Library FAQs for Students and Faculty

This page is a work in progress and will continue to be updated as we learn more. New and updated information appears at the top of each section. For W&M related questions, please visit the W&M Path Forward FAQ. If you have a question, please email us at

Library Fall Services

What hours are the Libraries open?

Check our calendar of hours for the most up-to-date information. 


Swem Library: 

Our fall hours are: 

  • Monday - Thursday: 8am - 10pm 

  • Friday: 8am - 8pm 

  • Saturday: 10am - 8pm 

  • Sunday: 10am – 10pm 


Reeder Media Center: 

Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm 


Special Collections: 

By appointment only Monday - Friday, 10am - 4pm

Learning Resource Center: 

Monday – Thursday: 9am – 7pm

Music Library: 

By appointment Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10am – 2pm

McLeod Business Library:
Monday – Friday: 8am – 5pm 

Wolf Law Library:

  • Monday Thursday: 8am - 8pm
  • Friday: 8am - 5pm
  • Saturday: 12pm - 5pm
  • Sunday: 12pm - 8pm

Updated: 9/9/2020 

What services are being offered by the library at this time?

The following services are available with some limitations: 


  • Course reserves: we transitioned to electronic reserves for the fall. Health guidelines recommend a 96 hour quarantine for items we typically reserve, so we are unable to provide in-person reserves. Instead, you can request titles of e-books and films required for your course. We have resumed scanning our print texts for digital course reserves. We can also scan book chapters and journal articles for faculty; these requests can be made through the catalog. 

  • InterLibrary Loan: Borrowing and lending of physical items began August 10th with some limitations since not all libraries everywhere have reopened their ILL. 

  • Click & Collect: Click & Collect is available all fall to get books and DVDs without needing to visit the stacks – just request what you need through the catalog and pick them up later by the Circulation desk. Equipment pickup is available in the Media Center. 


Ongoing remote service: 

Updated: 9/22/2020 

What do I need to know about Click & Collect?

This service is only available to W&M students, faculty, and staff at this time. Please visit our Click and Collect: Contact-Free Pickup page for more information.

Non-equipment materials like books and DVDs can be requested after signing in to your account in the catalog at Equipment can be requested through You will receive an email when your requested items are available for pickup. We will hold your items for up to seven days after email notification.

Pickup hours are:

  • Swem Library: Monday-Friday, 8am – 5pm 

  • Media Center: Monday - Friday, 10am - 2pm 

  • Wolf Law Library: Monday-Friday, 9am-12:30pm 

  • VIMS Hargis Library: Thursdays, 1PM-4PM 

Please follow health and safety guidelines when picking up your items. Wear a mask, maintain social distance, and have your W&M ID handy.

Updated: 8/17/2020

Can I use other library facilities like scanners, computers, genealogical records, special collections, or microfilm at this time?

Currently, Swem's stacks, computers, and printers are available. Special Collections is available by appointment only. 

Updated: 8/17/2020 

Returns & Due Dates

Can I renew my books online?

Yes! If you are a current student, faculty ot staff member, you can renew your books online - just log into your Library Account. You will see your active loans displayed on the Loans section. Look for the title you need to renew and click renew. You can also renew all your active loans by selecting Renew All.

Added: 9/28/2020

Are returns being accepted?

You are welcome to hold onto your books, DVDs, equipment, and other library materials until classes resume (or, if you’re a recent graduate, when you come back for commencement). However, if you want to return items now, you have that option as well.

To return books or DVDs, use one of the book returns in the parking lot behind Swem, the front lobby of Swem, or the Wolf Law Library book return.

You can return equipment at the Media Center between the hours of 10am - 2pm, Monday through Friday. 

If you won’t be returning to campus, there are other methods for returning your books (see below).

Updated: 8/17/2020

Is Swem charging fines for overdue books or equipment?

We are not charging fines for overdue books or equipment. Additionally, we have extended due dates from August 24th to September 30th. However, items from the Wolf Law Library and VIMS Hargis Library that were checked out by Law or VIMS faculty, students and staff are still due August 24th.

We recognize that there are a significant number of students who are not returning to campus at all this semester due to online learning options, as well as students who graduated in the spring, and we are working on options for you to return items.

If your due dates have not been updated, or you get a notification of an overdue item, please let us know by emailing Rest assured that you will not be charged a fine!

Updated: 8/21/2020

Are there other places I can return my books?

Yes! A number of Virginia college and university libraries are accepting book returns from other institutions. Check this list of participating libraries to see if there is one near you. If so, print and fill out a Courtesy Book Return form. Include this form with your books, and the library will mail your books back to us on your behalf.

Added: 5/21/2020

Why does my account show my books are still checked out, even though I dropped them off at a book return?

