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Online Research Using the WOU Library

This guide provides general information for students on how to use library resources remotely.

Finding Books, E-books, and Other Materials

The WOU catalog provides access to our print and electronic books, online videos, and articles.  

Ebooks, online videos, and most articles are available immediately via links in the catalog. For print books, use the call number to find the book on the shelf yourself or use Request option to have us pull the book for you to pick or or have mailed to you.

More details are below. If you have any questions about how to access library materials that aren't answered here, get in touch with us.


WOU is a member of Summit -- a group of 38 college and university libraries in the Northwest that lend materials to each others' students. Borrowing from other libraries has resumed. Use the Request option to borrow items through Summit.

Starting Your Search

The catalog is set to General Search by default. This searches for all types of materials (books, ebooks, videos, articles). If you only want books, or only want articles, you can change to that option. Once you've done an initial search, you can use filters to further refine your results.

TIP: Unless you know the title of the item you want, it is best to use as few words as possible. 


Library catalog search box, showing options to change from General Search to Articles, Books+, or Course Reserves

  • Articles  - searches for articles from most of the library's article databases
  • Books +  - searches books, ebooks, online videos, and other materials
  • Course Reserves - searches for materials professors have put on reserve for their courses. Search by course number (e.g. HST 201) to return all items on reserve that class.
  • General Search - default search option; search all types of materials

Filtering Results

After you search, you'll see filters on the left side of the results page. The filters shown will depend on what type of search you selected, but here are examples of what you'll commonly see.

Refine My Results section on the results screen. Shows options to refine by Availability, Resource Type, Date, and Language





Availability: To only see items you can access online select:

  • WOU Online Resources


Resource Type: Great for limiting to one specific type of material. Some common filters are:

  • eBooks

  • eAudio & eVideo

  • Journals 


Date: Particularly useful when looking for articles.



Language: Use this when looking for resources in a specific language.

Applying Multiple Filters

You may apply more than one filter at a time by checking the ones you want, and then click the green 'Apply Filters' icon at the bottom of your screen

Understanding Your Results

Click the Title of the item to see more details and view access options.

Example of a list of results from the catalog. Format is at the top of the record. Tells you what type of item it is. Title & Basic Details: Title listed first, followed by other details like publisher, author and year of publication.

Getting Print Books & Other Print Materials

Options for accessing library materials are listed under the Sign in for more options banner.

For print books, you have two options:

  1. Try the Internet Archive Emergency Library first to see if they have the book you want as an ebook
  2. If they don't have it, click Scan and Deliver to request that we send sections of the book to you.

Accessing Ebooks, Evideos, & Other Online Materials

For online materials, you'll see Full text available at: followed by a link. Click on the link to access these online materials.


Some examples:


Reading Ebooks

Ebooks can be read directly on your computer. The library gets most of our ebooks from two vendors: EBSCO and ProQuest. The information and videos below show you how to use each of these services, and how to download them if you prefer to read them offline.

Downloading Ebooks

In order to download and virtually checkout an ebook (instead of reading from your browser) you'll need access to Adobe Digital Editions. For assistance installing it on your specific operating system, see these guides:

Additionally, you'll need to create a free Adobe ID (if you don't have one already). You do not need to use your WOU email when registering. 

If downloading a book from EBSCOhost, you will be prompted to sign into or create a free 'My EBSCOhost' account.


Using Ebooks: EBSCO

Using Ebooks: ProQuest Ebook Central

Ebook Central Details Page Overview (1:30 - 2:27)

Using the web-based Ebook Reader