00. Add ADDITIONAL money to the card at machines in the library to pay for printing from public workstations and to make photocopies. Print-outs and photocopies currently cost $.06/page. If you decide to purchase a Community Card to borrow library materials, this card will also function as a print and copy card when you add money to it..

Borrowing Materials:

You and/or your students may decide to check out circulating materials. Click on the links below for detailed information:

Materials from other libraries: Anyone with a library card from a Whatcom County library has access to the Western Libraries collection, but only to items that are in our local collection. OneSearch includes items from our academic library partners in the Summit system and the general public does not have access to those items. Basically, any instance where OneSearch says that you need to "check holdings" means that an item is owned by another library. Rest assured, however, that you can come to the WWU Library and check out our books.

Conduct & Computer Use

Important Policies - Before your visit, please review these policies with your students:

Contact Us


WWU Main Library visits:  Email Elizabeth Stephan: elizabeth.stephan@wwu.edu

A librarian or reference specialist will work with you to design a group research visit to meet your students' needs.