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COVID-19 Information

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Updated July 15, 2020 - please check frequently as staffing changes may impact service availability

The Oberlin College Libraries are striving to assist your resources needs to the best of our ability given these extraordinary circumstances related to the COVID-19 national emergency. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) related to the services the Libraries provide.

You will find more information about available online resources in our Support for Remote Teaching & Learning research guide.

For information about Oberlin College's overall response, please visit the Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.


Frequently Asked Questions:

 

 

All Oberlin College Libraries facilities are closed until further notice. Library staff are available virtually during limited business hours. Today's hours are listed below. Please visit the Oberlin College Libraries Hours page to to view weekly and upcoming hours.


TODAY'S HOURS:



We are still here to help you online!

Please visit the Ask a Librarian page to chat, email or set up a virtual research appointment.

Can we access the Library Facilities?

All library facilities are closed to non-library staff until further notice.

Will the Libraries be re-opened on May 1st since Governor Dewine has indicated that Ohio will be re-opening on this date?

As a subordinate division of Oberlin College and Conservatory, the Libraries must adhere to the directives of our institution. At this time, we will remain closed to all patrons until further notice.

It is clear that Governor Dewine (as of the writing of this response) has not issued a firm edict to completely change the existing stay-at-home order and allow for individuals and subsequently, Libraries staff to resume working in the manner in which we did prior to the pandemic. His statement as quoted in Cleveland.com is Ohio will "plan/begin" to reopen on May 1.

The use of language of a "plan" (begin) to reopen is important for many reasons. Planning to reopen, to our understanding, potentially means that there will be a phased approach to how Libraries staff will re-enter our workspaces and that there will be the possible implementation of new protocols for workplace safety and engagement.

When and how the Libraries will reopen will be coordinated by the Libraries Administration in partnership with College's senior leadership. The implementation of new workplace standards within the Libraries, as a result of COVID-19 will take time and must comply with institutional, state, and federal regulations.

As soon as we have the official "all clear" that patrons are allowed back into the Libraries, we will inform everyone through a series of messages.

Will the Libraries be open in the summer months so that I can conduct research and retrieve materials? Can you ship/mail me books?

We are unable to forecast or make firm commitments as to when our Libraries will reopen at this time. Our Director of Libraries continually emphasizes that the health and well-being of the Libraries staff is paramount, while we also work to deploy a suite of services in support of our campus community. Therefore, we will reopen when we receive an official "all clear" that it is safe to do so.

Currently, we are unable to ship/mail books. We acknowledge that this is inconvenient to many people yet our budget currently provides no provisions to support this type of service. If we remain closed to patrons during the summer months, it is our intention to continue to offer pick up service within our safe distancing location on the Mudd Center loading dock. All of our service offerings are contingent on staff availability.

Many books are available electronically and through various sources such as the National Emergency Library. If the book/s you are seeking is not available electronically, feel free to contact Diane Lee or Tracy Sutherland for assistance.

Where do we find free online resources?

Many publishers are making selected resources accessible for free during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vist the Free Scholarly Resources section of our Open Access research guide for a list of resources and collections.

Can we get books or journals from the Oberlin College Libraries?

At this time, we are not able to deliver items on-campus, provide "curbside service" pick-ups, or provide mail delivery of books. The Libraries remain closed to all patrons until further notice. We may be able to offer pick-up service if safety guidelines and staffing levels permit. Submit book requests from the OBIS Catalog. For articles and book chapters submit your request through an Interlibrary Loan. Please contact Tracy Sutherland or Diane Lee for further information.

What about reserve readings?

If you need access to a reading on reserve, here are the contacts:

Terrell Mail Library - main.reserve@oberlin.edu

Art Library - art.library@oberlin.edu

Conservatory Library - gsolow@oberlin.edu

Science Library - slibrary@oberlin.edu

Can we still use the Interlibrary Loan service?

Yes! We will do our best to obtain material that is available electronically. Use the Interlibrary Loan service to place a request.

Can we request scans of print material from the Oberlin College Libraries?

Yes! If you need articles from print journals or chapters from books in our collections you may use the Interlibrary Loan service to place a request.

Please note: Due to limited on-site staffing:

  • Requests will be received and processed Monday - Friday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • Requests sent outside of regular business hours will be processed the following business day
  • Requests sent on Friday afternoons or weekends may not be processed until the following Tuesday
  • Requests will be prioritized when demand exceeds capacity.

As always, complete and accurate information will improve turn-around time.

We will do our best to respond to requests within 4 business days.

Your patience is appreciated.

How can we access e-books, journals, databases, etc.?

Refer to the instructions on using EZproxy to get access to most of the electronic materials provided by the Oberlin College Libraries.

There are browser extensions/add-ons for Chrome and Firefox that make this process easier.

What about videos?

