Faculty Services

Welcome to the Western Illinois University Libraries! The Libraries consist of the Malpass Library and its four branches: the Music Library (Sallee Hall, 108), the Physical Sciences Library (Currens Hall 201), the Curriculum Library (Horrabin, 80), and the WIU-Quad Cities Library in Moline.

This guide is intended to give you an overview of the many resources and services available at the WIU Libraries. If you want to learn more about a particular service, ask at the unit of the library that provides that service. Library personnel are always happy to answer questions or to provide service.

WestCat & I-Share

The WestCat indexes our collection of books, recordings, government documents and other library materials. In addition, I-Share provides information about, the location of, and the ability to request (at no charge) materials located in 64 other Illinois academic libraries.

Periodicals Holdings List

(Print and Full-Text)

The Periodicals Holdings List (PHL) is a listing of both the print/microform periodicals available on the shelves of the Western Illinois University Libraries, and the full-text e-titles available via databases purchased by the Libraries. This resource currently indexes over 19,000 unique periodical titles.

Bibliographic Databases

The library subscribes to more than 125 electronic databases covering general, multidisciplinary and discipline specific areas. In addition to indexing and abstracting resources, the databases also supply full-text articles from over 13,000 journals, magazines and newspapers. Virtually all of the databases are available online to off-campus faculty and remote learners via the WIU Library Identification Number (i.e. 21711 plus the 9-digit number printed on the front of your WIU ID card) or WIU ECOM email account username/password. A small handful of CD-ROM and other databases are only available in the library.

Many WIU full-text library databases provide Persistent Link capabilities at the article and/or citation level, allowing faculty to include direct links to articles in syllabi, bibliographies and other resources.

Library Liaison Program

The Library Liaison Program helps establish and maintain an open channel of communication between librarians and the 43 academic departments. As liaisons, librarians help fulfill the Libraries mission of identifying, collecting and providing access to information in support of teaching and research at Western Illinois University.

Reference Desk

Reference librarians provide in-person, telephone and e-mail reference assistance to the campus community. Reference library faculty are available at the reference desk 67 hours a week, including nights and weekends. In addition, students, faculty and staff may also make appointments to see librarians for help with more complex research problems. Group instruction is available for university classes.

The Reference Unit provides computer workstations for searching a variety of web-based bibliographic databases. Using these databases, patrons obtain citations to, and in some cases the full-text of books, magazines, newspapers, and journals. Most of the databases are accessible online.

The unit also has standard reference sources such as almanacs, atlases, dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, and indexes. For more information about the Reference Unit, contact a reference librarian at 309-298-2700. The Reference Desk is located on the main (2nd level) of Malpass Library, opposite the Access Services Desk. The telephone number is 309-298-2700.

Library Instruction

Faculty may make arrangements for a librarian to introduce information resources to their classes. Instruction may be given in one of the library's electronic classrooms or in the class's usual meeting room. Instructional sessions familiarize students with general and specialized resources in both print and online formats. Library faculty highlight the most effective databases and search strategies for specific disciplines or courses. Librarians will help design effective library research assignments, either in conjunction with, or independent of, an instructional session. Questions should be directed to Sean Cordes, Instruction Coordinator (309-298-2785 x3).

Government/Legal Information Desk

The Government/Legal Information Unit houses federal and Illinois documents, maps, and legal reference materials. In addition to print holdings, this unit provides a central referral point to many Web-based sources of government and legal information. Most of the government publications can be checked out at the Access Services Desk on the main (2nd level) of the library. The telephone number is 309-298-2722.


Periodicals are available in both paper and electronic formats. While periodicals in paper format can be found in WIU branch libraries, the majority of titles are housed on the 3rd level of Malpass Library. Current newspapers are shelved by the New Books Browsing Area on 2nd level. To determine if the library has access to a particular title, check the Periodicals Holdings List. If you need assistance, inquire at the Access Services Desk or at the Reference Desk (2nd level).

Some periodicals are only available in microform format. To obtain microforms, please go to the Access Services Desk for assistance.

Interlibrary Loan Services

If the library does not have the materials needed for your research, they can be obtained from other libraries, generally at no charge. Interlibrary Loan request forms for books, articles and other materials are available online. Materials found within the I-Share catalog may be requested directly (click "Request" on the top menu bar upon locating a specific title). Delivery date for material varies and may involve fees in special circumstances. Patrons should contact Interlibrary Loan for complete details. The telephone number is 309-298-2761.

Checkout Materials

To check out materials at WIU libraries, faculty should present their WIU ID card that displays their 9-digit university ID number, together with the library's 21711 prefix. For more information regarding courtesy notices, holds, "My Account," periodicals checkout, and surrogate checkout please see Access Services.


Reserve materials are high-use items with limited circulation; they are generally class assignments on reserve at the request of faculty members. Items at the Reserve Desk, located on the main (2nd) level of Malpass Library, are available for a 2-hour, 3-day, or 7-day checkout. Valid ID (WIU ID or driver's license) must be presented to use these materials. Items in the electronic reserve module (ERes), are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These pages are protected by passwords assigned to each class. Visit the Reserve webpage for more information. The telephone number is 309-298-2411

Digital Commons

The Digital Commons, located on the 1st level of Malpass Library, provides computing facilities to support the campus community. The Digital Commons includes a fully equipped media conference room (30 seat capacity), a smaller six-seat media conference room, individual viewing and listening carrels, an equipment checkout service, current newspapers (local, national, international), and much more. The telephone number is 309-298-2417.

Archives and Special Collections

University Archives and Special Collections are located on the 6th level of Malpass Library. Archives includes records of university administrative offices and faculty and student organizations, publications issued by the university, student newspapers, yearbooks, faculty publications and papers, master's theses, photographs, oral history tapes, and memorabilia related to the university.

Special Collections contains a variety of materials that are rare, unique, or of regional interest. Most notable are The Center for Regional Authors, The Baxter-Snyder Center for Icarian Studies, and The Center for Hancock County History. Also located in this area is the Illinois Regional Archives Depository Center (IRAD), which maintains and services local government records of the 16-county are of western Illinois, as well as microfilm copies of federal and state censuses for the same region. Materials in this unit are accessed through the WIU Library Catalog or through catalogs and indexes located in this unit. These materials cannot be checked out.

General Information

The Library Administration Office is located in the northeast wing of the 3rd level of the Malpass Library. The telephone number is 309-298-2762.
After-Hours Book Returns
Drive-up book returns are located at the west entrance of Malpass Library. There is also a return located in the foyer of the north entrance.
Change Machine
A change machine is located on the 1st level of the Malpass Library.
Fines are assessed for overdue items to emphasize the importance of prompt return of borrowed materials.
Lost and Found
Lost and found items are kept until the end of each semester, except for WIU ID's (which are turned in to Seal Hall), university keys and billfolds/purses (which are taken to OPS) if unclaimed after 24 hours. At the end of the semester, all other unclaimed items are donated to the Salvation Army.
A courtesy telephone is available on the 1st level of Malpass Library (behind the elevators). From this telephone one may make campus, Macomb, toll free, or 9ll calls.