Services for Students

Student Responsibilities Checkout Periods Renewals
Overdue Fines Recalled Items Library ID/record form

Welcome to Williams Library of Northern State University. You may be a bit intimidated by the size if you haven’t been to a university library before. Relax! We’re not that big. But our resources can rival any library you may visit elsewhere. Our staff is here to help you. We don’t bite, and we actually look forward to answering your questions.

What you’ll find here are books, and lots of them. We have books dating back to before the university was founded, as well as new ones coming in every day. Books will provide you with good in-depth information. We also have CD-ROMs, videos, cassettes, and maps. You can check out all of these items at the circulation desk where you will always find someone ready to help you.

Journals will provide you with the latest information. We have indexes with which to find the articles you need. Indexes in print format include the Art, Social Sciences, and Education indexes. We also have electronic indexes (see the Online Databases page for a complete list) such as Academic Search Premier, Sociological Abstracts, PsycINFO, and Business Source Premier. Many of these online resources are full text, which means that you can print an article when you find it or send it your home email address.

The Internet has brought a whole new world to the library. In addition to the full-text databases we subscribe to, there are Web sites full of information with more added to cyberspace everyday. To help you get started we've done some research of our own in connection with Web resources. You can find a list of academic areas of study on the Internet Resources by Subject page. From this page you can click on your area of interest to find a list of Web resources that might be helpful in your research.

Active users of the Web will find many reputable education, government, corporate, and organization Web sites that offer substantial information. There are also a lot of disreputable sites out there. If you’re having trouble evaluating the validity of a Web site, ask a reference librarian for help. Or you can check out the Evaluating Information Resources page. We’re here to help.

Occasionally, a professor will tell you of items he/she has on reserve at the library. Professors have the opportunity to make information available to you through this service. These may be personally owned books, worksheets, old tests, or items the library owns, and the professor wants to make sure the students will have easy access. Reserves are located at the circulation desk.

If you find a book, journal article, video, or CD-ROM that we do not have in this library, you can order it through interlibrary loan (ILL). We have found items for our students from all over the world, as well as sent items to the four corners. We make it easy to request an interlibrary loan with an updated ILL procedure. If you need help, ask a reference librarian.

Our staff is here to help you. As a student at Northern State University, you will be trained to use the library. But we can't possibly cover everything there is to know in a brief orientation session. If you have a question, no matter how trivial you may think it is, ask! We will gladly demonstrate how the various databases work, as well as what to look for in reliable sources. Your professors may also schedule tours of the library. Take advantage of these. You might find out something you didn’t know before that could make your academic experience so much easier.

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Student Responsibilities

Along with all the services we provide come responsibilities on your part. They’re not difficult or overwhelming, but they make life easier for everyone.

    Have your student ID activated for use as a library card at the circulation desk when you first come to Williams Library. You will not be able to check out items, access reserve items, order through interlibrary loan, or use the online databases from off campus unless your student ID is activated. Bring your ID with you whenever you come to the library.
    Do not loan your student ID out to anyone unless you plan to be responsible for overdue or lost items. Pretend it is American Express. You are liable for all transactions done with your ID.
    If an item is damaged or lost, you are responsible for repair or replacement costs.
    If you fail to pay fines, your library privileges will be lost, a hold placed on University records and/or a collection agency will be contacted. If a book is returned after a bill is paid, the cost of the book will be refunded, but the fines will not. If the book has already been reordered, the book cost will not be refunded.

Finally, you are responsible for returning your books on time. We send out courtesy notices for past due items to campus mailboxes, and fines accumulate.

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Checkout Periods

Undergraduate - 2 weeks

Graduate - Semester

Overdue Fines

All notices are send to your NSU campus mail box, except during the winter and summer breaks.  During these two breaks notices are send to your permanent home address.

  • Books, CDs and sheet music: $2.50 every two weeks
  • Bound periodicals, videos and audio cassettes: $1 per day
  • Reserves: $2 per day
  • Interlibrary Loan items: $1 per day

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Items cannot be renewed over the phone, but they can be renewed online. After signing in, select "My Library Card". Follow the instructions on renewing items. Not all items are renewable, and some items may be on hold for someone else.

Recalled Items

Items placed on hold are due on the date indicated on the recall notice. Fines are doubled if not returned by the recall due date.

Library ID/record form

Many students' (mainly international) library records are not created by the first day, to guarantee you have a library record please...

  1. Open the library record form (PDF),
  2. fill it out the form,
  3. print form,
  4. bring form to the library.