Ram's Eye View

West Chester University

West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383

Library Services

Two outstanding libraries support West Chester University. The main facility is the Francis Harvey Green Library on the campus quadrangle at the corner of High Street and Rosedale Avenue. The Presser Music Library is housed in the Swope Music Building, Room 121. Both libraries offer excellent environments for study and research, and they often present educational programs, cultural events, and exhibits.

Library Collections

WCU library collections compare favorably with those of other major public and private libraries in the Delaware Valley. Library holdings include more than 2.5 million items.

Print Materials

  • More than 759,000 volumes
  • More than 1,480 subscriptions to print periodical
  • More than 3,400 maps

Electronic Materials

  • More than 650,000 electronic books
  • More than 5,600 subscriptions to electronic journals
  • More than 138,000 albums of online streaming audio
  • More than 2,200,000 images of art works
  • More than 21,000 films available online as streaming video
  • Full text of articles from more than 78,000 periodicals is available through databases licensed by the library.

Almost all of these materials are available on the web and may be accessed off campus by entering a WCU ID and password or 14- or 16-digit number from a current WCU ID. You must begin from the library web page, www.wcupa.edu/library to use materials licensed by the library.

Audio Visual Materials

  • More than 11,000 films, videos, and DVDs
  • More than 56,000 sound recordings

Micromedia (microfilm, microfiche, microcard, and other resources)

  • More than 926,000 books, journals, dissertations, and other documents

General Library Services


Librarians and support staff provide individual and group instruction on the use of library resources to support all courses of study. Instructors may request classroom instruction and custom presentations from library faculty.

Reference librarians are available at peak hours to assist students with their research needs. Reference questions may be submitted in-person, by phone, or by e-mail.

Research and Study

  • Internet Resources
    • Library home page: www.wcupa.edu/library for continually updated access to a wide array of resources and services
    • OneSearch: Allows a single, Google-like search of the vast majority of electronic and print materials owned by the library, including books, journal articles, journal subscriptions, A-V materials, etc.
    • PILOT, the Web-accessible library catalog and specific online databases such as Academic Premier are still available for more detailed searches
  • Research Guides: Reference librarians have prepared more than 60 online research guides (http://subjectguides.wcupa.edu/) for majors, subjects, and specific courses.
  • Interlibrary loan (for free access to books and journal articles not available in WCU library collections): The ILLiad System is available via the library's web pages and is also integrated into most electronic databases. Requested articles available in electronic format may be downloaded from the Internet and, working within ILLiad, the new RapidILL system delivers most articles within 24 hours. In addition, the E-ZBorrow system allows students and faculty to request books from more than 60 libraries in Pennsylvania and neighboring states.
  • Electronic and print reserve course materials designated by instructors


  • Library Starbucks: located on the first (ground) floor. The Starbucks may be entered directly from the Quad or from the Serials Area of the library. Check the library web page for the link to the Starbucks hours, http://www.wcupa.edu/library.fhg/hours.asp
  • Computer workstations for student use in each library
  • Wireless laptops for in-library use only
  • QVC Information Commons for checking e-mail, printing papers, or other quick information retrieval needs
  • QVC Collaborative Study Area equipped with computers and large-screen monitors for group project work
  • Free scanners in the QVC Commons, the IMC, and the Presser Music Library
  • Coin-operated photocopiers
  • Coin-operated microform copiers and scanners
  • Adaptive devices supporting special needs in viewing or listening

FHG Library Collections and Services - 610-436-2946 (Information)

FHG Library Hours

Sunday noon - 2 a.m.
Monday - Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Friday 7:30 am - 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Holiday, break, and exam hours are posted separately on the library home page.

Instructional Media Center (IMC) and Children's Literature Room - 610-436-2759, 610-436-3393, and 610-436-3394

Located on the first floor of the library, the Instructional Media Center, www.wcupa.edu/library.fhg/imc.asp, houses instructional materials for teaching on all levels from early childhood through high school. The collection includes examples of elementary and secondary textbooks, curriculum guides, syllabi, and teacher resource books.