We have access to several streaming platforms but there are no institutional plans for Netflix, AmazonPrime, Hulu, etc. We can purchase licenses for films on Kanopy that are needed for course research.

Contact main.reserve@oberlin.edu you need access to a film from the collection in Terrell Main Library (440-775-5036).

What about materials already checked out to me?

The due date for all library materials has been extended indefinitely.

We ask that you keep all materials (including materials borrowed via OhioLINK) until the fall.

Contact ILL@oberlin.edu with questions regarding interlibrary loan items.

If for some reason you must return library materials, use the book drop at the front entrance to Terrell Main Library in Mudd Learning Center (regardless of the branch from which the material was borrowed) or ship the material via media mail to Oberlin College Libraries, 148 West College Street, Oberlin, OH 44074-1545, Attention: Public Services.

Note that the material might not be “checked in” or removed from your library record for several weeks.

What about recalls and fines?

There will be no recalls of material and no fines for material owned by Oberlin or other OhioLINK libraries during the COVID-19 crisis.

Can we request materials from the OhioLINK Catalog?

OhioLINK has suspended all borrowing/lending until further notice.

How do I return OhioLink or SearchOhio books if I live in Ohio?

Ohio residents may return OhioLink or SearchOhio books to member libraries.

How can we get research assistance?

Use the chat service or schedule a virtual research appointment with a librarian.

If you don’t see a time on the calendar that fits your schedule, contact a library directly via email.

How can we contact library staff?

While most library staff are working remotely, the best way to reach us is via email or via chat at the Ask a Librarian page.

Check the library home page for current hours. The schedule will be updated regularly.

We hope to be able to offer assistance in the evening when classes are back in session.

Are laptops and other equipment available to students?

At this time requests for ‘library’ laptops are being processed by Monique Burgdorf in the Office of Student Success.

If you need other kinds of equipment (webcams, etc.) contact support@oberlin.edu for assistance from the CIT.

Is the Writing and Speaking Centers that are in the Terrell Main Library open online?

Yes! WAs and Speaking Associates are also available for appointments online and are eager for visitors. The link on how to connect with them is here: https://www.oberlin.edu/arts-and-sciences/resources-and-support/wap/wap-during-covid19

Are there Libraries-specific Zoom backgrounds available?

Yes. You can download one or more of our Libraries Zoom backgrounds through our Library Zoom background images Box.com folder.


Updated July 15, 2020

Can we access the Library Facilities?

All library facilities are closed to non-library staff until further notice.

Will the Libraries be re-opened on May 1st since Governor Dewine has indicated that Ohio will be re-opening on this date?

As a subordinate division of Oberlin College and Conservatory, the Libraries must adhere to the directives of our institution. At this time, we will remain closed to all patrons until further notice.

It is clear that Governor Dewine (as of the writing of this response) has not issued a firm edict to completely change the existing stay-at-home order and allow for individuals and subsequently, Libraries staff to resume working in the manner in which we did prior to the pandemic. His statement as quoted in Cleveland.com is Ohio will "plan/begin" to reopen on May 1.

The use of language of a "plan" (begin) to reopen is important for many reasons. Planning to reopen, to our understanding, potentially means that there will be a phased approach to how Libraries staff will re-enter our workspaces and that there will be the possible implementation of new protocols for workplace safety and engagement.

When and how the Libraries will reopen will be coordinated by the Libraries Administration in partnership with College's senior leadership. The implementation of new workplace standards within the Libraries, as a result of COVID-19 will take time and must comply with institutional, state, and federal regulations.

As soon as we have the official "all clear" that patrons are allowed back into the Libraries, we will inform everyone through a series of messages.

Will the Libraries be open in the summer months so that I can conduct research and retrieve materials? Can you ship/mail me books?

We are unable to forecast or make firm commitments as to when our Libraries will reopen at this time. Our Director of Libraries continually emphasizes that the health and well-being of the Libraries staff is paramount, while we also work to deploy a suite of services in support of our campus community. Therefore, we will reopen when we receive an official "all clear" that it is safe to do so.

Currently, we are unable to ship/mail books. We acknowledge that this is inconvenient to many people yet our budget currently provides no provisions to support this type of service. If we remain closed to patrons during the summer months, it is our intention to continue to offer pick up service within our safe distancing location on the Mudd Center loading dock. All of our service offerings are contingent on staff availability.

Many books are available electronically and through various sources such as the National Emergency Library. If the book/s you are seeking is not available electronically, feel free to contact Diane Lee or Tracy Sutherland for assistance.

Where do we find free online resources?

Many publishers are making selected resources accessible for free during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vist the Free Scholarly Resources section of our Open Access research guide for a list of resources and collections.

Can we get books from the Oberlin College Libraries?

At this time, we are not able to deliver items on-campus, provide "curbside service" pick-ups, or provide mail delivery of books. The Libraries remain closed to all patrons until further notice. We may be able to offer pick-up service if safety guidelines and staffing levels permit. Submit book requests from the OBIS Catalog. For articles and book chapters submit your request through an Interlibrary Loan. Please contact Tracy Sutherland or Diane Lee for further information.

