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Updates to Fall Library Services

Last updated October 05, 2020 at 4:30 pm

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Libraries continue to deliver —and even enhance — our services for fall quarter. 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.

If you meet the University's criteria for being on campus for Fall Quarter, book pickup and study space is available by appointment. Please note, an active Wildcard is required to enter the building. If you are not permitted on campus per University policy, your Wildcard will not admit you. 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.

View Research Tools and Guides

Additional key online resources

Some publishers and vendors have made resources available for free on a temporary basis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Hathi Trust Emergency Access: Northwestern has received temporary emergency access for materials held in Hathi that are also held physically in Northwestern Libraries. More information on emergency access can be found at here.
  • Free Resources Available in Response to COVID-19:  See a list of temporarily free publishers’ resources for textbooks, streaming video, and many other e-resources. Please pay attention to the terms and conditions of these offers, as not all are available to the Northwestern community. We are diligently working to explore these offers and provide information on those that are available. If you have questions about a specific resource, contact your subject librarian for individual assistance.

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. Due to quarantine procedures for returned items, it may up to a week for books to be removed from your account.
  • 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 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.
  • Carrel Access: If you need access to books checked out to your carrel, please contact circulation@northwestern.edu to arrange pickup. Beginning September 21, personal book carts for in-library use materials will be available for faculty and graduate students. Any materials previously checked out to a study carrel will now be available on a personal book cart.
  • Non-circulating materials: For access to materials from McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives please email specialcollections@northwestern.edu to set up an appointment. All other non-circulating materials can be requested via NUsearch. Non-circulating materials can be used at reservable study spaces by appointment. 

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 through Fall 2020. 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

  • Reservable study space: Individual study spaces will be available by appointment in University (Main) Library for both quiet study and conferencing. Walk-in appointments are allowed based on capacity, but appointments are preferred. Book an appointment now.
  • Computers, printing, and scanning: Library computers will be available as a reservable study space by appointment. Printing and scanning in University (Main) Library will also be available by appointment. 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. Due to quarantine procedures for returned items, it may up to a week for books to be removed from your account.
  • Carrel Access: If you need access to books checked out to your carrel, please contact circulation@northwestern.edu to arrange pickup. Beginning September 21, personal book carts for in-library use materials will be available for faculty and graduate students. Any materials previously checked out to a study carrel will now be available on a personal book cart.
  • Non-circulating materials: For access to materials from McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives, please contact specialcollections@northwestern.edu to set up an appointment. 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 Fall Quarter on the Hours page.
  • Special Events: The Libraries are not currently accepting any event, room, and filming/photography requests for Fall Quarter.

Contact us

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