Pew Learning Center and Ellison Library



Mission: The Ellison Library is an active partner in shaping the College’s distinctive Triad educational program. The library provides a dynamic space of inquiry, exploration, and discovery. Library staff and faculty strive to create an atmosphere that facilitates learning, sparks curiosity, and inspires discovery by thoughtfully curating a collection of diverse information resources and by providing a variety of learnings spaces.

The library staff and faculty aspire to

  1. Serve as a welcoming social and intellectual center of the College, honoring differences to create an inclusive atmosphere where diverse voices are heard.
  2. Partner with students, faculty, and staff in creating a learning environment that fosters intellectual curiosity, discovery, creativity, collaboration, and growth.
  3. Enable and facilitate the development of skills necessary for research and academic discourse.
  4. Embrace transformations in research and collections, building on the foundational collaboration between collections, technology, and media to redefine library services.
  5. Empower a creative and energetic staff to experiment, expand the library’s reach across campus, and anticipate student needs in a rapidly changing world.
  6. Adapt and design facilities, collections, formats, and access to promote an open and experiential learning environment.
  7. Foster a productive work environment in which student crew members thrive and where their contributions are valued and celebrated.
  8. Nurture a collegial work environment built on collaboration and consensus that values and celebrates the contribution of all staff members and supports their professional growth.

The library is open 88 hours a week during the academic year while classes are in session. Students have seating choices including group study rooms, study tables, individual carrels, lounge seating and rocking chairs. While classes are in session, the Cole Study Room is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is equipped with two networked computers, laptop ports, wireless capabilities and an emergency phone. An instructional room is equipped for multimedia presentations.

The library maintains a collection of about 90,000 print titles and provides access to over 300,000 electronic books. The collection supports all areas of the College curriculum and contributes to the cultural and recreational enrichment of students. The heavily used alternative press magazine collection ensures that alternative and minority viewpoints are represented.

The library has a collection of videotapes and DVDs that students may either view in the library or check out. It also has a large collection of streaming videos.

The library is a charter member of the NC LIVE (North Carolina Libraries in Virtual Education) program and is part of the ACA BCLA (Appalachian College Association Bowen Central Library of Appalachia). Both provide extensive library resources to students at participating colleges and universities. These and other services include full text coverage of over 40,000 periodicals and newspapers, extensive databases, and many other information resources.

The library provides access to the Internet and the World Wide Web through the campus network, including wireless capabilities throughout the building. Librarians continuously update and expand the library homepage at to serve as the gateway to information resources.

Books and journal articles not available from WWC may be requested from other libraries. Cooperative borrower cards for the UNC-A library are available for students and staff. Public library cards may be obtained from any branch of the public library system.

The library offers many opportunities for instruction in the use of its resources. They include individual help with library research, instruction in library research skills, library orientation and instruction for new students and staff, instruction in conjunction with college courses, workshops for faculty and staff, and training for students who work on the library crews.

The library also houses the Technology Lab, where students, faculty and staff can explore the uses of emerging technologies in higher education. Currently, the Lab is stocked with a 3D Printer, 3D scanning equipment, motion-controlled computing hardware, and multiple computers, tablets and e-readers. Occupying a room on the main floor, the space is designed to encourage independent exploration and collaborative learning.


The Arthur S. Link Archives and Elizabeth Shepard Special Collections

The College Archives (located in the lower level of the library) holds the legal, fiscal, administrative, historical and cultural records from 1894 through the present. Materials include manuscripts, records, printed materials, audiovisual items, photographs, and artifacts. The archives holds personal papers of administrators, faculty, staff members, students, and alumni. Printed materials include news clippings, graphics, and programs from official college events, yearbooks, course catalogs, handbooks, school newspapers, and literary and administrative publications. Audiovisual holdings include oral histories, mountain and folk music recordings, and videos and movies of concerts, commencements, and other events. Photographic collections include some 40,000 prints, negatives, slides, and digital files that document the campus and people from the 1890s to the present.

The Elizabeth Shepard Special Collections contains theses by graduates of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, students’ seminar papers and capstone theses, documentary source books in American history, and the Federal Writers’ Project guides to America. Books on college history, the Presbyterian Church, the cultural and natural history of Western North Carolina, and publications by school administrators, staff, faculty, and alumni are also part of the collections.

For more information about the archives, visit