Library Fall 2020 Opening Guide

The University of Idaho Library is committed to serving the research and learning needs of our campus community while also minimizing the risk of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for U of I students, staff, faculty, and library personnel.

The Library is following a phased reopening plan guided by Idaho Rebounds, university plans, library best practices, and public health guidance. Information about the larger U of I response to COVID-19 can be found at

Library Public Space Guidelines

Building Access and Hours

  • Library building access is currently limited to University of Idaho students, staff, and faculty.
  • Library users must swipe their Vandal Card at the front door to gain entry to the building. Please contact the VandalCard Office if you need help activating your card or getting a new VandalCard.
  • Curbside delivery and select online resources remain available to both U of I and community patrons.

Mask Wearing and Social Distancing

  • Masks are required at all times in the library, as with all other campus buildings.
  • If you forget your mask at home, check at the Info Desk—we will happily give you one! Encourage others in the building not wearing masks to stop by and get one, too.
  • Maintain at least six feet of social distancing in the building, including lab spaces.
  • Be aware of your surroundings! Choose study spaces in a way that gives you and other library users at least six feet of space.
  • Library furniture and technology has been moved, blocked off, or rearranged to facilitate social distancing; please do not disrupt!
  • Pay attention to and follow instructions on signs and directional markers when using shared spaces like entry doors, hallways, elevators, and bathrooms.

Sanitation and Disinfection

  • Please disinfect study spaces, including computer lab workstations, before and after use. Look for the Sanitation Stations throughout each floor for cleaning materials (spray bottles and paper towel).
  • The library building will be cleaned each night by a cleaning crew from Facilities.
  • Hand sanitizer will be accessible in multiple public locations throughout each floor of the building; look for spray bottles instead of hand pumps.

Study Rooms, Classrooms, and Events

  • Group study rooms will be closed for fall semester due to limited ventilation.
  • The MILL, Studio, and CDIL will be closed until the next stage of reopening.
  • Meetings, classes, workshops and events larger than 10 individuals will be postponed until the next stage of reopening, or may take place remotely.
  • Library instruction may take place virtually, in the course instructor’s classroom, or if class size allows, in library classrooms.
  • Individuals who have already been assigned a graduate study carrel may continue to use their dedicated space this fall.
  • The Map Room will be closed until the next stage of reopening. To request help accessing maps, please contact

Circulation and Collections

Materials Quarantine

  • Most circulating library items will be quarantined for four days after each use according to professional guidance.
    • Library items quarantined include print textbooks on reserve, Summit and ILL materials, DVDs, and regularly circulating materials.
    • Non-circulating library materials such as newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals will not be quarantined or sanitized and may therefore pose a higher risk. Please use hand sanitizer or wash your hands before and after using these materials.
    • Some items have been removed from circulation altogether due to possible risk, such as board games, microphones, and fabric headphones.
  • Quarantine may affect the delivery or return time for certain materials.
    • Delivery of Summit and ILL materials will be delayed four days while items are in quarantine.
    • Items returned through book drops or mail will not be checked in for four days after quarantine.
  • Print books on course reserves will still circulate but will be unavailable for four days after each checkout to effectively quarantine. Visit the Course Reserves page for more information.

Curbside Delivery

  • Curbside delivery remains available for both UI and community patrons.
    • To request an item, navigate to the library’s online catalog and search for a title. Then use the “Request” link to place your request. You’ll receive an email when your item is ready, with a link to reserve a pick up time slot during our open hours, Monday to Friday.
  • Please note that due to staffing and safety protocols it may take two or more business days from the time you place your request to receive your items! Contact us at with questions.

Fines and Borrowing Periods

  • Regular borrowing and lending periods have resumed for locally-owned items.
  • Summit loans will extend from six weeks to one semester [pending].
  • We will continue to be flexible with fines; please email if you need help with upcoming or accrued library fines.

Resource Sharing

  • Summit and Interlibrary Loan (ILL) borrowing and lending has resumed.
  • Please keep in mind that delivery may be delayed due to lending library closures, materials quarantine, or shipping issues.
  • You can always check the status of your requests online at ILLiad Login or by contacting the ILL office at

Research Help and Unique Resources

Reference Desk

  • Visit the Reference Services page to get immediate research assistance via chat, text, email, or virtual consultation. Follow-up in-person consultations are also available.
  • Beginning August 24th, reference hours for Fall 2020 are:

Chat and Zoom Consultations

  • 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday
  • 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday

In-Person Appointments (requires 24 hour notice and prior Zoom consult)

  • 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

Gary Strong Curriculum Center

Special Collections & Archives

Community Visitors/Non-UI Affiliated Visitors

  • The library remains closed to the public through the next stage of reopening.
  • Field trips and group visits can not be accommodated during this stage of reopening. Please postpone your visit or email for information about virtual consultations and curbside delivery for your class.
  • Community patrons may continue to borrow locally-owned physical items using our curbside delivery service.
  • Electronic resources and databases are not available to alumni or the public at large due to our licensing agreements. The Latah County Public Library in Moscow is open for borrowing, lending, and computer and printing needs.
  • Virtual consultations are available for patrons seeking research assistance. Please email for more information.