Estelle M. Black Library

With over 90,000 book volumes, subscriptions to 232 periodical titles, access to the materials of an additional 88 Illinois academic libraries, and services of dedicated information specialists – these resources strengthen the mission of Estelle M. Black Library at Rock Valley College which is to empower students and community through lifelong learning. The Library Bill of Rights guides our service.

For Our Students

The Estelle M. Black (EMB) Library supports the distance learning students and instructors of Rock Valley College. There are many resources available to assist students and instructors in finding, retrieving and evaluating information to support their online coursework.

For Our Community

Did you know that residents of the Community College District # 511 may get a library card at Rock Valley College Library free of charge? If you live in the area covered by the map, you qualify. Why not visit us and get yours today? Community patrons can check out materials from the RVC Library but cannot access our online resources from off-campus and cannot request items through I-Share. Community patrons can use our interlibrary loan service to request items from other libraries.

Contact Us

  • RVC Library
  • (815) 921-4626
  • (815) 921-4629
  • RVC Main Campus
    Educational Resource Center
  • Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Friday: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Reference Desk: (815) 921-4619
  • Circulation Desk: (815) 921-4615
  • Interlibrary Loan: (815) 921-4607

Chat with Library Support



Access Online Resources

Government Documents

Since July, 2003, Rock Valley College Library has become a U.S. Government Depository Library. Listed below are links to government documents on the web:

Study Room Use

The Library has six group study rooms set aside primarily for student use. Current RVC students will receive reservation priority, though faculty, staff, and community patrons may utilize the rooms (with the understanding that they could potentially be bumped if an RVC student group needs the room).

The following rules must be followed when using the Library Study Rooms. Failure to comply with the following rules may result in you being asked to vacate the room:

  1. Three hours is the maximum amount of time you may reserve the room
  2. No food or uncovered drinks are allowed in the study rooms or library
  3. Keep noise levels to a minimum

RVC Archives

The Archives Room is located within the library in ERC 2304. Materials located in the Archives collection include: pre-organizational stages, Board of Trustees reports, course catalogs and schedules, The Valley Forge newspaper, newspaper clippings about Rock Valley College, faculty and staff newsletters, student organization & club minutes, event photos, athletics team records, insignia, programs, and team photos, theatre and music programs, educational certificates, directories, and handbooks, recordings of concerts and athletic events, fine art, oral history transcripts, and recordings.

Visits to the archives are by appointment only. A finding guide to the college archives collection leads to documents that originate from many segments of the college. The collection is organized by originating department of the college. For example, press releases are located with documents generated by RVC Public Relations. Material in the archive collection reflects Rock Valley College's 50+ year history. Publications of the college, including the student yearbooks from 1966-1970 and the literary magazine are digitized and available through the Internet Archive.

Friends of the Library

The purpose of the Friends of Rock Valley College Library is to enhance the library’s facilities, resources, and services in order to better meet the college library’s mission to students, faculty and the community. The Friends will accomplish its purpose by developing an agenda that provides financial and voluntary assistance to improve library resources and services.


Gifts to the RVC Library

The RVC Library gladly accepts in-kind donations of books and other materials from faculty, staff, students, and community members.  Such donations are accepted only with the understanding that there will be “no strings attached.” Donors will not receive any special treatment or benefits due to their donation(s). The Library also welcomes monetary donations but it cannot accept funds for the purpose of buying specific titles requested by the donor.

The RVC Library reserves the right to utilize or dispose of any gift materials in whatever way, or at any time, deemed most appropriate. The Director of the Library has ultimate authority over the disposition of any gift materials. The Technical Services Coordinator makes the practical decisions about which gift items to retain for library use. These decisions are guided by the Library’s collection development policy.

Gifts not retained by the Library will be disposed of in the most appropriate manner. Possibilities include giving items to other area libraries, to “friends of the library” organizations, to other area nonprofit organizations, or making them available to RVC faculty, staff, and students.

The Library will provide, on a limited basis, book plates for appropriate books donated in honor of or memory of an individual, or for other special circumstances. However, in general, there will be no designation of the donor placed on donated materials.

An appropriate thank you letter will be sent promptly to the person(s) who donated the material. The letter will indicate the total number and kind of material(s) donated and can serve as a receipt for the donation.

The Library cannot provide any estimated value of any gift materials. It is up to the donor to assign a value to gift material, if a value is needed for any purpose. If a precise value is desired the donor should contact a professional appraiser. Many used and rare book dealers will do appraisals. Websites of used book dealers can also be utilized to determine an approximate current selling price for specific used titles. If a valuation is desired for tax purposes it is strongly recommended that the donor consult IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property. This publication states the following about determining the fair market value (FMV) of books:

  • Books. The value of books is usually determined by selecting comparable sales and adjusting the prices according to the differences between the comparable sales and the item being evaluated. This is difficult to do and, except for a collection of little value, should be done by a specialized appraiser. Within the general category of literary property, there are dealers who specialize in certain areas, such as Americana, foreign imports, Bibles, and scientific books.
  • Modest value of collection. If the collection you are donating is of modest value, not requiring a written appraisal, the following information may help you in determining the FMV. A book that is very old, or very rare, is not necessarily valuable. There are many books that are very old or rare, but that have little or no market value.
  • Condition of book. The condition of a book may have a great influence on its value. Collectors are interested in items that are in fine, or at least good, condition. When a book has a missing page, a loose binding, tears, stains, or is otherwise in poor condition, its value is greatly lowered.
  • Other factors. Some other factors in the valuation of a book are the kind of binding (leather, cloth, paper), page edges, and illustrations (drawings and photographs). Collectors usually want first editions of books. However, because of changes or additions, other editions are sometimes worth as much as, or more than, the first edition.

Support RVC Library

Monetary gifts are always welcome and can be accomplished through the Rock Valley College Foundation.

RVC Foundation