While campus remains closed, our staff are working from home and are unable to process all of the books that have been returned. We are regularly emptying the book returns however, and the returned materials are kept in a safe place. When our staff is able to return to the building, we can begin processing the returns. 

Your returns are safe, and even though they still show up in your account, you do not need to worry if they are overdue. We are extending due dates and waiving all fines.

Added: 5/21/2020

General Information

Can I access Special Collections at this time?

The Special Collections reading room is available by appointment only. Special Collections can provide research assistance through phone, email, live chat and Zoom. Instruction sessions will be accommodated remotely throughout the fall semester. We will digitize materials upon request to facilitate research and instruction. All requests for research appointments, instruction, and digitization should be sent to Materials in special collections that are already digitized and available online can be viewed in the Digital Archive

Learn more about our digitized and digital collections and materials from other institutions on our Resources to Support Teaching & Learning research guide. 

Updated: 8/17/2020

How can I access digitized primary sources, rare books, and other special collections from home?

You can find some of our collections online including University Archives, oral histories, and some notable collections that have been digitized. Many of these resources are available in PDF format. Below are a few places to start:

I have a special request. What is the best way to let you know?

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have a special request. Email us at

Faculty Questions

Can I have my physical items on reserve scanned for my students to access via Blackboard?

Physical texts on reserve can be scanned and uploaded to Blackboard; submit your request via the Course Reserves form. Please be sure to specify which section(s) of text you would like to be made available electronically.

We are unable to scan whole texts due to copyright restrictions, but you can use the form to request that we purchase electronic versions of your course texts. We will do our best to accommodate your request.

Updated: 6/10/2020

I can’t make it to campus for Contact-Free Pickup. Can I access books and articles from off-campus?

Yes! You always have access to our electronic books and journals from off-campus with your W&M login and can even link our resources to Google Scholar. If you are having problems connecting to a resource, please email with details about the problem and the name of the database or website you are trying to access.

If you need a full item only available in the Swem stacks, you can request it from InterLibrary Loan and they will try to find a digital copy for you. If you need only a section of a book or journal, you can request that item be scanned through the library catalog. See the “To request a journal volume or article/chapter” section of our Library Express Delivery Service page for more info.

Added: 6/10/2020

I need an item for my class, can you get it for me?

We will do our best! We are accepting requests for articles, book chapters. and streaming media. Many of these may already be online and can be found in our catalog at You can post links from the catalog to Blackboard - just make sure to copy the permalink icon ( ) to get a persistent URL.

Faculty requests for materials can be submitted through our course reserve form. Let us know what you need and we will try to find an electronic version.

For non-urgent materials, you can also suggest a purchase.

What new resources are available?

We have multiple new databases available for trial through the summer. You can find a list of all new trials in the databases section of the website, as well as the new databases we have purchased.

We also maintain a list of new free resources that library vendors have made available during this crisis. That list can be found on our library resources guide, along with other curated lists of useful resources for teaching and learning remote. 

Student Questions

I can’t make it to campus for Contact-Free Pickup. Can I access books and articles from off-campus?

Yes! You always have access to our electronic books and journals from off-campus with your W&M login and can even link our resources to Google Scholar. If you are having problems connecting to a resource, please email with details about the problem and the name of the database or website you are trying to access.

If you need a full item only available in the Swem stacks, you can request it from InterLibrary Loan and they will try to find a digital copy for you if you make a note that you are unable to come to campus.

Added: 6/10/2020

I have a question about billing and my student refund - who should I contact?

For questions regarding a bill on your account before campus buildings closed in response to Covid, please contact Ashley Gonzales at

Added: 4/30/2020

I have graduated or will not be returning to W&M – how do I return my books and Interlibrary Loans (ILL)?

There are several options to return your checked-out items:

  1. If you will be back on campus for commencement, you can drop off books (including the book strap for ILL books) at the book-drop at the front entrance of Swem, or the drive-up book-drop behind Swem.
    • If you have equipment or other items that won’t fit in the book-drop, you can drop the items off in Swem during our Contact-Free Pickup hours, or at the William & Mary Police Department next to the parking garage on Ukrop Way.
  2. If you live in Virginia, you can return your books to a partnering Virginia college library which will then send the books to us. Check out the list of participating university libraries to see if there is one near you.
    • If there is a university library near you, please print and fill out this Courtesy Return Form, and return it with your books.
  3. If you won’t be back on campus and aren’t near a Virginia college or university, we are working on arrangements so you can mail your items back to us. 

Updated: 8/17/2020


We know these are extraordinary times, and we care about how changes in our operations affect you. If you're not able to get your schoolwork or research done because of COVID-19-related changes we have made, please contact so we can look for a solution together.