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Frequently Asked Questions

Find what you need in our searchable FAQ.

How do I add money to my printing account?

2007 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019    Printing

Each academic year, students are given a $15.00 print quota (September-August).
Once you've exhausted this quota, you will need to add funds to your Pioneer Express account in order to print.  If money is already available on your Pioneer Express account, then it you can use it for printing.
There are a number of options available for adding funds to your account:
  • Make a Secure Online Deposit,
  • Use a VTM machine located in the Library next to the public copiers or in the Student Center,
  • Through Hospitality Services (by phone, mail or on foot) 
Funds will be available immediately, and you can check your balance at any of our copiers or on the Webprint site.
For more information about printing, visit the ITWiki Printing page.
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What do I need to do to get a Guest Account?

1618 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

Because the Cheng Library has a tradition of offering access to non-University users, Guest Accounts are provided as a courtesy to community users, visiting scholars and University alumni.

Guest Accounts are intended only for use of the of the Library’s electronic resources or to gain access to the Internet, and do not include access to or use of the University wifi or access to Library databases from locations beyond the Cheng Library.

Guest and Alumni users must provide appropriate identification to create an account (For a list of acceptable forms of ID, check our Guest Account Policy).

Users of Guest Accounts who wish to print may purchase a Pioneer Express CAMPUS GUEST card at the vending machine near the copiers in the Library. The card costs 50¢ and the user may add value as needed. This card can only be used for printing in the Library.
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Who is the librarian for my department/class/major?

1600 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

Each academic department at William Paterson University has a librarian assigned to help with the research needs of both faculty and students. 

This may be done by purchasing relevant materials, teaching library instruction classes, or offering one-on-one assistance (among other things).

To contact the liaison librarian for your department, major or class, use the Library Liaison Directory

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Can alumni borrow books from the library?

1514 views   |   Last updated on Jul 21, 2014   

The Cheng Library welcomes WPUNJ alumni to visit the library and make use of our main and reference collections, which can be freely used within the library.

Alumni who present a valid WPUNJ Alumni Card (call 973-720-2175 or email for more information) may borrow up to 30 items for 28 days (books). See Lending Services for more information.

If you have additional questions about borrowing materials from the Cheng Library, please contact Lending Services (973-720-3180) for assistance.
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How do I book/reserve a study room for my group?

1492 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019    Lending

The library has a number of group study rooms, some of which can be reserved for group study.

Go to our Room Booking site ( to see room availability and make a reservation.

Please note that reservations are only available to current WPU students, and require a university email address.

For assistance with reservations, please contact Lending Services (973-720-3180). 

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Does the library offer tutoring?

1466 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

No, but tutoring is often available in the Library! 

This is not a service that the library provides, although there are a number of departments and services across campus that can help!

‚ÄčSome colleges and departments (Business, Computer Science, Nursing, etc.) will also offer subject specific tutoring throughout the year, so it's a good idea to check there, too!

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Does the library have a copy of my course textbook?

1465 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

Generally, the Library does not purchase textbooks, although some faculty provide copies of their textbooks for Course Reserve in the Library.

Not sure if we have your book?  Search for your textbook under the Books & Media tab or contact the Reference Desk for assistance (973-720-2116 or  You can also check our Print Reserves or Electronic Reserves listings to see if your class materials are available.

Each semester, faculty place their textbook orders with the WPUNJ Bookstore, making it the best place to buy or rent your textbooks.  However, if you want to shop around, there are a number of other resources available to you on our Textbook Option$ guide.

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What does peer reviewed mean?

1442 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

When you're asked to find peer reviewed sources, what you're essentially looking for are books and articles that have been reviewed by experts for quality and accuracy.

For example:
  • An article is written by one of your Biology professors and sent to a reputable journal. 
  • Before being published, though, it needs to be looked over to make sure that everything is in order.
  • So, the journal editor sends the article to a number of your professors peers (other experts in the same or similar fields).
  • These would likely be other scientists (biologists, biochemists, etc.), who would look for:
    • Accuracy of information
    • Quality of research
    • Originality
    • etc.
  • This review would result in one of the following:
    • The article is successfully published!
    • The article is sent back for revisions/corrections.
    • The article is rejected.

Ultimately, the peer review process ensures that you get the highest quality reserach possible.
See our Scholarly v. Popular tutorial for more information about the peer review process. 

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What programs are available on library computers in the lab?

1430 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

Software available in the University's computer labs may vary.  Please visit the Public Computer Labs page ( for a list of labs, hours, and available software.
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Does the library have old yearbooks?

1405 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

Yes!  Copies of old WPU yearbooks are available online through the WPSphere (our Digital Repository).
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Where are the Quiet Study Areas in the Library?

1362 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

While the entire second floor of the Library is designated a Quiet Zone, some areas are less quiet than others.
The study areas in the front of the building are supposed to be Very Quiet, while light conversation is allowed in the rest of the upstairs (whispers, etc.).  In addition, Group Study Rooms, contrary to popular belief, are not soundproofed, and sometimes conversations from these spaces become louder than students realize.
Regardless of the reason, if you experience a noisy situation, please notify staff at either the Reference or Lending Service desks and we will address the issue at that time (see contact options to the right, or stop by either desk).
On the other hand, if you are working with a friend and know that you'll be making noise, the Friends Room on the first floor is a place where students may eat and chat. The first floor of the building is also an area where conversation is allowed.

