COVID-19

University Library Resources

We’re Here to Help

The University Library’s priority is to serve the needs of our students and faculty while protecting the health and safety of our employees. Though all University Library locations are closed to the public, including our faculty and students, until further notice, pending campus plans for phased resumption of services, librarians and staff are ready to help you. Ask a Librarian service is available to assist users (hours are posted at library.illinois.edu/ask-us). Librarians can also provide research instruction to online classes as well as LibGuides to support class assignments (see https://www.library.illinois.edu/ask-us/information-for-instructors/).

Please feel free to contact us with your comments and questions? libraryadmin@library.illinois.edu

We Miss You Too!

We are working to open as quickly and safely as possible. As soon as we have a reopening date, we’ll let you know.

Last updated on July 7, 2020. 

FAQs

The Library will not return to full service until the state of Illinois has reached Phase 5.
During Phase 4, the Library will only be open to those with in-person appointments (see below).
We are still providing many services in new and innovative ways and recommend you bookmark this page for a comprehensive list of those options.

While the threat of the pandemic persists, the Library will not be able to provide general study or collaboration space for students and faculty.

However, now that the state of Illinois has moved into Phase 4, the Library is investigating options to offer limited, individual study spaces in the Grainger Engineering Library Information Center and the Undergraduate Library. More information will be forthcoming as known.

While the state of Illinois is in Phase 4, reference and consultation services will foreground remote services offered through chat, email, phone, and other delivery methods. In-person appointments will be utilized in situations where remote access is insufficient, for example, when providing research support requires access to physical reference materials or equipment, such as microfilm readers (initially, microfilm access will be supported for short-term consultation and reference use). All in-person appointments will observe CDC social distancing guidelines and PPE requirements, include clean-up of spaces after consultations, and be conducted in accordance with space capacity restrictions.

Appointment access is prioritized for University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff. Access to the community will be available with prior approval for research needs which meet the Library’s requirements as a federal depository library, and with limited other exceptions.

Library staff will attempt to fulfill any requests for materials with an online version and notify the patron with a link to the requested material. If no electronic version is available, the patron will be notified if the print material is available and ready for pickup at the location chosen when the request was made; this is currently the Main Library or Grainger Engineering Library Information Center.

In Phase 4, the Library will focus on digitizing both circulating and special collections materials to support instruction and research, including patron requests. When providing research support requires access to physical reference materials or equipment, such as microfilm readers (initially, microfilm access will be supported for short-term consultation and reference use), in-person appointments will be utilized. Appointments must be booked in advance (more information is forthcoming); there will be no walk-up services.

The Library will not return to full service until the state of Illinois has reached Phase 5.

To reduce the chance of spreading the Coronavirus, the University Library is pursuing an electronic-first strategy. Wherever an electronic copy of a work is available, the Library makes that copy available for checkout and strictly limits access to the print copy.

The E-first strategy is a core element of the Library’s back-to-work plan and has been approved by the campus Executive Steering Committee on Return to On-Campus Operations. It is a ‘common good’ effort to ensure safety, minimize the number of staff/faculty/student contacts, and reduce the number of books the Library needs to quarantine upon return. The plans reflect the Library’s current understanding of best practices for the handling of library materials, which are being systematically researched through the OCLC/Battelle REALM Project.

In addition, the print access limitations are a prerequisite for the Library’s continued use of the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service. Without close controls on access to the print collection, the Library would be unable to continue offering this service, which benefits all users and especially those who cannot access campus.

For these reasons, the Library’s ability to provide access to printed copies of works is limited. Examples of exceptions are: 1) An electronic copy of the work is not sufficient to meet the needs of a library user who has disabilities or 2) Print is needed to meet specific publication needs (such as production of a high-quality digital image).

Requests for exceptions to the policy above can be directed to the Associate University Librarian for User Services.

You may be denied access or asked to pay when you are trying to use materials that the Library has purchased or licensed. If this happens to you, use the following methods to access the resource:

Connect using the campus VPN, but know that you may still be denied access. If that happens, use method 1, 2, or 3.

During the COVID response, the Library is unable to offer access to traditional physical reserves (such as entire books). In order to safely serve on-campus students, as well as students who may not be on campus this fall, the Library encourages instructors to identify portions of printed works the Library can assist in making available digitally. For complete works, the Library will try to provide digital access when such access is feasible and allowable under copyright law. Please note that electronic textbooks are often not available for libraries to purchase.

For material not currently available in digital form, requests for digitization of portions of printed materials should be made through the Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery webpage. Since digitizing multiple works for multiple instructors will take time, the Library encourages instructors to submit requests as far in advance of the fall semester as possible. Please note that digitization of entire works for the purpose of course reserves is generally not possible due to copyright restrictions.

The University Library recognizes that access to some print materials may be necessary for essential research or to support the continuity of instruction. In order to balance the safety of our employees, print materials may be provided by appointment pick up only. Access will take longer than usual, and every effort will be made to acquire electronic resources first.

Patrons should submit requests through the Library’s online catalog. Library staff will attempt to find an online version and notify the patron with a link to the requested material. If no electronic version is available, the patron will be notified if the print material is available and ready for pickup at the location chosen when the request was made; this is currently the Main Library or Grainger Engineering Library Information Center. Patrons must present their valid i-card at the time and place of their appointment for pick up of their materials.

Yes, this guide points to expanded electronic access to resources for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign community during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also read more about expanded e-resources here.   

The University of Illinois is now a participant in the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS).

The ETAS will provide University students, faculty and staff with online reading access to print materials that are currently unavailable to our users.  It is being offered while the COVID-19 pandemic is limiting access to the print collection.  By offering this service, HathiTrust is helping us to continue to support teaching and research during the stay-at-home order. Read more about this expanded service at https://www.library.illinois.edu/geninfo/covid-19/hathitrust-etas/.

The University Library’s Interlibrary Loan service is still requesting journal articles from other institutions. We are unable to provide access to print resources through interlibrary loan at this time.

Central Access Services will work with patrons to extend courtesy renewals for local items. Patrons should contact Central Access Services by email (circlib@library.illinois.edu) or by phone (217-333-8400).

Please hang on to your library materials unless you are leaving town. If you need to return an item, the book drop located on the outside of the Main Library building (south side of the building off of the E3 parking lot) is still open for returns.

Services

Catalog and EasySearch  — enhanced access to digital materials

 

Resources

  • Open Source Alternatives
    One of the many things that make the Scholarly Commons so great is the specialized software that is available for our users; however, without our physical space, we are faced with a challenge that affects both ourselves and the researchers who use our software. That is why we have compiled this list of open source alternatives to most of the Scholarly Commons software that you can download and use for yourself.