Especially for Distance and Off-Campus Users
Many WCU students do not take classes on the Cullowhee campus. Some attend classes in Asheville or area community colleges. Others take classes online, and may live throughout the state, across the country, or around the world. Hunter Library resources and services are available to all students, on and off campus.
Below are some general guidelines to help off-campus students get started using the library. If you have any questions, or need assistance obtaining library resources, please Ask-A-Librarian.
If you have an internet-connected computer, you can access many of the things you need in online format by using Hunter Library's website. Many thousands of scholarly journal articles and e-books are available through library databases and the Library Catalog. To use library online resources, you will be prompted to enter your name and student ID (or 920) number.
If you already know which article you are looking for, search the library catalog by journal title, click "view online access," choose a resource, then navigate to the correct date, issue and page number. If you are starting with an idea of a topic, the best place to begin is with the library research guide for your subject area.
To locate e-books, search the Library Catalog, and then refine your search to the ebook format using the filters on the right side of your search results screen.
If you cannot find what you need, please ask a librarian for help. Our staff of reference librarians can assist you via a toll-free telephone call, 1-866-928-5424 during reference hours. You can also chat with a librarian, or contact a librarian who is a subject specialist in your academic area. You can email your questions anytime, or contact NC Knows for help from a librarian 24 hours a day except for Sat/Sun midnight-8:00 a.m.
Hunter Library can also provide you with access to our print collection, even if you are taking classes at a remote campus, or online. To get started, search the Library Catalog. If you live in Jackson or Buncombe Counties, the fastest way to get the materials you need is to pick them up at Hunter Library at WCU, Biltmore Park, or Ramsey Library at the University of North Carolina – Asheville (UNCA). ABC Express (Asheville, Boone, Cullowhee) will deliver the material to the campus of your choice on the next Monday, Wednesday or Friday after you place your request. WCU, UNCA and Appalachian State University (ASU) share our Library Catalog and print collections, so items may be requested from any of the three universities.
- Find the book or journal title in the Library Catalog.
- Verify that the Status box shows "NOT CHK'D OUT."
- Click on the “request item” button. Enter your name and student ID number and select a pickup location. Click Submit.
- All materials can be picked up at the circulation desk of the library you specified as a pickup location. You will need to present a student identification card.Check the calendar to see when your item will be available.
- If you cannot get to WCU, UNCA, ASU, or WCU's Biltmore Park Campus, choose WCU Distance Learning as your pickup location. The item will be mailed to your home address at no charge to you. You will need to pay for return postage when you send the materials back.
If you need a book that is not available at WCU, ASU, or UNCA (i.e., you can’t find it in the Library Catalog), you may request it using an interlibrary loan request form. Please indicate that you are a distance or off-campus learner when placing your request. We will mail all material to you at no cost, within the United States outside of Jackson and Buncombe counties (Jackson and Buncombe residents should use ABC Express if possible). You will need to pay for return postage when you send the materials back.
Other public or academic libraries may be closer or more convenient for you to use. Most libraries in North Carolina welcome visitors. It is best to call the library you are interested in using to find their hours and services. Any library in the University of North Carolina system will provide the following benefits to WCU students:
- Checkout of books with a valid student identification card (see below)
- Access to NC Live databases
- Other services on a limited basis
Persons employed full time in medical fields may also obtain library cards at any AHEC (Area Health Education Center) library. Senior year and graduate level WCU nursing students may use the MAHEC (Mountain Area Health Education Center) Library in Asheville.
Student Identification Cards
A student ID card is needed to check out books and other materials. Off-campus students can simply email a recent photo in digital format, along with name, WCU student ID number, and date of birth to CatCard@email.wcu.edu. Be sure to include in your email a request that your card be mailed to your preferred physical address.
**Special note to patrons doing research at our partner universities, UNCA and ASU: WCU only resources are inaccessible from ASU and UNCA campuses due to proxy-recognition issues.
Meet with a Subject Specialist
Arrange to meet with the librarian who specializes in your subject field for customized help with major research projects. Contact the subject specialist for your area