FAQ - Library Spring 2021

In line with Tulane's re-opening plans, the following information details the libraries' procedures and policies for Spring 2021. Please follow us on Facebook and instagram and twitter for continued communication.

Question 1:  Are the Libraries now open?

Answer:  Yes, the Tulane Libraries are open, but they are accessible to current Tulane University affiliates only. While we regret that we cannot welcome everyone in person, we are happy to work with you on your research needs via email, chat with screen sharing capabilities, Zoom conferencing, reproductions (where appropriate), and other means. You may also send SMS texts to (504) 470-0330 (no voice calls).

Our web site will have the latest information, as will our social media feeds on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Operating hours and services are subject to change by state, city, or university orders or policies at any time.

Question 2. What are the operating hours?

Answer:  Operating hours are as follows. Hours may be different for holidays. Our web site will have the latest information.

  General hours:
  Monday – Thursday,  7:30 AM – 1:00 AM
  Friday,    7:30 AM – 9:45 PM
  Saturday,   9:00 AM – 9:45 PM
  Sunday,   9:00 AM – 1:00 AM

The Latin American Library (Howard-Tilton, 4th floor)
  Offices: Monday - Friday, 8:00AM – 4:00 PM
  All services by appointment only by writing to LAL@tulane.edu

  Study areas and open stacks: 
  Same as Howard-Tilton general hours. Access limited to Tulane users.

  LAL special collections consultations:  
  Monday-Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM, by appointment only
  See below for further information on LAL special collections services.

Matas Library
  Help desk:
  Monday - Friday,   9:00 AM—5:00 PM

  Study area (first floor):
  24 hours with Tulane Splashcard

Media Services (Howard-Tilton, 6th floor)
  Service desk: Closed
  Staff available for assistance as necessary.
  Email: mediaservices@tulane.edu
  Phone: (504) 865-5642

Special Collections (Jones Hall, Schiro Reading Room, 2nd floor):
  Monday - Friday,   10:00AM - 4:00 PM
  by appointment specialcollections@tulane.edu

Question 3:  What about the Architecture Library?

Answer:  Collections held in the Architecture Library at Richardson Memorial Hall were transferred to Howard-Tilton last summer. The space in Richardson Memorial Hall is now used by the School of Architecture for instruction and other purposes.

Question 4:  Will I need to wear a mask in the Libraries? 

Answer:  Yes. All users will be required to wear masks in accordance with state, city, and University guidelines. Masks are always expected to be worn properly, including in study carrels, group study areas, and at study or worktables. Hand sanitizer stations and sanitary wipes will be available throughout the library. Plexiglass barriers will be installed at service points and throughout the library to reduce risks.

Question 5:  Will access to the Libraries be limited?

Answer:  Yes. Tulane University has a comprehensive plan identifying measures necessary to support the health and safety of the Tulane community when we return to campus this Spring for on-ground teaching, learning, living, and working. This plan requires significant modifications to our normal operations and is intended to protect the health of the members of our academic community, as well as the general health of the greater New Orleans community.

In accordance with the plan, Tulane Libraries will be accessible to current Tulane University affiliates only. While we regret that we cannot welcome everyone in person, we are happy to work with you on your research needs via email, chat with screen sharing capabilities, Zoom conferencing, reproductions (where appropriate), and other means. You may also send SMS texts to (504) 470-0330 (no voice calls).

Tulane students, faculty, and staff should always carry their Splash cards for access to Howard-Tilton and Matas Libraries.

Regardless of affiliation, Special Collections access in Jones Hall will be by appointment only. Contact specialcollections@tulane.edu for appointments.

Question 6:  Will occupancy of the library be limited? 

Answer:  Yes. Based on the recommendations of Tulane’s industrial hygiene consultants and on guidelines issued by the state and city, we have reduced seating capacity in the libraries. At this time, we expect about 50% of normal capacity will be available. We are not limiting the amount of time spent in the building. The number of people permitted in the building at any given time may vary depending on university, state, or city policies or orders.

Question 7:  Will the stacks be open for users to browse and check out their own items?

Answer:  Yes. The Howard-Tilton general collections and Latin American Library book stacks will be open. Media (DVDs, CDs, etc.) will be retrieved by staff by request. Matas Library stacks may be more restricted. Contact Matas for more information about access to print materials.

Book Request Service offered also. While the Howard-Tilton book stacks will once again be accessible, we encourage Uptown students, faculty, and staff to use our pre-order/pickup option, which will remain available for both books and media. We will also be using a new self-check out station to reduce in-person contact. Download the meeScan self-check out app.

