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Library Services and Resources during COVID-19

This guide outlines the library's services and resources available during the COVID-19 pandemic

Reference and Research Help

Until further notice, all reference hours will take place virtually. Not much will change since we currently offer virtual reference through our chat-box, but we'll be adding the following:

Proactive Chat -- if you look on the right-hand side of your screen, you'll see a purple Ask A Librarian button. A box will pop-up after 10 seconds to see if you'd like to chat with a librarian. If not, just click on 'No thanks' and it won't pop up again. This feature appears on several guides and sites including OneSearch and in some of our databases.

Schedule Appointments -- you and your students can schedule an appointment with a Librarian either through email or a scheduling platform. Find your Library Faculty Liaison.

Zoom -- During a chat, we may invite you to join our AskRef Zoom Room so we can share screens and video chat. This Zoom Room is only in use through an invite and is not staffed during regular reference hours.

Library Instruction

Librarians can offer services embedded directly into your D2L course. Examples of services include:

  • Online instruction: Librarians can provide both synchronous and asynchronous instruction for your course. We can create recorded videos demonstrating databases or sharing information literacy skills and embed them directly into your course, or we can join your course during your meeting time via Zoom and teach from there. We can also do both for a flipped experience!
  • Quizzes/Assessment: Similarly, librarians can create quiz or assessment widgets using our own CMS (LibWizard) to assess student learning of information literacy concepts covered in virtual instruction.
  • Discussions: You can set up a discussion board for your librarian to use as a point of interaction with students in your course. This can take the form of an Ask a Librarian forum where students can ask questions about research or a forum tied to readings or a lecture provided by a librarian, discussing information literacy concepts you want covered in class.
  • Assignments: Librarians can create assignments to teach information literacy concepts or work with you to re-imagine your current assignments to have more information literacy components.
  • Research Appointments: We can create a calendar of times we have available to meet with your students and embed it into your course. This is especially helpful for upper undergraduates and those who have had library instruction previously and need deeper assistance.

There are also tools available to embed in your D2L course, such as...

Contact your Library Faculty Liaison to discuss what type of instruction may work best for your course.

Course Reserves

Placing items on Physical Reserve

3 Days Quarantine + 2 Days Processing = 5 Days before items are available

All items coming into the library have a 72 hour quarantine for worker safety. This includes any times that a professor brings in for reserves whether it is from their own personal collection or item they previously checked out. While we typically have reserve items available either same day or next day, our reserve policy does request 48 business hours before the item is on reserve. So, in total professors need to be prepared for a 5 day wait before the item is available on reserve. As the library collections are closed to patrons, if the item is on the shelf at the library we can pull and place it on reserve without the quarantine.  

Checkout periods

Physical reserve items will also have a 72 hour quarantine after checkout in order to keep our student workers and employees safe. This means a 2 hour reserve becomes a 74 hour reserve and a 2 day reserve becomes a 5 day reserve.  


Due to the quarantining of materials, e-reserves is the best and safest option.
If the item to be scanned for e-reserves is brought into the library for library staff to scan, there will be the 72 hour quarantine before we can handle and scan the item. The quarantine will not occur if the item is currently available on shelf in the library. You can get around this quarantine with your personal items by sending us the PDF of the item you want to have placed on e-reserves.  
The standard guidance towards placing selections from physical books is 10% or up to 1 chapter, whichever is less. While we are not able to scan and put an entire book on e-reserve we can put two or three chapters, depending on length of the book, as long as they are visible only for a set period of time AND only one chapter is visible at a time.  

Ebooks can be placed on e-reserves, however their licenses still apply which may reduce their availability as this controls the number of simultaneous users and the “check out period”.   We have been able to pull selections from e-books as PDFs and place them on e-reserve in the past.  In doing so we do have to follow copyright law and the selections are treated like selections from physical items.  

Please send any questions you may have to or call (507) 457-5149

As this is a fluid and novel situation, our services may change in the future. Please check back for updates.

Keep Teaching

Librarians are working with TLT and ACE to provide virtual library services. We encourage you to take advantage of their amazing support services as you transition to online learning:

  • Email They will be monitoring this mailbox during normal business hours, in the evenings, and on weekends until further notice.

  • Pop into their Zoom virtual office at This room is always open, 24/7. Someone will be in the room to help you during normal business hours, in the evenings, and on weekends until further notice.

  • Visit the Keep Teaching website to learn more about some key actions, considerations, and resources to help you make that shift as quickly as possible.

  • Join the WSU-Keep Teaching Team site. Click on this link and join the team using your installed Teams app or the web version of Teams. If you are not familiar with Teams, they will be sending more detailed instructions about joining in another message.