The IMC collects and circulates nonprint media such as DVD's, videotapes, posters, and kits. Previewing equipment and facilities also are available. Production services include lamination, overhead transparencies, dry mounting, Ellison dies, and audio duplication.

Arrangements to borrow videos and equipment may be made in room 112 in the IMC on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The adjacent Faye A. Collicott Children's Room, www.wcupa.edu/library.fhg/child_literature.asp, contains an excellent collection of children's books and is used as a resource and research center for children's literature including preschool through grade eight.

Government Documents/Maps - 610-436-2869

Francis Harvey Green Library is a selective depository for United States government publications and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania publications. Included in the collection are extensive holdings of congressional materials, census publications, and Geological Survey maps. Most of this collection is available for circulation. Please see www.wcupa.edu/library.fhg/govdocs.asp for more details.

Special Collections – 610-436-3456

Special Collections contains the FHG Library’s collection of rare books (including five Shakespeare Folios and the Sanderson Signers to the Declaration of Independence); various 18th and 19th century horticultural and botanical works from the libraries of William Darlington and the Chester County Cabinet of Natural Sciences; the West Chester University Archives and several other archival and manuscript collections. The Special Collections Librarian is dedicated to incorporating Special Collections materials relevant to faculty and student research. Materials from Special Collections do not circulate and most materials must be used in the Special Collections Room. See http://www.wcupa.edu/library.fhg/specialCollections.asp and http://subjectguides.wcupa.edu/speccoll for more information.

Digitized Collections - 610-436-3456

WCU Library Services has digitized a large number of items relating to the history of WCU and the area, as well as many items from Special Collections. These materials are all available on the web and include: all the catalogs, yearbooks, and student newspapers of WCU and its predecessor institutions (West Chester Normal School, West Chester State Teachers College, etc.); historic photographs and postcards; archaeological artifacts; letters of George Washington and General Anthony Wayne; Civil War letters and documents; and the title pages and autographs from many books in the Philips Autograph Library. See http://subjectguides.wcupa.edu/digitalarchives for more information.

Borrowing Library Materials - 610-436-2946

The circulation desk is located on the second floor (main floor) of the library. Most library materials are due 28 days from the day the materials are charged out. A current WCU student identification card or bar code is required to check out materials. Library materials may be renewed one time for an additional 28 days. Materials borrowed are subject to recall if needed by others.

All lost identification cards must be reported to the circulation desk immediately. Students are responsible for materials checked out on identification cards that are not reported missing.

Transcripts may be held for unpaid fines or for library materials not returned.

Fines are charged for overdue library materials. The fine schedule is available at the circulation desk and on the library web page at www.wcupa.edu/library.fhg/policies.asp.

Group Study Rooms and Lounges:

Throughout the library there are a number of small rooms for group study and relaxed reading. The QVC Collaborative Study Area for group work has five computers with large-screen monitors and permits students to connect their own laptops to the 42" monitors.


Collections of microfilms, microfiche, and microcards are found at various locations in the library. Microform books, newspapers, journals, and dissertations are housed on the first floor near the print periodical and newspaper collection.

Government documents on microfiche are located in the government documents area. Microfiche curriculum guides and ERIC documents are housed in the Instructional Media Center. Appropriate microform reading machines are available in each of the areas. Microform reader-printers and digital scanners are on the first floor near the Starbucks.

Journals, Periodicals, and Newspapers - 610-436-2624

Serials (journals, periodicals, newspapers, etc.) are available in print, on microform, and on the Internet. Both current issues and retrospective volumes of many periodicals and newspapers are housed on the first floor. The retrospective volumes of newspapers are exclusively in microform. The section includes a comfortable lounge area for browsing. Many, but by no means all, journals, periodicals, and newspapers are available on the Internet through licensed databases such as EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete and Academic Universe (Lexis-Nexis). Check the library's online catalog, PILOT or the online list of WCU journals to discover which are available through the Internet and which are available only in print.

