FAQ - Library Fall 2020 Re-Opening

In line with Tulane's re-opening plans, the following information details the libraries' procedures and policies for Fall 2020. Please follow us on Facebook and instagram and twitter for continued communication.

Question 1:  When will the Libraries re-open?

Answer:  Tulane University will be reopening in phases over the course of the next several weeks in preparation for an on-site fall 2020 semester as outlined on the Return to Campus site. The Libraries will follow this same approach, with some differences in timelines.

Howard-Tilton and Matas Libraries will open to the Tulane community no later than August 19. Matas Library will open 9am-4:45pm, Monday-Friday starting Monday, August 3, 2020.

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 will the operating hours be?

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

Howard-Tilton 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)
Monday - Friday, 8:30AM – 5:00 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
Web: https://library.tulane.edu/libraries/media-services

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

Question 3:  What about the Architecture Library?

Answer:  As of July 10, 2020, the remaining collections held in the Architecture Library (Richardson Memorial Hall) have been transferred to Howard-Tilton. Latin American architecture materials remain in the LAL stacks. The Architecture Library space will be 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:  Tulane University recently released a comprehensive plan identifying measures necessary to support the health and safety of the Tulane community when we return to campus this fall 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, Zoom conferencing, reproductions (where appropriate), and other means.

Tulane students, faculty, and staff should always carry their Splashcards 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:  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:  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. 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-checkout station to reduce in-person contact.

Matas Library stacks may be more restricted. Contact Matas for more information about print access.

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, 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 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 form.  The mode of instruction may vary by class.
The Latin American Library
  • 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 who want to request instruction can use this form. 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 with limited exceptions.
  • 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:  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:  The latest 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 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) as follows:

  • 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 here.  
  • 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 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 will be forthcoming on the media reserves for faculty page by late July 2020.

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 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 with your resource need.

Question 15:  Will the microform collections still be available??

Answer:  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 recent 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 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.  

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

Question 17:  What about the PJ’s 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 fall term 2020. 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 18:  Are food and drinks still allowed in the Library?

Answer:  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 fall 2020.

Question 20:  Will the Libraries be available for meetings or events?

Answer:  Unfortunately, for the duration of 2020, no event space will be available in the Libraries.