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Services for Undergraduate Students: An Overview


Welcome to Watzek Library! On this page, you’ll find a broad overview of library services for undergraduate students, with many links to additional details on other pages.

During the academic year, Watzek is open 24 hours a day, five days a week outside of breaks and holidays. Today’s hours appear at the top right corner of the library website; complete hours may be seen here. Watzek’s electronic resources—including ebooks, articles, and databases—are accessible at any time from any location with a valid college log-in.

Watzek has adapted in a number of ways to the Covid-19 pandemic. Masks and social distancing are required inside the library; other health and safety expectations are outlined here. You can find the most current information about changes to library access and services on the main library website, Full details are available on Watzek Library's Response to Coronavirus .

Library Spaces

Ten study rooms are available and may be booked in advance. Currently, study rooms are limited to use by one person at a time. Masks must be worn inside study rooms.

Printable floor maps show the layout of the two floors of Watzek Library, with call number ranges indicated. “Owl Zones,” inspired by the color-themed rooms at Powell’s Books, are also shown.

Food is not allowed in the library, but covered beverages and drink are permitted.

A limited number of lockers are available to rent for the semester.

Library Materials: Borrowing, Finding, and Suggesting

Watzek endeavors to help you gain access to required course texts through its course reserves program, which makes books and media available for short-term loans. You can browse current reserve lists by course or by instructor.

Books from the general collection (not reserves) may be borrowed for six weeks, and AV materials for six days. Items may be renewed online through your account in Primo, the library’s catalog. Full details about borrowing, including loan periods for interlibrary loan items and overdue fines, may be seen here.

Primo is the tool that allows you to search for Watzek’s print and ebooks, media (including streaming film and music), and articles. Short videos (mostly about two minutes) show the process of finding books; requesting books through our regional consortium; finding articles; requesting articles when the full text is not immediately available; and renewing items through your Primo account.

We can help you connect with resources you're looking for when they aren't available through the Watzek collection. Through Primo, you can request physical items from other academic libraries in our regional consortium; that service is called Summit. Summit books may be borrowed for six weeks, and may be eligible for renewal. Interlibrary loan, a similar service, makes it possible to request articles outside our subscriptions as well as physical items not available through Summit. All borrowing from other libraries has been slowed to some extent as a result of the pandemic.

Watzek welcomes your suggestions for items to add to the collection.

Student Involvement

Watzek employs several dozen students each year.

Senior Projects are collected in a searchable database.

Suggest a purchase for the library's collection.

Watzek Library's Art Committee welcomes applications to display art within the library.

Printing and Technology

Information about computers, networking, and printing may be found here. Scanners and copiers are also available in the library.

Support for Research

Watzek is ready to support you at every stage of your research.

For immediate help, ask at the library service desk. When online, if you see the orange “Chat” button in the lower right-hand corner of the library website, someone is ready to respond to your question. Questions may be emailed to, and library staff may also be reached at 503-768-7270.

Every department and program at the college has its own librarian; for course- or discipline-specific questions, that person is often the best point of contact. Email the librarian with your question, or set up an appointment for a consultation. If you aren’t sure who to talk to but would like to have a consultation, fill out a general form and let us figure out who to connect you with.

First-year students are also paired with a personal librarian corresponding to their first-year seminar sections, and are encouraged to contact that person for any questions about using the library.

Watzek subscribes to over 200 databases, ranging from multi-subject full-text archives to specialized disciplinary indexes, historical newspaper archives, and streaming media collections. Research guides corresponding to college departments and programs can help you navigate the resources most pertinent for any particular subject.

Watzek Library’s Special Collections and Archives possess extensive research collections including a rare books and manuscripts library, literary collections including the William Stafford archives; early manuscripts, and historical collections including extensive holdings on the World War II Civilian Public Service, pacifism, women’s suffrage, and one of the world’s most complete collections of printed materials on the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Special Collections collaborates with classes in a number of departments; materials may also be viewed by appointment.

Digital and Data Services consults with students on coding projects, runs a high performance computing cluster, and offers access to tools for data science computing, among other services.