Reference Area - 610-436-2453, e-mail refdesk@wcupa.edu

The reference area is located on the second floor (main floor) of the library. The area immediately to the left of the main entrance contains the reference desk. Computers for access to OneSearch (the Google-like search of library books, journal articles, and A-V materials), PILOT, the library's web catalog; and the Internet are also located in this area. These computers are for research only. A reference librarian is on duty at the reference desk to give assistance in the use of the library. Adjacent to the index area is the reference reading room containing the reference collection, including such materials as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks.

Reserve Materials - 610-436-2611

Materials placed on reserve by faculty are kept at the reserve desk, which is located on the main floor (second floor) next to the circulation desk. The material is primarily noncirculating (for use in the library). Print materials on reserve are listed in PILOT, the library's web catalog. Some materials do circulate for time periods designated by faculty. Most circulating materials are due back at the reserve desk by 9 a.m. on the due date. To charge out reserved books, borrowers must present a bar-coded WCU ID. An ID or driver's license will be held at the desk for material used in the library until it is returned.

Many reserve materials are now available on the web. Check the electronic reserves link on the library's home page, www.wcupa.edu/library.fhg.

Interlibrary Loan - 610-436-3454

Interlibrary loan is a service through which materials not owned by the library may be requested and obtained from other libraries. Interlibrary loan requests may be placed online using ILLiad or E-Z Borrow (PALCI). ILLiad requires a one-time registration to establish an ID and password. E-mail notices will be sent as notification when the materials may be downloaded or picked up at the FHG Library. In most cases there are no charges for interlibrary loans. Allow at least one week for printed and other physical materials to arrive. Articles available in electronic format will usually be available for download within 24 hours. Please see www.wcupa.edu/library.fhg/interlibrary_loans.asp for more information.

ILLiad, http://illiad.wcupa.edu/illiad, may be used to request articles, books, and other materials world-wide. It is integrated into most of WCU's online databases. Click on the Check Availability link to see if the full text of an article is available from another database or through ILLiad.

E-Z Borrow (PACLI), http://palci.library.pitt.edu/~ursa/WCHSTR_login.html, may be used to request books from over 60 major academic libraries in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

Articles from journals: WCU Library Services now belongs to RapidILL, an interlibrary loan delivery syste that is able to fulfill requests for most journal articles within 24 hours. Articles available in electronic format will be delivered directly to your WCU e-mail address.

Books and other materials: These requested materials can be picked up at the FHG Library. E-Z Borrow allows anyone with a valid WCU ID to request books directly from many academic libraries in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Libraries include Penn State, Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, and the 14 State System universities. Go to the library home page, click on PALCI Borrow, use a single search to find books in all these libraries, and then request the titles you want yourself. Pick up the books at the FHG Library Circulation Desk. You will receive e-mail reporting when the book is sent and when it is available at the FHG Library Circulation Desk.

General Information:

  • Bulletin boards: on each floor (permission to post should be obtained from the Library Administrative Office, FHG 236).
  • Change machine: adjacent to microform copiers on the first floor.
  • Group study rooms: second through sixth floors.
  • QVC Group Study Room, FHG 252, includes five computers with 42" monitors for collaboration.
  • Campus phones: third - sixth floors near the elevators.
  • Lost and Found: Circulation Desk, main floor, call 610-436-2946.
  • Photocopy machines: first and second floors, 10 cents per page.
  • Scanners: no charge, located in the QVC Commons and the IMC.
  • Suggestion box: located at Circulation Desk.
  • Water fountain: on every floor near restrooms.

Presser Music Library - 610-436-2430

Presser Music Library Hours

Sunday 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Presser Music Library Collections and Services

The Presser Music Library contains the University's collection of scores, sound recordings, music books, periodicals and microforms. The music library offers many services including library instruction, reference, reserves, microforms, and in-house use of wireless laptops. This new facility also features the latest equipment for listening to sound recordings in analog and digital formats. The knowledgeable staff is pleased to provide assistance for all services offered by the library. Please see www.wcupa.edu/library.fhg/music/default.asp for more details.