Frequently Asked Questions

Click a question below to see the answer. Many of the questions below may also be covered by tutorials. Please see How to Access Library Resources and How to Use Library Resources for guided help in accessing and using many of the resources that we have to offer.

General Questions and Policies

Where is the Library located?

The Library is located in room 141, in the center of the back hallway, opposite the main entrance, past the central stairwell.

What are the Library's hours?

The Library’s hours vary throughout the year, with shorter hours during the breaks than during the semesters. Hours are subject to change.

  • During Semesters
    • Monday – Thursday: 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM
    • Friday: 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
    • Saturday, Sunday & Holidays: Closed
  • Between Semesters
    • Monday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    • Saturday, Sunday & Holidays: Closed

How do I contact the Library/Librarians?

Our email address is
The phone numbers are:
Service Desk: 225-743-8550
Fax: 225-644-8212
Our mailing address is:
RPCC Library Services
P.O. Box 2367
Gonzales, LA 70707-2367.

Who may use the library?

Anyone may come in and use the materials and resources in the library, but only currently enrolled students and currently employed faculty and staff may borrow materials or access online resources from off campus that require login (see the next question).

Students who attend other institutions but are also cross- or dual-enrolled at RPCC are also entitled to borrow materials and to access online resources from off campus.

There are also options for people who are not affiliated with RPCC to borrow items. These options, however, will not allow access to our online resources. Check with a librarian for more information.

A valid photo ID will be required for anyone to borrow materials.

What are my User ID, Alt ID, and PIN? Why do I need them?

Everyone affiliated with RPCC, whether a student, faculty or staff, has a User ID, an Alt ID, and a PIN.
You will need these numbers to access your library account, either on or off campus, and to access the databases from an off-campus computer.
Your Library User ID, is your 9-character LoLA ID. Ex.: L00123456. You can find this number on your class schedule.
Your Alternate (or ALT) ID is your LoLA username; ex. johnsmith1, jaynedeaux, etc.
Your PIN is your 6-digit date of birth (mmddyy). Ex.:June 10, 1989 would be 061089.

My ID is valid. Why can't I borrow something?

An account can be blocked for various reasons. A patron may have reached the limit of items allowed for check out, items may be overdue, or bills may still be owed.

Check with a Librarian. Please note that we cannot discuss specific information, such as titles or amounts owed, over the phone. Even in-person, unless we know you personally, we will ask for a photo ID. This is to protect your privacy and it’s the law.

How many items am I allowed to borrow at a time?

Students may check out up to 10 items, total.

Up to 4 of these can be audiovisual materials (CD-ROMs, DVDs and/or VHS cassettes).

Up to 2 can be Reserve items.

Books are checked out to students for 28 days or to the last day of the semester, whichever comes first. Items may be renewed.

Audio-visual materials are checked out for 2 days, and also may be renewed.

Reserve items vary. Calculators, laptops, and headphones are borrowed for 4 hours; for course reserve items, the instructor sets how long an item may be borrowed. Many may not leave the Library.

Reference items may not be checked out.

See the Circulation Policy for more information

Where do I return my items?

During Library hours, please return all items to the Service Desk in the Library. If the Librarian or Student Worker is away from the desk, be sure to place the item(s) into the slot just below the counter.

The outside Book Drop is to be used only when the Library is closed. It is located near the back door of the building outside the library on the side toward to the Student (west) parking lot (click image to enlarge). Items placed here will not be retrieved until the next day that the Library is open. Reserve items placed here while the Library is open will have fines.
location of outdoor book drop

What are the overdue fines?

The fine for regular materials is $.35/day/item; the maximum fine is $15.00 per item. It takes approximately 43 days to reach $15.00.

The fine for Reserve items is $.10 per minute per item; the maximum fine for Reserve items is $25.00 per item; this will be reached after the item is over 4 hours overdue.

All fines and bills must be paid in the Bursar’s Office (room 181) or online in LoLA. The Library cannot accept payment. We will be able to print a bill for you to take to the Bursar’s Office on request with a valid photo ID. If you pay online with a debit or credit card there will be a transaction fee in addition to the actual bill amount, and you must let the Business Office know that you have paid your bill online so they can remove the hold from your account. Contact them at (225) 743 8530 or by e-mail at

Once the fine has reached the relevant maximum amount, the item may then be considered lost, resulting in a bill for the replacement of the item. Such a bill will include the cost of the item and a $20.00 processing fee per item.

