Borrow & Request
Penrose Library extends borrowing privileges to all Whitman College students, faculty, and staff members. Although the Library’s primary commitment is to members of the Whitman community, certain library privileges are available to visiting scholars, local high school students, and members of the general public.
A valid Whitman ID or Penrose Library card is required to borrow materials from Penrose Library. ID cards are not transferable and may not be used by anyone other than the person to whom they were issued. A valid ID or library card must be presented every time materials are borrowed.
Cards must be validated for use at the Penrose Library Circulation Desk before they can be used. Any questions or concerns about ID or Library cards should be directed to the Circulation desk (509-527-5192).
Library users assume responsibility for notifying the Library of change of address, loss or theft of ID or library cards, and loss or theft of library materials they have borrowed. Library users also accept responsibility for materials borrowed on their ID card and for returning the materials to the Library by the due date.
Students, Faculty, and Staff will be issued a Whitman ID through the Human Resources Office and Campus Security. Alumni Borrowers are issued ID cards through the Alumni Office & Campus Security. Community Borrowers may purchase a library card at the Circulation Desk. Cards will be issued upon completion of an application form, presentation of photo ID, and payment of appropriate fees. Community members under the age of 18 must have a parent present to be issued a card. Please see our Community Borrowing page for more information.
Loan periods differ by patron type.
Students can borrow books for six weeks and DVDs and videos for six days. Senior thesis students can borrow books for up to one semester.
Faculty can borrow books for the duration of one year, due at the end of the spring semester. DVDs and videos can be borrowed for seven days.
Staff can borrow books for six weeks and DVDs and videos for six days. Staff cannot check out items that have been placed on Reserve for a course.
Alumni can borrow books for six weeks and DVDs and videos for six days. Alumni cannot check out items that have been placed on Reserve for a course. Summit and Interlibrary Loan borrowing are not available to Alumni.
Community Members can borrow books for six weeks and DVDs and videos for six days. Community members cannot check out items that have been placed on Reserve for a course. Summit and Interlibrary Loan borrowing are not available to Community members.
Students can borrow up to 100 items at a time.
Faculty have no limit on the number of items that can be borrowed.
Staff can borrow up to 15 items at a time.
Alumni can borrow up to 15 items at a time.
Community members can borrow up to 5 items at a time.
To view a full list of library materials checked out to you, verify due dates, or check fines, log into your library account.
The Whitman College Library lending periods are intended to allow scholars convenient long-term use of library materials. In order to assure reasonable access to the library’s collections for all users, the Library offers several resopnses to the competition for materials. Items known to be in heavy demand, especially for course assignments, should be placed on Reserve. Items on reserve have shorter loan periods, allowing wider access to materials.
If there is heavy demand for a title, please feel free to suggest that the Library acquire additional copies.
If you need an item that is checked out, you may recall the item using the Request Item button in the Penrose catalog. The current borrower is required to return the item within a short period.
Notification of Recall
Borrowers will be notified immediately by email that the item they have checked out has been recalled. The item must be returned by the date specified in the recall notification, usually within five days of the receiving notice. Items needed for Reserve will be recalled immediately.
Borrowers will not receive recall notices for one week from the time of original check-out.
Failure to return a recalled item by the specified due date will result in a $5.00 per day fine. Fines will accumulate until the replacement cost of the item has been reached, or the item is returned.
Renewals are no longer available for students, alumni, staff and community members. To match the loan rules of Summit, as of Summer 2014, the loan period for books has been increased to 6 weeks with no renewals. Please contact Access Services at 509-527-5192 or [email protected] with questions.
Faculty may renew Whitman books twice, but books must be returned at the end of the spring semester after the third year from original checkout. While faculty may renew books for up to three years, the Library must balance the need for researchers’ long-term use of library materials against our need to periodically review the condition of materials. We strongly encourage their return for use by others.
Overdue Fines and Replacement Fees
All overdue items are subject to fines, which vary according to materials type.
- Books are subject to a $0.25 per day fine.
- DVDs and videos are subject to a $1.00 per day fine.
- Hourly reserves are subject to a $0.25 per hour fine.
- Daily reserves are subject to a $1.00 per day fine.
- Recalled items are subject to a $5.00 per day fine.
- Summit and ILL materials are subject to a $0.50 per day fine for the first 10 days; $1.00 per day for the next 15 days; $30 maximum fine.
