Frequently Asked Questions @ the FIMS Grad Library

About the Library
Working at the Library
Food and Drink
Photocopying and Scanning
Computer Labs
Meeting Rooms
Website and Web Presence

About the FIMS Graduate Library

What is the FIMS Graduate Library?

The FIMS Graduate Library is a special library located inRoom 3020, FIMS & Nursing Building (FNB), Western University.

We support all students, faculty, and staff involved in graduate education in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western. We provide access to electronic databases and print collections, including books, periodicals, audiovisual resources and accessories, and course reserves. Our staff deliver instructional workshops through The Grad Library Presents Series, answer reference questions, and offer support in the adjacent computing labs.

What are the Grad Library’s hours and where are you located?

During school term, the Grad Library is open Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 7:00pm, Friday from 8:30am to 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

During the three-week break periods between terms, we are open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.

We are located inRoom 3020, FIMS & Nursing Building (FNB).

Who can use the Grad Library?

The Grad Library is for the use of the FIMS graduate community: faculty, staff, and Masters and PhD students. The FIMS graduate community includes the Library & Information Science, Health Information Science, Media in Journalism and Communication, Media Studies and Popular Music and Culture programs.

We also provide FIMS undergraduate MIT faculty with resources.

FIMS alumni, undergraduate MIT students, and other Western students and faculty who wish to use FIMS Grad Library materials are also welcome to do so.

I am an undergraduate MIT student. Can I study in the FIMS Graduate Library?

Unfortunately, due to space limitations, students from other faculties outside of FIMS, as well as our MIT undergraduate population not requiring use of any of our resources, are not permitted to use the FIMS Grad Library solely as a study space.

Is the FIMS Graduate Library an academic library like Western Libraries?

Actually, the FIMS Graduate Library is a special library within an academic setting, but is not a member of the Western Libraries System.

What does that mean for me? I’m a member of both libraries.

It means that our Grad Library materials are in the Western Libraries Catalogue, and so you are able to locate FIMS resources. However, the FIMS Grad Library does not have an automated circulation system linked to Western Libraries. Therefore, we do not circulate our collection, nor can we accept book returns on behalf of Western Libraries.

So the FIMS Graduate Library is essentially a study and meeting space with computers, a rich resource hub, and a place to ask friendly staff for assistance?

Yes! We also offer workshops, including the popular The FIMS Grad Library Presents, contests, events, a book-swap, and computing lab support. Check in with us often to see what we have on the go.

Also, be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages too!

How can I contact the FIMS Graduate Library?

You can always drop by during our hours of operation:
During School Term – Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 7:00pm, Friday 8:30am to 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday 1:00pm to 5:00pm.
During the Between-Term Break – Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.
Phone: 519-661-2111 x88488

Working at the FIMS Graduate Library

The FIMS Graduate Library hires student assistants from the FIMS MLIS graduate student body. If you are interested in serving as a student assistant in your next term, please contact FIMS Librarian Marni Harrington about potential openings and FIMS Graduate Library application procedure.


How do I search the FIMS Graduate Library collection?

Although the Grad Library is not a member of Western Libraries, our collection is in their catalogue. From the Western Libraries homepage, choose Catalogue to search for resources. FIMS resources are identified as FIMS in a search results list, and the location codes of IMS stack No Loan, IMS reference No Loan, IMS periodical No Loan, and IMS circ 2HR are noted beside the call numbers in the item records.

How do I know if a resource is in the FIMS Graduate Library?

If, in your set of search results, a resource denotes FIMS, and has one of our four location codes (IMS stack No Loan, IMS reference No Loan, IMS periodical No Loan, IMS circ 2HR) beside the call number in the item record, then the item is in the Grad Library.

You mentioned four Grad Library ‘location codes.’ What do these codes mean exactly??

The FIMS Graduate Library is a non-circulating library, its collection physically located in separate areas within our facility: a general stack area, a reference area, a periodical area, and course reserves behind the Service Desk for 2-hour in-house loan. As such, four distinct location codes are designed to reflect this information:
General stack items = IMS stack No Loan
Reference Items = IMS reference No Loan
Periodical items = IMS periodical No Loan
Reserve items = IMS Circ 2HR

How can I restrict my search to the Grad Library collection only?

