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University Libraries are here to help

April 20, 2020

National Library Week takes place April 19-25. The theme, “Find your place at the library,” was chosen long before anyone imagined we’d be facing a global pandemic that forced most libraries to temporarily close their physical spaces.

At NIU, you can still find your place at the library; the buildings may be closed, but the virtual library is very open.

Currently the Founders Library is only accessible by appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays, and then only to check out a laptop, hotspot or paged book. Appointments for a laptop should be made through [email protected].

“The libraries have still been providing services to our students and faculty to help them continue with their learning, teaching, and frankly, with their recreation and wellness,” said Fred Barnhart, dean of University Libraries. “As the intellectual heart of the campus, it is of paramount importance to our librarians and staff that we remain service-oriented and forward facing while prioritizing the health and safety of our community.”

During the COVID-19 crisis, the libraries have been responding to the needs of Huskies by checking out laptops and hotspots, and even mailing them via United Parcel Service in some circumstances. As staff members made the transition to working remotely, the University Libraries increased communication about digital resources, like e-books, journals, and streaming media and offered help with accessing them from home. An online continuity guide provides valuable resources for students and faculty, and the Ask a Librarian chat service has extended hours that include mornings and weekends.

Huskies also have access to Get-it-Now, a service that allows patrons to access articles directly even if the library does not have a journal subscription.

“Limiting access to the library is never a happy decision,” Barnhart said. “We are grateful that between technology and our expert staff and faculty, we will be available to help with your instruction and research needs through other modes.”

During National Library Week and beyond, let’s celebrate University Libraries and show our appreciation for the many innovative ways they continue to serve our community.

Find your place at the library, wherever your current location.