Thun Library Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Welcome! This FAQ lists commonly asked questions about the Thun Library. If you have a question that isn't listed here, feel free to contact us or ask us in person at our Service Desk.

Select a question to show or hide the answer.

When is the Thun Library open?

The Thun Library’s hours change each semester and during breaks. Stay up to date on our current hours by checking the Thun Library's monthly hours calendar.

Is there someone at the library I can talk to for help?

Yes, and we’re happy to help! The Service Desk is a great place to start with any questions. Our team can assist with questions about library services and connect you to a wide range of resources.

Still unsure where to start? Just ask.

Who can help me with research?

Our team of librarians can offer guidance and direct you to resources that will help with your research. You can reach out for research help through the services below.

Want to connect with your Thun librarian? Get to know our librarians and find research guides specific to your courses!

How do I find books and articles for research?

There are multiple ways to find resources to help with your research. The following guides will show you how to locate resources through Penn State’s library system.

You can also find resources for specific courses through Berks Course Guides.

What if I want a book that's not available at the Thun Library?

Students, staff, and faculty can borrow items from outside of the Penn State collection, giving us access to almost anything! There are a few options available to help you find the items you want.

You will receive an email once your items arrive at the Thun Library and can pick them up at the Service Desk. Electronic items will be emailed directly to you. Stop by the Service Desk with any questions about sending items from other locations to the Thun Library.

How can I save money on books for classes by using library services?

Students can save money on books and other class materials by checking out course reserves at the library! Course reserves are books, movies, and other required or additional items we place on hold for students to use. Professors may also provide online copies of course materials, which we can help you find. These items are free for students to use for class assignments throughout the semester.

To use physical course reserves, stop by the Service Desk and ask for the item needed for your class. Physical course reserves are available to borrow for up to 2 hours at a time.

You can search by professor or course number to see if course reserve items are available for your classes this semester.

We proactively work to ensure students have access to course materials. If you are a professor, please join in our effort by informing us which texts (required or supplemental) you use each semester. For questions about course reserves, contact Jon Duffy.

How do I get a study room?

You can reserve a study room online or at the kiosk in front of the Service Desk for up to 3 hours. If you need a study room for more than 3 hours, let us know at the Service Desk and we will do our best to extend your time. The links below will help get you started!

At the time of your study room reservation, you can pick up your study room key at the Service Desk. If you need to briefly leave the library during your reservation, you can ask us to hold your room key at the Service Desk until you return.

If you do not arrive within 15 minutes of your reservation time, your reservation will be canceled.

Does Thun Library offer any sensory-friendly spaces or items I can check out?

Our sensory room (room 115) provides an egg chair, yoga mat and ball, fidgets, moon pod, soft lighting lamps, white noise machines, weighted blankets, and other items to reduce sensory overload and help you destress in a quiet, scenic refuge.

You can reserve the sensory room for 90 minutes at a time for individual or small group use through our online study room reservation system.

We also offer sensory kits with noise-cancelling headphones, soft lighting lamps, meditation machines, blue light blocking glasses, fidgets, and squeeze balls that you can check out from our service desk for overnight use. You can use the kits to create your own sensory-friendly zone in one of our study rooms, or take the kits to your residence hall or home.

For more on our sensory room and kits or to make suggestions for items, please see our wellness guide.

What kind of things can I borrow from the library besides books?

Recognizing the different ways people learn, the Thun Library offers a variety of tools and resources to inspire intellectual discovery. Students, faculty, and staff can borrow A/V equipment, study materials, laptops, and other items to use for class and personal projects.

You can find a list of available items and reserve them online. After reserving online, you can pick up your item(s) from the Service Desk and return them to the Desk when you are done.

Does the library have computers I can use?

Penn State students, faculty, and staff can use our public-facing desktops located near the Collaboration Commons. We also offer two computer labs with Windows and Apple desktops that are available when not reserved for classes or other events. A list of software available on our public desktops can be found on the Berks IT website.

Windows laptops and MacBooks are also available to borrow at the service desk for up to three weeks. Also, if you would like to plug your personal laptop or one of our loanable laptops.

Two Windows desktops are available for community member use with a Penn State ID through the Resident PA program. These computers are marked as “Library Community Stations.”

How does printing and scanning work?

A Paw Prints kiosk is available to use in the library. You can print from any library computer, your phone, or your own computer. There is a charge for printing. Two scanners are available in the library to use for free.

Can I record audio and video anywhere in the library?

Yes! Our Media Commons offers spaces and equipment that let you record audio and/or video for class assignments and personal projects.

You can reserve our One Button Studio to create videos with the push of a button or reserve our Sound Booth to record voiceovers, podcasts, or music. Both rooms contain all the equipment needed to produce projects from beginning to end.

You can also borrow a USB microphone to record directly into your own computer using iMovie, GarageBand, or Adobe Creative Cloud software. These microphones can be used in any of our study rooms or taken outside of the library.

Can someone in the library help me with my media project?

Absolutely! Annamarie Given, the Thun Library’s Digital Innovation Specialist, can provide one-on-one support for Media Commons equipment, software, and resources. You can book time with Annamarie or ask for Media Commons help at the library Service Desk.

In addition to in-person support, Media Commons offers resources to help with media projects like those listed below.

Can I borrow books to read for fun outside of class, like new fiction or manga?

Absolutely! There are a few ways you can find leisure reading while at Berks.

Back by our Media Commons, you will find our leisure reading, manga, and non-fiction bestsellers. Our leisure reading collection offers a variety of genres such as fantasy, romance, horror, science fiction, and mysteries.

We also have some leisure reading titles available in the Free Little Library outside the front doors facing the parking lot. You can also access Penn State’s collection of e-books and audio books by downloading the Libby app.

If we don’t have the books you want, you can find and request them from other Penn State campus libraries through the catalog or from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan and WorldCat.

As a Berks student, you can also apply for a Berks County Public Library card and borrow books from a local library!

I want to share my thoughts about Thun Library. How can I submit suggestions and feedback?

We always welcome feedback from our community! To share your thoughts about how we can improve your library experience, please submit a paper form at our Suggestion Box located at the back of the Service Desk or complete our online feedback form.