Frequently Asked Questions

Find what you need in the searchable FAQs from WKU Libraries

Where do I go to check out books and other materials at the library?

717 views   |   83   107   |   Last updated on Apr 03, 2014    Services Books

In the Helm-Cravens Library (main campus) you can check materials out at the Circulation Desk on the fourth floor of Cravens Library, and on the second floor of Cravens in the Visual and Performing Arts Library (VPAL).  Specific policies and lending periods may be found on the Circulation web page, or by visiting or calling the Circulation Desk at 270-745-3951. 

How can I find articles on my topic in the library?

697 views   |   97   107   |   Last updated on Jun 14, 2014    Articles Electronic Resources

There are many ways to find an academic article on your topic. Below are a few suggestions to get you started. Use the One-Search Box   The fastest way to get started on your search for articles is to use the WKU Libraries One-Search Box. It is easy to find on the WKU Libraries website, Enter search terms for your topic (such as "banking reform," or "intelligence testing") in the big search box b ... read more

How do I find and access the right Databases for my topic? What if I have trouble logging in?

575 views   |   92   109   |   Last updated on Apr 04, 2014    Articles Electronic Resources

How do I find research databases for my topic or major?  WKU Libraries Research Guides are created by our librarians to help you find research materials chosen specifically for your subject area. The guides are arranged by topic, and they include suggestions for article databases, along with suggestions for finding books, and contact information for the Subject Specialist Librarian for your topic. ... read more

What are the hours of operation of the WKU LIbraries?

510 views   |   75   94   |   Last updated on Apr 03, 2014    Access

You can view our hours of operation on the library hours page, including hours for the main library and our other locations, and "special hours" for breaks, holidays and summer. This page also shows hours for Reference, Circulation, Periodicals, Interlibrary Loan and more. Questions about access to the building or specific rooms in the library can be directed to the Circulation Desk at 270-745-39 ... read more

How do I set up Google Scholar to download articles available through WKU Libraries?

490 views   |   81   90   |   Last updated on Aug 27, 2014    Articles Electronic Resources

Google Scholar Google Scholar is the academic form of Google, designed to search for scholarly articles and books using the much-admired Google search engine.  Google Scholar does NOT contain every journal article—it does not, in fact, include the majority of scholarly articles available through the WKU Libraries. It DOES, however, contain many articles available through WKU, and you can download ... read more

What benefits do I receive as a Friend of WKU Libraries? How do I enroll?

473 views   |   83   98   |   Last updated on Apr 03, 2014    Services

Becoming a Friend of WKU Libraries costs as little as $25, and includes many benefits: Borrowing Privileges Receive Collections & Connections newsletter Professional research assistance upon request Access to hundreds of databases (full access on campus; off site is limited) Special discount offers at WKU Store during National Library Week Invitations to Libraries' special events, lectures, and w ... read more

How do I find a book in the library?

444 views   |   83   101   |   Last updated on Apr 03, 2014    Books

Check for the book in TOPCAT, the library catalog. Use the default search box to search by title alphabetically, or use the dropdown box at the right end of the search box to search by keyword, author, and other methods.

How do I pay library fines, late fees, and other charges?

438 views   |   86   110   |   Last updated on Apr 03, 2014    Circulation Access Books

To pay your fines: In person: come to the Circulation Desk at Cravens Library to pay with cash, check, or money order By telephone: Call the Ciircultation Desk at 270-745-3951 to pay by credit card By mail: Please call the Circulation Desk at 270-745-3951 to find out how to mail your payment by check   To view your account online to find out how much you owe: Go to TOPCAT, the library catalog C ... read more

Where can I find Style Guides to help me format my paper and cite references according to a style like APA or MLA?

413 views   |   86   105   |   Last updated on Apr 05, 2014    Reference Services Citation

WKU Libraries has created Style Guides and Manuals -- a Research Guide to help you find the correct way to prepare papers manuscripts and citations according to popular formats like APA, MLA, and others. You may also want to consult the Purdue OWL--Purdue University's excellent website offering excellent advice on formatting your paper according to all major styles. The WKU Writing Center is anoth ... read more

How can I get a book or article that the library does not have? What is an Interlibrary Loan?