Faculty, students and staff working remotely outside of Orleans Parish, Louisiana may request the Mail option using the Request Delivery function. Items will be mailed to your mailing address listed in the library system.  A limit of five items per daily request applies. If you have questions, contact Circulation at circ@tulane.edu or (504) 865-5689.

Question 8:  What services will be changed or reduced?

Answer:  Nearly all services will be available, but in-person services will be limited to reduce the risks to community health and safety. Some details are given below. 

Howard-Tilton Memorial Library (H-TML)

  • The H-TML Research Help desk will not be staffed, but services will be available via Zoom, chat with screen sharing capabilities, email, and phone consultations.  
  • The H-TML Media Services desk (6th floor) will not be staffed, though in-person help will be available as needed. Additional information is available below. 
  • The H-TML check-out desk (1st floor) will be staffed on a limited basis. Our book pick-up service will continue indefinitely, and we will have a new self-check out option available as well.
  • Assigned faculty carrels and graduate carrels will be available for use.
  • The unassigned/group Graduate Study rooms (2nd floor) will be open with reduced capacities. Masks must be worn in these spaces. 
  • Small group study spaces and booth seating will be limited to two people. Masks will be required in group study rooms.
  • Most public computers will not be available. Contact Tulane IT for more assistance with computer hardware or software. 
  • Interlibrary loan for articles will be operating as usual. Borrowing of books and other physical materials may be more limited, depending on partner library policies and operations. 
  • Library course instruction Uptown can be arranged via this instruction request form. The mode of instruction may vary by class.

The Latin American Library

  • LAL instruction services will be online only.  
  • All services and consultations will be by appointment only by writing to LAL@tulane.edu
  • See below for information on hours of service for LAL special collections.

Matas Library

  • The Matas services desk will be staffed during selected hours.  
  • Study/collaboration rooms will be restricted to one/two users. Masks will be required in group study rooms.
  • Most public computers will not be available. Contact Tulane IT for more assistance with computer hardware or software. 
  • Interlibrary loan for articles will be operating. Borrowing of books and other physical materials may be more limited, depending on partner library policies and operations. 
  • Downtown health sciences faculty may request instruction. The mode of instruction may vary by class.

Special Collections

  • Access to special collections in all Tulane Libraries will be by appointment only and restricted to Tulane students, faculty, and staff.
  • Tulane affiliates who wish to access the rare books houses on the 6th floor of H-TML should contact specialcollections@tulane.edu to arrange for an appointment. 
  • For special collections in Jones Hall (Hogan Jazz Archive, Louisiana Research Collection, Architecture Archives, Rare Books, University Archives), contact Tulane University Special Collections (TUSC) at: specialcollections@tulane.edu.  
  • For Latin American Library special collections, contact The Latin American Library at: LAL@tulane.edu.  
  • For special collections in the health sciences, contact Matas Library at: medref@tulane.edu.

Question 9:  Will group study areas be available?

Answer:  Yes, with restrictions. Small group study rooms will be restricted to two people. Masks must always be worn in these spaces.

Question 10:  How will materials be sanitized to reduce risk for users and staff?

Answer: Research indicates that no trace of the novel coronavirus could be found on surfaces like book covers and paper after 72 hours. Materials that have been returned to the library will be quarantined for 72 hours before they are re-shelved. Users who handle items on shelves should wash their hands after touching materials. Users should place items on orange book trucks for re-shelving after handling so they can be set aside for 72 hours.

Question 11:  What about books on course reserves?

Answer:  Print course reserves will be available for Uptown classes (Howard-Tilton reserves), but reserve items will also need to be quarantined for 72 hours after each use. Instructors should consider this and the following points when requesting that items be placed on reserve this Spring.

  • Whenever possible, the library will purchase an e-book version of the title if one is not already available.
  • If no e-version is available, the library will scan a limited number of book pages or a book chapter and make them available to you for upload to your Canvas course page. You can make a scan request.  
  • If no e-book version is available and the entire book, or a substantial portion of a book, is needed, the library will purchase up to two additional print copies (total: three copies) to rotate use within a 72 hour period.

Contact Matas Library at medref@tulane.edu for Matas course reserve information.

Question 12:  How will my students access films for reserves?

