Von Canon Library Von Canon Library

About the Library



Library Annex: Our library collections have grown from less than 40,000 items to over 90,000 since 1999. The current building was not designed to hold that many books, so approximately one-third of the collection is housed in an offsite location. The material housed there must be retrieved by library personnel. To request an item from the annex, please fill out an annex request form either at the library desk or online.

Ready reference: These are some of the materials most often needed for quick reference, including dictionaries, style manuals, and so forth. They are located near the reference desk. They do not circulate, although there are often copies of the same books in the main collection which may be checked out.

Reference: Books in the reference section do not circulate. They are for in-library use only. They are housed in the short shelves in the center of the first floor of the library and are arranged in LC call number order. Inter-shelved reference books circulate unless marked otherwise.

Reserve: Professors can put certain items on reserve for members of their classes. They are kept behind the library desk on shelves. Professors set the terms of reserve. Some materials can be checked out for two-hour in-library use only. Others may only be photocopied, checked out overnight, or checked out for longer periods of time.

Special collection: Special collection books are those that were published prior to 1900 or that are otherwise of special interest. These books are shelved downstairs in the archive room. They may be checked out by faculty, and students may check them out with the permission of one of the librarians.

Named Collections: The organization of the Von Canon Library materials into various named collections helps organize these extensive materials into easily managed and accessible categories. Arranging like formatted materials together also helps assure ease in locating these materials for patrons, and helps speed shelving, inventory, and other maintenance tasks. Collection names may identify the subject grouping, location, or format of a named collection. Named collections within the Von Canon Library include: Archives, Genealogy, Oversize, Institute,  Main Collection, Orson Scott Card, Periodical,  Pop-Fiction, Rare, Ready-Reference, Reference, Annex, Special Collections and Special Collections-Local, Workroom.

Computers and Internet

Von Canon Library provides computers on the main floor of the library. The library computers are accessible during all library service hours. Staff members are available to assist users in meeting their information needs with the computers. The library computers are primarily for student research and writing needs.

The computers in the computer lab are available for patron use when a class is not in session.

The library’s computers are university assets and must be used in a responsible, ethical and lawful manner. Library patrons must comply with local, state, and federal laws (including copyright law), with university codes and policies, and with applicable contracts including software licenses. Library users are required to observe the following computer-related guidelines:

  1. Respect other users of Library computers and do not harass them or interfere with their work.
  2. Use headphones to access audio content.
  3. Pay for all prints made on the library copier.
  4. Respect the privacy and property of all files on the computer system. Do not alter or erase a file without explicit permission to do so.
  5. Do not attempt to bypass computer security facilities, discover passwords, make unauthorized connections or break into or affect the performance of any other computer system on local or world-wide networks.
  6. No viewing of Web sites or participating in other activities that are in violation with the Code of Honor.
  7. If you see a patron doing or viewing something inappropriate on library computers, please report it to library staff immediately. If no library staff is available, contact security.

The following additional guidelines must be followed with respect to the computer lab:

  1. When a class is in session, the computer lab is only available to members of that class.
  2. When a class is not in session, the lab is a quiet study area; please keep noise to a minimum. Headphones are available at the library’s front desk.
  3. No food or drink are allowed in the lab.
  4. Individuals will be held responsible for any damage to lab furniture or equipment.
  5. Individuals who do not abide by these conditions will lose the privilege of lab access.

There is free Wi-Fi access throughout the library and network internet access from library computers.


Service Fee
B&W Printing and copying $0.05/printed side
Color printing and copying $0.50/printed side
B&W 11×14 size $0.25/printed side
Color 11×14 size $0.75/printed side
Lamination $0.75/page
Scanning Free
Faxing Free

Patrons must pay for all pages that they print, even ones that they don’t want. Patrons may pay for prints at the front desk with their University ID card or cash. Report all printing issues to library staff.

Library Printer/Copier – This machine accepts jobs from library computers and from the computer lab. All patrons are free to use these computers. The machine will accept printing from iPads only when using the remote printing function on MySVU. This machine also scans, faxes, and copies. It prints color and double-sided, as well as staples and hole-punches. It is located in the library desk area.