Can we add material to reserve?

If you want to add items to reserve for your courses, contact the appropriate reserve operation.

Terrell Main Library - main.reserve@oberlin.edu

Art Library - art.library@oberlin.edu

Conservatory Library - gsolow@oberlin.edu

Science Library - slibrary@oberlin.edu

Please note: Due to limited on-site staffing:

  • Requests will be received and processed Monday - Friday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • Requests sent outside of these hours will be processed the following business day
  • Requests sent on Fridays or weekends may not be processed until the following Tuesday
  • Requests will be prioritized when demand exceeds capacity

As always, complete and accurate information will improve turn-around time.

We will do our best to respond to requests within 4 business days.

Your patience is appreciated.

Contact OCTET@oberlin.edu for assistance managing reserve materials in Blackboard or if you would like library staff to be able to assist you.

What about DVDs?

Contact Michael Palazzolo, Reserves & Media Manager, if you need access to a film from the collection in Terrell Main Library. michael.palazzolo@oberlin.edu (440-775-5036). We are tracking multiple streaming service options; because of the logistics of digitizing and managing a large number of video files, we will mail DVDs to faculty at no charge as staffing permits. Faculty can ‘screen’ films via Zoom.

Can we request scans of print material?

If you need articles from print journals or chapters from books in our collections you may use the Interlibrary Loan service to place a request.

Please note: Due to limited on-site staffing:

  • Requests will be received and processed Monday - Friday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
  • Requests sent outside of regular business hours will be processed the following business day
  • Requests sent on Friday afternoons or weekends may not be processed until the following Tuesday
  • Requests will be prioritized when demand exceeds capacity.

As always, complete and accurate information will improve turn-around time.

We will do our best to respond to requests with in 4 business days.

Your patience is appreciated.

What about copyright and fair use?

Alexia Hudson-Ward, Azariah Smith Root Director of Libraries, has endorsed the Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research written by leading copyright experts in U.S. libraries and higher education.

What about materials already checked out to me?

The due date for all library materials has been extended to September 30, 2020. We ask that you keep all materials (including materials borrowed via OhioLINK) until the fall.

Contact ILL@oberlin.edu with questions regarding interlibrary loan.

If for some reason you must return library materials, use the book drop at the front entrance to Terrell Main Library in Mudd Learning Center, regardless of the branch from which the material was borrowed. Note that the material might not be “checked in” or removed from your library record for a matter of weeks.

What about recalls and fines?

There will be no recalls of material and no fines for material owned by Oberlin or other OhioLINK libraries during the COVID-19 crisis.

Can we request materials from the OhioLINK Catalog?

OhioLINK has suspended all borrowing/lending until further notice.

How do I return OhioLink or SearchOhio books if I live in Ohio?

Ohio residents may return OhioLink or SearchOhio books to member libraries.

Can we request material from Interlibrary Loan?

At this time, we are doing our best to process Interlibrary Loan requests for material that can be acquired electronically or scanned. Use the Interlibrary Loan form for all requests.

Can we still request the purchase of materials for the libraries’ collections?

We are prioritizing orders for electronic materials at this point. Contact your liaison librarian with suggestions or questions.

How can I contact library staff?

While most library staff are working remotely, the best way to reach us is via staff email or via chat.

During the week of March 23 - March 27, 2020 we will be open for online consultation between 9:00 am and noon and 1:00-4:30 pm, as well as by virtual appointment. The schedule will be updated regularly. We hope to be able to offer assistance in the evening when classes are back in session.

See the Ask a Librarian page for more details.

We will check voicemail on office phones regularly.

How can we get research assistance?

Use the chat service or schedule a virtual research appointment with a librarian. If you don’t see a time on the calendar that fits your schedule, contact a library directly via email.

Can we schedule virtual research instruction sessions for our classes?

Yes, we will work with you to design a virtual class tailored to your needs and assignments.

Are laptops and other equipment available to faculty?

At this time ‘library’ laptops and other equipment are prioritized for students in need.

Contact support@oberlin.edu for assistance from the CIT.

Is the Writing and Speaking Centers that are in the Terrell Main Library open online?

Yes! WAs and Speaking Associates are also available for appointments online and are eager for visitors. The link on how to connect with them is here: https://www.oberlin.edu/arts-and-sciences/resources-and-support/wap/wap-during-covid19

Are there Libraries-specific Zoom backgrounds available?

Yes. You can download one or more of our Libraries Zoom backgrounds through our Library Zoom background images Box.com folder.

Updated July 15, 2020

How do I return OhioLink or SearchOhio books if I live in Ohio?

Ohio residents may return OhioLink or SearchOhio books to member libraries.


Updated May 22, 2020
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