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Tips for Requesting Library Materials

Penn State World Campus students have access to a wealth of library resources. In fact, it’s the eighth largest research library collection in North America and includes millions of books, e-books, maps, CDs, DVDs, and more.

Among some of the interesting items students have checked out recently were a DSLR camera, numerous books from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, and a variety of materials on topics ranging from mythology to business ethics.

Who Can Borrow Library Materials?

All faculty, staff, and students officially affiliated with Penn State and residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are permitted to register with the Libraries. Penn State students are typically registered automatically upon enrollment. Review this information geared specifically to Penn State World Campus students and those doing research at a distance.

Community members who are not current Penn State students, faculty, or staff may apply for a borrower card at any University Libraries location by presenting current photo ID and proof of current address. University Libraries borrower cards may be used to borrow books, videos, CDs, and other materials.

Finding and Requesting Materials

The University Libraries have so much available to students that it may seem a bit overwhelming, and you might not even know where to start to explore or access materials.

Fortunately, we have a roadmap that can walk you through the basic steps.

  • First, go to and use the Catalog or LionSearch to look for what you need.
  • For electronic materials, click the Request button, which will take you to the InterLibrary Loan portal where you can complete the rest of the process. This is also where you would go to borrow materials not owned by Penn State. You will need to create an InterLibrary Loan (ILLiad) Account, if you haven’t done so already.
  • For online resources, you will be able to open the material directly online from the item listing. For other types of materials, you will need to have them shipped.
  • Need a limited section of a book or other work quickly or want an electronic format? Library staff can scan up to three chapters of each book for you and send it to you electronically.
  • To have items shipped to you, click the “I Want It” button and indicate how long you will need the materials. Books will be sent via UPS or US Mail to the address in your ILLiad profile. A return mailing label will be included. If you will be near a Penn State location, you can also return books to any Penn State University Libraries campus or branch library circulation desk. Important: double-check to make sure the shipping address on file for you is correct. If it isn’t, this video provides a helpful guide to updating your mailing address.

Time Limits

The time limits for borrowed items vary depending on the types of materials and whether you are a student, staff/faculty member, or alumni. Review time limits here.

Library Fines

It’s important to keep track of when library materials are due to be returned and to make sure you return items on or before the due date. Otherwise, you risk incurring library fines, which can add up quickly.

Reviewing Items You Have Checked Out

Review the items currently listed as checked out by you in the My Library Account section of the University Libraries website.

For More Help

Specific questions about library resources for Penn State World Campus students can be directed to Victoria Raish at or 814-865-0148.

We have also created this short guide explaining how Penn State World Campus students can request library materials.