Frequently Asked Questions


Basic Information | Obtaining Materials | Special Services

Basic Information
  • Who was Dr. John B. Coleman?
  • What are the library’s hours?
  • Where is Lost & Found?
    Any “lost & found” item is kept at the Circulation Counter. Main floor of the Library.
  • Does the library hire student workers?
    Students seeking library employment should check with the Library administrative secretary in Room 207 on the second floor of the library before the beginning of each semester for available positions.
  • Is there a quiet study area in the library?
    All areas of the Library are designated as “quiet study areas,” although areas of heavy traffic and computer use, such as the first and second floors, are often noisy.
  • How can I get a study carrel?
    Patrons may request a study carrel at the Circulation Counter on a “first come, first served” basis. If all the carrels are taken, the patron may sign a waiting list for the next available carrel.
  • How can I get a group study room?
    Patrons may request a group study room on a “same day” basis, “first come, first served” from the Circulation Counter. All rooms should be requested between 8am-5pm on the day of use. If a room is not reserved by 5pm, a patron can still sign for its use at the Circulation Counter.
  • How do I reserve the Public Events Room (R108)?
    Anyone interested in using the Public Events Room must reserve a time slot through the Library administrative office by filling out the online request form. For information call 936-261-1500.
  • How do I reserve the Art Gallery (R109) for a showing?
    Anyone interested is using the Art Gallery must reserve a time slot through the Circulation Dept. by filling out the online form, for information call at 936-261-1536.
  • Is there a phone I can use in the library?
    There is presently no phone in the library for student use.
  • How do I get to the library from Houston?
  • Can I bring food into the library?
    No food or drink are allowed in the Library.
Obtaining Materials
  • How can I checkout a book?
    Books are checked out at the Circulation Counter through a barcode system. All students must stop there at the beginning of every semester to have their personal information (name, address, etc.) entered and updated into the system. All returning students must provide a fee receipt and PVAMU ID card for validation at that time.
  • How long can a student checkout a book?
    Undergraduate and graduate students may checkout books for three weeks. All checkouts require a current valid PVAMU ID card. Checkouts may be renewed for consecutive two-week periods unless there is a recall, at which time the books must be returned.
  • How long can a faculty member checkout a book?
    Faculty and staff may checkout books for four months. All checkouts require a current valid PVAMU ID card. Checkouts may be renewed unless there is a recall, at which time the books must be returned.
  • How can I borrow books if I’m not a PVAMU student?
    Community members can purchase a community borrower’s card for ten dollars from the Circulation Counter. The card is valid for one year and can be used to checkout books for two-week periods.
  • Can I check out books if I’m enrolled in distance education classes?
    Yes. Please visit our Distance Education Services page for materials request forms and a complete description of the services we provide to distance learners.
  • How can I get a book if someone has borrowed it already?
    If you need a book that is checked out, place a recall request at the Circulation Counter. The borrower will then be contacted to return the book immediately.
  • How can I get articles and books the library doesn’t own?
    The Library has an interlibrary loan service which allows patrons to obtain books and articles from other U.S. libraries. For more information please visit Interlibrary Loan site When We Don’t Have “What You’re Looking For” page. In addition PVAMU students have borrowing privileges from other area libraries on a sign-up basis. Please see the ILL page listed above for information on TexShare and HARLiC cards.
  • Can I checkout magazines?
    No, magazines and journals do not circulate. You may, however, make photocopies of the pages.
  • What do I do if a book isn’t on the shelf?
    If a book is listed as “not checked out” in the catalog but is not on the shelf, it could be in someone’s possession, on a library study table, on a reshelving cart, missing, etc. Patrons should report “lost” books to the Circulation Counter staff, if the books do not re-appear in a few days.
  • Do you have the Houston Chronicle?
    The daily Houston Chronicle and one month’s back issues are held at the Periodicals Counter. The online ( version is also available.
  • Where can I get a popular book to read?
    The Library does maintains a small separate holding area for “Best Sellers” located across from the Reference counter. This collections consists of current fiction and non-fiction books. However, this is a small portion of what the library has, and patrons in search of popular reading (e.g., Stephen King, Anne Rice) are encouraged to do an author or title search in the PVAMU Library Catalog.
  • Where do you keep your new books?
    New books are shelved on the New Book Shelf across from the Reference Counter on the first floor. New books may be checked out immediately.
  • Where do you keep school catalogs?
    Current PVAMU catalogs are available electronically on the main PVAMU website. Recent catalogs are available at the Reference Counter. Older PVAMU catalogs are in Archives (fifth floor). Catalogs from many Texas public universities are kept in the Reference Dept. Current U.S. and international catalogs are accessible via the WWW at institutional websites (e.g., the University of Houston catalogs are at . Older U.S. catalogs are on microfiche in the College Catalog Collection in the Periodicals Dept.
  • Where do you keep textbooks?
    The Library does not purposely buy textbooks for classes. The collection sometimes includes an older edition of a book, and occasionally a teacher will place a copy on Reserve for student use. It’s always a good idea to check the catalog!
  • Where do you keep phonebooks?
    The Library has Houston, Waller County, and PVAMU campus phonebooks only. Other phone numbers are locatable through the WWW. Of course, you may also call Directory Assistance. The Library does not have “criss-cross” directories, although the WWW directories will do reverse lookups on addresses and phone numbers.
  • Where do you keep books on resume writing?
    Most books on resume writing are in the Reference Department. Students should also take advantage of the Computer Resume Service in R225 of Anderson Hall.
  • Do you have any books on scholarships and financial aid?
    The Library has a number of financial aid books in the Reference Dept. A number of web-based financial aid resources are available at Yahoo!: Education: Financial Aid
Specialized Services
  • Can I make transparencies in the library?
    Yes. One of the copiers in the Periodicals Department on the first floor will make copies on transparencies. You must have a transparency when you come to the library. The library does not have transparencies for you to use, and “homemade” transparencies will not work. If you need assistance in making a transparency copy, please ask at the Periodicals desk.
  • Can I make double-sided copies in the library?
    Yes. One of the copiers in the Periodicals Department on the first floor will make double-sided copies. It cost ten cents per side for a double-sided copy. If you need assistance in making a double-sided copy, please ask at the Periodicals desk.
  • No. Students may use the fax machine at the Student Computer Center in Farrell Hall.
  • Is there a copier I can use?
    Photocopiers are located on the first floor only: in the Reference Dept. and against the back wall of the Periodicals Dept. Copies are ten cents per page.
  • Copy Room, 126D in the Reference Dept. No service desk provides change in any amount for patrons.
  • Is there a typewriter I can use?
    Yes, there is a typewriter available for students to use. It is located in room 126D in the Reference Department.
  • Can I use WebCT at the library?
    Students may access class materials through their WebCT accounts by using any of the open access computers on the first floor of the library.
  • Can I play online games or use chat rooms at the library?
    The computers located on the first floor of the library have been designated for research use only. Research does not include using chat rooms or playing online games.
  • Do you have classes in how to use the library?
    Individuals can sign-up for tutorials on library use–how to use the catalog, database searching, etc.–with any Reference Librarian. Faculty are urged to call the Reference Dept. at X1535 and sign-up their classes for library orientation sessions. Outside groups/visitors are always welcome, and a librarian will be happy to show the facilities, but group leaders should also make an appointment with a Reference Librarian first
        Subject Content by Christine Ramsey, Head – Reference Department

Updated 8/28/2013


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