UMD Libraries, here to support you
As you know, university libraries are proud to be the heart of their institutions. They have served as safe havens and places of community and service in many crisis situations. But this crisis is different from others we have faced. Staying open for public service, in my view, would have encouraged less social distancing among our community and placed our library staff and faculty members at risk.
In light of Governor Hogan's order to close all non-essential businesses and organizations on March 23, 2020 and other developments, we will now provide online provision of services and resources only until further notice. Our latest updates about the Libraries’ operations are available on our website.
The mission of the Libraries is to facilitate the research, instructional, and learning enterprise of the University of Maryland, and we will continue to do that remotely. We will emphasize the availability of our wide-ranging online services and e-resources. We will provide more on-demand digital resources for courses and research, and will extend borrowing periods until June 1st and beyond, waive fees and fines, and make other adjustments to support you.
During this crisis, people are increasingly aware of the importance of the library as a public good, a trusted source of research and information that benefits our communities and society at large. In collaboration with libraries around the globe, for example, we are providing open access to COVID-19 research information and data to help scientists understand this new virus and how experts might prevent and treat it moving forward.
My library colleagues and I thank you for what we trust will be your understanding and flexibility in the days and weeks ahead. More details about ways we can support you are provided below. Please feel free to share this message with others as needed.
It is my sincere hope that you and your loved ones stay safe, and I look forward to being able to connect with you in person soon!
Dean of Libraries
How we will support you
In addition to off-campus access to electronic resources and a research guide on remote library resources, here are additional ways we are supporting you as you move your courses and research to an online environment:
- Library instructional services. We will continue to provide library instruction and information literacy sessions for your classes. Please send your requests directly to your subject specialist librarian. In addition, you can incorporate existing research guides developed by our subject specialist librarians in a wide range of disciplines.
- Course reserves. Our team in Course Reserves will do its best to continue providing materials electronically via ELMS to support online learning. We are currently unable to access our physical collections for digitization, which may limit some of our services, but we will still try to obtain them in electronic format if we can. Instructors are encouraged to submit requests for course reserves. Library employees will advise as to whether we can provide the content in question, and if not, recommend alternatives.
- Purchase of online content. The Libraries will continue to purchase content in digital formats as our budget allows. Content for Course Reserves will be prioritized. Please work with your subject specialist librarian or Course Reserves staff members to request purchasing of new materials.
- Interlibrary loan services. Please continue to submit Interlibrary Loan requests for book chapters and journal articles. We will work with partner libraries to deliver these items electronically, wherever possible. Scanning from print collections has been curtailed or suspended at many other libraries, but Big Ten Academic Alliance members and other research libraries continue to supply content from their online collections. Requests for physical books and other materials have been suspended until the Libraries reopen at a later date.
- Research and information services. Our AskUs chat service will be monitored 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. Questions received outside of those hours will be answered the next business day. You and your students can also get support for subject-specific questions by contacting your subject specialist librarian directly. In addition, we will continue to provide online consultations, such as statistical consulting and media production.
- Materials already checked out? If you have library materials already checked out, please hold on to these items until we reopen our facilities. We cannot accept books in our book drops at this time. We will extend borrowing periods until June 1st and beyond, and will waive any fines and fees that may accumulate when the items are returned. If you have specific questions about items you have checked out, please send a message to email@example.com.
If you have any questions and are unsure about who to contact, your subject specialist librarian can always help you navigate library-related questions and issues. We're here to work with you and support you during this evolving situation.