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AskAway: VIU Library Policy Page: Library Info

AskAway at Vancouver Island University Library

Library Homepage:

Library Services and COVID-19


General Information

Service Hours:

Email for Research Assistance: For all campuses, email

Research Assistance Phone: For all campuses, call 250-740-6330

Service Desk Phone (for Circulation/Checkout/Loans questions):

  • Nanaimo campus: 250-740-6330
  • Cowichan campus: 250-746-3517
  • Powell River campus: 1-888-920-2221 ext. 6330 (toll free)

Library Branches: Mailing addresses for our libraries

  • Nanaimo campus: Vancouver Island University Library, 900 Fifth Street, Building 305, Nanaimo BC, V9R 5S5
  • Cowichan campus: Vancouver Island University Library, 2011 University Way, Duncan BC, V9L 0C7
  • Powell River campus: Vancouver Island University Library, 7085 Nootka Street, Powell River BC, V8A 3C6

Library Floor Plans: Our main library in Nanaimo comprises four floors of Building 305.

  • Floor 2 comprises librarian and staff offices.
  • Floor 3 is the central Library floor with our Library Commons, Library Service Desk, as well as audio media and microfilm/fiche, newspapers, and ESL easy readers. On Floor 3 are also quiet group study tables, bookable group study rooms, and two Silent Study halls (one of the Silent Study halls is open 24/7).
    • Note: In September 2017, VIU Library centralized its reference services and dismantled its Research Assistance (Reference) Desk. Now, all patron queries--even of a reference nature--are first handled by the Library Service Desk. AskAway Service Providers: If a VIU patron wishes to contact the Library in person, please direct them to the Library Service Desk on the 3rd (main) floor. The staff at the Service Desk are able to redirect a question to a VIU librarian.
  • Floor 4 is the main area of our print collection, as well as the location of the Curriculum Laboratory, Writing Centre, a number of study rooms, and quiet zone study spaces.
  • Floor 5 contains our library classroom, some study tables, a videoconferencing classroom, as well as the University boardroom and the offices of our Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning (teaching and learning centre).

Resources and Services

Library Catalogue: VIU Library uses Summon as its primary search tool, but for catalogue-specific queries, go this link:

LibrarySearch: VIU Library uses Summon, accessible from our homepage: The Summon advanced search is here:!/advanced


Database Authentication: You need a VIU Library PIN to access our subscription database resources. For VIU students and employees, go to this link for information on applying for a Library PIN:

Google Scholar (going through from VIU):

Subject Guides:

Citing Your Sources Guide:

Library Instruction: A form for making instructional requests is here:

List of Librarians: The full list of our liaison librarians and administration/coordinators is here:

Course Reserves:

Interlibrary Loans:

Journals (e-journals and print):

VIUSpace: The institutional repository at VIU is known as VIUSpace:

Special Collections: A link to our Special Collections site is at

Technology Help: The main page for VIU Technology, and our IT HelpDesk is here:

Writing Centre: The VIU Writing Centre is located on Floor 4 of the Library. Appointments with Writing Centre tutors can be made at this link:

E-Resources Emergency Contact: Email our Systems team:

Borrowing Information

Please note: VIU employee Library ID (usernames) have been updated. Log in with new employee numbers, beginning with 3, instead of 0, to access online library resources (Example: 3xxxxx). Passwords remain the same. Please email if any questions or concerns. 

Library Cards

  • This link leads to information for students, faculty, staff, as well as community borrowers, VIU alumni, and CURBA card holders.

Loan Periods and Information: is the main page for information on

  • Loan periods/Fines
  • In-person borrowing at other libraries
  • Renewing loans
  • Library accounts, PINs, and cards
  • Loan information for distance students and Education practicum students
  • Home mail delivery for both ILL and holds to all library users (including community borrowers)

Holds/Recalls/Requests: You can check your holds and loan information here:

Renewals: (You'll be prompted for your ID number and Library PIN).


Borrowing Policies: For information related to borrowing and loans, go to

Library Account Information: (You'll be prompted for your ID number and Library password).

After Hours Book Return: There is an after hours book return slot in Building 305, in the Library Commons, on the west wall near the entrance to the Library.

Equipment and Facilities

Internet Access and Wireless Access: The main site for VIU Technology is There is information here for students, employees, and community members.

Photocopiers, Printers, and Scanners: A general information page is here: For printing account management, VIU has a service called PayPrint, which is here for students to add money by credit card to their print accounts:

Microfilm/Microfiche: VIU Library houses its microform material on the 3rd floor. Materials are findable through our catalogue ( while information on historical newspaper coverage on microform can be found here:

Study and Workstation Rooms: We have several links on this topic:

Room Bookings outside of the Library: General information is here:

Computer Labs:

Campus Information

Academic Calendar:

Class Timetables:

Campus Maps: Nanaimo campus map is here: