Sunday, August 16, 2020 Abdalla Eltahir

AU Library

Information to students

The University Library’s priority is to serve student and faculty needs while protecting the health and safety of the campus community. Knowing that some students and faculty will be on campus by the beginning of the fall semester 2020/ 2021, while others will learn and study remotely, we’d like to provide a summary of our current services and plans for the fall semester 2020/ 2021.


The University Library will continue to offer its services through its portal It will also be open for students and faculty with limited capacity in adherence with the health and safety protocols:


  1. AU Library will be physically open this fall with social distancing and safety accommodations.
  2. AU Library will offer limited in-person services at the start of the fall semester with plans to bring additional services back when able to do so safely and efficiently.
  3. Access will be allowed to all areas inside the Library with a maximum number of people allowed inside at a time.
  4. Library hours will also be shortened when it first reopens; specifications for these changes are still being decided upon.
  5. The space and furniture in the library will be rearranged to follow health and safety guideline of staying six feet apart. The number of computers inside the two libraries main halls will also be reduced in order to keep students further apart while using them.
  6. Food and beverages won’t be allowed for staff and students inside until further notice.
  7. When AU Library opens for the fall semester, services will include desktop computers, printing and book checkout. Group study rooms won’t be available for reservation.
  8. It’s likely that students will need to wear face coverings regularly while inside the library.
  9. Physical distancing protocols will be in place for inside the library halls and common spaces around the two libraries with limitations on gatherings.
  10. There will be increased cleaning of the library main reading halls, study rooms, and open spaces of the two libraries and increased disinfection of high-touch surfaces.
  11. CDC rooms will remain open as quite study rooms for students following space safety and health precautions.
  12. All circulation of books service, including library materials borrowing will be delivered according to normal circulation policy. However, the following safety precautions will be applied:

Safe Handling of Materials:

Quarantine of library materials will be applied as it has approved that it is the most effective known method of disinfection.

The COVID-19 virus can persist for varying lengths of time on different material types. Recent research published in the Journal of Hospital Infection indicates the following durations:


Length of Time


5 days


4 Days


4-5 days


4-5 days


6-9 days


5 days


Therefore, any returned books will be quarantined for 5 days before returning them back to the shelfs and be ready to circulate again.

  1. If you require access to specific items in our physical collections for your research and learning for “items that cannot be delivered digitally or inside the library” for students/ faculty who cannot or do not prefer to come to campus, please contact the library by phone, email, or using our Ask A Librarian online service via “ORS” system or through the library’s portal and the item will be available for pickup at the Main Students Hub Gate for each gender.
  2. Remote reference and research consultation will continue.
  3. Library instruction will happen remotely where possible, with some provisions made for on-site instruction when necessary. Please contact the Library manager or use the Library Instruction Request via the University “ORS” or through the library’s portal to schedule.
  4. As circumstances, safety, and staffing capacity allow, we will add additional support. For example, we plan to provide some study space options early in the spring semester, and will expand services in other ways. As soon as we have more details about those plans, we’ll post those on our website.
  5. Library staff physically present at the library are currently working from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, readily available to answer questions.
  6. Online resources (e-journals, e-books, databases, etc.) continue to be available to support the university's academic and research mission. Consult the library’s website for off-campus access instructions for more information.
  7. We will be encouraging users to limit their time in the library. If we reopen then need to shut down again, we have contingency plans in place and will be able to continue most of our services remotely.
  8. We also continue to purchase and license information resources to meet your needs.


And Please Know This—We Miss You Too!