406 views   |   99   102   |   Last updated on Apr 04, 2014    Articles Services Books

Library doesn't have an article or book you need for your research? You can try an Interlibrary Loan request.  Interlibrary Loans are a process by which we ask cooperating libraries if they would send us an article or book we don't have in our collection. In turn, we send materials out to other libraries. Any WKU student, faculty member, or staff can request an Interlibrary Loan.  To place an Inte ... read more

Where I can view floor plans and maps of Helm-Cravens Library?

382 views   |   95   96   |   Last updated on Apr 05, 2014    Services

Below is a map to the general layout of the Helm-Cravens Library Complex. More detailed maps and floor plans are available on the Library Security page.  

What is a DOI number for an article? How do I find it? How do I use it?

378 views   |   77   99   |   Last updated on Apr 03, 2014    Citation Electronic Resources Articles

What is an article DOI, and why do I need it?  Because online articles may change their Web address (URL) from time to time, many scholars and style guides recommend that, when possible, you use a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to identify an article, rather than the URL. DOIs are an attempt to provide stable, long-lasting links for online articles. A DOI is unique to a specific document, and con ... read more

How can I find a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation? What if it is written by WKU students, faculty, or staff?

371 views   |   88   97   |   Last updated on Apr 04, 2014    Articles Electronic Resources

How can I find theses and dissertations? A good start in finding dissertations is the Dissertations and Theses Full Text database, the largest collection of dissertations available. You can log in to this database through the library Website. If you are off-campus, you will be asked to enter your WKU NetID and password before proceeding. You can also check NDLTD – Networked Digital Library of The ... read more

Where can I find paper copies of periodicals, journals, magazines, or serials?

368 views   |   97   101   |   Last updated on Jun 04, 2015    Periodicals Journals Electronic Resources Articles

At this time most newspapers, periodicals, and magazines are available online. However, some are still available in paper, or you may prefer to view paper copies of older periodicals. You will find paper versions at several locations on campus--here is a rough guide to get you started:   the bulk of periodicals are located on Helm 2nd floor leisure reading periodicals are located in the Helm Read ... read more

What is the Visual and Performing Arts Library (VPAL) and where is it located in the library?

362 views   |   82   98   |   Last updated on Apr 05, 2014    VPAL

The University Libraries’ newest division is the Visual and Performing Arts Library (VPAL), which opened in August 2007. Located on the second floor of Cravens Library, the VPAL includes collections on art, dance, fashion, interior design, music, photography, and theatre. The VPAL also includes the Lila Green Listening & Viewing Library, along with our film and music collections. Materials availab ... read more

How can I find test preparation materials online (GRE, Praxis, etc.)?

360 views   |   86   93   |   Last updated on Apr 04, 2014    Services

WKU Libraries provides online test preparation through the Testing and Education Resource Center database.  This includes many popular standard tests such as the GRE, MCAT, GMAT, TOEFL, and others. To find the Testing and Education Resource Center database from the Library website:  From the library homepage, click on the "databases" link below the big red search box: On the databases page, you' ... read more

Where can I find coffee and snacks at the library?

359 views   |   88   110   |   Last updated on Apr 03, 2014    Services

At Helm-Cravens Library, you can get coffee and tea, sandwiches, salads, bagels, pastries and other snacks at Java City, a WKU-owned and operated coffee shop located at the entrance to Helm Library. Visit the Java City Website for hours of operation and nutritional information.  The so provide vending machines offering beverages and snacks at the main entrance to Cravens Library near the Circulat ... read more

How many items can I take on loan at one time?

345 views   |   85   90   |   Last updated on Apr 05, 2014    Circulation Books

View our loan and circulation policies on the Circulation web page, or call the Circulation desk at (270) 745-3951.

How can I find the impact factor for a journal? 

344 views   |   81   89   |   Last updated on Jun 04, 2015    Citation Journals

What is a journal impact figure? The impact factor is a measure normally based on the frequency with which the average article in a journal has been cited in a particular year. It is used to help scholars decide on the best journals in which to publish their work, and to help readers and researchers discern the relative importance of journals within their fields.    How can I find an impact factor ... read more

What is the Reference Collection, and where do I find it?

324 views   |   82   93   |   Last updated on Apr 04, 2014    Reference Access Books

The Reference Collection is located on the first floor of Helm Library, in what is sometimes referred to as the Reference Room. It contains reference materials like dictionaries, encyclopedias, guides, maps, and other "quick reference" resources that most people use briefly and return. You can make copies of any of these materials, but you cannot take them out on loan. In the Reference Room you wi ... read more

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