The Libraries add access to physical collections to online resources and services

Request digital copies of tangible materials now; shipping and delivery coming soon

Piles of books on tables at Rotch Library

Returned books at Rotch Library

As the fall semester gets underway, the MIT Libraries are excited to add services to safely provide access to physical collections to the range of remote services and resources we offer.

“Many researchers and students have been well served over the past several months by the extensive online collections and services made available by the dedicated staff of the MIT Libraries,” said Chris Bourg, MIT Libraries director. “But we are aware that many in our community rely heavily on access to our physical collections for their teaching, learning, and research and that the lack of access has been especially challenging. Our phased approach to restarting these services is driven by that need and seeks to serve our community in the most equitable way possible.”

New Services 

  • On August 31, the Libraries began offering digital delivery of physical items. Users can search the catalog for items in general circulating collections and Distinctive Collections. If the Libraries’ has the item(s) in print or hard copy only, they can request a digital equivalent. If a digital version cannot be provided through other means, the Libraries will scan the material from our collections.
  • The second stage of services, expected to begin September 23, will include shipping of circulating collections to home addresses and delivery on campus. We are also exploring providing a central, contactless pick-up point as an alternative for those with access to campus.

Please note that turnaround times are likely to be longer than usual, as we are limiting the number of library staff on campus and are processing a high number of returns. We will update the community as we learn more about the volume of requests and how quickly staff can fulfill them. 

“It has taken an extraordinary amount of planning and work by library staff — both those on campus and those working remotely — to get these services up and running,” said Bourg. “I’m grateful for their flexibility and dedication to serving MIT faculty, students, and staff, whether they are on campus or remote this fall.”

Please see the Libraries Service Updates page for the latest information about these and other services for fall 2020. Questions? Ask us