COVID-19: Libraries Support and Information

Quick links


Student support


Faculty support 

  • Accessing electronic resources. Our staff is working hard to ensure the licenses for your online resources will provide adequate access for the number of students enrolled in your course.   

  • Digitization of Course Materials may be requested via the Course Reserves Request Form. All scanning/digitization performed by the libraries must fall within Fair Use standards.  

  • Alternate Course Materials. When course material are not available in an electronic format and cannot be digitized, our Outreach librarians can help you…  

    • Identify and access alternative resources  

    • Develop virtual activities and assignments and facilitate online interaction and engagement  

  • Software, tools, and more. Our librarians can also help you discover and use relevant—and possibly critical—software for audio/video and collaborative needs. Feel free to reach out to your Outreach librarian to learn how to identify and use tools that could further ease the online transition of and/or enhance your instruction.  


Study spaces

The following locations are available for use:

  • Rush Rhees Library
    • Lam Square
    • Periodical Reading Room
    • Messinger Graduate Study Room 207 (South)
    • The Great Hall 
    • Gleason Library
    • iZone
  • Carlson Library
  • Physics, Optics & Astronomy Library
  • Library stacks (limited space)

What you need to know: 

  • Seating may be limited, which is why we ask that you limit your use to two hours

  • Masks must be worn at all times

  • You must maintain a six-foot distance from others 

  • Food is not allowed with the exception of the Hawkins-Carlson Room an

  • All beverages must be covered. When consuming beverages, pull your mask up from your chin, take a drink, and then recover your nose and mouth. 

  • Study tables have markers that indicate seats that follow physical distancing guidelines

  • You will be asked to disinfect your own spaces; cleaning supplies are available

  • Unattended belongings left in a space for longer than 30 minutes may be removed by library staff in accordance with library policy.

The following libraries will be open by appointment only: 


Access to physical materials

Library collections in the Rush Rhees, Carlson, and POA Stacks are available for regular access. Items requested via the online catalog will be retrieved by library staff and held for pickup at the library of your choice.

Items shelved in the Art/Music Library may be requested via the online catalog, and will be held for pickup at the Lam Square self-service hold pickup area. 

Access to the Robbins Library and RBSCP collections may be arranged by appointment. 


Interlibrary loan (ILL)   

  • Regular ILL service is available. We are accepting requests for physical and electronic materials.
  • To submit a request.
    • Visit and click on the “Login with NetID” button.
    • The first time you log in, you will need to register and select River Campus as your pick-up location.
    • Once logged in, you will see a menu on the left-hand side of your screen. Under “New Request,” click on the item type you are requesting. Please provide us with as much information as possible.
  • For help with an ILL request, please email


Checked out materials 

  • Many items originally due during the spring of 2020 or that were extended to September 1 have been renewed. Please check your library account online to see the current due date for your borrowed materials.  

  • There are no late fines for most overdue River Campus Libraries items. However, you may be billed for the replacement of items that remain overdue for more than 30 days. Returning the overdue item removes the bill from your account.

  • Checked out items may be returned at the exterior book drop near the Library Road entrance to Rush Rhees Library, in the book drop outside the Carlson Library entrance, or in designated return areas inside each library.

  • Returned materials will be quarantined for six days before library staff handle them. During this time, items will still appear in your library account. 

  • If you need to return items to the River Campus Libraries but have already left campus and do not plan to return, you may mail University and ILL materials back to:

    • ​​​​​​University of Rochester Rush Rhees Library
      755 Library Road 
      Attn: Patron Services
      Rochester, NY 14627-0055
  • Please note: Media Mail® through the United States Postal Service is a cost-effective option for sending materials back to the library. For more information on this service, visit:


Talk to a librarian 

You’re not on your own!  

  • We encourage you to schedule an appointment with an outreach librarian.   

  • You can also use the “Chat live” function on this website to talk to library staff who are available: 

    • from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Thursday

    • from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST on Friday. After hours? Please contact us.  

  • You can also see who is online on the public on-call schedule


General information

  • Online services and resources are still available. Please see the library’s services page for more detail.
  • Library staff and outreach librarians are available and ready to help you find electronic alternatives to any print material you needed. If you have questions or would like assistance see the Talk to a librarian section below.


Library events 

The River Campus Libraries is currently offering events remotely as needs arise. You can find currently scheduled events here. 


COVID-19 stories

  • Archiving our COVID Stories. To help preserve this unprecedented time in our history, the University Archives are asking students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the University to submit reflections, photographs, drawings, journal entries, social media posts, video and audio recordings, and more.