Also note that owing the Library money or failing to return items on time will result in a hold being placed on your record, which means that you will not get your grades or transcripts, nor will you be allowed to either register for the next semester or to graduate.

What happens if I lose or damage a book or other item?

Contact the Library first!

Do not attempt to make repairs yourself! We have materials and tools to make repairs.

Please do not take it upon yourself to find a replacement copy of a book that you may have lost or damaged. Doing so will not save you money. We will still charge the Processing Fee and reserve the right to refuse any item offered. We have specific sources and procedures for obtaining materials.

If you lose or damage a library item, you should report it to the Library immediately. This will stop the fine (if the item is overdue when you report it, any accrued fine may still apply), but will also result in a bill for the book, which will include any applicable fine, a processing fee of $20.00 and the replacement cost of the item.

What are the different notices that may be sent by the Library?

The Library sends out Overdue Notices and Bills.

An Overdue Notice is a letter telling a borrower that an item that he or she has checked out is late and has not been renewed or returned to the Library. Such notices are sent once a week. It is in your best interest to know when your materials are due and to return or renew them on time. An Overdue Notice will not have a specific amount due.

A Bill is sent out because a patron owes the Library money for either overdue fines or lost or damaged items. A bill for an overdue fine means that the item has been returned or renewed after the original due date. It will include a specific amount due.

A bill for a lost item will include the cost of the item, shown as “Lost” on the bill, and a $20.00 Processing Fee. If you have been billed for an item as lost and have not yet paid the bill, returning the item may result in an adjustment being made to the amount owed. You may be credited the cost of the item, but any overdue fines will still apply as well as some or all of the processing fee.

No adjustments may be made to a bill that has been paid, is more than 180 days old, or if the item has been replaced.

Failure to pay any outstanding fines and/or fees will result in suspension of Library privileges and a hold being placed on your RPCC record. Students with outstanding library accounts from a previous semester must clear their accounts in order to receive their grades/transcripts, graduate and/or register for upcoming semesters.

Are food and drinks allowed in the library?


Using the Library Resources

How do I borrow books, etc.?

To check materials out from the library, you must present a photo ID at the Service Desk, preferably your RPCC ID, but a driver’s license will do.

Faculty and students: See Student Services for your RPCC ID.

Your account must be valid. It is valid if you are currently enrolled in or employed by RPCC, or have otherwise been granted circulation privileges and are in good standing.

For more information, see the Library’s Circulation Policy.

What is the Catalog?

The Catalog is the electronic version of the old card catalogs once used in libraries; this is the database that lists all materials owned by the library.

Click the “Catalog” link on the Library’s homepage to begin your search.

You can search for materials by “keywords anywhere” (most common choice), author, title, subject, series, or periodical title.

For more information on searching our catalog, please see Searching the Catalog on our Tutorials page.

A staff member will be happy to help you use the catalog if needed.

What are the Stacks?

“Stacks” is what the shelving is usually called in a library. In addition to our general collection, we also have our DVD, CD-ROM, Oversize, Periodicals, Atlas, and Dictionary collections. Ask for assistance as needed.

What are eBooks?

E-Books are electronic versions of print books. We subscribe to a number of e-Book resources and there are several online sources that offer some full-text for free for materials that are no longer protected by copyright.

Our sources include:

  • Ebooks & Primary Sources from Britannica
  • eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
  • World Book E-Books Center or Collection on Academic World Book or World Book Advanced
  • Book Collection: Nonfiction (EBSCOhost)
  • LearningExpress Library eBooks

Our eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) is the only collection of e-books that is included in our Online Catalog; individual books may be accessed through the catalog or users may also search eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) directly.

Visit our E-Book Collections for more information.

How do I find items?

For items on our shelves, the Library uses the Library of Congress classification system, a combination of letters and numbers organized by subject. The items are shelved alphabetically by call number class, then numerically. Please see a staff member if you need help in locating an item.

E-books that are included in the Catalog will not have a call number, but will show “Available Online” instead and include a link (URL) to the e-book.

DVD, CD-ROM, Oversized, Periodicals, Atlas, and Dictionary collections are in specific sections. Please see staff for more information.

What are the Databases and what does Full-Text mean?