Wireless Printer – This machine only accepts jobs uploaded and printed from MySVU remote printing. If they have campus cash available, students, staff, and faculty members can upload pdf documents onto MySVU and select this printer to print from anywhere on campus. It prints color and black and white. It is located to the right of the library desk.


Student Circulation Periods

Item Type Circulation Period  
Book 21 days  
MacBook 2 hours, in library use  

In addition, ALL books and materials are due at the end of each semester. The librarians may grant exceptions as needed.

Patrons may renew books twice by phone, online, or in person for a total of a six-week period. However, if the book is requested by another patron after the person has had it for longer than the initial two week period, a hold and recall will be placed on the book, and the book must be returned to the library. Once books are overdue, patrons cannot renew books online; they must call or come in. If the book is past the grace period and has accrued fines, the patron must pay the fine before an item can be renewed.

Faculty and Staff Circulation Periods

Faculty and staff may check out books for a period of 120 days. If a hold and recall is placed on the book by another Southern Virginia patron, the faculty member is guaranteed the item for the original checkout period. After the original checkout period, faculty will be asked to return the item. Periodicals may be checked out for class needs on a per-day basis. Faculty members are expected to return all materials at least once a year.

Fines and Charges

If materials are lost, severely damaged or destroyed, the patron will be charged for the replacement cost plus a $5.00 processing fee per item. Patrons may pay fines and charges with cash or a University ID card with sufficient campus cash. For amounts greater than $5.00, payments can be made with a credit or debit card, but credit/debit payments must be processed by a library staff member.

If books are not returned or fines and book charges are not paid according to policy, Von Canon library administration may contact the Financial Services office and have any fees charged to the student’s account. The Von Canon library administration may also contact the Registrar’s office to place a library hold on a patron’s school records. This hold blocks the student from certain university privileges subject to the Registrar’s discretion. Other actions and restrictions may apply if the problem is not resolved. This policy extends to fines imposed by Washington and Lee, Virginia Military Institute, and the Rockbridge Public Library system (the libraries with which we have reciprocal borrowing agreements) as well as for any library material retrieved through ILL (Inter-Library Loan).

Reciprocal Borrowing Privileges

Southern Virginia University students and faculty members enjoy reciprocal borrowing privileges at the libraries of Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute. To gain access to these privileges, they must set up library accounts at each institution. To make returning materials to Lexington as easy as possible, a student may bring materials to the Southern Virginia University library and give them to a library desk worker.

To preserve the privilege of reciprocal borrowing, it is critical that Southern Virginia patrons honor the circulation policies and fine agreements of other institutions. Therefore, Southern Virginia students who incur fines at these schools and neglect to respond to fine notification letters will have the fine transferred to their Southern Virginia account at the Financial Services Office. The business office will record their fine and a library hold will be placed with the Registrar’s Office.

Behavior Policy

The Library welcomes all members of the University and surrounding community. If library staff observe any dishonorable conduct (plagiarism, cheating, copyright infringement, viewing inappropriate material), they will remind the patron in question of their obligation to observe the University’s Code of Conduct. 

The library staff is committed to maintaining a quiet, comfortable atmosphere in the library – one that prioritizes the learning needs of students and is conducive to study. Members of the staff (including student workers) will do their best to respond to noise complaints and other types of disruptions. Patrons may talk in a normal tone of voice, hold group study sessions, and use cell phones in the library as long as their conversations do not disturb other patrons. Individuals who do disturb other patrons, however, may be asked to leave the library. If the needs of students and non-students conflict, students will receive preferential treatment. Library patrons who desire silence may use the Silent Study room in the basement of the library.

Patrons may eat or drink in the library as long as their food/drink is not problematic (e.g., potent smells, not cleaning up properly).

Small children are permitted in the library when accompanied by an adult who is responsible for their behavior. If a child becomes noisy, is disturbing patrons or damaging materials or property, the responsible adult will be asked to address the concern. If disruptive behavior continues, the adult may be asked to take the child from the library.