Faculty are not charged general overdue fines for materials held by Penrose Library. However, all faculty are subject to recall overdue fines as well as overdue fines for Summit & Interlibrary loan materials.
If a Penrose item is lost or stolen, the minimum Item Replacement Fee is $75.00 or the actual price of the item, if greater. An additional, non-refundable $15.00 processing fee per item is charged.
Summit and Interlibrary Loan materials which are lost or stolen incur a minimum of $110 per item replacement fee, or the actual price of the item, if greater.
Suspension of Circulation Privileges
Library privileges will be suspended when your library account accrues $20.00 or more in fines, until partial or complete payment is made. Please pay all fines at the Penrose Circulation Desk. (Outstanding charges on student accounts will be transferred to your college bill at the end of each semester. Faculty are not subject to suspension.)
Replacement items that are charged to your library account will block your ability to borrow Summit and Interlibrary Loan materials.
The immediate return of billed items will clear the replacement charge. when returning a billed item, please speak with the Circulation Supervisor to make certain that the charge has been cleared from your Library account. Refunds will not be issued if the book has been lost for more than one year.
Please direct questions about replacement costs and billing to the Access Services Manager.
Confidentiality of Circulation Records
Penrose Library is committed to the protection of the privacy rights of all of its students, faculty, staff, and other library users. In compliance with Washington State R.C.W. 42.17.310(1), the Washington State Public Disclosure Act, and in accordance with the American Library Association policy on the “Confidentiality of Library Records,” all library records are considered to be confidential transactions. Library staff will not release the name of any person to whom an item is currently charged, nor will they release past circulation records (including Interlibrary Loans) except pursuant to court order, search warrant, or subpoena. Requests for confidential circulation records from a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency should be referred to the College Librarian.
Summit and ILL
Using Summit and Interlibrary Loan
If we don’t have what you need at Penrose, you can borrow most materials from Summit or Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Keep in mind that borrowing from other libraries takes time, and will require that you plan ahead.
Requesting from Summit
You can request Summit items directly from within Sherlock using the Summit request link.
- Summit materials take between 5 and 7 days to arrive.
- Most Summit materials circulate for 6 weeks with no renewals.
- Summit DVDs and Videos circulate for 6 days with no renewals.
- Patrons with fines in excess of $20 cannot borrow from Summit.
- Summit is available only for current students, faculty, and staff.
- Items available at Penrose cannot be borrowed from Summit.
- When your item has arrived, it will be held for 5 days before being sent back to the lending library.
- Overdue Summit items will be charged $0.50 per day for the first 10 days, and $1 per day for the next 15 days. The maximum fine is $30 per item.
- If a book is lost or not returned, you will be charged a fee of $110 (or more, if the replacement cost is higher than average).
Requesting from Interlibrary Loan (ILL)
If the item you want isn’t available from a Summit library, you’ll need to request it from Interlibrary Loan. You can request items from ILL through the Sherlock, or by searching WorldCat; just look for the button that says “Request from Interlibrary Loan”.
Journal articles are not available through Summit, and must be obtained from ILL. You can request journal articles not available at Penrose directly from the database you’re searching, by clicking the “ILLiad Interlibrary Loan link” for articles.
Log in with your Whitman username and email password.The item information will be filled out in the ILL form for you. Just verify the information is correct and submit your request.
Materials such as books and DVDs can be loaned in their original format. Articles in journals or on microfilm will be photocopied or sent electronically.
The time it takes to receive ILL materials can vary widely, so be sure to plan ahead if you think you’ll need to borrow from ILL. Some articles may arrive in just a few days, but other materials may take up to six weeks.
Access Services handles all requests for Whitman faculty, staff and students at no charge. Any requests can be made online and picked up at the Whitman Circulation desk.
ILL items circulate to all patrons for 6 weeks with no renewals. Occasionally, restrictions on photocopying or use outside of Penrose may exist.Older and archival materials, reference materials, original newspapers and journals, and theses and dissertations are frequently unavailable. Some materials may also be unavailable due to copyright restrictions.
Borrowing Laptops and other Equipment
Laptops are available for student check-out through the WCTS staffed Technology Support Desk in the Library. These computers are available for four-hour use within the Library only and are checked-out on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please see the WCTS Library Computer Facilities page.
Students requiring media equipment to support technology-intensive work should contact WCTS.