The Advanced Search function, accessible via the Western Libraries Catalogue link, allows you to specifically search the Grad Library collection. At the Advanced Search screen enter your search terms and choose “Information & Media Studies” from the All Libraries and Collections drop down menu. Only Grad Library items will list in the search results.

I am supposed to use something called Classification Web, and I can’t find it in the Western Libraries catalogue. Where is it?

The Grad Library offers a unique set of electronic resources, of which Classification Web is one. These are accessible to FIMS graduate students only, via the FIMS intranet. Just log into the intranet, and access the FIMS Graduate Library website at the top of the far left Quick Links column. From the FIMS Grad Library main page you can access The Digital Library @ FIMS page to research that important assignment!


What print resources do you offer?

Our print holdings consist of Media in Journalism & Communication, Library & Information Science, and Media Studies-related reference and stack resources and course reserves, as well as several focused collections such as our Challenged Works, Child and YA resources, and Graphic novels and comics. Our overall holdings comprise over 2000 monographs, 230 DVD/VHS/CD-Roms, 120 print and electronic journal subscriptions, and 16 faculty-specific database subscriptions.

Note: our collection is non-circulating, so feel free to use our print resources in the Grad Library. We have lots of comfortable, quiet study spaces!

Note: our journals are catalogued according to Library of Congress in order to have them represented in the Western Libraries catalogue. Yet, as ours is a relatively small print collection (most are now full-text online), our journals are organized alphabetically by title on the shelves, for ease of searching.

What audiovisual resources and equipment do you have?

In addition to our collection of CD-ROMs, DVDs, and VHS tapes, we have a laptop, a data projector, a camcorder, digital cameras, digital recorders and tape recorders, as well as various a/v accessories such as headphones, computer mics, a mic stand, and usb flash drives.

We also have iPads, a Kindle, a Kobo, and Sony e-readers!

Note: while the data projector and laptop are for in-class use only, we do loan all of our other audiovisual equipment and accessories overnight.

Does the Grad Library have its own set of databases? I’m looking for Classification Web and I can’t find it listed in Western Libraries’ databases.

Yes! The Grad Library offers a unique set of electronic resources, of which Classification Web is one. These are accessible to FIMS graduate students only, via the FIMS intranet. Just log into the intranet, and access the FIMS Graduate Library website at the top of the far left column. From the Grad Library main page you can access The Digital Library @ FIMS page to research that important assignment!

Do you have e-Books?

Our e-readers have pre-loaded books on them for demonstration purposes, and these devices can be loaned out overnight for personal use as well. Western Libraries also has a collection of e-books, searchable in their catalogue. Likewise, the London Public Library, or any public library with which you are a patron, promotes their own collection of e-books.

What else do you have that I might not know about?

In addition to our unique, varied, and vast monograph and journal print collection, electronic resources, and audiovisual equipment, we have software manuals, cataloguing tools, photocopies of course readings and assigned articles, printers, and a complete array of stationary tools such as staplers, hole punchers, paper cutters…etc.

Housed in the Grad Library is a photocopy bank, where students can donate articles they are finished using. These are free for you to take. Likewise, you too can return your used articles here for others to use!

Go to our website for more information on our print and audiovisual resources, and to access our databases and other online resources, including help sheets, style guides, tutorials, and useful websites, as well as student research and research ethics. See the Help drop down above to get started.

Plus, we have friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff!


Can I sign out books from the FIMS Graduate Library?

The Grad Library collection is non-circulating generally, no materials may be borrowed from the Grad Library.

There are a few exceptions. FIMS faculty, PhD students, and staff may borrow general stack materials at the discretion of the Reserves Assistant and FIMS Librarian.

Additionally, graduate students may borrow Reference materials for class presentation only. They would be due back at the end of class. You may inquire about a Special Circumstances Loan at the Service Desk, and our staff will be happy to assist you.

I am a FIMS graduate student, and I have an in-class presentation. Can I sign out a few books?

