Resumption of Limited Library Services

Dublin Core


Resumption of Limited Library Services


Brown University Library




June 30, 2020

Text Item Type Metadata


Though our physical spaces remain closed to patrons, the Library began phase one of a scaled return to in-person academic support on Monday, June 29, 2020. A small number of Library staff members will be onsite to scan materials for Fall 2020 courses and to retrieve books for contactless pickup.


To protect the safety of staff and patrons, we will be operating at minimum staffing levels with modified workflows to allow for social distancing and quarantine of materials. We will add staff and increase service levels as public health guidance allows.

Materials requested for pickup will be placed in bags on carts and quarantined, untouched, for a minimum of 72 hours. Please do not clean or disinfect library materials. It would likely damage the item(s) and is not necessary given the precautions Library staff are taking. The most current research tells us that 72 hours (three days) of quarantine is safe for circulating library materials.

How Long Will Requests Take?

Requests may take up to seven days. Quarantine protocols for handling physical materials will make requests for rush or expedited delivery less feasible for the time being.

Requesting Physical Materials

Current Brown faculty/instructors and students may request up to ten (10) items per week from our collections, including books. Materials available at the Rockefeller Library, the Library Annex, the Sciences Library, and Orwig Music Library should be requested directly through Josiah, the Library’s online catalog. Library staff will retrieve the items and email the requestor with instructions for pickup when the items are ready. Pickup for ALL items will take place in front of the Rockefeller Library.

Requesting Special Collections

The John Hay Library will digitize special collections material for research and teaching needs. Requests from current Brown faculty and graduate students will be prioritized. Other requests will be fulfilled as time allows. This service is limited to members of the Brown community. To make a request, email or fill out the request form.

Requesting Course Reserves

Faculty members should continue to use Online Course Reserves Access (OCRA) to request materials for course reserves. Once received, the Library will make the reserves available to students through the course site in Canvas.

Expanded Access to Digital Content and Services

The robust slate of online Library support, services, and resources made available during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be offered.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) for physical materials will not resume until a later phase, and (by agreement with our Ivy-plus partners) no earlier than September 1. We will continue to accept and fill ILL requests for articles and book chapters that are available electronically and will be sent via email to patrons. We will also continue searching for electronic versions of requested books.


Email with questions. If you have a question about special collections, email


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>