FAQ Search


Does the library have my course textbooks?

We have many course textbooks available for use in the library! Sorry, textbooks cannot leave the library because we want to make sure everyone can use them throughout the semester. If we don't have the textbook you are looking for, let us know and we may be able to purchase it. You can search for course reserves (textbooks) in our catalog to find out what we have.

Does the library offer classes?

Library staff offer in-person instruction sessions and tours upon request for any course at any CWI location. Courses not able to host a librarian in person or preferring online instruction may request an online webinar session or targeted instruction video for students. In addition the Library offers focused web-based research guides for any course or program at the College.

Faculty wishing to set up instruction for their course should fill out our online library instruction session request form.

How big is the library's collection?

CWI Library’s collection encompasses ~11,000 books and DVDs, access to ~80,000 ebooks and nearly 50 online databases that cover a wide variety of subjects and media types, and full-text access to approximately 12,000 periodicals. View our full list of available databases.

How can I get a professional job in the library?

You can view current job postings by visiting the CWI website's Job Openings page. To apply, create a login, select a job, and then submit an online application.

How can I get a student (work-study) job in the library?

CWI students may apply for a Work-Study job in the library throughout the year, when a position is posted. Candidates who are service-oriented, self-motivated, and enthusiastic about library services are encouraged to apply after they have received federal/state award notification. Library Aides assist in the day-to-day operations of the library and locate materials using the online catalog and databases. Responsibilities include: assisting patrons with software and research issues, checking materials in and out, physical processing and shelving of materials, data entry, sign and handout production, simple equipment maintenance, and related duties.

Work-Study employees work approximately 10 hours a week with occasional evening and weekend hours, depending on award amount and class schedule. Questions? Contact us at library@cwidaho.cc or call 562-3115.

For more information about CWI Work-Study positions visit Work Study and Jobs

How can I get help with library research?

The library offers support and assistance through a variety of platforms. Our combined circulation and reference desk is open during all library hours to provide students with assistance in person and via phone and email. In addition, library staff monitor a 24/7 chat.

Contact us now!

How do I log in to library computers?

To log in to library computers, use your CWI login as described at https://cwidaho.cc/information-technology/accounts-student-faq.php

Username: In most cases, your email address will be your firstname+lastname@mycwi.cc (ex. jonathonsmith@mycwi.cc). If you provided a preferred first name to Student Services, your email address will be your preferredfirstname+lastname@mycwi.cc (ex. johnsmith@mycwi.cc).”

Password: Your default password will be the first letter of your firstname in CAPS (or first letter of your preferred first name if provided to Student Services) + first letter of your last name in CAPS + “logon” in lower-case letters + last 4 digits of your SSN, if you don’t have a SSN, then use the last 4 digits of your student ID number (Ex: Jonathan Smith’s password would be JSlogon1234).

Note: Your initial password for email, Blackboard, and logging onto campus computers are the same, once you change one password the other is not automatically changed.

How do I make a Writing Center appointment?

Just email writing@cwidaho.cc with the time(s) you'd like to meet. If you have questions about the Writing Center or other Tutoring services, contact Gayla Huskey by email or call (208) 562-2018.

How does the library decide what to buy?

Library purchases are guided by our Collection Development Policy, as follows.


The purpose of CWI Library’s Collection Development Policy is to describe the types and characteristics of materials that we collect and to which we provide access for the college community, both to guide library staff in making selection and deselection decisions, and to provide a transparent environment for students, faculty, and staff at CWI.

General Selection Criteria

The library purchases and maintains access to resources based on the following selection criteria:

  • Relevance to the curriculum
  • Contribution to breadth or depth of the collection
  • Favorable selection review in relevant review media
  • Patron needs, including requirements of special populations
  • Faculty and student recommendations
  • Value, cost, and quality
  • Timeliness of information
  • Depth of coverage and adequacy of scope
  • Authoritativeness and accuracy
  • Appropriateness of format
  • Physical space requirements
  • Maintenance costs
  • Usage

Additional Selection Criteria by Format

1.    Books: The major emphasis is on acquiring recent titles, although important retrospective titles will be acquired when appropriate for the collection. The Library will attempt to obtain the most authoritative edition of a title that is available. Hardbound books are preferred for their greater durability; however paperbacks may be purchased where the cost differential is substantial. Electronic book formats are increasingly preferred over print, particularly for titles whose courses are fully online or geographically distributed.

