Western Libraries Closed to the Public and Accessible Online



Posted on: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 1:56pm

Western Libraries Closed to the Public & Accessible Online

Western Libraries has been working diligently to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in accordance with the university and public health mandates, guidelines, and practices. We have prioritized the health and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and community members, while trying to sustain regular operations as much as possible.  

In light of the most recent recommendations from the CDC to limit the size of all social and public gatherings, along with the Governor’s March 23 “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order for the State of Washington, Western Libraries will be closed to the public until further notice.

We recognize the importance of library collections to Western’s teaching, learning, and research missions. However, at least for the duration of the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, it will not be possible to loan items from the Western Libraries’ circulating collection. Likewise, the Orbis Cascade Alliance has suspended Summit borrowing until further notice.  

Once it is again safe to do so, circulation of physical materials will resume, and Libraries will communicate new information as soon as it becomes available. Please also know that the due date for all materials checked out to patrons will be extended to June 15 (except for items already due after that date).  Recalls will not be possible during this period.

While the Libraries’ physical buildings and collections are not accessible at this time, the Libraries is committed to providing as much online access to collections, services, and support as possible. Please see the web pages: Library Services and Access to Materials FAQs and the Teaching and Learning FAQs for more information. 

Additionally, If you would like to request a title in electronic format, please submit a purchase request via ILLiad and specify e-book as the format. We are happy to purchase electronic copies of books if they are available, meet other standard purchase criteria, and are financially feasible. If you have a specific question, please contact Library.Collections@wwu.edu.

We understand how difficult and disruptive the COVID-19 pandemic and global response have been in people’s personal and professional lives, and we recognize that this situation is constantly evolving.  We will continue to post updates as plans change and details are confirmed, and as Western continues to share its evolving university-wide plans, the Libraries will also evaluate and identify evolving needs and adjust operations accordingly. 

We are actively working to identify actions we can take to prepare for a variety of needs, while prioritizing the health and well-being of library users and staff. We appreciate your understanding as conditions rapidly change and Western Libraries reevaluates its ability to deliver established programs and services. We are not always able to provide as much advance notice as we would like, as we also struggle to adapt to the challenges of operating in this unpredictable and uncertain environment. 

Western Libraries appreciates all library users and all library personnel, and we value and rely on each other as a community. We want to stay connected to each other during these difficult times, and we encourage you to reach out to us and share any questions, concerns, and comments you may have, (or even if you just want to say hello!).  Please remember we are still here with you, even if we are not all in the same building. You can always email us at LibraryCommunications@wwu.edu, or check out our full staff directory for more customized contact information. And above all, please take care of yourselves and each other.

Additional information about Western's planning and response can be found on the coronavirus information website,  which features Frequently Asked Questions; has links to campus, regional and national resources; an archive of campus messaging and media stories about coronavirus; a new toll-free campus coronavirus information line, and more. The site is a living document, and will get frequent updates as the coronavirus situation evolves.

--This page was last updated 3/25/2020