Helmke Library Is Open for In-Person and Virtual Services

Starting July 1, Helmke Library resumed in-person services. While we still have our robust virtual services and digital resources, you are welcome to visit the library in person to check out materials, study, use the computer lab, and more. Our open hours are posted on our website.

Laptop checkouts will continue, but starting in the fall semester will return to a 24-hour checkout period.

While some in-person reference consultations will resume, virtual chat reference and virtual reference consultations with librarians will continue.

The Writing Center will continue with virtual consultations, and Speech and Presentation Services still offers virtual appointments.

You will notice some updates to the library, like Plexiglas at the Service Desk and hand sanitizing stations, to help keep us all as safe as possible. While in the building, we ask our patrons to help ensure the safety of our community by:

  • Wearing a mask properly in place, covering both your nose and mouth.
  • Using the cleaning supplies available at the Service Desk to clean table areas before you sit down and as you leave.
  • Keeping 6 feet of distance from other people and following one-way directional signs, including on stairways.
  • Limiting the number of people sitting at a table to 1-2.
  • Washing your hands frequently, and refraining from touching your face.

As recommended by campus guidelines, please stay home if you feel sick, have a temperature or other COVID-related symptoms, or suspect you’ve been exposed to the virus, to lessen the risk of spreading the virus. We will be happy to help accommodate your needs through our virtual services.

Book Returns

As we near the end of the semester, the library recognizes that students and faculty will want to return checked-out library materials before summer. To accommodate this while still keeping library staff safe, we will accept returns starting Monday, April 27, in the drop box that is located in the first floor vestibule. Though the library building remains closed at this time, the outside doors to the vestibule are open.

Once books are received, they will be quarantined for 72 hours, so expect delays in items being marked as returned in your account. This delay in a return status will not result in any overdue fines.

Please do not return laptops to the drop box. Contact ref@pfw.edu to return a laptop.

And please note that the library does not accept returns of bookstore rentals.

Public Domain, Creative Commons, and Other Online Resources

Whether you are teaching, researching, or learning remotely, your needs for online resources have grown. We provide access to thousands of full-text articles and ebooks through our databases and catalog, as well as to university-related archives and images in our digital collections on mDON.

There are also many great resources for public domain and creative commons-licensed digital content (text, images, video, and music) that you can use for teaching, on Blackboard, for research, for projects, and more, without needing to get copyright permission. Check out this guide for links to this copyright-free or permission-granted content.

Helmke Library closed temporarily, but online services are still available

Helmke Library is closed for the duration of  Indiana’s Stay-At-Home Executive Order. All online services remain open.

During this time:

  • Virtual reference will be available through email and IM chat services via our Ask-A-Librarian page at https://library.pfw.edu/askalibrarian Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. -10:00 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.; Sunday, Noon-10:00 p.m. Virtual reference appointments with librarians are also available.
  • Writing Center online consultations will remain available and can be scheduled at https://pfw.edu/writing
  • The library’s digital resources, accessed through library.pfw.edu, will remain available. Downloadable ebooks, full-text articles, and more online resources are available through “Search Everything,” our catalog, and our databases list. You can access materials remotely by logging in with your Purdue Fort Wayne credentials when you are prompted.
  • If you have any questions or are having trouble accessing resources, please contact us via the Ask-A-Librarian page, and your question will be directed to the correct person.
  • Our topic, research, and specialty guides can help point you to the best online resources to help you for your specific information needs.
  • Document Delivery Services are still available for journal articles and book chapters.  Requests for physical books will be investigated for possible ebook purchase.
  • Materials that are currently checked out have had their due dates extended and will not be due until July 1, 2020.
  • Laptops currently checked out will be due on May 1, 2020.  Even though Helmke Library is closed to the public, Purdue University Fort Wayne students can still borrow laptops from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. Supplies are limited. Please contact us at ref@pfw.edu with your name and the time you would like to pick up the laptop. When you come to pick up the laptop, we will check the machine out to you and meet you at the front door. Please bring your Mastodon or other photo ID.

Helmke Response to the Community in light of the COVID-19 outbreak

At this time, the Helmke Library at Purdue University Fort Wayne is not equipped to safely meet the increased demand of both our campus and our community. In this time of crisis, our focus must primarily be on our campus, and in support of the students, faculty, and staff as we move to transfer services and courses from in-person to a virtual environment.

Unfortunately, this means we must reduce services to our community patrons for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. We will no longer be able to provide computer access to non-campus patrons and, while community members are still able to access the building, we ask that you respect the policies we’ve enacted to protect our employees and guests by limiting the time you spend in the building and keeping a distance of 6 feet from other patrons while you are here.

For those needing to complete research, all Indiana residents are able to access a variety of databases through INSPIRE, a virtual library supported by the Indiana General Assembly. INSPIRE includes full-text magazine and journal articles, websites, pamphlets, images, almanacs, full-text historic newspapers, multimedia, and library catalogs. It also provides access to Consumer Reports, test and resume preparation, genealogy, current news, and other services. Indiana residents can access this service by visiting https://inspire.in.gov/.

