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What to Expect: Fall 2020

This page contains information about library services and resources that will be available during the fall 2020 semester. [Updated August 12, 2020]

Welcoming You Safely

As you prepare for the fall semester, KU Libraries are eager to welcome you more fully – and safely – into our buildings.

We’d like to offer a glimpse of how we expect library spaces, resources, and services to take shape beginning August 24. These modifications have been 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 will be required.
  • As you arrive to the library, you will be 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 will be disinfected with greater regularity. Supplies will be 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.

Our Spaces

All KU Libraries locations will open to patrons on August 24, 2020. Visit our site to learn more about fall operation hours.

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've converted the majority of our group study rooms into individual study spaces, which you will be able to reserve online beginning August 24.

Some equipment will be available for check-out.

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

Library stacks will be closed.

Library users will not be 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. The café in Anschutz Library will serve beverages.

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 fall.
  • 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 all 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 will look different.

While physical course reserves will not be offered during the fall semester, we are supporting a variety of alternative options.

Your Teaching & Research

We are here to support your instructional needs. Library faculty and staff look forward to partnering with instructors to integrate research skills and information literacy outcomes into your courses and assignments. We anticipate meeting a majority of fall 2020 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 the shift to online teaching. Please contact copyright@ku.edu for more on copyright, fair use, and online instruction.

Research support will be 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. If you have feedback, please share that with us here.


If you have feedback, please share that with us here.

Ask a Librarian

We can help with your research questions -- contact us by chat, phone, email, text or at a Research Help desk.

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