COVID-19 Updates on Library Services & Operations

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

Last updated September 25, 2020

Library spaces

Beginning September 8, 150 seats in Stauffer Library will be available to students for study, bookable in advance only, using our Bookable Seats service. The library will continue to expand access to study space in Stauffer Library and our other library locations throughout the fall term, making adjustments as needed to prioritize student, staff and faculty safety.

  • For September, Stauffer Library will be open 8 am-7 pm Monday to Friday, and closed Saturdays and Sundays. All other library location will be closed at the beginning of the fall term.
  • Individual study seats will be available for advanced booking by students in two blocks per day: 8 am-1 pm, and 2-7 pm.
  • Study seat bookings can be made via the library’s website, and will be available on a first-come first-serve service for Queen’s students with a limit of 32 hours per month per person in September. The number of available hours will be reviewed and adjusted in October as needed.
  • Students who are registered with Queen’s Student Accessibility Services (QSAS) are now able to access the Adaptive Technology Centre. Alternate format services and access to adaptive technology are currently being provided remotely by Adaptive Technology staff. Please email the Adaptive Technology Centre ( to book study space in the Adaptive Technology Centre.
  • Group study rooms and study carrels will not available for booking at the beginning of September, but we are working on plans to provide access to these spaces later in the fall term.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Safety protocols and other information will be sent via email to students upon booking.
  • All students will need to complete a wellness check before entering the library.
  • Face coverings are required in the library and physical distancing guidelines will be in effect.
  • Self-serve wipe stations are located throughout the facility for student to disinfect study spaces before and after use.
  • The library will not be able to provide access to computers, printers, scanners, and other library equipment at the beginning of the fall term. For printing, the Print & Copy Centre will be accepting orders through their website with purchases available for delivery or curbside pick-up.

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

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. Curbside pickup is available Tuesdays and Fridays, between 1-3 pm.

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

We appreciate your patience with our more limited initial curbside pickup service, which allowed us to fill the most urgent research-related needs for print materials as we established and tested our safety protocols, which are aligned with provincial and federal legislation and local public health directives currently limiting access to Queen’s campus.

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

Scanning service for print collections

A new 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”) and limited (2-week loan) circulating print materials. We expect to evolve this service over time to include other print 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 electronic resources, and the library has enabled them for Queen’s University.

Returning print materials

Our book bins remain open for returning library materials. 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.

Recalls on print materials

The ability to place Recalls on library material currently out on a regular loan (120 days) has resumed. Items can be recalled after the initial two week loan period. If you receive a recall notification and are not in the Kingston area, please contact us using our Ask Us service.

Interlibrary loans

The library continues to provide interlibrary loan services for electronic materials only. Borrowing and lending of physical materials is suspended at this time as many of our partner library locations are closed or operating at reduced capacity. Where possible, we will endeavour to obtain the materials through alternative methods, including ebook purchasing. Due dates for materials currently out on interlibrary loan will not be enforced, and late fines will not be charged.

Library reserves & copyright

With the fall 2020 term approaching, our staff are here to support faculty with the provision of online course readings as most courses move to remote delivery. Please see our e-reserves page for faculty and OnQ e-reserves 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 library is investigating scenarios for potentially supporting a print reserve service only for courses that have been approved for on-campus delivery in the fall of 2020. Please contact your subject librarian or our Reserves Coordinator ( for more information.

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

Individual access by appointment 

  • The next phase of re-opening will be to welcome individual researchers back into the Queen's University Archives and the W. D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections reading rooms to consult our unique and rare collections by appointment. Booking opens on September 14, 2020 with the first appointment available on September 21, 2020.  This service expansion builds on our online reference and scanning services.
  • The service will be available on Mondays and Tuesdays. Appointment times will be between 9 am-noon and 1-4 pm. The number of appointments is limited to safeguard users and library staff.
  • Because the service will be limited to two days per week and one person per appointment, all users will have access to the service on launch, though priority will be given to Queen’s University faculty and graduate students needing access to rare or unique collections to complete time-sensitive, high priority research that requires physical access.

Booking a visit

  • Appointments must be booked in advance through or You must meet virtually with staff at least 48 hours before your appointment to clarify your request, identify the materials you wish to see, and to review our instructions for accessing our spaces safely.
  • You will receive a confirmation of your appointment, along with guidelines to help you prepare for your visit after this appointment.
  • Please do not attend if you have not received confirmation of your booking, as we will be unable to admit you.
  • Seating capacity has been reduced to comply with social distancing and visits are currently limited to one per person per appointment to ensure the maximum number of people can access collections. Traffic paths in our buildings have been marked. Per normal operations, food and drink are not permitted.
  • Users are required to follow all university health and safety guidelines, including completing wellness checks before entering our buildings, wearing a face covering during visits, and maintaining physical distancing.

Available collections

  • You can request to see specific items and collections that are not otherwise available in an online or digital format. Only pre-booked material will be available to you during your visit. You will need to request in advance the items you want to use when you make your appointment. All appointments will be preceded by a reference interview with an archivist or W. D. Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections staff member to prioritize and identify materials to be brought out.
  • Because we will begin with individual appointments, we strongly encourage researchers to bring devices to take images of the items and collections that they consult. This will help you to maximize your appointment time, while we make it possible for other researchers to visit as soon as possible after you. It will also minimize potential contamination of staff equipment.
  • Some digitized materials continue to be available. Please see the Archives and W. D. Jordan Rare Books & Special Collections websites to research our holdings online.

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.