We appreciate your understanding as we strive to support our campus during this difficult and unusual time. We look forward to returning to regular operations and supporting our community again when it is deemed safe to do so.

Library and Writing Center Services During COVID19

Currently the library building is open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday for Spring Break and starting March 23rd will be going to reduced hours of 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday for the duration of the present situation, pending additional campus closures.  Online access to collections will remain available 24/7 on our website https://library.pfw.edu/ , and appointments with librarians via Skype may be scheduled for day, evening, and weekend hours at https://library.pfw.edu/askalibrarian#. The Writing Center’s online consultation service will remain available via their website at https://www.pfw.edu/offices/learning-support/writing-center/consultations

Should the campus close entirely, the library and the Writing Center will maintain virtual services.

Please monitor https://helmkehighlights.wordpress.com/ for updates as the situation develops.

Overview of Library Services:


Laptop Checkout

The library has laptops available for student checkout at the first floor service desk.  We have extended the loan period to one week, with an option to renew online once per check-out.  If the demand for these exceeds supply we may adjust the policies accordingly.

Student Lab Spaces

The IT computer labs on the first and second floor of the building are open.  We have removed every other seat to encourage a 6-foot space between students and are requesting that any users wipe the equipment down before and after use with provided sanitation wipes.

Study Spaces

Group Study Rooms

Until in-person classes resume, all group study rooms have been switched over to individual study.  They are available for booking via the regular website at https://schedule.library.pfw.edu/reserve/groupstudy

Open Study Areas

Study tables are available.  Seating has been limited to try and maintain social distancing as recommended by the CDC. We request that users wipe the seating down before and after use with provided sanitation wipes and limit to two persons per table.

Getting Help:

Librarian Services

Writing Center

  • Online Consultation Service (asynchronous): https://www.pfw.edu/offices/learning-support/writing-center/consultations
  • IM Chat services: chat box at the bottom of any page on the Writing Center website: pfw.edu/writing
  • Speech and Presentation Service: all appointments switched to Skype appointments. Schedule through TutorTrac. More information will be posted on our website: pfw.edu/writing
  • Additional synchronous methods of consultations are in development.

Services for Faculty

Course Reserves

Faculty with print materials they would like to put online are encouraged to use our Course Reserves service.  Library staff will digitize the print materials and upload them to the reserve system which interfaces with Blackboard.  All requests must comply with fair use copyright law.  See https://library.pfw.edu/coursereserves

Library Instructional Support

The library has online modules available for use in your BlackBoard courses covering a variety of topics including citation formats, doing research, determining credible sources, and many more!  These modules have optional quizzes that can be linked to gradebooks.  See https://library.pfw.edu/infolit for more information.

If your course requires a more specialized library tutorial, please contact your liaison librarian who would be happy to record a short video for your class, or to create a customized course guide.


Helmke Library is remaining open during the global outbreak of COVID-19, but we are asking our patrons to take some preventive actions to ensure the safety of our community:

  • Cleaning supplies are available at the Service Desk so that you can clean the area before you sit down and as you leave.
  • Keep 6 feet of distance from other people in building.
  • Limit the number of people sitting at a table to 1-2.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and refrain from touching your face.

We hope you can help us with these preventive measures to keep our community healthy.  Thank you.

Updated Library Website


We’re excited to announce that the new Helmke Library website is now available. Our updated website features a user-friendly interface with a cleaner design and clear navigation to put the resources and information you need most front and center:

  • Large search box with tabs for Library Search, Catalog and E-Journal searches and links to popular databases
  • Navigation bar with services and information links and daily hours featured at the top right of every page
  • Clickable image tiles to featured resources and events.
  • Information about library services and policies in a comprehensive “About” page
  • Easy access to digital collections and topic guides

The library’s main URL has not changed, but some of our other webpages have had URL changes. If you have a saved direct link to a library topic or course guide, you may need to update the URL.  In most cases, this is a very simple change: to update, delete “guides.” from the beginning of the old URL. The rest of the URL will remain the same. Please update any saved or bookmarked links.

Going forward, we will be collecting feedback about the site. If you would like to be contacted about future opportunities to provide your feedback, please provide your contact information here: https://purdue.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1GDHABnUhWr5AHz.

Library Website Down August 6

On Tuesday, August 6, the library website will be unavailable due to a server migration.  Most library databases and services will be available that day, although you will need to either use the links below or contact the library for access.

Adjusted Hours and Access January 20–21


The library will be closed all day on Monday, January 21, in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Additionally, please be aware that due to scheduled campus-wide network maintenance on Sunday, January 20, there will be no off-campus access to the library catalog, databases, group study room bookings and other online resources from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Off-campus access should resume as normal after 4:00 p.m.