Technology Support Desk Hours:
Over 40 computers are located in carrels throughout the Library and are available for student use. All are on the campus network, and have access to Library and internet resources, as well as to high-speed printing. Additionally, Penrose Library offers wireless network access throughout the building. Four public access kiosk machines are available for searching the Library’s catalog, brief web browsing, or email. These workstations have a 15 minute time limit. For additional information, please see the WCTS Library Computer Facilities page.
A walk-up color scanning station is available on the second floor of the library. The scanner has a 17”X24” scan area and allows scans to be saved as multiple file types including .jpg, .txt and .pdf. Scans can be saved to a USB flash drive or sent via email. There is no charge to scan materials.
Penrose has three black and white copiers on the Main Floor. Students are encouraged to purchase copy cards from the Circulation Desk in increments of $2 and $5. Double-sided copying is encouraged. Copies cost 5 cents per printed side. A color copier may be found in the Instructional Media Services Department in Hunter Conservatory.
High-speed printers are available on each floor of Penrose Library. Printed pages are 5 cents each for one-sided black and white pages, or 10 cents for two-sided (duplex) sheets. Printers default to double-sided printing.
Study Rooms, Supplies, & Lockers
Group Study and Media Rooms
Penrose Library has eight large group study rooms available for groups of two or more students to use on a first-come, first-served basis. Three media viewing rooms for individual students are also available. Keys for the rooms may be checked out at the Circulation Desk for a three-hour time period, and may be renewed once, provided no one else is waiting to use the room.
A limited number of supplies may be purchased at the Circulation Desk. These include laptop locks, headphones, thumb drives, and blank CD/DVDs. Please inquire at the desk.
Penrose Library has 164 lockers available to Whitman College seniors who are writing a thesis. The lockers are located on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors and are assigned throughout the year according to need. To receive a key, the student must come to the Circulation Desk and present a Whitman College ID and a signed Senior Privileges Form to a Circulation Supervisor.
Failure to comply with the locker policy may result in the loss of locker privileges.
- Library books must be checked out to a student or they will be removed.
- No food, beverages, alcohol, or illegal substances may be kept in lockers.
- Lockers are subject to periodic inspections by Library staff.
- Library journals, reference books, or other restricted library materials may not be retained in lockers. If any of these materials are found in the lockers, they will be removed and returned to the collection.
- Students who do not return the key by the due date will be fined. A $31 replacement fee will be charged if the key is lost or stolen.
Information for faculty
Please refer to the Faculty Services page.
Whitman College uses a proxy server to provide access to materials for which we pay subscription fees. To use Whitman resources from off campus, you should access them from the library website. You will be automatically sent to a log in screen: Use your Whitman email username and password to log in.
To report problems accessing resources from off campus, please contact the Systems Librarian.
Community Library Use
Penrose Library makes certain resources available to visiting scholars, local high school students, and members of the community. In order to borrow from Penrose Library, you must have a valid Penrose Library Community Borrowing card.
Library cards may be purchased at the Penrose Library Circulation Desk. Cards will be issued upon completion of an application form, presentation of photo ID, and payment of appropriate fees. Community members under the age of 18 must have a parent present to be issued a card. Any questions or concerns about Library ID cards or general circulation issues should be directed to Access Services at [email protected] or 509-527-5192.
Library users assume responsibility for notifying the Library of change of address, loss or theft of Library ID card, and loss or theft of library materials they have borrowed. Library users also accept responsibility for materials borrowed on their ID card and for returning materials to the Library by the due date.
Community Borrowing Rates – Annual Fees
- Area high school students: $10 (Under 18 must be accompanied by a parent)
- Area elementary and high school teachers: $25
- Walla Walla Community College students and faculty: $25
- Walla Walla University students and faculty: reciprocal borrowing agreement (valid ID required)
- Members of the general public: $45
- Orbis Cascade Alliance & NAPCU libraries – reciprocal borrowing agreement (valid ID required)
- Spouses/partners/family members of Whitman employees – no charge
Summit and Interlibrary Loan borrowing are not available to Community Borrowing members of Penrose. Community members may check out up to five items at a time. Library privileges will be suspended for any patron accruing $5 or more in fines, until partial or complete payment is made. Please pay all fines at the Penrose Circulation Desk.
Notifications of recalls, fines and bills will be by e-mail whenever an e-mail address is available; otherwise United States Postal Service will be used. It is the responsibility of the borrower to ensure the library information on file concerning addresses and phone numbers is current and accurate.
Library Use Policy
Penrose Library is committed to maintaining collections that exist as common resources to be shared, preserved, and respected in a manner guaranteeing protection for future users. The ethical use of library materials involves acceptance of this principle and appropriate conduct regarding library collections. We are committed to providing a space for the Whitman community to study, collaborate, and research.
