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Houff Library

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a variety of questions and answers below regarding BRCC, college computers, Houff Library and using other libraries.

Who can use the BRCC Library and computers?

Anyone who lives in our college service area, which includes the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, and Rockingham, Augusta and Highland counties can use our library, obtain a library card and checkout library materials and use our computers.

What is the checkout time for library materials?

  • Books - 4 weeks. They can be renewed by calling the library or logging into your account in our library catalog.
  • Periodicals - 7 days
  • Videos/DVDs - Library Use Only
  • Reserve items - your instructor determines this. It ranges from Library Use Only, overnight, 2 days, two weeks, etc.
  • Interlibrary Loan items - are determined by the loaning library. It is usually 3-4 weeks.

Can I renew a book online?

  • Students: Use your MyBRCC login and password at the Sign In link on the top left in our Library Catalog to access Your Account.
  • Employees and community: Use your library barcode number as both your login and password at the Sign In link on the top left in our Library Catalog to access Your Account.

If the book you want to renew does not give you that option, it may be on hold for another library user, or it has already been renewed the maximum number of times. Please call us (540/453-2247) and we can assist you.

Whom should I ask when I need help in the library?

The Reference Desk (also called the Information Desk) which is directly next to the Circulation Desk. This would be the best place to ask for help. If no one is at the Reference Desk, you can always ask for help at the Circulation Desk. Or you can walk into the Librarian's Office, which is the office by the back computer printer.

Please ask if you don't find what you need. YOU are the reason the library staff is here, so don't leave empty handed!

Or you could try our email a librarian link. You can email us a question and we will email you back a answer. You could also try our new LRC Live, which is a 24/7 service that enables you and a librarian to chat online, in real-time. The service also allows the librarian to share Web pages and other helpful materials to assist you with your research, collaboratively and interactively.

What's the difference between a magazine and a journal?

See our Scholarly v. Popular Articles handout - PDF (requires Acrobat Reader)

How do I cite an article I've found in one of the online databases?

Our EBSCO databases will give citations in MLA and APA format, but for other sources, use the Online Citation Builders.

How are the books in Houff Library arranged on the shelves?

We use the Library of Congress Classification.

Where's the bathroom?

They are located in the front of the library right across from the east stairs.

When is the library open?

Library hours are posted on the library home page.

May I use any computer in the library?

Yes, there are computers in the back of the library and next to the Reference Desk. There are also computers you can use in the Learning Center, which is the door to the west of the Reference section.

Where's the printer for these computers?

We have two laser jet printers now. One is located with the computers in the back side of the Library and the other is next to the Reference Desk. They print both sides of the paper and are free!

Is there a color printer?

Yes, there's a color printer in F110 that students can use for class assignments only.

Is there a scanner?

There is a scanner in the Library. It is connected to the last computer in the back of the Library.

What software is on the library's computers?

Here is a list of the software for all computer labs.

Where are the Reference books?

They are located in the low shelves at the front of the library. These books are an excellent place to start any research, as there are numerous encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs which have great general information. You need to know the general overview of your topic before you start on any in-depth information. So ask if you don't know which reference book would best fit your topic.

Does the library have a copier?

Yes, and it's cheap - only $.10 for each copy. It takes change and dollar bills. It is located near the Reference and Circulation Desks.

What if the library doesn't have the magazine or journal I need?

If the magazine or journal is not listed in our Periodical Holdings List, then use our VCCS Online Journal Search to see which database has your article full-text. If neither of those places lists your magazine or journal, you may request the article through interlibrary loan. There is no charge for this service. Hand in your request at the Reference Desk or email us the information on the book or article We will call you when the article arrives.

If I need a book that is not in the BRCC library, how can I get it?

Use the email a librarian online form or there are forms at the Circulation Desk you may fill out with the author, title or the ISBN number of the book you need. We will request it, free of charge, through our interlibrary loan service. We will call you when the book arrives.

Can someone not a college student, but a citizen of the community, use the library and the computers?

Yes, anyone in our service area (Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro and surrounding counties as well as Highland County) is welcome to use our library.

Do you have a children's collection?

We have a children's collection in the front of the library which ranges from pre-school to high school. The Weyers Cave Women's Club has faithfully donated money every year to buy books for this collection.

Do you have a Virginia Collection?

Our Virginia Collection is located in our Director's office. It is quite extensive and is available for check-out.

Is there a fee to obtain a library card?

There is no charge for library cards, to students or residents. And they never expire.

What's the Library's phone number?

From Harrisonburg, call 540/453-2226
From Staunton, call 540/213-7002, extension 2226
From Waynesboro, call 540/942-7002, extension 2226

Does the library own BRCC textbooks?

No, we do not buy textbooks, but several professors put their textbooks on Reserve in the Library. You may check out these textbooks at the Circulation Desk and use them in the library.

Does the library have a fax machine for student use?

We have a fax machine that students can use for college purposes.

May I recommend a book for the library to purchase?

We welcome any suggestions. You can give any suggestions to the Librarian or use our Email a Librarian service.

Where can I have a transparency made?

Go to E103, Duplicating, and they can help you make one and at no charge.

I'm blocked for an overdue/lost book! Help!

You will be blocked for any library item that is 30 days overdue. This will prevent you from checking out anything else from the library, registering for classes, receiving your grades, transcripts, etc. To have your block released, return your overdue item(s) and inform the library staff when you do so. If you have lost the library item(s) that are overdue, please ask any library staff member for instructions.

Does BRCC have wireless capability?

Yes, we do. If you are a student, see the Wireless Network information on the Computing@BRCC section for complete information. We also have wireless printing now.

Can I borrow books from the Mary Baldwin College's Grafton Library?

BRCC students are able to use Mary Baldwin College’s Grafton Library by bringing a BRCC ID card (available free from the ID Card Office in E111B) and some proof of current enrollment (current schedule or logging into MyBRCC to show proof of current status). You may then check out up to five print items at a time for 30 days. Their fines are $.25 per book per day. Alternatively, materials from Mary Baldwin can be requested and checked out via Interlibrary Loan at the BRCC Circulation Desk.

Can I use JMU's Library?

BRCC students are able to use James Madison University's Carrier and Rose Library. Simply bring a BRCC ID card (available free from the ID Card Office in E111B) and another form of identification to JMU Library's Circulation Desk. You will not be given a library card, but you will be put in their computer system as a BRCC student. You may then check out up to six books at a time for three weeks and can renew them once. Their fines are $.25 per book per day.  More information can be obtained at their website

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