Library Services for Distance Students: Getting Books

WCU Books for Distance Students

To find out what books are available in the WCU Libraries, search the PILOT library catalog (also available on the library's home page).

As a distance student, you can request books through the Distance Student Book Request Form.

You can choose one of three options for delivery:

  1. Mailed to your current address
    • Books will be mailed via UPS to you free of charge.
    • To return the book, use the enclosed UPS return label to send the book back to us (free of charge). Please drop the packaged book(s) off at a UPS box or store. If you call for UPS pick-up from your home, you will be charged.
  2. Sent to the Philadelphia Center.
    • See Marcie Cohen to pick up your book.
    • Return your books to Marcie Cohen
  3. Pick it up at WCU Main Campus.
    • You'll get an email when the book is available to pick up at the Circulation Desk.
    • You'll need to return the book to WCU Main Campus as well.

Books are checked out for 5 weeks (starting when the book is mailed).

To renew books, call 610-436-3454 or email illoan@wcupa.edu.

 

Philadelphia Center Students

If you request a book WCU doesn't own, you will receive an "Item Available Notice" email when the book arrives at WCU. However, it will take 2-3 days for us to get the book to Marcie Cohen at the Philadelphia Center. So when you see this email, know that the book isn't there yet, but it'll be there very soon! example email


Borrowing Books from Other Libraries

In addition to using the WCU libraries, there are other ways to borrow books. If you need a book in a hurry, you may want to see if it's available at a local library such as your local public library or from other University libraries in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

If you live near any of the 14 PASSHE Universities, or the State Library in Harrisburg, your WCU ID card will allow you to borrow at those libraries. 

You may want to check the library's website for hours, or contact them before your visit to make sure the items you want are available:

Bloomsburg University, Harvey A. Andress Library

California University, Louis L. Manderino Library

Cheyney University, Leslie Pickney Hill Library

Clarion University Libraries  (Clarion & Oil City)

East Stroudsburg University, Kemp Library

Edinboro University, Baron-Forness Library

Indiana University of PA Libraries

Kutztown University, Rohrbach Library

Lock Haven University Libraries  (Lock Haven & Clearfield)

Mansfield University, North Hall Library

Millersville University Library

Shippensburg University, Ezra Lehman Memorial Library

Slippery Rock University, Bailey Library

State Library of Pennsylvania

If you live in Pennsylvania the Access Pennsylvania database will lead you to books to borrow from public, school, special, or academic libraries.  From the entry page at http://205.247.101.11/ , you can select a geographic area or search the entire state.  Your local public library can assist you with borrowing these books through their Interlibrary Loan program.

In a Hurry?

If you can't wait the 5 days or so for a book to arrive via UPS, try these alternate solutions:

  • Request a book chapter instead of the whole book.

    If one chapter looks particularly promising, requesting just that chapter is faster since the chapter will be scanned and sent to you. Chapters are sometimes listed in the book's catalog record, or on Amazon or Google Books.

  • Check if your local public library has a copy of the book.

    If your book is not a textbook, and is more focused on a broad public audience instead of experts, the public library is more likely to have it.

Other Ways to Find Books

  • WorldCat.org provides free online searching of library collections throughout the world at http://www.worldcat.org

Select the Books tab to limit your search. 

Click on a title and type your zipcode in the "Enter your location" box to display libraries near you that own the book.

  • If you live in Pennsylvania the Access Pennsylvania database will lead you to books to borrow from public, school, special, or academic libraries.  From the entry page at http://205.247.101.11/ , you can select a geographic area or search the entire state.  Your local public library can assist you with borrowing these books through their Interlibrary Loan program.

  • Google Books, http://books.google.com/, allows you to search and read preview pages for many books.  Out-of-copyright books may be fully-available online.  Another source for openly-available online books is the texts section of the Internet Archive, http://www.archive.org/details/texts

  • Of course you can also identify book titles at commercial sites such as Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/, or Barnes and Noble, http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Once you locate a book title, you can search and/or request the book from your local public library; distance students can also request books WCU doesn't own through interlibrary loan.

West Chester University   ---    WCU Libraries  25 West Rosedale Avenue, West Chester, PA 19383  610-430-4400