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Reading Room Procedures

Welcome to the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library. This facility is open to students, staff, faculty, and the general public. In order to provide you with quality service, we have established the following procedures:

Please complete a Reading Room Registration Form on your first visit to the collection in any given academic year. Please sign the guest register each time you enter the Reading Room.

1. Materials in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library do not circulate and must be used only in the Reading Room. All materials are requested by completing a "Materials Request Form," using one slip for each item requested. A staff member will retrieve the item(s) for you. Please make all requests thirty minutes before closing.
  • The time needed to retrieve items will vary, depending on the type of material.
  • Materials will not be pulled during the last fifteen minutes of operating hours.
  • Microfilm and Oral History materials removed from the master vault must be requested 24 hours in advance. Those requested from the duplicate vault must be requested 30 minutes in advance.
  • If you plan to use a large collection or a large amount of materials, we appreciate a working day's advance notice. This is especially encouraged for people coming from out of town, on weekends, and during the collection's evening hours.
  • The telephone number for the Reference Desk is (806) 742-9070.
2. Only laptops are allowed in the Reading Room. Please leave the carrying case in a locker. We recommend that you not leave laptops unattended. We do not allow the use of video applications on laptops.
3. Loose sheets of notes may be allowed and will be stamped with the Southwest Collection's identification stamp. Items not allowed in the Reading Room include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Sound, communication, or image capturing devices: scanners, photographic equipment, tape or digital recorders, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), etc.
  • Food or beverages of any kind.
  • Notebooks, spiral bound or any other kind, and pens. Please use only pencils and paper provided in the Reading Room when taking notes. Place pencils on the table while turning pages.
4. Please keep conversation in the Reading Room to a minimum.
5. All items allowed in the Reading Room are subject to inspection.
6. Lockers for backpacks, briefcases, handbags (purses), and other personal property are provided at the entrance near the Reference Desk. The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library cannot assume responsibility for lost or stolen items.
7. Materials must be handled with great care. Book supports and gloves for handling rare books and photographs are available at the Reference Desk. Please do not exert pressure on the materials, such as leaning on, tracing, or writing on them.
8. Please retain the order in which manuscript and photograph collections are placed in the boxes and folders. Use "Place Markers" when removing folders or files from a box, and please remove only one folder or file at a time.
9. The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library staff will consider the photocopying of materials when it can be done without injury to the items. Under these circumstances photocopying will be done by a staff member upon request. Please make and pay for all photocopying requests thirty minutes before closing.
10. When you leave for the day, please return all materials to the Reference Desk. Let a staff member know if you want the materials placed on hold for you. Items will only be held if a patron is returning within one week.
11. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of libel and literary property rights. It is up to you, the researcher, to secure permission from the copyright holder to quote or publish from the materials. Please see a staff member for the proper citation form.
12. Please do not hesitate to ask the Reference Staff for assistance or if you have questions concerning the handling and use of materials.
13. The Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library is open from 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. To support our student scholars, during the regular semester the Reading Room may offer extended hours on Tuesday and Thursday until 7 P.M. and Saturdays from 9 A.M. - 1 P.M. Hours will vary during summer and university intersessions. Please call ahead for current hours (806) 742-9070.
Updated: March 16, 2020