FAQ - Library Summer 2021

In line with Tulane's re-opening plans, the following information details the libraries' procedures and policies for Summer 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:  See our operating hours regularly updated on the the library web site. 

Question 3:  Will I need to wear a mask in the Libraries? 

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

Question 4:  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, and that required significant modifications to our normal operations.  In accordance with the plan, Tulane Libraries 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).

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 5:  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 6:  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 are 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 7:  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) is staffed effective May 17, 2021. In-person circulation services resume May 17. Pick-up for media items will shift to the 6th floor beginning June 1, 2021.
  • The H-TML check-out desk (1st floor) is staffed on a limited basis. Our book pick-up service will continue indefinitely, and a new self-check out option is available as well.
  • Assigned faculty carrels and graduate carrels are available for use.
  • The unassigned/group Graduate Study rooms (2nd floor) are open with reduced capacities. Masks must be worn in these spaces. 
  • Small group study spaces and booth seating are limited to two people. Masks are required in group study rooms.
  • Most public computers are not available. Contact Tulane IT for more assistance with computer hardware or software. 
  • Interlibrary loan for articles is 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 are online only.  
  • All services and consultations are 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 information desk is staffed during selected hours.
  • Study/collaboration rooms are restricted to one/two users. Masks are required in group study rooms.
  • Some public computers are not currently available. Contact Tulane IT (https://it.tulane.edu/service-desk) for more assistance with computer hardware or software.
  • Interlibrary loan (https://matas-lib.tulane.edu/) for articles and book chapters is operating as usual.
  • Course reserve materials are available in print and online as usual.
  • Downtown health sciences faculty may request instruction (https://library.tulane.edu/places/make-request) . The mode of instruction may vary by class.

Special Collections

  • Access to special collections in all Tulane Libraries is 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 8:  Will group study areas be available?

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

Question 9:  What will Fall 2021 operations look like?

Answer:  Fall operations in the libraries will reflect the university's overall plans and policies, which the libraries are closely monitoring for changes. 

Question 10:  How will my students access films for reserves?

Answer:  Media reserves will be offered throughout the summer. 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. Physical Media Reserves will resume in the fall semester on an as needed basis. Digital Media Reserves will continue in the fall.

Question 11:  Can I check DVDs or CDs out from Media Services?

Answer:  All media items as well as print materials may be checked out from Media Services during their regular hours of operation. Pick-up for media items will shift to the 6th floor beginning June 1, 2021

Question 12:  Will the viewing, listening, and electronic piano keyboard stations in Media Services be available?

Answer:  Viewing stations, listening stations, and the electronic keyboard remain unavailable at this time.


Question 13:  Will the microform collections still be available?

Answer:  Yes. The microfilm collection will continue to be a self-service collection as before. However, two digital readers only are currently available to facilitate physical distancing practices. Researchers wishing to use materials from the Latin American Library (LAL) microfilm collection are encouraged to make a viewing appointment with Media Services but are no longer required to. Users wishing to access the LAL collection may request materials in person at the 6th floor service desk or email mediaservices@tulane.edu to schedule a viewing appointment.

Question 14:  What will happen with public computers?

Answer:  Most public computers in the library are not in service. The Learning Commons area of Howard-Tilton (first floor) has 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 15:  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 16:  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 17:  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 18:  Can library users not 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).

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

Question 19:  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 is presently closed. PJ’s is 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 20:  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 Summer 2021.

Question 21:  Will the Libraries be available for meetings or events?

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

Question 22: Will the library still accept donations of physical items like books?

Answer:  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