If you need materials for an in-class presentation, you can ask for an exception to the loan policy – a Special Circumstances loan. In this case, you would present your Western student ID card at the Service Desk, and fill out an orange Special Circumstances loan card. For loan requests involving more than three items, we will ask you to fill out a loan sheet for multiple items. All materials borrowed are due back at the end of your class.

I noticed you have DVDs and VHS Tapes. Can I borrow these?

You have the option of viewing these materials on-site using our DVD/VCR player, located in the labs, or signing them out for a class presentation, to be returned after class. Additionally, these materials can be loaned out overnight, provided the item is returned before closing the following day.

I am a PhD student, the only student assigned to my topic, and I need to borrow a course reserve overnight. Can I do this?

Yes, you can…with stipulations: Phds and instructors are the only FIMS community members who can borrow a limited number of reserve items out overnight. Any borrowed reserves can only be signed out one-half hour before the Grad Library closes, and must be returned within one-half hour after the Grad Library opens the following day. No exceptions.

Remember, if you have a special circumstance for borrowing, you may always bring your request to our friendly, helpful staff.


How can I find out what is on reserve for my class?

In the Western Libraries catalogue choose the Course Reserves tab. From there, you can search by course number (eg: LIS 9003), or by Instructor name (eg: Hill, Heather). If more than one course section appears in the results, choose your section. A list of your course reserves will appear, default-sorted by the Title column.

How do I borrow course reserves?

Simply exchange your FIMS Graduate Library Borrowing Card for the item(s) with a Service Desk staff member – we keep your card at the Service Desk while the reserves are signed out. You can borrow a maximum of three items at a time. Reserves go out on 2-hour loan, and are used within the Grad Library only.

All materials must be returned before closing.

My professor put a personal copy of his or her book on reserve. Do you have it?

Yes, we do. The same policies apply to personal copies as with other reserves–you may use the item(s) for two hours within the Grad Library.

Food and Drink

Hungry, so hungry! Can I eat in the Grad Library?

No food of any kind is permitted in the FIMS Graduate Library or meeting rooms. Likewise, no food of any kind is permitted in the computing labs.

Okay, what if I am thirsty?

You may consume lidded beverages in the Grad Library.

In the computing labs, you may use capped water bottles, and travel mugs with tight-fitting lids. No disposable coffee cups, sorry.


Can I print from the Grad Library?

If you are a member of the FIMS graduate community–faculty, staff, or a Master’s or PhD student–you can use Grad Library computers and print using your My FIMS Printing account.

Undergraduate students, and all those who are not members of the FIMS community will not be able to log on to Grad Library computers to print. However, the General Use Computing Lab downstairs, is equipped with a printer, as are the other general use labs and libraries across campus.

How do I pay for my print jobs?

Once you are logged into a FIMS Graduate Library computer workstation, any printing that you do will automatically be deducted from your online print account.
Charges (per page side):
Printing  Black & White 6 cents
Printing  Colour 18 cents

Can you print something for me? I do not have any money on my print account.

FIMS Graduate Library staff cannot print your job for you, but we can help you add money to your print account and use any of the printers/copiers/scanners.

I need to print my assignment but the Grad Library is not open! What should I do?

The general computing labs are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can access the labs by holding your student card in front of the small black mag-lock panel until the light turns green, at which point the lock will disengage, you will then proceed to the lab and punch in the code (available on the FIMS intranet) and you can enter the lab. You can then log onto a workstation, and print to your heart’s content! The printers on the third and fourth floors are accessible 24/7.

As a FIMS Graduate student, can I print from my own computer (eg: laptop) to a FIMS printer?

Yes, you can. From the FIMS Internet page, login to the Intranet page, click on the myFIMS Printing link near the top of the Quick Links column to access your online printing account. Once logged into your account, choose Web Print near the top right, and follow the instructions. Your job will print to the same option of printers that you would see at a FIMS lab workstation.

Am I eligible for a refund if the printer jams or runs out of ink, or if my document prints incorrectly or illegibly?

If a print job fails due to mechanical or system problems you can request a refund online. You submit a request by accessing your myFIMS Printing account via the Intranet Quick Links column. Access the Recent Print Jobs list, and click on Request Refund in the Status column of the job in question. Add the reason for your request and click Send. Your request will be considered and resolved within 24 hours of submission.

