The University Libraries system was established in 1904 to serve the needs of the faculty, students and staff. Today it houses over 4 million items, including books, periodicals, microforms, government documents, maps, slides, electronic resources, and other materials.
The library system includes Waldo Library (main library) and three branch libraries: Education Library, Music and Dance Library, and Archives and Regional History Collections.
- Science Reference Department (lower level) student employees primarily provide basic reference services in the areas of health and medicine, engineering and applied sciences, and natural sciences. Additional duties include shelving Current Periodicals and Recreational Browsing Area materials, assisting patrons with microfilm/photocopier/scanner operations, and answering routine information technology queries pertaining to library computer systems. Applicants must have an appropriate science related major.
- Access Services (first floor) is responsible for checking library materials in and out. Assists with general library operation including opening and closing the library, answering questions, and keeping statistics. Helps patrons locate course and permanent reserve materials.
- Central Reference Department (first floor) student assistants offer research assistance to students, faculty, staff, and community members. Help is available in person, by telephone, e-mail, chat, or texting. Central Reference contains the largest number of public computers (terminals are available on each floor of Waldo Library), and research materials, primarily in the humanities, social sciences, business, and law. Other student duties are shelf reading, microfiche filing, checking materials in, assisting patrons with computer and printing questions, and general office work.
- Instructional Video Collection (first floor) includes DVDs and videotapes for instruction. This site also serves as the focal point for campus-wide film/video tape rental services.
- Copy Center (second floor) is responsible for accepting and recording payments for all library fines and fees. Makes photocopies and acts as the liaison between the Libraries and the outside photocopy company.
- Government Documents (second floor) is a depository for U.S. and Michigan government documents. The collection includes publications of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government (census materials, committee reports, the Federal Register, the Congressional Record, and Supreme Court Reports, among many others).
- Resource Sharing Center (second floor) retrieves books and articles from the stacks to be scanned or sent to WMU community members or to other libraries, processes materials for mail, tracks and updates interlibrary loan requests using resource sharing software, with attention to detail and time constraints.
- Maps and Atlases (third floor) provides reference service to patrons and performs clerical services like processing new maps, filing used maps, and compiling statistics. Also assists with ongoing department projects.
- Special Collections (third floor) staffs the reference desk and retrieves and shelves rare materials for patrons. Additionally assists with preservation/conservation efforts and with exhibit preparation.
- Library Operational Services (third floor) performs all financial management and accounting functions for all library departments and serves as the central purchasing office for expenditures on goods and services other than materials acquired for inclusion in the library collections. The department is responsible for personnel administration and management for University Libraries. The Operational Services Office maintains a stockroom, which inventories library and office supplies to meet the operating needs of all library department and branches. The Office also operates the loading dock and related shipping and receiving services.
- Stacks is responsible for assisting patrons with finding materials in the collection as well as re-shelving materials. Projects include shelf reading, shelf measurement and shelf shifting in Waldo library and the branch libraries.
- Education Library (2800 Sangren Hall) student employees check library materials in and out and help patrons locate course reserve material. They sort and shelve materials, provide directions to patrons, open and close the library, shelf read, perform light cleaning duties, answer the telephone, and assist patrons with printing.
- Music and Dance library (3006 Dalton Center) checks library materials in and out, shelves recordings and videos, assists patrons in using the library (including searching the catalog and databases). Also keeps statistics on use of library resources, performs clerical tasks, and registers new borrowers. Other assigned duties may include shelving books, shelf-reading, assisting with special projects, and routine cleaning.
- Archives and Regional History Collections (Zhang Legacy Collections Center | 1650 Oakland Drive) collects, preserves and makes University records accessible through the University Archives. The Regional History Collections contain unique materials on the twelve counties of southwest Michigan, including manuscripts of early residents of this area. This office is also the Regional Depository of the State Archives for public records.