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PHC Library User Guide

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Staff in the Patrick Henry College Library are here for your research support.

The PHC Library provides an ever-expanding selection of resources and services to support your academic endeavors at PHC. On campus, you will find approximately 40,000 books, journals, newspapers, magazines, CD’s, DVD’s, and musical scores in print. You will also find welcoming study spaces and knowledgeable librarians.

The PHC Library website is your portal to over 280,000 ebooks and over 19,500 journals and newspapers ready to read or download whenever and wherever you need them.

You may want to start your research at one of the course-specific Research Guides linked from the library home page. These guides will take you directly to the online and on-campus resources that your professor has selected for the course. By using a Research Guide, you can have confidence that the information is authoritative and current, a confidence not available from a general internet search.

In the online PHC Catalog, linked from the library home page, you can search for resources, check your account, and renew items from the PHC collection. If you cannot find what you need in the on-campus or online collection, you can request to borrow the item from another library through an interlibrary loan (ILL). ILL requests can be placed directly from a link in the online catalog record for the item.

Librarians are available for research consultations by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu, by phone at 540-441-8400, and in the library. Online video tutorials provide quick answers to the most commonly asked questions and are available from the askalibrarian link on the library’s home page.

With all of the information available, we would like to warmly welcome you to the resources and services available on campus and online in the PHC library.

Mrs. Sara E. Pensgard
Director of the Library


Print and on line collection
The library’s complete collection of resources is searchable in the PHC Library Catalog. As you become familiar with searching the catalog, you can limit your searches more specifically by type of source, dates, etc., through the menu on the left of the screen.

The video tutorial, Using the Library Catalog, linked from the library’s askalibrarian page, provides pro tips for finding what you need in the catalog.

Journal articles may be read online, downloaded, emailed, or printed. Ebooks can be read online or downloaded for a check out period specific to the book. To download, follow the prompts to create a free account.

Reserve Collection
The Reserve Collection is a temporary selection of items reserved for students by faculty request. These items are usually either required or supplementary readings for current classes. To see what books are on reserve for your course, check Course reserves online, linked from the library home page. Each reserve item has a limited check out period ranging from 2 hours to 3 weeks. Most are 2 hour check outs, in library use only. When checking out reserve items, please make sure you are aware of the due date or time and any special instructions.

In order to ensure all students have access to reserve items, an overdue fine of $1 per hour is charged for all reserve items returned late.

Want to request an item to be added to the collection?
Email library@phc.edu.

PHC students, faculty, alumni, staff, and HSLDA staff have access to all library resources and services without charge. Community users are welcome to enjoy library privileges for a fee of $15.00 per year.

PHC students and faculty may check out an unlimited number of items. PHC alumni, PHC staff, HSLDA staff, and community users may check out 5 items at any time. Librarians may extend the number and length of time at their discretion.

The circulation period for library items varies. The following are the most common circulation periods:


  • Students may check out books for 3 weeks.
  • Faculty may check out books for 8 weeks.
  • Alumni, PHC and HSLDA staff, and community members may check out books for 3 weeks.
  • Items may be renewed, unless requested by another patron. 

Audio CDs and DVDs

  • Students, faculty, alumni, and staff may check out items for 7 days. Items may be renewed twice for 7 days each.
  • Community users may check out items for 7 days, no renewals. 

Reserve Items

  • Check out periods vary from 2 hours to 3 weeks depending on the instructions of the faculty. Please confirm due date and time at check out.
  • Only PHC students and faculty may check out reserve items.
Periodicals, newspapers, reference items, microforms, and specific reserve items may only be used in the library.


Checking Your Library Account

You can check your library account from the online catalog. Select Sign in and then My account links. When prompted, enter your PHC ID # and name. You can renew books online prior to them becoming overdue. You can also check due dates, requests, and any library charges.

Fines and Fees

Currently, the PHC Library does not charge overdue fines for items from the PHC collection. However, we request you renew or return items promptly out of respect for others who may be waiting. If the privilege is abused, the library reserves the right to reinstitute fines and/or suspend a user’s account.

When an item is more than 7 days overdue, it is considered lost and a temporary charge is placed on the account. The fine is removed when the item is returned.

Items not returned or renewed within 60 days of their due date may be considered lost and replacement charges of the cost of the item and a $25 processing fee will be placed on the user’s account. Irreplaceable items are charged at $50 plus the $25 processing fee.

Items kept past the end of semester due date without librarian approval will incur a $1 per day fine per item up to $5.

Reserve items not returned on time incur a $1 per hour fine.

Interlibrary loan items have a 7 day grace period after the initial due date. On the 8th day, fines will accrue at $.50 per day. You can use the grace period to request a renewal online or by emailing the library.

Any fines or fees that are not paid promptly may be placed on the student’s account with the college. Unpaid fines or unreturned items can result in the student’s inability to register for the next semester’s classes or held transcripts. Users with chronic late items or unpaid fines may have their library account suspended.

Overdue notices are provided as a courtesy.

All graduating seniors must return all items and clear their library accounts of any charges prior to receiving their diplomas.

Library staff can make mistakes. If you believe a mistake has been made or would like to appeal a fine or fee, we are happy to review your issue. Please email library@phc.edu or contact any of the library staff.

Hold Requests

PHC students and faculty may place a hold request on library items that are currently checked out. When a hold request is placed, the item may not be renewed by the current borrower. To place a hold request, select Place hold from the item’s catalog page. When the item is returned, the requesting patron will receive an email.

Hold requests may not be made for an item that is on the shelf in the library. Simply come by and pick it up. 

Recalled Items

Checked out items may be recalled if it is a required text or supplemental reading for a course or if a faculty member has requested it be placed on reserve. Recalled items must be returned to the library immediately. 

Controversial Materials

In an effort to support academic research and encourage critical thinking within a scholarly environment, the PHC library seeks to provide a wide variety of resources from varying perspectives.

It should not be assumed that all library materials reflect the views of the college. If you have questions or concerns about items in the collection, the director of the library will be happy to discuss it with you.




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