Photocopying and Scanning

Do you offer photocopying services?

Yes, we do. There is a multifunctional copier/printer/scanner available for the FIMS community to use on the third and fourth floors. Both are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How do I pay for my photocopies?

Simply tap your card on the card reader to log into the copier. Any copying that you do will automatically be deducted from your online print account.
Charges (per page side):
Copying Black & White 6 cents
Copying – Colour 18 cents

How about the option to scan a document? Do you have a scanner?

Absolutely! Again, the multifunctional copier/printer/scanners on the third and fourth floors are able to accommodate all your scanning needs.
Charges (per scanned page):
Scanning (Copier Room)2 cents
Scan Snap Free

What if I need to do some copying and scanning when the Grad Library is closed?

The multifunctional copier/printer/scanner located on the third and fourth floors of FNB are 24/7-accessible.


Computer Labs

When can I access the computing labs?

The computing labs are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with your Western student ID card and access code. You access the building by holding your student card in front of the small black mag-lock panel until the light turns green, at which point the lock will disengage and you can enter the building. There are computing labs on the second and third floor that can be accessed with the code available on the intranet.

Can I find assistance in the computing labs?

Yes you can. Please ask for assistance at the FIMS Graduate Library Service Desk, and we will be happy to come into the labs to help you.

Meeting Rooms

Are there any meeting rooms available in the Grad Library? I need a place to meet with my group!

Yes, we have two small meeting rooms available for group use:
Room 3020D is located inside the Grad Library, and seats sic. It is equipped with a whiteboard and a data projector.
Room 3020E is located just next door to 3020E, and seats eight. It has a whiteboard, chalk board, and a data projector.

These rooms are separate by a movable wall that can be retracted to make one large room, ask at the FIMS Graduate Library Service Desk for help!

Can I book one of those great rooms?

Yes, you can. In fact, you can add your name to the sign up sheet posted on the door of the meeting rooms. Those with bookings take priority over drop-in groups. If you prefer, Graduate Library staff at the Service Desk can book a room for you. We also have a great tutorial which details the easy steps in Booking a Meeting Room.

I’d like to book a classroom in FNB to practice for a presentation. Can I book this room through the Grad Library?

Unfortunately, students cannot book classrooms. However if you would like to practice a presentation in a classroom, you may do so, provided the classroom is not in use.

How can I access the locked A/V cabinet in the classroom?

The Grad Library holds the A/V cabinet keys, which provide access to the built-in A/V systems cabinets in these rooms. You can borrow an A/V cabinet key, leaving your student card at the Service Desk until the key is returned (much like our reserves borrowing process). In doing so, please remember our hours of operation: A/V keys must be returned before the Grad Library closes.


Web Site and Web Presence

Does the FIMS Graduate Library use social media?

Absolutely! The FIMS Graduate Library is on Facebook and Twitter, and we update both of these daily. Be sure to friend and follow us! Our Facebook page is where you can take a virtual tour of the Grad Library! We use our accounts primarily to update you on various events, presentations and contests. Timely news, such as alerts of network disruptions or bad weather – anything that could potentially affect the Grad Library’s provision of service – are also posted.

Our goal is to keep you informed, specifically about the library world and its current events, and, of course, to talk to you! Feel free to leave us feedback, ask us questions, or comment on what we’re doing.

Does the Grad Library have a website?

You’re on it!

What is on your website?

The FIMS Graduate Library website is where you’ll find our full contact information, information on holdings, access and policies relating to our print monograph and journal collections, audiovisual media and devices, and other resources…and very importantly, exclusive access to our electronic resources.


Events, Programs, and Seminars

What is “The FIMS Grad Library Presents”?

The FIMS Grad Library Presents is a series of seminars and workshops designed to supplement your learning and to support FIMS graduate students. The topics vary, ranging from talks on integrating new technologies, to library innovations, to job hunting tips…etc.

Sign up sheets for seminars and workshops are posted at the Grad Library Service Desk.

I have a brilliant idea for a workshop!

That’s great! If you have any suggestions for future workshops, please contact Grad Library staff at