Scanning services resume

July 6, 2020

Beginning Monday, June 29, the University of Michigan library resumed scanning services to the U-M community. U-M affiliates — students, faculty (including emeritus), and staff — can request scanned materials from the library’s print collection and from other libraries. 

According to Emily Campbell, director of document delivery, there are some constraints and limitations. “Right now, we only have access to Hatcher Library and Health Sciences Remote Shelving,” she says. “Fortunately, Hatcher holds a significant portion of our collection.” 

These constraints mean that scanning requests will be more readily filled if people request items from eligible locations — a list that will expand as safety protocols are established for more sites. 

To request scanned portions of print materials, use Library Search to find what you need, select the item record, scroll to the section labeled “Available at,” and choose a copy from an eligible location. Then click “Get this” to request a digital copy via a prefilled request form. You’ll need to specify the portion you want scanned, keeping in mind that, as always, the portion of a work that can be legally scanned is limited by copyright law. Turnaround time is 3-7 business days.

Scans are delivered via email, and remain available on a secure server for two weeks.  

What if the material you want scanned is not available from an eligible location? “Submit the request anyway,” Campbell says. “Fill out the form with as much information as possible, and we’ll try to find a digital resource, or a scan from another library.”

In other words, the people in Campbell’s department are finding creative ways to put their expertise to work for the U-M community. Case in point: In the early days of the pandemic — when staff still had full access to library buildings — a researcher studying COVID-19 reached out, in search of an old edition of a 1,000-plus page pharmacology book. The book was only available in print, and couldn’t be scanned in full, so Campbell arranged to have it delivered to him in Canton.


by Danielle Colburn


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