Fall 2020: What to expect from the Library

Plexiglass has been installed around study spaces and all patrons are expected to wear facial coveringsAs we begin a new semester, while grappling with an ongoing global pandemic, there’s no doubt things are different. The Library can’t do everything the same as we usually do — but we’re working hard to be here when you need us. And if something isn’t clear? Just ask. No question too big or small.

Below are some things we know about Collections, Spaces, and Getting Help for the fall semester.

Looking for quick reference? Check out the Status Dashboard and Library Resources FAQ, which will be kept up to date all semester long.

Access to Collections

If you only read one thing: Start with Virgo! If an item is digital, the link is in Virgo. If the item is physical, Virgo is where you make a request. It’s always a good place to start!

On to the details…

  • Unfortunately, stacks browsing is not available. Stacks will remain closed to the public for fall semester. You can read more about this in our FAQ, but — believe it or not — this allows us to provide better and more equitable service by enabling alternate access methods, like digital access and “Paging and Pickup”.
  • Speaking of access, millions of items are newly available online. Yes, millions. To find them, go to the Virgo catalog and search for what you want. For most material, if it isn’t available online, it’s available for pickup!
    • The newly-online items are largely thanks to our partnership with the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service, which will remain available through the full fall semester. Learn more about ETAS.
    • Our arrangement with HathiTrust, and U.S. copyright law, means that we cannot circulate more copies of a book than we own. So physical copies of items found in ETAS cannot be requested for pickup… but the digital copy is available from anywhere in the world, which allows us to provide stable and equitable access to educators and students all semester long. No matter what.
  • “Paging and pickup” means you can request Library materials through Virgo. You’ll get an email when they’re ready, and can pick them up any time during business hours. It’s like library takeout!
  • Unfortunately, LEO delivery to departments will not be available this semester because of departmental limitations. We are working on alternate arrangements, but encourage anyone to use Paging and Pickup to get what you need.
  • Interlibrary Loan is functional, but the number of institutions able to participate is limited.
  • Special Collections is offering reference support through their Online Reference Request form, and UVA students, faculty, and staff can sign up for in-person research by appointment.

Access to Spaces

If you only read one thing: Brown and Clemons study spaces are open! Bring your mask and your UVA ID to study, ask questions, and enjoy socially-distanced camaraderie.

Library stacks will not open to the public in fall 2020.

What else?

  • As with all UVA spaces, some requirements are in place:
    • Carry your UVA ID when you’re on Grounds. You’ll need it for most UVA spaces, and at the library you’ll need to show it at the door — no exceptions.
    • Masks MUST be worn at all times when indoors.
    • NO food or drink is allowed, except you may carry a personal water bottle.
    • Please practice safe social distancing and do not move furniture.
  • Library spaces will shut down for non-compliance with the safety guidelines above.
  • We’re not able to offer room reservations this semester.
  • Occupancy limits are in place and, for safety’s sake, we cannot allow more patrons through the door when a building reaches capacity. We’re currently working to add occupancy levels to the Status Dashboard, so stay tuned!

Getting Help

If you only read one thing: We want to help! Ask a Librarian, and they’ll find what you need or connect you to a person who can.

What else?

  • Subject Liaisons are a powerful resource for subject-specific assistance. Liaisons can help you brainstorm methods for alternative access, help secure much-needed research materials, and connect you to resources for your classroom. They know all of the tricks of the trade! Find your subject liaison now.
  • Our staff is fully available to you, even if we’re working remotely. Scholars’ Lab, Research and Data Services, and so many more, are at the ready. Not sure where to start? Ask a Librarian or contact your subject liaison!
  • The Teaching and Learning team can provide classroom support for specialized sessions, A/V needs, pedagogical support, and much more. Reach out to teachlearn@virginia.edu to learn more.

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