Answered By: Ilyana Brewer
Last Updated: Apr 21, 2020     Views: 1221

Anyone may use the libraries on-site. Some services are available only to the students, staff and faculty of Washington State University. 

Consistent with the Washington Administrative Code (504-40-020), Washington state residents who are not affiliated with Washington State University may use Libraries resources and services, and borrow library materials. Individuals 16 years of age or older may apply for an off-campus borrower card at any WSU Libraries Circulation Desk. Acceptable forms of ID that can be used for signing up for a borrower card include identification from a federal agency, state agency, or another academic institution.

Guest users may request WSU Libraries items to be delivered to a WSU Libraries Circulation Desk by filling out a Search Request Card and submitting it to a Circulation Desk. Guest users may not recall items currently checked out.

Can I check out books as a University of Idaho student from WSU's Library using my UIdaho ID?

  • You can do it a couple of ways. You can place a Summit request for the item you need and it will come to the University of Idaho by the courier in just a few days (check with the UI Library to see how long it usually takes). To do this, make sure you are logged into the online catalog. On the book record, scroll down to "Availability and Request Options" and then click on "Request Summit Item." It will look like this:

Availability and request options - requesting a book through Summit (button in red)








  • You can also visit the WSU Holland/Terrell Library and register as a "visiting patron," using your UI ID card and photo ID. (You can do this at any Summit Library, not just WSU!). Then you can borrow the items you need. When you're done with the materials, regardless of how you checked them out, they can be returned to UI or to any convenient Summit Library. All materials checked out through Summit have a borrowing period of 6 weeks.

Can I send someone else to check out books for me?

  • Yes! You may send a person to pick up books from the hold shelf. Current WSU Libraries' Account holders need to fill out the Library Designee form (pdf) -- one signed form per visit. This form will not be accepted without your signature. Identification will be required from both you and your library designee at the time of checkout.

Can I still check out books as a WSU alum? Can I use the online databases?

  • Graduates/Alumni are not automatically granted access to the resources at WSU Libraries after graduation.The WSU Alumni Association no longer provides access to EBSCO (according to the Alumni Association, 10/2016).
  • Only current faculty, staff, students, and emeritus retired personnel have remote access to our online databases. Those not falling under any of these categories may apply for a community borrowing card (more information below), which allow individuals to checkout books from the libraries. Community borrowing cards do not allow remote online database access; however, any member of the public may come to the library to use the databases onsite.

Community cards are open to all residents of the state of Washington.

  • To sign up for community user membership, go to the circulation desk at any WSU Library, fill out a form, show a piece of State-issued picture identification and remain in good standing regarding Library fines. For more information on community cards, check out our Access Services page or this FAQ on community cards. You can also call Access Services at 509-335-9672.

Community Members do NOT have access to the following library services -

  • Online Resources: Online resources are restricted to current WSU affiliates. Online resources include our online databases, E-Books and E-Journals.
    • Please note that most online resources are available to all, if physically used within the WSU Libraries. 
  • Consortial Borrowing (requesting books or articles from libraries outside WSU): Community members have no access to our consortial borrowing systems, these include Summit and Interlibrary Loan.
  • Laptop checkout.

Learn more about renewing materials.

For any services that we do not provide, you may want to check with your local public library. For Pullman it's Neill Public Library. Most states, including Washington, provide access to some general databases to the citizenry through the public library system. 

I'm retired faculty, can I use the library?

  • Emeritus faculty are accorded full library privileges upon request (including access to online resources and Consortial borrowing through Summit and Illiad). Emeriti should contact the Access Services Manager to have their privileges updated and maintained. Emeritus  faculty who live more than 30 miles from campus can request to have loanable material sent to their homes. Please choose “Pullman Away From Campus” as your pickup location.
  • Retired faculty and staff can continue to use the WSU Libraries as Community Users.

Please contact Sue Shipman for more information.



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