Can I access library materials from a distance?

You can access many resources through WWU Libraries. Below you will find information on how to access a variety of materials.

Books and Media

If you live in Oregon, Washington, or in northern Idaho (with proximity to Spokane), you can borrow from a collection of nearly 30 million books

  1. Just go to Summit Catalog
  2. Search for the item in the catalog;
  3. Select the library where you want to pick up the material
  4. Order the item by entering your university ID and your personally-created password/PIN
    1. To create a password/PIN, go to the WWU Catalog
    2. Enter your name, your WWU ID, leave the Password empty and submit. 
    3. On the next screen, create a password/PIN of any combination of letters or numbers.  Enter it a second time and then submit.

You will be notified through email when the item arrives, usually within 3-4 days of when you ordered it. Once notified,

  1. Go to the library you selected for pick up.
  2. Show your university ID (if you do not have a WWU photo ID, contact your department or Academic Records at (509) 527-2811 to get one).
  3. Pick up the item.  (For a list of available pickup libraries and a map of their locations, go to the Orbis Cascade Alliance Member Libraries Map.


You can electronically access full text articles from over 3,000 journals

Access a Specific Journal

To search for a specific journal, go to Journals A to Z.  Here you can search by  journal title and then click on the link(s) below it to access full text.  The link will take you to a database or to the publisher site where you can search the title. You will need to provide your WWU username/password in order to access full text.

Access Articles through Journal Databases

You can also access full-text articles in many full text journal databases.  Go to WWU Databases where you will find a listing of the databases by subject area and also by title.

  • At the top of the page are subject links.  Click on these to find your specific subject.
  • Below the subject links the databases are listed in alphabetical order.  The titles are in the first column, a descriptor letter is in the second column, and short description of what the database carries is in the third column. 

In the second column, you will see an A, C or F by each database title.  This indicates whether the database contains only citations (C), citations and abstracts (A), or citations, abstracts and full text (F). Select from the full-text databases to get the complete text of the article.  Some good interdisciplinary databases to start with are Academic Search Premier, Lexis-Nexis and ProQuest. 

You can also find a description about each database by clicking on the “?” in the third column.

Interlibrary Loan

If you can arrange access to the WWU main campus, Portland campus, or the campuses in Billings or Missoula, you can order items through the library’s Interlibrary Loan Department.

Look at borrowing from another Library to learn how to order items through interlibrary loan or to access the online order forms.

 If you find a citation without full text in an article database, click on the Interlibrary Loan link, fill out the form, and submit it electronically. Our Interlibrary Loan Department will process the request and mail the item to the WWU campus you indicated. You can then pick the item(s) up there.

Other Options

If you do not live near one of the consortium libraries or distance campuses, you can still access books by becoming a member of your local public library.  Your local library will allow you to borrow materials from their collection. 

They can also get books and other materials for you through their Interlibrary Loan service.  So you can search the WWU library resources and then go to your public library and request items through Interlibrary Loan.  Check with your local library regarding their specific policies and fees.

Who do I contact for help?

 For help finding resources:

Christy Scott, Education Services Librarian (509) 527-2153, 

For help in:


Sandy Pena, Library Research Consultant, (406) 254-9907,


Jessica Cardiff, Library Research Consultant, (406) 829-1495,


Doug McClay, Portland Librarian, (509) 527-2124,

 For help with Distance Learning issues:

Sylvia Nosworthy, Director of Distance Learning, (509) 527-2781,

 For help with WWU username/password:

WWU Information Technology (IT) Help Desk: (509) 527-2317