FAQ - Library Responses to COVID-19

In line with Tulane's response to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19, the following measures will be in effect beginning March 16, 2020. Please follow us on Facebook and instagram and twitter for continued communication.

Question 1:  Is the Library open?

Answer:  The Tulane Libraries remain closed to the public until further notice. This decision was made in consultation with the university’s COVID-19 response team and in the interest of community health.  Only essential personnel will have building access for short periods of time Monday through Friday to perform tasks related to instruction or research support. The Libraries continue to provide resources and services online.


Question 2. The City of New Orleans established guidelines for re-opening libraries on May 18.  Why are Tulane libraries still closed?

Answer:  The city’s guidelines on re-opening address the New Orleans Public Library.  Tulane’s research libraries follow Tulane University guidelines and policies when deciding our re-opening date, what kinds of services and hours will be available, and other matters.  We will update our community on changes to our status as soon as we can.


Question 3:  Can faculty, students, or staff near campus still check out books?

Answer:  Tulane faculty, students, and staff may now request circulating print materials held at either the main Howard-Tilton Memorial Library or its Offsite Depository by using the Request option in the Library Search discovery tool or the Classic Catalog. In either, the Request option appears once a user has displayed a record for an individual title after a search.  See here for more information.  Requested materials will be checked out to the requester's library account and made available for pickup in the H-TML lobby entrance on Tuesdays from 10:00 to 11:00 am and Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Requests for materials must be limited to five per day, placed 24 hours in advance, and limited to materials not duplicated by formats online (including eBooks through HathiTrust). 


Question 4:  How will I return or renew books now that the library building is closed? 

Answer:  All faculty, staff and student due dates for borrowed materials set to expire between now and the end of August have automatically been extended to September 6, 2020.

The book return bin outside the front door of the library is accessible if you want to return books while the building is closed.


Question 5:  How much library material is available online and accessible remotely?

Answer:  The library's digital resources include millions of articles from more than 66,000 online journals, more than 1.3 million eBooks, hundreds of research databases, and substantial collections of streaming media.  Subject coverage among these resources is spread across humanities, social sciences, and STEM disciplines. For information about remote access see the answer to the question below.

Scan and Deliver for Undergraduates:  Howard-Tilton Memorial Library has expanded its Scan and Deliver service to also serve undergraduate students. The service already scans journal articles or book chapters from the library’s circulating print collections and sends them electronically to faculty members' or graduate students' interlibrary loan account within two business days.


Question 6:  What are the directions for remote access? 

Answer:  When a user is outside the campus network and connects through the library web site to library resources such as articles, eBooks, online journals, research databases, and licensed digital collections they are automatically directly to a login screen. (Initially a Microsoft window may pop up that requests a Tulane email address for routing.) 

The login and password for remote access is the same as the user’s Tulane email ID and password. To avoid remote access problems it is important to connect to these licensed resources through the coded links on the library’s web pages rather than directly, say, via Google searches. For more information see: https://library.tulane.edu/services/off-campus-access.

Tulane Information Technology has advised that students returning to countries overseas consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access Tulane web sites and resources that may be blocked. A VPN software client and Anti-Virus protection client must be installed on your device for VPN remote access. Tulane has a limited number of concurrent VPN connections and users should log off when their work is completed. Note that a VPN cannot be used without first installing Trend Micro, Tulane's Anti-Virus Solution. If you have not installed Trend Micro Anti-Virus Solution, a step-by-step how-to guide is available. For VPN software, see the request form here. Currently some VPN users in China are experiencing problems connecting to some specialized business resources (such as Capital Q and ValueLine). These users can contact the Turchin Business Library for more information at turchin@tulane.edu


Question 7: Can library users who are no longer on campus get research assistance or help accessing library resources?

Answer:  Yes.  At Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, research help and assistance is available via email (libref@tulane.edu), and chat

These services will be monitored by library staff Sundays 12 to 5 pm; Mondays through Thursdays 8:30 am to 9 pm; Fridays 8:30 am to 5 pm; and Saturdays 10 am to 5 pm.

At the Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences, research support is available via email (medref@tulane.edu) and chat Mondays through Fridays available at https://matas.tulane.edu/.


Question 8:  With the library closed how can I contact someone to inquire about special collections such as rare or archival materials?

Answer:  Researchers may contact specialcollections@tulane.edu for assistance. For inquiries about special collections in The Latin American Library contact LAL@tulane.edu.


Question 9:  Where can faculty get information about how to link digital resources to their course materials lists in the Canvas course management system?

Answer:  The subject guide for the library's new OpenAthens remote authentication system includes these detailed directions for generating remote access links to library resources.


Question 10:  Can films in DVD format listed as course materials this semester still be made available?

Answer:  Contact lisa Hooper about options for course viewing of films. Whenever possible, the library will purchase an academic streaming license for films used in class. Additional information about streaming film and audio resources already available to the Tulane community is available through the Streaming Resources at Tulane page.


Question 11:  Can students and faculty still request materials from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan?

Answer:  Interlibrary Loan services will continue, but only for article requests since articles can be scanned. The library will not be able to facilitate ILL requests for physical items. To make an Ill article request, login at https://illiad.tulane.edu. Downtown Health Sciences Campus users should make ILL article requests at https://matas-lib.tulane.edu. 

Borrowing or lending returnable items between libraries is becoming more challenging.  Many institutions have taken the same actions in response to COVID 19 as Tulane. In this environment, the library can work with you on an individual basis to determine the best way to meet specific needs.  Your subject liaison librarian is the best person to contact for further details.  A list of our uptown subject liaison librarians is available here and a list of health sciences librarians downtown can be found here.


Question 12:  Where can students go to print?

Answer:  The computer labs in the Decou-Labat Residences (Willow) and in the Lindy Boggs Center remain open.  Please check the IT website https://it.tulane.edu/computer-labs for more information.


Question 13:  Will the Library still provide library instruction sessions for courses transitioned online?

Answer:  Yes. Subject liaison librarians will provide these sessions online in coordination with course instructors, who may find this particularly helpful for instances in which students will need remote access to library resources to complete their coursework.  Instructors can use this form to request a session.


Question 14:  How can I return a book checked out from another library through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Answer:  Books borrowed from other libraries through ILL can be returned by depositing them in the book return bin in front of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library building, just like regular library books.  However, no ILL books are being mailed or received through the mail right now because other libraries are also closed.  As a result, the ILL books returned are being held until libraries resume operations and users may hold onto these ILL books and return them when the library reopens if they wish.