We're offering onsite services for fall semester

August 31, 2020

As of August 31, the U-M Library is lending books (and other items) using contactless pickup service. It has also launched a system that allows students to reserve up to two hours of individual library study space

According to Dean of Libraries James Hilton, these service offerings reflect the library’s intention to provide remote access and services wherever possible, and in-person services where remote does not suffice, in conformity with Environment, Health & Safety guidelines. The emphasis on remote access means that the library will not lend physical copies of books that are available to read online via HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service. 

Safety considerations also mean limited building access at campus libraries. Study space is confined to Shapiro, which at launch will be open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Initially, Shapiro will be the only pickup location for checked-out items, and not all items are available for checkout (see the library website for details). Plans are in the works to expand the service in the coming weeks, including the addition of pickup sites on North Campus for items held in those libraries.

Most library buildings will be closed to patrons except for by-appointment consultations and prearranged access to library-use-only materials that can’t be provided remotely. In all cases, an Mcard will be required for entry, including for access to Bert’s Café, which will be open for takeout only; no eating or drinking will be permitted inside, and everyone will be required to wear face coverings at all times. 

To ensure that the campus community can obtain the materials they need for teaching and research, the library has devoted additional resources to acquiring and licensing electronic resources, to scanning services, and to helping instructors find electronic materials for course use. It has also expanded already existing virtual services — among them Ask a Librarian, which answers library-related questions and offers research help via chat, email, and text messages — and is crafting remote live and recorded library customized instruction sessions for courses.

“These changes speak to the library’s adaptability, and our collective determination to provide a library experience that is as complete as possible under the circumstances,” Hilton says. 

“Librarians and staff have been finding creative ways to respond to the university community’s needs since long before the pandemic, and we’re applying those creative problem-solving skills now more than ever. So if you have a library need that’s not showing up in our collections or services, just ask, and we’ll do our best to meet it.”

 

by Lynne Raughley

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