COVID-19 Updates on Library Services & Operations

Please visit this page regularly for updates on changes to library services and operations.

Last updated June 17, 2021

Library spaces

Update: To comply with provincial orders, bookable seats will not be available until July 6 at the earliest. At this time we plan to return to phased re-opening while prioritizing the safety of our community.  

Access to collections

Online resources (e-journals, ebooks, databases, etc.) continue to be available to support the university's academic and research mission. Consult the library’s website, subject guides and off-campus access instructions for more information.

If you require access to specific items in our collections for your research and learning, please contact the library using our Ask Us service or reach out to a subject librarian or archivist directly. We can help to locate and provide access to online versions of many of our print materials, help to identify alternative resources where online versions are not available, and answer questions about curbside pick-up and scanning services. We also continue to purchase and license information resources to meet your needs.


The library is a member of HathiTrust (HT) and has activated the HT Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) for current faculty, students and staff at Queens University. This service is offered due to the unexpected/involuntary, temporary disruption to normal operations. ETAS provides electronic “read” access via Hathi Trust (HT) to over 860,000 in-copyright items from our print collections through 2003, in addition to the 4.4 million worldwide public domain items already accessible in HT. This represents 36.4% of our print collection that is now accessible through ETAS.

Please see Accessing HathiTrust ETAS instructions on how to complete these requests.

ETAS access is through the HathiTrust website and authentication is using a Queen’s NetID and password (by clicking on the yellow log in button). For each copy of an item in our collection, one simultaneous checkout is allowed for 60 minutes, with automatic renewals if the user remains active on the site and no other Queen's user is waiting for the item. Access to the HT ETAS will cease once we resume normal access to Queen's library collections.

Important note: As per the terms of agreement with HT, items available online through ETAS are not eligible for the library’s curbside pick-up or scanning services.

Curbside access to print collections

Please note that legislation requires everyone to wear a mask and maintain a physical distance of at least two metres at all times, including while in line outside of the library. 

The library offers a curbside pickup service to all current Queen’s students, faculty, staff, and emeritus using the Request feature in our Omni search tool. Materials will be retrieved on a first-come, first-serve basis, and users will be notified by email when their item(s) are available for pickup at Stauffer Library. Beginning April 12, curbside pickup is available Tuesday to Thursday 9 am - 8 pm, Friday 9 am - 5 pm and Saturday 9 am – 5 pm.

Please see our curbside access instructions on how to complete these requests.

Important note: Items available electronically through HathiTrust's Emergency Temporary Access Service are not eligible for the library's curbside pickup service, as per the agreement terms with HathiTrust.

Scanning service for print collections

A library scanning service is available to all current Queen’s students, faculty, and staff.

Use the Request for Scan feature in the Omni search tool for a single book chapter or journal article or similar fair dealing amount, subject to copyright. You must be logged in to Omni using your NetID, and will be notified by email when the scan is available for download for a 30 day period. Eligible collections initially include all regular (i.e. “open stacks”), limited (2-week loan) circulating print materials, and non-circulating materials (i.e. Art non-circ, reference, microforms). We expect to evolve this service over time to include other physical materials.

Please see our scanning request instructions on how to complete these requests.

For materials held in the W. D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, users can search Omni and request scans by contacting For materials held in the University Archives, users can search archival holdings through the AtoM (Archives) Database and request scans from the University Archives by contacting This service is subject to copyright and other considerations such as the amount, type, and fragility of the materials. Recognizing that archival and special collections often require in-person consultation to conduct research, the library continues to follow university, provincial, and public health guidance as we strive to provide access to these locations by appointment in the future.

Important note: Items available electronically through HathiTrust's Emergency Temporary Access Service are not eligible for the library's scanning service, as per the agreement terms with HathiTrust.

Temporary access to select resources

Some vendors are offering Temporary Free Access to E-resources During COVID-19, and the library has enabled them for Queen’s University.

Returning print materials

Our book bins remain open for returning library materials. All returned material will be quarantined for 72 hours from the time it is removed from the bins before it is removed from your account. Please wait four business days before contacting the library with any concerns related to your returned items. New loans have loan period of 120 days.

Renewing checked out print materials

You can view materials you have checked out along with their due dates on the MyAccounts page in Omni. If you have any questions, please contact us using our Ask Us service.

Interlibrary loans

The library resumed inter-library loan (ILL) services for print materials on February 16, 2021.  Please continue to place your requests through the RACER system.  ILL service for electronic materials has continued throughout the pandemic. 

Please keep in mind that there may be shipment delays for print ILL materials as not all Ontario or Canadian academic library partners have resumed full ILL services.  Items not available through ILL will automatically be considered for purchase.   

Due dates for materials currently out on interlibrary loan will not be enforced, and late fines will not be charged.

Library reserves & copyright

Our reserves staff are here to support faculty with the provision of online course readings as most courses move to remote delivery. Please see our eReserves page for faculty and OnQ eReserves page for instructions on how to request electronic course readings for courses that will be delivered remotely this fall. Subject librarians are available to assist with the selection of online materials to support course objectives.

Our regular print reserve service is not possible this fall due to covid-19 guidelines on a 72-hour quarantine period for materials, and limitations on in-person campus activity.

The Copyright Advisory Office has created a Copyright & Remote Instruction guide for instructors who are digitizing course materials. Online consultations are available with Mark Swartz, Copyright Manager at

Remote instruction support

The Library has collated resources to help faculty transition to remote instruction. The Library Resources for Remote Instruction guide assembles key tools and services at a glance, including making materials accessible, locating multimedia and freely available teaching resources, getting subject-specific help, and meeting copyright standards.

Research support

Subject librarians remain available to provide online research support for undergraduate students, graduate students, post-docs, faculty, staff and clinicians.

Archives and special collections

Archives and Special Collections research by appointment services are temporarily suspended. We will continue to offer online consultations in archives and special collections from Monday to Friday.  

Open Scholarship Services

Open Scholarship Services (OSS) librarians and staff continue to support research data management, open access publishing, copyright and access to statistical, government and GIS information in your teaching and research.

You can email us at to schedule a remote consultation, attend an online OSS Information Series session, access the online Researcher Training Program.


The library’s Ask Us service is available to help remotely with library-related questions.

More information

Please consult this website for up-to-date information on library operations and visit the university's Coronavirus COVID-19 Information website to find up-to-date information from Queen's University.