Welcome to the Library

Tips to help you make the most of our service

Welcome from the WLV Libraries team!

Whether you’re a new or returning student, we’re here to help you make the most of your studies. We have pulled together a list below of the essential info you need to know about to get the most out of the library.  

Finding help and support

Library ASSIST is your main way to find help and get in touch with the library team. 

With ASSIST you can access: 

  • Live chat support which is available 24/7.  
  • Answers - our FAQ tool where we hope you will find the answer to common (and some less common) library queries.   
  • Ask the library - If you are not after an immediate response, you can use the Ask the Library web form. Our team will do our utmost to respond within 2 working days.   

And, of course, you can always give the team a call or pop into one of our three libraries where you will find library staff at the helpdesk who will be happy to help you. 

Did you know? - Our library staff can help you with printing, copying, scanning, connecting your devices to the WIFI, and provide general assistance with the popular Microsoft Office programs (and much more!). Always ask us and if it is not something we can help directly with, we will do our best to point you in the right direction.

Get academic skills support from our Skills for Learning team

The Skills for Learning team is dedicated to supporting general assignment skills, such as academic writing, finding research and referencing. Have a look through our Skills webpages wlv.ac.uk/skills

For new starters

At the start of your course, we’d recommend you book onto some of our online academic skills workshops. These sessions normally run for 90 minutes, but if you can’t attend at the scheduled time you should still sign up; we’ll send you a recording of the session. 

To cover the essentials, we’d suggest you book onto Finding Academic Information, Introduction to Harvard Referencing and Introduction to Academic Writing. 

Get started by heading to our workshop page 

For returning students

If you have already studied in higher education, you may be comfortable with the core skills in the section above. 

We are often asked what academic skills separate Year 1 from Year 2, 3 and even Masters level study. Our advice is to book onto our Critical Thinking workshop, here. This session will take students through how to analyse a piece of research critically, as well as how to write in a critical way. This is an essential skill for higher marks, especially at postgraduate level. 

1:1 support

After you have signed up to the recommended workshops, we’d also suggest you speak with us about your assignments. For more details on our 1:1 support, head here. 

Finding books and other resources with LibrarySearch

LibrarySearch is the name of our search engine and is designed to help you easily find and access resources, from print books, journal articles, newspaper stories, and images, amongst many other types of information. 

LibrarySearch will make it easy to see if the information is available for viewing online, or if it’s a print item that can be reserved at one of our libraries.  LibrarySearch will tell you the shelfmark so if you are at one of our libraries you can use the directional signage to locate which area your book will be in.

Alternatively, you can request the item directly from LibrarySearch and we will email you when it’s ready to collect. 

Save time with Click & Collect

Did you know – we offer a ‘Click & Collect’ service where you can request an item and we will find it, put it to one side, and email you when its ready so you can come in and collect it without having to locate the item yourself. We will even ship the book between our libraries, so if there is a book that is at a different campus, you can just let us know where you want to collect it from and we will move it between sites for you.

View our 'How do I use the request option on the LibrarySearch catalogue?' Library Assist help article for more info.

Get familiar with your course Reading Lists

Your reading list is a collection of all of the resources that your tutor suggests that you read for any given module. We work closely with your tutors to make sure the resources they want you to read are easily available for you directly from Canvas.

To find out more about how to access your reading lists view our Answers support article Where can I find my reading list?  

Start Borrowing!

Borrowing books is simple. Whether you are picking up an item reserved on the Click & Collect service or you have grab the books yourselves from the shelves, take the item(s) to one of the many self-service kiosks, scan you ID card to log into your account and place the items on the glass shelf. All of our books have RFID tags in them so the kiosk will automatically detect all the books and issue them to you.  

Try borrowing a book using the self-service machine or feel free to ask a member of staff to give you a demo. 

Borrowing rules

Once you have borrowed a book, you will probably be wondering when you will need to return it to make sure you avoid fines. Well, there are a couple of key points for you to remember:

  1. You don’t need to renew the books yourself. We do this automatically for you, and we will keep renewing the books until somebody else requests it (in which case we email you to let you know and you have 7 days to return it) or if the loan period reaches 52 weeks.
  2. We will only fine you if somebody else needs that item and you fail to return it on time.

We send you all the information that you need to know about your loaned items directly to your student email address but if you ever want to double-check, you can see all of your borrowing history and fine information by accessing your Library Account

How are all the books organised?

The University Library uses something called the Dewey Decimal System to put our books into a sequence that - in theory - helps students know where on our shelves the materials they need are located. The idea is that all of the books on the same subject area should be grouped together. 

If you’d like to understand this further please view our How does the library organise its books? article on Library Assist

Borrow a laptop

The libraries are full of study spaces and PCs for you to use but you may want to use a laptop for the freedom of where to study. Perhaps you have your own laptop but don’t fancy traveling into uni with it all the time? Each of our libraries has student laptops available for you to borrow whenever you are on campus. You can pick one up from our Lapsafe cabinets, use it for study in the library, take it to the coffee shop, or with you to your lecture but just make sure to return it within the 6-hour loan period (or before we close!). You can always take another one out straight away if you want to use a laptop for longer! For more info, visit laptop loan page 

Discover your study spaces

It wouldn’t be a library without space for you to study and we have a range of different study zones to suit your study preferences. We have silent study areas, social and group study, and many options in between. There are also a variety of study rooms that you can book on our Library Room Booking system which you can access quickly from the MyWLV app so if you need a space for your group to work together on a presentation or a private space for you to get your head down and focus you should be able to find somewhere at the library.  

When are the libraries open?

The libraries are open long hours across the week to hopefully give you plenty of time to access the resources and facilities at a time that works for you. We are typically open late during the week and extend our opening hours even further around the key assessment periods. Visit the library Opening Hours page to find out more . 

Do I need to register to use the Library?

Once you have enrolled you will receive your campus ID card, at which point you will also automatically have a library account created for you so you don’t need to do anything further. You can start browsing the LibrarySearch catalogue and login to your library account using your regular IT username and password. 

To access the libraries, you will need to use your Campus ID card to swipe in. Please make sure to keep it on you at all times as you will need it to re-enter the library if you leave. You will also use your card to borrow books, laptops and use the printers. So, your ID card is both your campus card and your library card, all in one!