2.    Paperbacks:  Paperbacks may be purchased for topics that change rapidly, for books that are frequently updated and replaced, when duplicate copies of a particular book are needed, when demand is expected to be short-lived, when a hardcover is unavailable, or when the cost difference is substantial and the book is not expected to have heavy use.

3.    Periodicals:  Online subscriptions to periodicals, including newspapers, magazines, and academic journals, are preferred. A limited number of periodicals are subscribed to in print. Magazines are retained in print for at least one year; newspapers are retained in print for at least one month.

4.    Atlases, Maps and Globes:  Atlases and maps will be collected selectively to support general reference and research needs. Outdated maps will be retained only if they are of political or historic value.

5.    Videos:  The Library purchases videos in the most current formats available. DVDs are preferred for physical items, though streaming online videos are preferred where copyright allows.

6.    Audio:  The Library purchases music and spoken word audio in the most current formats available. CDs are preferred for physical items, though streaming/downloadable online audio is preferred where copyright allows.  Unabridged editions are preferred for audiobooks.

7.    Online databases:  The following criteria considered in database selection, in addition to the General Criteria:   

  • Usability and ease of access
  • Licensing requirements
  • Extent of coverage and overlap of coverage with other databases subscribed to by the library
  • Data capture ability (print, email, download)
  • Availability and adequacy of documentation
  • Importance of the resource to the academic discipline(s)
  • Comprehensiveness, durability, and accuracy of the database
  • Currency of the information and update schedules
  • Accessibility of the resource under present copyright laws and licensing agreements
  • Availability of usage statistics from the vendor
  • Ability to provide off-campus access through IP recognition
How long can I check things out for?

You can check the following items out for a period from 2 hours to 28 days, as specified below:

Book -- 28 days
Media (DVDs, CDs, etc.) -- 7 days
Magazines & Journals -- 7 days
Mini-Reference Books -- 14 days
Reference Books -- 7 days
Reserves (textbooks, etc.) -- Generally 2 hours (may vary) for use in the library
Headphones -- 2 hours
Renewals: Any non-reserve item may be renewed twice unless a hold has been placed on it. If a hold has been placed on an item, it cannot be renewed.

Limits: There is no limit to how many items a CWI patron may check out. Community Borrower Card holders are limited to 10 items checked out at a time.

How many computers are in the library?

We currently have 16 computers for students to use in the library.

Need a password?

Logging in from off-campus? You can now select and set your own password by following these steps:

1. Click on the name of a database.
2. Get the screen below and choose "Set/reset password."

3. Enter your 7-digit CWI ID#.
4. Check your CWI email for login info and set your new password!

If you get an error message please call or email us with your name, phone #, address, & CWI email and we will update your info in our system.
What does the Library Advisory Committee do?

The Director of Library Services consults quarterly (September, December, February, and May) with the Library Advisory Committee, a body made up of students, faculty, and staff.

Committee Charge

To provide feedback and guidance related to CWI Library procedures, resources, and activities in order to ensure that the Library continuously improves to meet the needs of all CWI students, faculty, and staff, and the Idaho community.

Committee Roster (as of Spring 2012)

  • Andrea Ascuena, Faculty, English
  • Karen Brown, Faculty, Art 
  • Amanda Bolan, Student
  • Brandon Durst, Faculty, Political Science
  • Gayla Huskey, Staff, Instructional Support
  • Linda Kaiser, Staff, Virtual Campus
  • Heather Mallary, Student Senator
  • Joy Palmer, Faculty, English
  • Emiko Quintana, Faculty, Faculty Senate Representative
  • Bryan Slater, Staff, IT
  • Alan Virta, Community member
  • Dave Wood, Faculty, Internetworking and Communications Technology
  • Logan Yott, Student Senator
What does the library do with outdated materials?

CWI Library follows these practices for discarding deselected materials:

Books that no longer hold value for the Library will be discarded with the intention of resale for profit. Items will be submitted to two different book recycling programs for resale, in this order: (i) Better World Books and (ii) Powells Books.

If not accepted by either program, the deselected materials may be offered to other libraries or set out in a public space for free.

  • The deselected materials will be placed on a cart or in a box near the book return at the entrance to the library for a one-week period.
  • At the end of one week, any remaining materials will be recycled or disposed of.
What happens if I leave something in the library?

The library maintains a lost and found where items left behind by patrons may be reclaimed. Items left in the Lost and Found for more than one month may be disposed of.