- Food and beverages must be covered and kept in spill-proof containers.
- Smoking or the use of tobacco is not permitted in Penrose Library.
- The Allen Reading Room is designated as a quiet study area in the library. Please be courteous of other library visitors who prefer to work in a quiet area.
Circulation and Access Policies
Please see our Borrow & Request section for information how to borrow materials, loan periods, fines, and other borrowing policies.
Inappropriate Use of Library Materials
Inappropriate use includes, but is not limited to:
- Writing upon, defacing, tearing, cutting, mutilating, or destroying books or other library property
- The willful concealment of a book or other library property on one’s person or among one’s belongings while attempting to leave, or leaving the premises of the Library without formal borrowing through the Circulation Desk
- The willful concealment of a book or other Library property within the Library
- The willful removal of a book or other Library property in contravention to Library regulations
- The intentional alteration or destruction of library ownership records
Engaging in inappropriate use of materials will jeopardize library borrowing privileges.
Materials Challenge Policy
Censorship of the library’s collections will not be tolerated. As a college library, we cultivate a collection of resources and develop displays that are appropriate for the curriculum at Whitman College and an adult audience. Our collection represents various viewpoints that stimulate intellectual inquiry and foster spirited debate. That said, legitimate complaints about library materials or displays will be reviewed based upon the guidelines endorsed by the American Library Association and their Intellectual Freedom Manual, 9th ed.
Complaints about materials, not including those held in the Whitman College and Northwest Archives or those externally licensed by the library, will be handled on a case-by-case basis and can only be made by current Whitman students, faculty, and staff. Penrose Library has delegated the responsibility for the selection and evaluation of materials to its librarians. Should a member of the Whitman community think that certain material is unsuitable for the library’s collection or display, the first step is to discuss their concerns with the Head of Collection Management (Roger Stelk, [email protected]) and/or the Library Director (Dalia Corkrum, [email protected]).
If the issue is not resolved following an informal discussion about the mission of the library and how the material or display supports learning within the higher education environment, the library has established a formal reconsideration procedure to address concerns about those resources. The process includes:
- Completion of the Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources form by the person bringing the complaint;
- Based upon the Penrose Library Collection Development Policy, the Request for Reconsideration will be reviewed by the Library’s Collection Management Team. The Team will develop a recommendation for the Library Advisory Committee;
- Review of the Request for Reconsideration and the Collection Management Team’s recommendation by the Library Advisory Committee. This may include an interview with the requestor;
- Determination of the status of the material by the Committee that is conveyed to the requestor in a timely manner.
Penrose Library is committed to providing resources that support the work of our students, faculty, and staff. All requests for reconsideration are taken seriously and will be evaluated in a fair and thorough manner.
Penrose Library Exhibits and Display Policy
Library exhibits are an opportunity for outreach and a way to convey our interest in encouraging intellectual curiosity and learning. By showcasing library collections and engaging with other campus communities, Penrose’s exhibits are intended to share narratives about ideas, places, and movements. Exhibits illustrate complex questions and help us to understand our place in the world, challenge us to think broadly, and start conversations across boundaries.
Including materials from library collections and archives in the exhibition is strongly encouraged. In principle, exhibitions should be relevant to Penrose Library, its collection or services. Proposals will be considered on broad appeal, educational content, and appropriateness of subject, technique, and style for the intended location and audience. Penrose Library reserves the right to deny proposals it deems do not fit with the library’s mission.
Approval and Requesting
Any member of the Whitman community may submit an Exhibit Proposal form for exhibits or displays and the Library can help when developing a proposal. Displays are temporary in nature and will last according to the approved dates on the proposal form.
Exhibit and display space is managed by the Penrose Library User Services and Outreach Team, which will respond to proposals. Proposals should be submitted at least two weeks (two months for archival exhibits) in advance of the exhibit opening date, and proposals will be responded to within one week. Penrose Library will not exert editorial control over the exhibition but may provide feedback according to standard best practices. Curators are solely responsible for content creation. The Library has final approval for the layout of the exhibit, exhibit duration, and placement of exhibit. Exhibits by library staff need not be approved, but staff should still fill out an Exhibit Proposal form for the purposes of scheduling.
The Library reserves the right to remove or shut down an exhibit that is not in compliance with safety or ADA guidelines, or endangers patrons in any way. The Library will follow a process for reconsideration when concerns are raised about exhibit content.
