New program allows students to borrow books from partner libraries

William & Mary students and faculty can now borrow books from a number of university libraries in Virginia. The university's Swem Library is one of 34 university libraries in the state participating in the Virtual Library of Virginia’s (VIVA) universal borrowing pilot program.

By simply presenting their W&M ID card, W&M students, faculty and staff can borrow books from participating universities throughout the state including: James Madison University, Longwood University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Radford University, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech, among others. The full list can be found on VIVA’s website.

Likewise, students, faculty and staff from these participating institutions can borrow books from Swem Library.

The program is designed to benefit students and faculty who live near or visit other institutions, having a particularly positive impact on distance education students. This service will be especially useful to students during semester breaks or summer vacation.

“We hope that this pilot project is successful and that it provides William & Mary faculty and students with resources that are valuable, easy to access and contribute positively to their research,” said Lisa Nickel, Swem’s associate dean for research and public services. 

VIVA developed the guidelines for the pilot project to provide as much flexibility as possible to the individual institutions. The lending institution determines the kinds of items to be lent, the limit on the number of items an individual can borrow, loan periods, and fine and fee structures. Swem Library is allowing 10 books or government documents to be borrowed at a time for a 30-day lending period, with no overdue fines.

To date, 32 institutions have opted in as lenders and 34 have opted in as borrowers. The pilot will run through May 31, 2014.

VIVA is the consortium of academic libraries in Virginia, including 39 state-assisted colleges and universities; 33 private, nonprofit institutions; and The Library of Virginia.