Libraries open with new plans and COVID-19 procedures

As Tulane’s Libraries reopen for a new school year, librarians and staff are looking forward to welcoming the campus community back to its facilities on Wednesday, Aug. 19. In line with the university’s phased restart of on-ground operations, the libraries have been rolling out a multi-phase reopening plan that incorporates different hours, modes of service delivery, and policies adapted for current public health conditions. 

Users returning to the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library (HTML), the Rudolph Matas Library of the Health Sciences and other campus libraries will quickly note some obvious changes. Seating has been reduced and most public computers have been removed. (An accessibility workstation, which features adaptive hardware and software for users requiring them, will remain available). Plexiglass protective barriers are installed in many study areas along with hand sanitizers and sterilizing wipes. While the HTML and Latin American Library General Collections book stacks will be open, CDs and DVDs in the Media Collection will be retrieved for users upon request. Special Collections access in Jones Hall will be by appointment only. Matas users will have materials brought to them by staff upon request. Other services such as research assistance, course instruction and reproduction requests will be handled remotely. 

Librarians and staff have been active throughout the summer creating more instructional videos and online tutorials to help users navigate the libraries’ extensive online resources. Those resources can be accessed on the libraries’ YouTube channel here.

“We've used these circumstances as an opportunity to develop stronger online skills and new ways of outreach, while still maintaining as many of our in-person services as possible,” said David Banush, dean of libraries. 

The pre-order/pickup option, initiated in April, will remain available for both books and media. HTML will also have a new self-checkout station to reduce in-person contact. Although all libraries will be accessible only to current Tulane University affiliates, librarians and staff are happy to work with all patrons on research needs via email, phone and Zoom conferencing.   

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