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    Library update for fall term

    The Queen’s University Library is committed to continuing to support faculty, students, and staff with learning, teaching, research, and accessibility requests, while keeping everyone safe and adhering to provincial and university guidelines throughout the COVID-19 period.

    The following is an update as to what the Queen’s community can expect in terms of access to spaces, materials, as well as library consultation and instruction.


    Starting on Sept. 8, 150 seats in Stauffer Library were opened to all students, using a system similar to the library’s current group study room booking system. This unmediated, first-come first-serve service for Queen’s students has a limit of 32 hours per month per student in September. Safety protocols and other information is sent via email to students upon booking. All students must complete a wellness check through the SeQure app, or fill out a provided checklist if a smartphone is not available, before entering the library and library staff are available to answer questions about use of the space. Students who are registered with Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) are now able to access the Adaptive Technology Centre. Alternate format services and access to adaptive technology are currently being provided remotely by Adaptive Technology staff. 

    In the next phase, the library hopes to expand access, including plans to open additional seats in Stauffer Library and other library locations. The library is also exploring access to equipment such as computers and scanners. The date and location(s) of the next phase will be announced on the library website as soon as it is confirmed. The library will continue to expand access throughout the fall term, making adjustments as needed to prioritize everyone’s safety.


    Online resources (e-journals, e-books, databases, etc.) continue to be available to support the university's academic and research mission. The library websitesubject guides and off-campus access instructions provide access to millions of information resources. Open access to the stacks will not be available during the fall term, but the library has been working on innovative ways to expand Queen’s student, faculty, and staff access to materials in the print collections including curbside pickup, scanning services, HathiTrust, a reserve reading room, and limited access to archival and special collections materials via in-person consultation.

    The library’s Omni search tool can be used to request a curbside pickup of physical materials at Stauffer Library, or make a “Request for Scan” for a single book chapter, journal article, or similar fair dealing amount, subject to copyright, using the new scanning service. The library has activated the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service, which offers access to approximately 36 per cent of the print collection. Faculty are also invited to view the eReserves page for faculty and OnQ eReserves page for instructions on how to request electronic course readings for courses that will be delivered remotely this fall. 

    The library is working on plans to open a reserve reading room on the main floor of Douglas Library to provide access to print course reserves for approved on-campus courses only.

    Reference Consultations

    Faculty, staff, and students are invited to contact liaison librarians, archivists, and special collections staff, and the Ask Us service remotely. Online consultations continue to be offered in archives and special collections from Monday to Friday and as of Sept. 21, 2020 Queen’s University Archives and W.D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections are welcoming researchers back into their reading rooms to consult their collections by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays, between 9 am and 12 pm, and 1 pm and 4 pm.


    The library will be offering instruction remotely this fall. Please contact your liaison librarian, archivists, or special collections staff to make arrangements.

    Library plans will continue to evolve as library staff and users continue to identify priorities, within the context of the pandemic.

    The library is working through a phased plan that is guiding how we will expand services and continue to support your teaching, learning, and research this fall term in a safe and supportive way. Our plans and services are being adjusted as new information is available, and we will continue to release details on the COVID-19 updates section of our website. If you have a need that is not currently addressed, ask us! We’re here to help.” says Michael Vandenburg, Interim Vice-Provost and University Librarian.