Communities Resolving Our Problems: the basic idea
[SUP: Sharing Problems] [THINK: Guidance] [LEAP: Solving Problems]

Physical Libraries - Local

This web page leads you to information resources stored physically on shelves, not electronically on hard drives. See also the Definition of Physical Libraries.

Definition of Physical Libraries

The distinction between systems that store information physically or virtually increasingly blurs, but some features are telling. If you can somewhere actually walk among the shelves of books, magazines, videos, CD's and so forth, you use the Physical Library system. That is, the storage of distribution of information is done through physical media, such as paper, videotape, audiotape and so forth. If the information is stored on the hard drives and storage devices of computer systems, you use the Virtual Library system.

The physical libraries to which you have online access around the globe may include items on the shelves in a community library, bookstores, museums and newspapers and more. Remember that such online access only points to the locations where the data is shelved. That is, an online search can tell you that the book is owned by the library and in some cases tells you whether it is checked out or not. Such systems do not allow you to read the book online. You must make the trip to the building where it is stored to read or get the book or have the physical object sent, such as a videotape. This is one contrast with the virtual libraries which use computer networks to deliver the complete text of the information to your computer, from web page to radio broadcast, if it is available. Increasingly, some physical libraries are providing access to companies which can electronically send the full text of an article, but this generally requires membership in the library or its institution.

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Local-Campus: Western Carolina University Resources

  • Hunter Library
  • Writing Center located in Hunter Library.
  • Pages by the College of Education and Allied Professions

  • Reading Center
  • A part of the College of Education & Allied Professions, located in the Killian Bldg., Rm. 104, for juvenile literature and other services. Through this Web page you can reach the online database of their juvenile literature and teacher education collection housed there (over 6000 references).
  • Local AudioVisual Access Collections and Resources



  • Curriculum Centers Index of resources on the web by subject area for K-12, including lesson plans and unit plans, a teacher meta-library.

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