Update: Library Access & Services for Fall Quarter

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Posted on: Friday, July 31, 2020 - 1:35pm

Update: Library Access & Services for Fall Quarter

Western Washington University has announced the difficult decision to move the vast majority of its face-to-face classes to a remote environment due to the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases locally and nationally. Western Libraries buildings will also remain closed to the public for the duration of fall quarter. The decision to remain closed to patrons aligns with the university’s decision and follows the health and safety requirements of the CDC and the State of Washington.

As Whatcom County is currently in a modified “Phase 2” of the Governor’s Safe Start plan, and because movement into new phases has been restricted indefinitely, there is no way of knowing when the county will progress into other phases. During Phase 2, libraries are not permitted to open their buildings to the public but can implement on-site pickup of materials if certain health and safety guidelines are met. 

Beginning July 21, Western Libraries began offering online requesting of library materials with on-site pick up and mail delivery options. This means Western students, staff, and faculty can now request, borrow, and pick up or receive by mail items from the Libraries’ collections. You can learn more about this service at Expanded Phase 2 Services - July 2020. Summit and Interlibrary Loan (ILL) are not yet available but we currently plan to resume these services in time for fall quarter.

Over the next few months, we will focus even more time and energy on further developing and providing access to our services virtually. While library buildings remain closed to patrons, we continue to be open online, and we will do all we can to provide students, staff, and faculty with the library services and support they need. 

Western Libraries offers a wide range of online resources and services to support teaching and learning. For students, the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio is available online during posted hours of operation. You can connect live to an online meeting, initiate a chat using Ask Us, or send us a draft paper for email response. The Studio staff and librarians are available to answer any of your research and writing questions via chat. 

Additionally, our online Library Information Tutorials and resources about learning with archives and special collections materials focus on: starting a research project, finding and evaluating sources (including local and unique materials), as well as drafting and revising your text. These tutorials and other learning resources are available 24/7. The Tutoring Center, which primarily supports math and science GURs, also provides online and appointment-based tutoring services. You can find out more about these services and see a full list of the classes supported by visiting the Tutoring Center’s website.

We recognize how difficult and disruptive the COVID-19 pandemic and global response have been in people’s personal and professional lives. We appreciate your understanding as conditions rapidly change and Western Libraries reevaluates its ability to deliver a wide range programs and services. As we struggle to adapt to the challenges of operating in an unpredictable environment, we are not always able to provide as much advance notice as we would like. We will continue to share new information via Western Today, on the Libraries’ website, and our social media channels.

We ask that students, their parents, staff, faculty, and others in the Western community reach out to us with any questions about access to specific resources, services, or materials. We will do everything possible to answer your questions and to find methods and resources to meet your needs. Please see the complete directory of library personnel for more detailed contact information, and do not hesitate to contact us with your questions or concerns. If you have general questions or are not sure who to contact, please email LibraryCommunications@wwu.edu.