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What to Expect: 2020-21

This page contains information about library services and resources that will be available during the 2020-21 academic year.  [Updated February 9, 2021]

Our Spaces

All KU Libraries locations across campus are open to the public for the spring 2021 semester. A detailed schedule of hours for each location is available online (pdf).

We welcome you safely.

As you make your way through the academic year, KU Libraries welcome you safely to our buildings.

We have modified library spaces, resources, and services this year. These changes were driven first and foremost by safety protocol in accordance with university recommendations. We are resolved to protecting the broader Jayhawk community while we strive to advance our mission – transforming lives by inspiring the discovery and creation of knowledge for the university and our global community.

Library spaces may look and feel a bit different than they have before:

  • As in all campus locations, face coverings are required in library locations at all times.
  • As you arrive to the library, you are required to verify your health status at the entrance kiosk, scanning a code from your CVKey app assessment, or by completing a paper form.
  • Please respect navigational direction, particularly around stairwells, elevators, and access points, intended to reduce congestion and risk of any transmission.
  • Capacity for study tables and computer workstations has been considerably reduced to support social distancing requirements.
  • In alignment with campus cleaning protocol, our spaces are being disinfected with greater regularity. Supplies are available so that users can clean spaces before each use.

Additional details about our spaces, resources, and support for advancing teaching and research needs are detailed below.

You can access our computer workstations.

Computers are available for walk-in use, though capacity has been reduced so that workstations are appropriately spaced to support social distancing. Many popular campus lab software applications are also available remotely via Virtual Lab.

You can reserve individual study rooms.

We have converted the majority of our group study rooms into individual study spaces, which you can reserve online.

Some equipment is available for check-out.

Laptops are available for one-week check-out. Headphones, calculators, markers, and voice recorders are not.

Library stacks are closed.

Library users are not allowed to access or browse physical collections housed in the library stacks, but KU students, faculty, and staff may request specific items to be pulled for pick-up through our Retrieve From Shelf process.

You are welcome to enjoy beverages in our spaces, but not food.

You may bring your own beverages into library spaces where allowed; however, in the interests of maximizing use of face coverings and overall cleanliness, we ask that food not be consumed in library spaces this fall.

Our Resources

You can access library collection materials through a number of channels. Digital resources are readily available. Although library stacks are closed to browsing, you can still access items from our collections in a variety of ways:

  • You can request library materials through our Retrieve From Shelf process, then pick them up at a preferred library service desk. TripSaver will not be available this spring.
  • Once returned, physical materials will be quarantined for 96 hours before processing.
  • The Document Delivery service may be used to request digital copies of journal articles and individual book chapters.
  • We are accepting Interlibrary Loan requests. Due to reduced availability of collections at peer institutions, response times will be slower than usual and we may be unable to fulfill some requests.
  • Many books from our collections are temporarily available online through the HathiTrust Digital Library's Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS).
  • Please suggest a purchase to inquire about additional online access to resources.
  • We provide access to a variety of streaming video services and accept requests to digitize portions of DVDs/videos for classroom use.
  • For Spencer Research Library materials, please contact ksrlref@ku.edu for research support and reproduction requests.

Course reserves look different.

While physical course reserves are not being offered during the spring semester, we do support a variety of alternative options.

Your Teaching & Research

We are here to support your instructional needs. Library faculty and staff are partnering with instructors to integrate research skills and information literacy outcomes into your courses and assignments. We anticipate meeting a majority of spring 2021 library instruction objectives through various online methods. Instructors who anticipate learning objectives for library instruction that may require an in-person component should contact us to explore options. Any in-person library instruction that does take place will follow KU protocols that prioritize the health and safety of students, instructors, and library faculty and staff, accounting for limited capacity in library instruction classrooms.

Request a consultation with a library instructor to discuss your needs and potential approaches.

We offer Video Tutorials and Subject and Course Guides to support research and assignments for courses.

Our Copyright and Online Instruction Guide provides support for questions about copyright and online teaching. Please contact copyright@ku.edu for more on copyright, fair use, and online instruction.

Research support is at your fingertips.

KU Libraries' Ask a Librarian service continues to offer research help via chat and email.

KU librarians are available for research consultations via Zoom or other online methods. Please contact us to arrange a consultation with our experts in digital, print, and archival collections; scholarly communication; citation management; digital scholarship; and more.

Community Resources

Please see our Community Resources Guide for links to additional library, cultural, and wellness resources.


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