Yale University Library News

COVID-19 Update: Library Reopening FAQ

1. Who can access Yale Library buildings and reading rooms? Dec. 4, 2021

In accordance with current campus visitor policy, Yale Library buildings and spaces, including special collections reading rooms, are open only to current Yale students, staff, and faculty (including emeriti) who are authorized to be on campus.

In compliance with the University’s COVID-19 guidelines, we are unable to extend access to other patron groups, including retired staff and faculty without emeritus status, alumni, family members, other Yale affiliates, and general public. We regret any inconvenience, and we look forward to welcoming our extended community when public health conditions improve.

2. What libraries are currently open? Dec. 20, 2021

All Yale University Library locations will close by end-of-day on Wednesday, Dec. 22, and are scheduled to reopen Jan. 3. Check library hours before coming to campus. 

  • Sterling Memorial Library, Bass Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library, the Divinity Library, Haas Arts Library, and Marx Science and Social Science Library are open for users who are authorized to be on campus. 
  • Special collections reading rooms at Beinecke Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Lewis Walpole Library, Haas Arts Library, and the Divinity Library are open to authorized users as are the Reference Library and Study Room of the Yale Center for British Art. Some of these reading rooms require advance reservations. See special collections access information for requirements by location.
  • Visit the Lillian Goldman Law Library website for information about law library access and services. 
  • For information about Classics Library collections, contact colin.mccaffrey@yale.edu.

3. What precautions is the library taking to protect the health and safety of patrons and staff? Dec. 4, 2021

Yale Library follows all University COVID protocols. Library access is governed by the University’s campus visitor policy. Masking is required in all library public spaces. See current COVID-19 guidelines for the University.

4. Where and when can I request contactless pickup? Dec. 4, 2021

Contactless pickup services ended on July 1, 2021. You may request items for pickup on hold shelves. Please check out hold-shelf items before leaving the library at a service desk, self-checkout kiosk, or using the Yale Library Self-Checkout app (available on iTunes or Google Play.) See how the Self-Checkout app works.

 5. How can I access physical library materials without going to the library?  July 1, 2021

Current faculty, staff, and students may:

  • Request to have materials, including interlibrary loan and BorrowDirect materials, mailed to addresses in the U.S.  Please use the “Send to home address” link in Orbis or Quicksearch. 
  • Request digital scans of chapters and articles from Yale Library collections and via interlibrary loan, which will be filled based on availability of materials at our partner libraries.  

6. How can I access special collections materials? Dec. 4, 2021

Beinecke Library, Manuscripts and Archives, and other special collections reading rooms are open to Yale community users who are authorized to be on campus. Some of the reading rooms require advance reservations. See special collections access information.

For non-Yale researchers, the library’s capacity to fill special collections scanning and reference requests is limited at this time and may vary by repository, with no guaranteed fulfillment times.  We continue to expand the range of digital collection materials freely available to the public. 

7. Is there a limit on the number of items I can request for pickup or scanning? June 1, 2021

You may request up to 20 items a day for pickup. There is no limit on the number of scanning requests.

8. When I pick up library materials, should I clean or disinfect them? July 1, 2021

No. Please don’t clean or disinfect library materials.  Cleaning may damage the materials. We encourage users to wash or disinfect hands before and after using library materials. 

9. Can I request books via interlibrary loan (ILL) and BorrowDirect?  Dec. 4, 2021

BorrowDirect and ILL materials may be requested for pickup or mail-to-address. We continue to accept and fill ILL requests for scanned articles and book chapters, based on availability of materials from partner libraries. BorrowDirect materials generally arrive within two to four business days.

10. I have overdue library materials. Where should I return them? June 1, 2021

Most library materials may be returned to any open bookdrop. Audio-visual and other fragile materials should be returned to library service desks. If you have questions about returning library materials, email askyalelibrary@yale.edu for options. Late fees generated during the COVID-19 period are being waived. 

11. May I recall books that are checked out? Dec. 4, 2021

At this time, we are not recalling books. If you need a book that is currently checked out, you may be able to get a copy through BorrowDirect or interlibrary loan. Alternatively, you may submit a purchase request, and we will try to obtain an electronic copy for you.

12. I cannot travel domestically or internationally to work with the research materials that I need at another archive or library. Is there anything the library can do to help? June 1, 2021

As a general rule, our library staff do not have any special influence with other archives and libraries. We recommend that you contact the other institution directly to explain your problem and request their assistance. However, in some cases, our subject expert librarians and archivists may be able to help you identify related or alternative materials in Yale Library collections or licensed resources, or collections available in digital form at other institutions. If you aren’t sure who to contact, email askyalelibrary@yale.edu. Please note: At this time, because of staffing and other constraints related to the pandemic, library services are generally limited to current Yale faculty, staff, and students.

13. Is the library accepting purchase requests for print and e-books? June 1, 2021

Yes. Use this link to place a purchase request for any title; you will be notified by email when your requested material is available. We are accepting purchase requests for print titles needed for curricular or research purposes, as outlined in our e-preferred purchase policy. Because of material handling and quarantine requirements, print orders may take several days longer than in pre-pandemic times. If a title is not available through Yale Library but owned by another Ivy Plus library, you may wish to request it through BorrowDirect. In the current environment, you will generally receive BorrowDirect materials more quickly than a new purchase request.

14. How can I get access to course reserves/course readings through the library? Dec. 4, 2021

Course Reserves is a service provided by the library to make course readings and audio-visual material available via Canvas. Faculty can initiate requests for e-books, scans, and streaming audio or video using the Course Reserves module of Canvas

To access readings and other materials “on reserve,” students should look for the “Course Reserves” link on the left of the course website in Canvas. Other ways to find copies of course materials include: 

  • Use Scan and Deliver to request chapter or article scans of items that Yale Library owns. Look up the title in Quicksearch, then find the “Request scan of article / chapter” link. Log in with your Yale NetID and tell us which pages, chapter, or article you need. (Note that US copyright restrictions prevent scanning an entire work.)
  • Use interlibrary loan or BorrowDirect to request items not available at Yale Library.
  • Request Yale Library materials for delivery to home address. Look up the book title in Quicksearch. If the library owns a copy, it will be listed there. If it's an e-book, look for the access link ("Online book") and log in with your NetId to read it.  
  • Fill out a purchase request to request e-book versions of class materials be added to the Yale Library collection, if available. (In many cases publishers will not license e-versions of textbooks and other class materials to libraries.)

For questions not answered here, use the live chat service at Ask Yale Library or email Ask Yale Library.  See also our COVID-19 library updates for additional information about the library's ongoing response to the pandemic.

Last modified: 
Monday, December 20, 2021 - 9:43am