Check out the Library Floorplan for more information about Quiet Study Areas
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Does the library have a Lost & Found?

1361 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

Yes.  The library's Lost & Found is located at the Lending Services desk, just as you enter the building. 

We make every effort to contact the owners of found items if identifiable information is available (name, email, etc.), especially USB Drives.

Please contact Lending Services (973-720-3180) with questions or inquiries about lost items.

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Who are the "Friends of the Cheng Library"?

1346 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

The Friends of the Cheng Library is a diverse group of individuals who advocate for the David and Lorraine Cheng Library as a center of intellectual life on campus and reach out to the academic and civic communities through a series of events and lectures.

The Friends organization also supports the Library through the donation of materials and funds, and has helped to create the Library's Friends' Room, which provides students with a comfortable setting to study.

Click here for more information about the Friends of the Cheng Library.

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What does it mean when the online catalog says a book is Available, but it's not on the shelf?

1330 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

There are a number of possible explanations to this question.  The book may be:
  • mishelved,
  • in use by another student, within the library,
  • shelved in a different part of the Library (Be sure to double-check the Location),
  • on a cart, ready to be reshelved,
  • or, unfortunately, lost or stolen.

In any case, your best option is to ask for assistance at the Reference or Lending Services desks. We can often help you locate the book or start searching for it and help you find an alternative way to get it.

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Can I donate books or other materials to the Library?

1326 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

The Cheng Library is pleased to accept gifts of appropriate materials* or funds for the purchase of materials, recognizing that gifts may provide valuable additions to the library collection.  Donated material should support the objectives of the Library and the mission of the University, with the understanding that there are no conditions attached to their disposition. 

  1. Potential donors should supply a list of titles to be donated prior to dropping off any materials.
  2. Subject specialists will review the list and identify items needed by the Library. 
  3. Upon receipt, donated material becomes the property of the Library. 
For more information about donations and factors that influence acceptance of these materials, see our Collection Development Policy or contact the Reference Desk (973-720-2116 or
* = The Library does not accept gifts of magazines and journals or certain, outdated media formats (LPs, cassettes, etc.).
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How do I find an article when all I have is the citation?

1323 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

Finding an article when all you have is a citation is quite different from searching for articles in a database.

This short video will answer many of your questions, or instructions are available below.

Keep your citation handy throughout the process, because it will give you the clues you need to find the correct article.

  • Search the Journals A-Z List for the title of the journal/magazine from your citation.
  • Review the results to find the correct match, which will contain one or more options for accessing the journal/magazine.
  • Compare the date from your citation against the available dates by each access option, and choose one that contains the year you're looking for.
  • In most cases, you'll be taken to one of the Library's databases, where you can either browse by year, volume, issue, and page number or search the journal for the title of your article.
  • If your only options are WPUNJ Print, WPUNJ Film, or WPUNJ Fiche, the journal/magazine can only be found in the Library.  Select the button labeled "Click Here and we will email you the article", and fill out an Article Copy form using your citation to have a scanned copy made available to you within 48 hours (during business days).
If, at any point in this process, you're unable to move to the next step, contact the Reference Desk (973-720-2116) for assistance.
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Who do I talk to if it's too hot/cold in the Library?

1317 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

While it is not always possible to make quick changes to the Library temperatures, it is important that you let us know if there is a problem.  Issues with the building being too hot or too cold may be more common in the Fall or Spring, when outside temperatures are changing.  

With a building this big it can sometimes be difficult to keep all areas at a moderate temperature.  Adjusting the heat or air conditioning is not as simple as flipping a switch, and a change to one area might have an unexpected effect on another.

Whenever you find yourself in an overly hot or cold area of the Library, please notify someone at one of the Library's many service desks, and we will notify the appropriate parties.
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Where can I find a scholarly, peer reviewed article?

1285 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

The best place to start searching for scholarly, peer reviewed articles is in one of the Library's many article databases.

  1. Start on the library homepage and select the Databases tab. 
  2. Then use the dropdown menu to select the subject area that you're researching.
  3. Browse through the list of databases and choose one that meets your needs. 

Most databases will allow you to limit your search to just scholarly and/or peer reviewed results using one or two checkboxes on the search page. 
Related FAQ: What does peer reviewed mean? 

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How do I learn to use the library?

977 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

The library offers a number of ways that you can learn to use our many resources and services.

Many students learn about the library through a library instruction session requested by one of their professors.  These sessions are focused on preparing you for specific assignments that your professor has given.  You may be brought to the Library on multiple occasions during your time at WPU to learn new, more advanced, resources and techniques.

You can also learn about the library by attending one of our workshops, watching some of our tutorials, or scheduling time to meet with a librarian, one-on-one.  

Not sure which option is best for you?  Contact the Reference Desk (973-720-2116,, or stop in and see us!) for more information.

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Is there a scanner in the Library that I can use?

940 views   |   Last updated on Apr 08, 2019   

Yes!  Both of the Library's copiers are able to scan printed material into a digital format.  A flash drive is required, and one may be available to borrow from Lending Services or the Reference Desk, if you don't have one with you.

There is also a dedicated Scannex machine on the counter by the Reserves Desk.  It's pretty easy to use and you can scan to a flash drive, your Google Drive or SkyDrive accounts, or even be emailed to your smartphone.

For more information about using the copiers to scan, check out this brief 
Scanning Tutorial.

Or, visit one of our service desks for help using the scanning tools! 

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