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Library gears up for curbside pickup, other services

Cornell University Library is rolling out services to give scholars and researchers access to physical collections over the summer, while continuing to guard against the spread of COVID-19.

“Library services are critical to the university’s research reactivation and academic continuity plans,” said Gerald Beasley, the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian. “I am enormously grateful for the dedication and thoughtful planning of library staff who will be providing these services while preserving the safety and well-being of the Cornell community.”

Most recently, the library has resumed patron-requested digital scanning of journal articles and book chapters of materials in the Library Annex.

“My staff and I have been working from home and were just anxious to get back to getting materials to patrons,” said Cammie Wyckoff, administrative supervisor for the Library Annex.

By July 1, Olin, Uris, Kroch Asia and Mann libraries will also be able to scan from their circulating collections. Students, faculty and staff can make their online requests through ScanIt.

Also starting July 1, physical library material that cannot be accessed digitally will be delivered for contactless “curbside” pickup upon request. Initially, this service will be offered for collections shelved at the Library Annex and Olin, Uris, Kroch Asia and Mann libraries, with others to follow. Through the library catalog, patrons can view a specific item of interest and click on the “request” button next to it.

The library is planning other services over the course of the summer, including: scanning items in rare and distinctive collections; providing virtual access to specialized GIS software; and purchasing and processing requested materials for instruction and research. BorrowDirect and Interlibrary Loan, which depend on the resumption of operations in dozens of partner libraries in the U.S. and around the world, are expected to resume in September at the earliest.

While preparing for a phased reopening of physical spaces in step with university guidelines, the library continues to provide enhanced online resources for Cornell students and faculty. These include digital lending of library books (whose online availability is indicated in the library catalog); a guide for teaching remotely; and virtual research consultation and instruction from expert librarians.

More information about the library’s return-to-campus preparations is available at the library’s FAQ page.

This story also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.