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Gustavus A. Pfeiffer Physics Library Services & Facilities

Access & Circulation Policies

The Physics Library is open to the public. Users who do not have a current University ID may qualify for access to the library's collections and facilities. For questions regarding access and borrowing privileges, consult with staff at the Physics Library circulation desk, (314)935-6215.

The Physics Library is partially accessible to persons with limited mobility. Wheelchair access is by means of elevator on the first or second floor of the building. Wheelchair users should ask at circulation desk for help getting materials from the mezzanine.

Washington University faculty as well as Physics graduate students, postdocs, visiting scholars, and undergraduate majors are eligible for ID card access to the library. Inquire at the Physics circulation desk for more information, (314)935-6215.

Circulation of materials is available to users with a registered Washington University ID. Borrowers should register at Olin Library, then may charge out items from any library on the Danforth campus.

Circulation periods are:

  • Faculty: 90 days
  • Graduate students: 60 days
  • All others: 30 days
  • Physics journals do not circulate


Books may be renewed unless requested by another borrower. Renewals may be requested:
  • in person,
  • by mail, Box 1105,
  • online,
  • by e-mail,
  • or by telephone, 935-6215

For assisted renewals, include your university identification number and the book's bar code number.

Borrowed materials may be recalled after two weeks use. Fines for overdue items accrue at the the rate of 20 cents per day per item; fines for overdue recalled items accrue at the rate of 40 cents per day per item. Fines for reserve materials accrue at the rate of 60 cents per hour.


Reference assistance is available at all times the library is open. Other services include interlibrary loan verification, rapid document delivery, and online computer literature searching. Instruction in self-searching of the many subject databases is available; come to the library office for further information. The Librarian will be happy to assist you.


Faculty place book titles on reserve for course study; these titles are for library use Monday-Friday. Books may be taken out of the library for overnight use within one hour of closing. Books are due by 9:00am the following work day. Faculty can use the Online Reserve Request Form to request books be put on reserve in the Library.

Equipment & Computers

The Library has four online computer search terminals. Three have access to the Library catalog, as well as access to the Internet. The fourth is for catalog access only. There are two photocopiers, one can be used with a copy card or change, the other is for departmental copy codes only, ask for assistance. Copy cards are not sold in the Physics Library.