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Special Circumstances During the COVID-19 Crisis: Remote Resources And Guidance For Users: Library Operations During COVID-19

The Lightner Library's operations have changed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more about the changes, as well as the many virtual services we are offering, including reference help and interlibrary loan.

Changes in Procedure

Here are some of the changes we've implemented as we adjust to a new normal:

All library staff and student workers will be masked. The point of contact for anything you need at the library is at the circulation desk. There will not be anyone staffing the reference desk, as all reference services have been moved to a virtual format. For more information, read the boxes on these topics below.

The librarians will continue to provide library and research instruction for classes in face-to-face and virtual formats. Contact Linda Park,, to request that a librarian visit your class.

In order to encourage social distancing in the library, we have removed some seating and have rearranged furniture and tables and chairs throughout the study areas to comply with state mandates. Please do not move the furniture! Please ensure that your remain 6 feet away from others in the library.

There are sanitizers and wipes available throughout the library. All work surfaces and computers should be wiped down BEFORE and AFTER you use them.

Library Hours

The Lightner Library's hours of operation are subject to change depending on the situation as we navigate the unique circumstances of this academic year.

For an up-to-date look at what our hours of operation are, please visit the Lightner Library home page. Our hours are listed in the top, right-hand corner.

Research Assistance

The Reference Desk

In order to reduce face-to-face interactions and transmission of germs, librarians will not be staffing the Lightner Library reference desk. Instead, we recommend that you visit the Circulation Desk for all of your questions. 

From there, you will:

  • Have your question answered -or-
  • Be directed to visit the Lightner Library website to chat with a librarian live -or-
  • Be directed to contact a librarian directly

You can also get in touch with a librarian to make an appointment via Microsoft Teams for research assistance.

Virtual Reference Services

In addition, the librarians are still available to students and faculty virtually in a variety of ways that include:

  • Emailing us at with your questions;
  • Using the Ask a Librarian link on the library's home page;
  • Using the virtual chat box on Lightner Library's home page.  If there is no librarian available on chat, your question will automatically be emailed to

Reference Librarian

Linda Park's picture
Linda Park
(315) 279-5208

Finding Books

In order to reduce the spread of germs, the library is closing the stacks. This includes the Reference Collection. 

If you need print materials, please ask a staff member at the circulation desk, and they will retrieve the materials and get them ready for you to pick them up. To find a book, we recommend you search the online library catalog to find what you need, then bring the title, author, and call number to the circulation desk. From there, a library worker can retrieve the item for you.

Research has shown that the COVID-19 virus can live on library materials for up to 96 hours. For that reason, we will be quarantining all returned library materials for 4 days after they are returned.  This includes materials in the Reserve and Reference collections. This will make it harder for multiple people to access the same material within a short period of time. Please plan accordingly.

We recommend using our digital resources as much as possible. For reference books and monograph ebooks, please visit the databases listed on our Find an Ebook page.

Checking Out & Returning Books

Checking Out Items

Once a library worker has retrieved the book or DVD that you need from the stacks, we can check it out to you at the Circulation Desk. This will be a low-contact transaction, and the circulation desk is equipped with sanitizers and a clear screen to protect you and our workers during the pandemic.

  1. You will need your student ID the first time you check out an item. After that, we can either use your ID or look you up by your last name.
  2. We will need to scan the barcode on the item(s) you are checking out.
  3. All books will need to be desensitized so that the items do not beep on the way out of the library.
  4. We will provide a receipt slip to you which specifies the time and date the item(s) are due back to be returned to the library.

Returning Items

If you are returning books, please drop them in the drop box outside the front door of the library. Do NOT leave them at the Circulation Desk.

If you are returning DVDs, please leave them at the Circulation Desk. The DVD cases will be wiped down for disinfection.

All returned books will be quarantined for 4 days before they are available to be used again.