Summer Library Access for Graduate Students

June 5, 2020

This message was sent June 5, 2020, to students in the Graduate Group in Archaeology, Classics, and History of Art from Dean Burgmayer and Gina Siesing, Chief Information Officer and Director of Libraries.

Dear students in the Graduate Group in Archaeology, Classics, and History of Art,

Here we wish to report back to you in regards to your concerns about gaining access to needed library materials and services as you had detailed in a letter to Provost Osirim of May 25, 2020.

Gina Siesing, Chief Information Officer & Director of Libraries, has conferred with LITS library and IT colleagues about your needs, and the two of us have had the chance to confer also. We are all aware of and understand that digital resources cannot fully meet your research needs, and the LITS team is already working on implementing safety protocols to allow access to as many library materials and services as possible.

Here are some general points from our conversations that we want to highlight:

- The main advice that we want you to receive is to please contact library@brynmawr.edu to get in touch with the library staff and to relay your specific library research needs and goals. This suggestion had been in Provost Osirim's letter in regards to resuming research, and LITS library colleagues are actively supporting the faculty and grad students who have made use of this resource and let the LITS staff know of their individual needs. 

This is the best and most efficient way to get your needs met and to consult about best approaches to meeting your goals as we move forward!

- Graduate students do have access to both ArcGIS and Photoshop for remote/personal use, and LITS has documentation to guide your access. LITS colleagues will follow up with you to ensure that you know how to access this software. For any software or technology questions, please reach out anytime to help@brynmawr.edu, where again the full LITS team will receive your requests and the right colleagues will follow up with you to support your needs.

- Procedures to gain access to retrieve materials from your carrells are being planned. However, it is important to realize that public access to an open library will probably not be possible over the summer.  As part of our gradual reopening plans at the College, LITS will plan with you for reuniting you with your carrel items, and for a process around individual appointments to gain access to special collections or to obtain non-digitized volumes that circulate.

-The EZBorrow service is not active for any institution until the fall at the earliest. Bryn Mawr's ILL service has remained operational with lending of digital materials currently as most libraries are not able to circulate physical materials. We have just gained a bit of new flexibility in our guidance from Hathi Trust around the possibility of limited physical material circulation. We expect to be able to introduce scanning of some physical materials to deliver upon request and also hope to resume ILL for physical materials. Physical circulation will involve limitations on availability of materials and speed of delivery since most research and academic libraries are closed for the summer with limited rotations of staff, and our Hathi Trust agreements allow only limited circulation of print materials while we have remote emergency access during the pandemic.

We're glad that you took the time to write to Provost Osirim about your concerns in accessing much-needed research resources. We can assure you the College is slowly opening back up, but it is a complicated operation!  Again, the best way for the library colleagues to address your needs in the most efficient manner is to contact them at library@brynmawr.edu.  But we must also say that it is not likely that library operations will return to their pre-COVID operations over the summer, where patrons were free to enter and retrieve for themselves materials and use facilities.  As the library and Help Desk teams become more aware of how they can meet your most critical needs, they will work to make that so for you if at all possible.  We appreciate your willingness to work with the College and LITS, and thank those of you who have been library employees who are willing to help in creating new procedures to allow students to continue their work.

We will get through this together.

Dean Burgmayer and Gina Siesing