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Updates to Library Services

Last updated August 4, 2021 at 10:00 am

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Libraries continue to deliver —and even enhance — our services. This page summarizes all the ways you can continue your study and research with us, remotely or in person. To see University updates, visit Northwestern COVID-19 and Campus Updates.

The Libraries has increased on-site, in-building access in University and Deering libraries, with a return to open stacks and appointment-free building access for faculty, students, post docs and staff.

Use your WildCard to enter through the turnstiles. Everyone entering the library is required to wear a mask in accordance with campus policy. Disposable masks are available at the Main and Deering entrance desks if needed.

For those studying remotely, learn about off-campus delivery and all of our virtual resources.

Get Your Materials

Online Materials

The Libraries have a wide variety of online research resources. Most databases, e-journals, and other electronic resources allow for remote access by the Northwestern community using a valid netID and password. If you have questions about a specific resource, contact your subject librarian for individual assistance.

View Research Tools and Guides


Physical Materials

  • Book Pickup and Shipping: For more information on picking up materials in-person, on-campus delivery, and off-campus shipping, visit Borrowing Materials.
  • Book Returns: Materials may be returned at the University (Main) Library's book drop. A drive-up book drop is located just North of Locy Hall in the Fisk Hall parking lot. Books may also be packed and shipped to the library. See instructions here.
  • Interlibrary Loan: Request materials from other libraries by logging in to your ILL account and placing a new request. Interlibrary materials can be picked up or shipped the same way Northwestern materials can.
  • Scanning Services: Request scans of articles, book chapters, and pages from the library's print collections through your interlibrary loan account by logging in to your account and choosing "Article, chapter, etc." under Place a New Request. Fill out as much citation information as possible and submit.
  • Laptop and iPad Loans: Dell laptops and iPads are available for both short term and long term loans. There are a limited number available, and they are loaned on a first-come, first-served basis. See more on availability and request a laptop or iPad on Equipment for Checkout.
  • Non-circulating materials: For access to materials from McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives please see Plan A Visit to set up an appointment. All other non-circulating materials can be requested via NUsearch. Non-circulating materials can be used in the library building.

Remote Research and Instruction Support

Subject librarians are available to help faculty with course modifications to accommodate remote instruction. We can identify and suggest alternate course or research materials that will be accessible to remote learners, and provide library instruction via Canvas, Zoom, or Panopto.

Visit the Teach with the Libraries page to learn about instructional services offered, and contact your subject librarian to discuss your specific instructional needs.

  • Course reserve: Course reserves are online only. Scans of articles, book chapters and pages from the library's print collections are now available for e-reserve and can be requested via the course reserves function in Canvas. Read more on Course Reserve.
  • Workshops: The Libraries are offering virtual workshops to ensure you have access to the resources you need. For a full list of library workshops and events, visit our event page.
  • Research consultations: In-depth research assistance is available through one-on-one research consultations. Complete our online Research Consultation Appointment Request form or email library@northwestern.edu to get started.
  • Remote PC Access: Northwestern University Libraries is temporarily providing remote access to PC workstations located in the library buildings, which allows you to use software such as SPSS, SAS, MATLAB, the Adobe Creative Suite, and more. View how to connect to Remote Access PCs.
  • Laptop and iPad Loans: Dell laptops and iPads are available for both short term and long term loans. There are a limited number available, and they are loaned on a first-come, first-served basis. See more on availability and request a laptop or iPad on Equipment for Checkout.

Services in the Building

Appointments are available for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students.
  • Study space and stacks: As of June 14th, University Library and Deering Library return to open stacks and appointment-free building access. See hours here. Masks are required for everyone inside the library.
  • Open study space: The North Study Lounge and Classroom 2210 on the second floor of Mudd Library are open for walk-in, individual study with an active Wildcard at any hour, 24/7.
  • Computers, printing, and scanning: Library computers, printing, and scanning are available in University Library. Remote Access to PCs with specialized software will continue.
  • Book Pickup and Shipping: For more information on picking up materials in-person, on-campus delivery, and off-campus shipping, visit Borrowing Materials.
  • Book Returns: Materials may be returned at the University (Main) Library's book drop. A drive-up book drop is located just North of Locy Hall in the Fisk Hall parking lot. Books may also be packed and shipped to the library. See instructions here.
  • Carrel Access: If you need access to books checked out to your carrel, please contact circulation@northwestern.edu to arrange pickup or shipping.
  • Non-circulating materials: For access to materials from McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives, please see Plan A Visit. All other non-circulating materials can be requested via NUsearch. Non-circulating materials can be used at reservable study spaces by appointment. 
  • Hours: View building hours for on the Hours page.
  • Photography and Filming Requests: The Libraries can accommodate some photography and filming in the buildings.  Apply here at least one week ahead of your shoot.
  • Special Events: Apply at libraries.nu/libraryspace for event or meeting space.

Contact us

Have a question? For immediate assistance email or chat with us.