Using the Library
Who We Serve
Bernard Becker Medical Library’s primary purpose is to provide library and information services to faculty, staff, and students of Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) and to the staff of Barnes-Jewish Hospital (Kingshighway Campus) and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Becker Library is open to other health professionals, scholars, researchers, and others needing to use its collections and resources for serious study. It is not a public library and people not engaged in biomedical study or research may be asked to leave. Children under the age of twelve are not permitted unless with a parent or guardian.
Due to limited study space, Washington University School of Medicine students have priority over non-WUSM students studying in the library. In the event that WUSM students cannot find study space, others may be asked to find an alternative place to study.
Library computers serve as access points for databases and web sites that assist WUSM faculty, staff, and students in their research, patient care, and class assignments. These uses have priority over any other use. Library computers may NOT be used for purposes unrelated to the mission of the school of medicine.
At the library's core is its extensive collection of journals, books and databases, where nearly all of the current resources are available online. All hard copy volumes housed in the library can now be found on the lower level.
Becker Medical Library’s extensive print journal collection, previously shelved on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of the library, is currently in offsite storage due to library space constraints. Patrons needing research articles from this collection that are not available online may request them through Becker Library’s inter-library loan service. If the original print journal is absolutely necessary, arrangements can be made to retrieve it from storage at the requestor’s expense.
Borrowing (check-out) privileges are limited to:
- Faculty, staff, or students of Washington University, or alumni of the Medical School and Dental School
- Faculty, staff or students of Barnes-Jewish Hospital on the Kingshighway campus
- Faculty, staff, or students of Children’s Hospital, Central Institute for the Deaf, or the St. Louis College of Pharmacy
- Members of the St. Louis Medical Society
- Members of the Library - Learn about becoming a member.
- Century Club members
A valid Washington University, Barnes-Jewish, Children’s, or College of Pharmacy identification card is required to register for borrowing privileges.
Members of the St. Louis Medical Society must present a membership card prior to registering. Library members are automatically registered upon payment of annual membership fees.
Check-Out of Materials
Washington University and Medical Center faculty, staff, and students must fill out a borrower’s information form and be assigned a borrower’s number at the Information Services desk to have check-out privileges. A Washington University, Medical School, or Barnes-Jewish ID card is required for registration. Courtesy borrowing privileges are extended to staff and students of St. Louis College of Pharmacy upon presentation of a valid STLCOP ID badge.
Medical Society members and Century Club donors must present proper identification prior to registering to borrow materials.
Members of the Library are automatically registered upon payment of annual membership fees.
Medical School, Washington University, and Barnes-Jewish ID cards are used as library cards after a registration form is completed.
Check-out privileges are not transferable. Persons checking materials out of the library must use their own ID even if the materials are for the use of another person. The person checking out the material will be fully responsible for its return. Exceptions to this policy will be made under specific circumstances. Please inquire at the Information Services desk.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long can I borrow materials?
- What if my book is overdue?
- How do I renew a borrowed book?
- What do I do if I lose an item that I've checked out?
- Where can I return books?
- How do I find books and journals in the library?
- How do I update my library account information?
- How do I reserve course materials?