Library Policies


Circulation Policies and Practices

We reserve the right to suspend borrowing and/or access privileges as deemed fit.


Alex Fergus, Public Services and Circulation Supervisor


Whitworth Library Circulation Department

(Front desk on the first floor)


Library info 509.777.3260
Circulation desk 509.777.4200
Alex Fergus 509.777.3767

Borrowing from Whitworth

Library Cards

Current students, staff, and faculty can use their Whitworth ID to borrow materials from the library. Users can also access their library account to check hold requests, renewals, and checked out items.

Guests (Local alumni, Clergy, Rockwood at Whitworth): All guest users may apply in-person for a library card for borrowing privileges. Official Washington state ID and local mailing street address verification are required. The guest user annual fee is $40. Annual fee is waived for alumni and for local, active ministers with proof of current position, such as a business card.

Guests do not have access to reserve materials, Summit borrowing, Interlibrary Loan services, study room reservations, or electronic collections/databases.

During some periods of the day, the library building is swipe-access only with a valid Whitworth ID. If alumni encounter this, they can call the circulation desk at 509-777-4200 and show their alumni card to the library employee on duty for entry. (Are you an alum who needs an alumni card? You can email to request one.)


Records of requested and borrowed materials are maintained only so long as necessary to ensure delivery, tracking, return, and damage assessment of Whitworth materials. Only the circulation manager has access to contact information and borrowing history. When you check out a book the staff person assisting you will see only your full name, unless you request information on your current loans or holds.


Loan Periods


6 weeks
1 renewal (renew online)

120 days
2 renewals (renew online)

3 weeks, 3 item limit
no renewals

Print periodicals

Library use only

Music CDs

3 days, 10 item limit
no renewals

28 days
1 renewal

Library use only
Videos & DVDs**

3 days, 2 item limit
no renewals

28 days
1 renewal

Library use only
New Books

6 weeks
no renewals

120 days
1 renewal

Library use only

*Alumni, Clergy, Rockwood at Whitworth 

**Only selected videos, DVDs, and audiovisual material may be checked out. Use the library search for more information on specific titles.



Effective Fall 2023, Whitworth Library will no longer be holding or lending physical Course Reserves. If you previously used Course Reserves contact Alex Fergus or your library liaison to determine the best alternative method to provide students access to materials.

The Permanent Reserve Collection will be maintained for DVD titles for in-library use only. Reserve DVDs may be borrowed by faculty for course use, visit the Circulation Desk to pick up the desired title(s).


Special Collections

Whitworth Library houses several special and archival collections not specifically listed in these policies. Access and borrowing policies vary based on the collection. If you have questions, contact the Archives and Special Collections Librarian Nancy Bunker 509.777.4481 or or


Placing Holds on Whitworth Materials

  • Place a hold on a checked-out item through the library catalog
  • Check the status of a hold in your Library Account
  • Notification of a processed hold is sent through your Whitworth email account
  • Hold requests expire after 30 days for books currently checked out
  • Materials will only be held for 7 days
  • Processed holds can be picked up at the circulation desk and checked out with your Whitworth ID card



Students, faculty, and staff can renew online through their library account, over the phone (509.777.4200), or in person at the circulation desk. Items that have hold/recall requests attached to them will not be renewed.


Overdue Notices

Students, faculty & staff
  • Courtesy and overdue notices are sent to your Whitworth email.
  • Account will be blocked for excessive overdue items.
Guest users
  • All notices are mailed to home address or emailed.


Lost or Damaged Materials

For all patrons
  • Items that are 25 days overdue or more will be declared lost.
  • For lost items, a minimum of $90 replacement fee is charged to your account. The fees is waived with the timely return of the overdue item in good condition.
  • Failure to return materials results in the blocking of your borrowing privileges and billing.
Additionally, for faculty & staff
  • At 60 days overdue, the patron’s dean or department head may be notified and borrowing privileges suspended until resolved.
For guest users
  • Failure to pay fines or return books may result in the permanent revoking and blocking of borrowing privileges

Borrowing via Summit or Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Summit borrowing

Whitworth Library is part of the Summit lending group - 38 regional academic institutions (including Gonzaga, EWU and WSU) whose physical collections are findable in your home library catalog and may be borrowed by current students, faculty, and staff.

Requests for items held at Summit libraries can be made through the Whitworth Catalog and will be delivered and processed like a standard hold (see Placing Holds section). Items may be borrowed for 6 weeks and renewed once.


Making an ILL request

If you cannot locate the research materials you need in the Whitworth Catalog or Journals by Title, you may request materials through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). The ILL office will notify you by email when your requested item arrives.

The average turnaround time for articles is 3 working days and 6 working days for books, however delivery times may vary greatly depending on the lender of the material. If the material is needed by a specific deadline, please indicate this on the request form.


ILL Borrowing Policies

Eligible Borrowers: ILL and Summit lending is available for current Whitworth students, faculty and staff only. Guest borrowers may not use ILL services.

ILL Fees: The library covers all loan transaction fees, except for any special fees for "rush" requests, which are passed on to the requestor.

ILL Fines/Replacement Costs: You are expected to return all physical materials in good condition by the due date and are responsible for any overdue fines or replacement costs for lost items. You are also expected to comply with any special loan conditions imposed by the lending library.

Renewals: If a renewal is needed, ask the ILL staff to request it before the due date, but realize that some libraries will not renew ILL materials.