Answer:  Media reserves will be a fully online pilot service. Whenever possible, the library will purchase 1-year or 3-year streaming licenses from academic streaming film vendors. If a film is not available via any academic or commercial streaming platform, then the library will digitize the DVD edition held in our library collection and make it available streaming to students enrolled in your class via Canvas. Please note: if the film is available via a commercial platform such as Netflix or Amazon Prime, we are unable to digitize the library’s DVD; please include a Netflix or Amazon Prime account in your list of required textbooks. More information is on the media reserves for faculty page.

Question 13:  Can I check DVDs or CDs out from Media Services?

Answer:  All media items, including DVDs, BluRays, CDs, and media items that accompany books, may be checked out via the Request option in Library Search. Items requested by 5:00PM Monday - Friday will be checked out to patrons and made available by 12:00PM the next working day for pick up on the 1st floor of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. (Deliveries to Matas Library will require extra time.)

Question 14:  Will the viewing, listening, and electronic piano keyboard stations in Media Services be available?

Answer:  The viewing stations, listening station, and electronic piano keyboard will be temporarily removed for community health reasons. However, if a viewing station is required to support individual research that cannot be otherwise accomplished via streaming resources or checking out a DVD, a temporary, single-user station may be set up in the library upon request. Please contact the Media Services department at mediaservices@tulane.edu with your resource need.

Question 15:  Will the microform collections still be available?

Answer:  Yes, with limitations. The microfilm collection will continue to be a self-service collection as before. However, only one digital reader will be available to facilitate physical distancing practices. Based on research examining the viability of the COVID-19 virus on common library materials including hard plastics similar to microfilm cases and cassettes, handled microfilm reels will be stored for 72 hours prior to being re-shelved.

Question 16:  What will happen with public computers?

Answer:  Most public computers in the library will be out of service. The Learning Commons area of Howard-Tilton (first floor) will have a few Mac computers available that run software not available elsewhere. The accessibility workstation with adaptive hardware and software will remain. Tulane IT is working with campus partners to provide long-term loans of laptops for students who may not own a computer.  

AppsAnywhere can be used to use many of the programs that were on the computers in the library such as Adobe Creative Cloud suite, ArcGIS, SPSS,SAS, Stata, R, and much more. More information about AppsAnwhere.

Contact Tulane IT at help@tulane.edu or by calling (504) 988-8888 for further assistance.

Printing: There are two black-and-white printers and a color printer located on the library's 1st floor in the Learning Commons. There is also one black-and-white printer in the 1st floor stacks area nearer to the north end of the building, one located on the 2nd floor in the reading room area, one located in the elevator lobby on the 3rd floor, and another located on the 6th floor. 

When you are on your laptop or phone, you can upload documents to the print queue at https://pharos.tulane.edu or add them to the print queue via e-mail by attaching the file to an e-mail sent to print@tulane.edu.

Question 17:  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. Assistance is available via email (libref@tulane.edu), and chat with screen sharing capabilities. You may also send SMS texts to (504) 470-0330 (no voice calls).

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 students' interlibrary loan account within two business days.

Question 18:  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/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 VPN request form. 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 19:  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 OpenAthens remote authentication system includes detailed directions for generating remote access links to library resources.

Question 20:  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 with screen sharing capabilities. You may also send SMS texts to (504) 470-0330 (no voice calls).

For the Spring semester, these services will be monitored by library staff Sundays 12 to 9 pm; Mondays through Thursdays 8:30 am to 9 pm; Fridays 8:30 am to 5 pm; and Saturdays 12 pm 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.

Question 21:  What about the PJ’s Coffee Shop in H-TML?

Answer:  Based on the recommendation of Campus Health, the PJ’s on the first floor of H-TML will be closed for Spring term. Closing the space will help us keep the very busy first floor at a lower density and enable physical distancing to be maintained. PJ’s will still be available at Percival Stern Hall across Freret Street and on Willow Street. Other options in the Commons and LBC are also available.

Question 22:  Are food and drinks still allowed in the Library?

Answer:  No. Everyone is required to wear face coverings while in the public areas of our buildings. To ensure this, we are not permitting food and drink in the Libraries for Spring 2021.

Question 23:  Will the Libraries be available for meetings or events?

Answer:  For the duration of the Spring semester, no event space will be available in the Libraries.

Question 24: Will the library still accept donations of physical items like books?

Answer:  This Spring and likely through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, the library is unable to accept general gifts of physical items such as books from a personal collection. Contact an appropriate subject area liaison librarian directly if you believe you have individual items of special research value that might be exceptions. Otherwise, for alternatives, the American Library Association maintains a useful guide to book donation programs