The Library is central to the academic programs of the University. Its function is to provide access to information (books, journals, and other information sources) to support these programs. The library staff, aided by the university community, works to make the library a base for teaching, study and research. The University Library is composed of two divisional libraries, the Dana Porter Library, and the Davis Centre Library; one branch library, the University Map and Design Library; and one reading room, the Optometry Learning Resource Centre.
The ten storey Dana Porter Library is situated in the centre of the campus. The lower floors house the main public services and support services. Public services located on the first floor include a Reserve Reading Room, the Doris Lewis Rare Book Room, the microform collection, and eight typing cubicles. The second or main floor contains the Circulation Counter and the Information Desk. Also on the main floor are the Copy Centre and the Reference Collection. The periodical collection is located on the third floor. Government publications and Interlibrary Loan are located on the fifth floor. Catalogue terminals are located on each floor with a bank of terminals located on the second floor. Floors six through ten house the circulating book collection and contain seating accommodation for more than 700 library users.
The Dana Porter Library houses collections to support programs in the social sciences and humanities. The collection numbers over 2,166,000 items including books, pamphlets, theses, microforms, documents, reports and other material. The Library subscribes to over 6,000 serials and over 49 newspapers.
The Davis Centre Library is located on the main floor of the William G. Davis Computer Research Centre. The three principal public areas P the Catalogue, the Circulation and Information Desks P are visible from the entrance to the Library. Seating is provided for 800 readers.
The Davis Centre Library houses collections to support programs in engineering, mathematics and science. The collection numbers over 486,000 items including books, microforms, government publications, technical reports and maps. The Library subscribes to over 4,800 current serials.
The University Map and Design Library is located on the main floor of the Environmental Studies I Building. It is the principal centre on campus for the provision of service relating to cartographic and architectural design materials. The collection consists of more than 132,500 items including maps, air photographs, books, theses, and periodicals.
The Optometry Learning Resource Centre contains the Library's collection in the field of optometry.
The Library uses an on-line circulation control system to record the loan of material to library borrowers.
WATCAT, the online catalogue, is the central record of the library's catalogued holdings. WATCAT may be searched from any terminal in the library, elsewhere on campus or from any location off campus using a terminal and a modem.
An electronic reference service (ASK) is available to any member of the university community with access to an electronic mail system. The service is meant for brief factual questions and is not intended to replace the need for direct in-person instructional assistance and in-depth research. The service provides an alternative means of communication that can be used at any time of day regardless of hours of staffing at the Information Desks.
The Library provides a Machine Assisted Reference Service (WATMARS) which is a quick and efficient method of searching databases by computer. The charge for this service depends on the database being searched, the amount of time required to conduct the search and the number of references obtained.
Special services including microcomputers with voice output, large print readers, a brailler and four-track cassette recorder and playback units are available for the visually handicapped. Two rooms in the Dana Porter Library are available for use by the visually handicapped and their readers. The Library can also provide access to talking book material through the W. Ross Macdonald School, Brantford. TDD equipment is located in the Dana Porter Accessibility Office to serve the needs of the hearing impaired. All libraries are accessible by wheelchair.
The Federated and Affiliated Colleges (St. Jerome's, Conrad Grebel, and Renison) have their own libraries which are accessible to University of Waterloo students, staff, and faculty. The St. Jerome's College Library houses a collection of approximately 40,000 volumes reflecting the broad range of courses taught at St. Jerome's, with particular strengths in English Literature, History, Psychology and Religious Studies. Most items are accessible through WATCAT. Conrad Grebel College has over 32,000 items with special emphasis on Peace, Anabaptist-Mennonite studies, Music, and Religious Studies. The library is located on the third floor of the Academic Building and participates in the on-line catalogue and circulation system of the UW Library. It is also the home of a Mennonite Library Archive which consists of church records and documents of the Mennonites of Ontario.The 10,000 volumes in the Renison Library serve the College's Social Development Studies Program and its courses in East Asian Studies and General Arts. A small section deals with Anglican theology.
The University of Waterloo Library participates in a Direct Borrowing Program sponsored by the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). The program allows students, staff and faculty members to borrow in person from all of the following libraries: Brock; Carleton; Guelph; Lakehead; Laurentian; McMaster; Ottawa; Queen's; RMC; Ryerson; Trent; Waterloo; Western; Wilfrid Laurier; Windsor; and York. Graduate students, staff and faculty members may also borrow directly from the libraries of: Ontario College of Art (OCA); Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE); and Toronto. To obtain information about collection strengths at these libraries, please ask at the Information Desk in the Dana Porter and Davis Centre Libraries.
The staff of the University Library is engaged in obtaining material, processing it for the collections, and providing access to the collections. During the day and evening, reference and user services staff are on duty to assist in the use of collections, facilities and services. The libraries remain open after reference and user services close.
Service to the business and industry community is provided through the Library's Industrial and Business Information Service (IBIS). The Service draws on the collections at Waterloo and other institutions, including hundreds of databases around the world. The Service, available for a fee, can be used in person, by phone, mail, or electronic mail.
The Library provides a comprehensive assortment of publications that describe its services and collections.
The University Library offers a full range of orientation and instructional services designed to introduce users to the Library and to assist them in their use of library resources. Ranging in scope from introductory tours to term-paper strategy sessions, these services are available at scheduled times and upon request throughout the year.