The Databases are indexes to articles, etc., published in periodicals (journals, magazines, newspapers, etc.).

Different sets of databases may look different, but they have similar options to search for articles and other resources.

“Full-text” means that you can access the entire article. Depending on the file format, the electronic version may or may not look exactly as it does in print, but regardless of the appearance, the content will be the same.

Not all databases offer full-text, nor are all articles, even in those databases that do offer full-text.

Ask a librarian if you need more information or assistance using the databases.

Which database should I use?

That depends on what kind of information you will need. Our Databases page includes brief descriptions. Browse through the names and descriptions to decide which may be most useful. Some, such as Academic Search Complete, cover a wide range of subject areas, while others are more specific, like Science and Technology Collection.

How do I access the databases, etc., from off-campus?

All of our resources must be accessed from the RPCC Library website.
Off-campus access will required login.
Please visit How to Access RPCC Library Resources for more information.

How do I check my account or renew things online?

You must login to your account from the Catalog. Click any “Catalog” link.
Once there, on the grey menu bar, to the far right, click “Renew My Stuff.”

Your next options will be to “Review My Account” or “Renew My Materials.” When you select one, you will then be asked for your User ID (or Alternate ID), and your PIN.

If you successfully renew your items online (or by phone), be sure to note your new due date!

Remember to logout and close the browser when you are finished, especially if you are using a public computer. This is to protect your privacy.

If you have any questions or encounter problems when trying to log in, please contact Library staff.

I tried to renew my items online, but couldn't. Why? Now what?


You may have reached your renewal limit or there may be other causes.

–Now what?

If the Library is open (See our Hours, above), you should call us at 225-743-8550. If you reach voice mail, please leave a message with your name and complete phone number, including the area code, and we will return your call as soon as possible. If you need immediate assistance, try one of the other numbers listed.

If we are closed, you may call and leave a message or you may send an e-mail to (preferred). In either case, be sure to leave complete contact information, including your area code. The first Library staff member to get your message will respond as soon as possible.

Library Services

How do I print or make copies in the Library?

The Library is equipped with multi-function printer/copier, located near the computers to the right as you enter the Library.

Black & white printing and photocopying costs $.10 per page; double-sided copies will cost $.10 each side.

Color printing and photocopying costs $.25 per page; double-sided copies will cost $.25 each side.

Students have an account that uses their LoLA username and password to pay for printing/copying and they will be able to add to these accounts online only using a credit or debit card. Students may also choose to create an account to which funds may be added using a credit or debit card online or with cash or check at the Business Office, room 181.

Comments or complaints regarding printing/copying should be directed to the Business Office, room 180, or to

Can I scan documents in the Library?

Yes! There are 4 scanners located in the Library for student use, three near the computers and one with the ADA-compliant workstation. Instructions for each are on the scanners.

A document may also be scanned using the printer/copier to send via e-mail or save to a flash drive as a PDF; there is no charge for this, but users must have money in their accounts in order to login at the printer/copier. Also note that scanning to e-mail may not send documents to non-RPCC e-mail addresses. Check with a Librarian for help.

What are Student Success Workshops?

Student Success Workshops are informational sessions offered to students free of charge and do not require pre-registration.

Topics vary from career information and advice to math anxiety.

What is Bibliographic Instruction?

This is instruction in the use of library resources and materials.

It can be informal, one-on-one, as needed by individuals, in a class as requested by the instructor, or in the more formal form of the LISR 1000 course, which is worth 1 semester hour of credit. This course transfers to LSU & SLU, and possibly others.

What are Course Reserves?

Course Reserves are materials set aside in the Library for use by students enrolled in specific classes. Such materials may be books, magazines or journals, video tapes or DVDs, etc.

Students are limited to 2 Reserve items at a time.

Please note: Reserve items carry a higher fine than regular items.

Do not return Reserve items to the outside book drop while the library is open.

What is Proctored Testing? How can I make up a missed test or take a test for an online course?

A proctored test is one that is taken outside of a regularly scheduled class meeting, usually by a person besides your instructor.

It may be for a make-up test, for students with accommodations, or for tests in an online class.

During Summer 2019, Library Services will not be providing proctored testing.

Please check with your instructor for your options.

Students with disabilities should also contact Disability Services or TRIO for more options.

Still don’t see what you need here? Send your question to and we’ll get back to you. Your question may even be added to our list!