The PACES program offers a graduate-level Library Skills Workshop once per semester during the academic year. At this workshop, GVSU Librarians walk students through using the libary and its resources. Below are some of the many resources the GVSU Libraries have to offer:

Research Guides
Services for Graduate Students
Evaluating Resources
Master's Thesis, Project & Protocol Option
Citing Sources

Information about the University Libraries:


    • Online 24/7 –
    • Steelcase Library, Grand Rapids, DeVos Center, 104A DEV
    • Frey Foundation Learning Center, Grand Rapids, Center for Health Sciences building, 290 and 490 CHS
    • Curriculum Materials Library, 201A DEV
    • Mary Idema Pew Library, Allendale campus
    • Seidman House (University archives), Allendale campus

Each library’s collection supports the programs offered on the campus in which it is located. The Steelcase Library has books and other materials pertaining to business, criminal justice, education, engineering, hospitality and tourism, legal studies, public and nonprofit administration, social work, and houses the Johnson Collection for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. The Frey Foundation Learning Center serves clinical laboratory science, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, occupational safety and health, radiology, and therapeutic recreation. The Mary Idema Pew Library has a collection that includes most other disciplines. All three of these libraries provide computers, laptops, printers, photocopiers, and televisions for watching videos.

Seidman House, which houses special collections and university archives, is one of the quietest places on the Allendale campus and ideal for study. It is opened from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The two Curriculum Materials Libraries are designed for students and faculty in the College of Education and in other departments offering content-area courses of education.

Regardless of subject area, online resources such as databases and electronic books can be accessed anywhere, anytime via the internet with your GVSU user ID and password.

Check the library’s website or call (616-331-3500) for current hours. Library schedules change during breaks, holidays, and the spring/summer semester. The Mary Idema Pew and Steelcase libraries routinely have extended hours preceding and during finals.

Get some direction—use Library Guides.
Library guides, created by subject specialist librarians, are available for every discipline and for some specific courses. These guides steer you to appropriate resources and databases in a subject area, as well as provide links to subject specialist librarians. There’s even a library guide specifically for graduate students. Before you Google, use library guides.

Your Librarian
Librarians can save you a lot of time and frustration. However, plan ahead. Don’t wait until the last minute to ask for help, as you may find your topic involves more research than you thought, or that the perfect book or article is only available through document delivery and may take up to ten days to arrive. Schedule an appointment to meet with the librarian specializing in your area. You can find out who that librarian is by consulting the library guide for your area or by contacting the library.

Librarians are not available during all hours the libraries are open. For librarian assistance, you can visit in person, telephone, e-mail (, or instant message/chat. All GVSU library web pages have links to chat.

Online Resources
GVSU libraries have an enormous collection of online resources including hundreds of databases, thousands of full-text journals, and e-books that are available anywhere via the Internet with your GVSU network log in. These resources can be accessed from the library’s homepage and the various library guides. When you are on campus, you’ll automatically connect to the databases. When off campus, you will be prompted to log in to the library system using your username, which is your network log in ID.

If you’re writing papers, and definitely if you’re writing a thesis, you need RefWorks. RefWorks is a web-based bibliographic management program that organizes your research and produces bibliographies in the style you select, such as APA or MLA. Consult the RefWorks library guide for more information on using this program. You'll be asked for the RefWorks group code when you access it off campus. The group code is: RWGVSU.

How to get what you need
Daily deliveries (Monday through Fridays) between GVSU libraries make it possible for you to have books and other materials held at one location delivered to the location most convenient for you. Requests made Sunday through Thursday are typically available within 24 hours. Just specify the pick up location from the request screen. 

Need an article from a journal that the libraries don’t have? Document Delivery can help you out. Document Delivery can also obtain books for you that Grand Valley does not own through interlibrary loan. Articles are sent electronically, so obtaining them is as easy as reading an e-mail. Best of all, these services are offered at no cost. Access Document Delivery from the library’s homepage; you will be required to register the first time you use the system. Requesting an article or book from a database is incredibly easy; simply follow the links when you click on “get it @ GVSU.” Although most interlibrary loans arrive within a few days, it can take up to two weeks for some loans to be fulfilled, so again, plan ahead.

MelCat allows you to order books, audio books, music, movies, and other materials held in other participating Michigan libraries and have them delivered to the GVSU library of your choice. Best of all, it’s absolutely free. When searching the library catalog, click on the Michigan Electronic Library icon and follow the prompts. There is no fee for this service.

Course Reserve
Most course reserves are accessible electronically. You will need your network log in ID and password to access electronic course reserves. Some course reserves, such as books or DVDs, are available only at a library and must be used at the library where they are located.

Graduate students can check out up to 30 books for ten weeks, and books may be renewed twice before their due dates for five additional weeks each time, providing they are not on hold for someone else. The exception to this is the best seller leisure reading collection, which circulate for a non-renewable four week period.

Laptops and Computers
Laptops, available at Mary Idema Pew, Steelcase, and the Frey Foundation Learning Center, can be checked out for two hour periods for use in the library. Students are also welcome to use the Steelcase and Mary Idema Pew Libraries’ instruction rooms during library hours when the rooms are not scheduled for another purpose. Headphones are also available, but you may want to use your own.

Need more information?Just ask!
616-331-3500 or 800-879-0581                 


Page last modified August 27, 2013