Once an exhibit has been approved, the curator will be contacted by an assigned exhibit supervisor. The supervisor will coordinate including materials from library and archival collections for display and guide installation and removal of the exhibit but the curator is responsible for installation and take down of exhibits.
Library reference service is available to curators, as to all other library users, for guidance in the location of relevant library materials, assistance in preparation of exhibit-related bibliographies, and consultation on exhibit technique.
Written components must be readable. The individual, organization, or group sponsoring and curating the exhibit must be visibly and prominently shown in the exhibit. Library materials must be displayed in an archival correct manner, i.e., they must suffer no damage nor be altered in any way by being placed on exhibit. Proper handling and display of archival material must be approved by Archives staff. If damage does occur to library materials, the Library may seek monetary damages and may affect a person’s or group’s future ability to create exhibits at Penrose.
Exhibits are often located in high traffic areas whose visibility reduces the likelihood of damage or theft of materials; however, the Library takes no responsibility for the security or welfare of non-library materials used in exhibits at any time, including during transport, installation, or dismantling.
- Limited supplies are available (tacks, stands, cradles, support for materials, mylar). Any other costs incurred for the exhibits are to be the sole responsibility of the curator.
Exhibit Areas/Cases Available
- 2nd floor short stacks, next to the circulation desk. Open display area, no cases or locks.
- Vitrine (2): 61” Length x 36” Height x 24.5” Depth
Movable. Can only be on the main floor. Library staff will position them for curators in designated areas.
- Stairwell cases (2): 29” L x 55” H x 16” D
- 1st floor case at bottom of stairwell (1): 45” L x 56” H x 21” D
- 2nd and 3rd floor large cases (2): 163” L x 56” H x 20.5” D
- 2nd floor has power. No audio available.
- The library should not censor or remove an exhibit because some members of the community may disagree with its content. Those who object to the content of any exhibit held at the library should be able to submit their complaint and/or their own exhibit proposal to be judged according to the policies established by the library.
- Challenges of an exhibit can only be made by current Whitman students, faculty, and staff. Should a member of the Whitman community wish to make a complaint, the first step is to discuss their concerns with the College Librarian. If the complaint is regarding disagreement of exhibit content the College Librarian may decide to inform the exhibit curator of the complaint and facilitate a discussion between the parties. If the complaint concerns library materials, the library will follow the Materials Challenge Policy.
- If the issue is not resolved following an informal discussion about the mission of the library and how the material or exhibit supports learning within the higher education environment, the library invites requesters to submit a proposal for their own exhibit.
- Library staff involved in organizing, curating, and/or installing exhibits or displays are deemed to be acting within the course of official duties and under the authority of Penrose Library. Disputes over content, material use, or preservation of staff-led exhibits will be handled internally and not through the reconsideration process.
The built-in cases have slots for glass shelves. More shelves and brackets available. 2nd floor case has slots for shelves behind felt.
Note: the Maxey Museum has priority for the use of the large 3rd floor case.
Request for Reconsideration
As a college library, we cultivate a collection of resources and develop displays that are appropriate for the curriculum at Whitman College and an adult audience.
The Library subscribes to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights as it applies to exhibit spaces, specifically:
Endorsed by the Library Advisory Committee, 30 January 2020.
Library Accessibility Statement
Penrose Library is committed to providing equitable access to library collections, services, and facilities for all library users as stated in the Penrose Library’s Mission and Values statement and the Whitman College Strategic Priorities. Penrose Library strives to follow universal design principles and create physical and digital environments that address the needs of the broadest range of patrons possible by following the best practices and standards for accessibility. For web pages and systems under our direct control, we will work to update them to adhere to WCAG 2.0. For materials and systems licensed from third-party vendors, we will communicate issues brought to our attention with the vendors and work with them to address deficiencies. Penrose Library seeks to select and acquire, whenever possible, resources and technologies that are in line with universal design principles.
Penrose Library will provide patrons alternative formats or assistance when resources are not fully accessible. Please fill out the remediation form to the best of your ability or contact us at [email protected] with questions. We will try and fill requests in as timely a manner as possible. This form is sent to Emily Pearson (Instructional and Research Services Librarian), Kun Lin (Systems Librarian), and Antonia Keithahn (Assistant Director of Disability Support Services). We will maintain the data to find patterns in inaccessible material, but will not keep records of who requested materials once we fulfill a request.