How do I get access to a book or book chapter?

Current members of the Carleton community can come to the library during open hours, browse the shelves and check out books. Carleton students, faculty, and staff off campus may request journal articles and book chapters through their Interlibrary Loan account and we will attempt to deliver them electronically. If you are off campus and need a scan from a book the library has in print, please use your interlibrary loan account to request a chapter or two. Please note: Requests for items Carleton does not own might be delayed due to library closures throughout the country.

What is the occupancy limit of the library during the pandemic?

The occupancy limit of the library building is 350. The library homepage will show the current occupancy.

How is the library quarantining and sanitizing books?

The library is no longer quarantining books. Please do not use sprays or wipes on books as chemical disinfectants can be damaging. The current advice to protect oneself against the virus also holds for books: wear a mask, avoid touching your face, and wash hands well with soap and water before and after handling library materials to reduce exposure.

Can I renew or check out a locker?

Due to COVID-19, lockers will not be renewed or checked out this academic year.

May I use a group study room?

Yes, although there are no group study rooms available in the library during the pandemic. All open study rooms have an occupancy limit of one.

Are emeritus faculty allowed in the library?

No, because they are not getting tested for COVID-19 like current faculty, staff, and students; emeritus and retired faculty will not be allowed in the library. Emeritus faculty can designate an individual to serve as a proxy to pick up requested materials. The designated proxy must be a current faculty, staff, or student who is allowed in campus buildings.

Are visitors allowed in the library?

No, visitors are not allowed in the library. Like all campus buildings, the library will be accessible via OneCard to current faculty, staff, and students allowed to come to campus.

Is group study permitted in the library during the pandemic?

In its pandemic policies, the library requires 6 foot social distancing throughout the building. Due to this distancing, library seating is necessarily reduced. We have not previously reserved spaces for group study, and that practice will continue. Please note that those choosing to do group study inside the library still need to follow 6 foot distancing requirements. We follow the College's group study guidance that indicates group work should be done virtually when possible. While the College FAQ also states that "Students living in townhouses and interest houses will have more freedom to work with members of their 'family unit;'" the library does not have the capacity to monitor and allow “family units” or roommates to work together. Everyone working in the library needs to follow physical distancing.

Can I still donate books to the library?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently unable to accept donations of books and other physical materials.

How do I return a library locker key?

Whether you are on or off campus, please email us at for information about returning library locker keys.

Can I request or make my own digital copies of films, books, etc to distribute to my students? What copyright considerations apply?

Carleton’s Copyright Policy and Copyright Guidance continue to be useful during this time of crisis. For the most part, anything that you could legally copy or display in your campus classroom you can display in your online classroom.

In general, proceed as you have always done:

Special considerations for film and audio digitization

Digitizing and showing entire films or audio performances is often not advisable.

  • Select films or audio that are already available online and link to those. For content primarily available through Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, etc, consider building your syllabus around one of those platforms and having students temporarily subscribe to those services as if they were buying a textbook. (Note that international access to these platforms may vary considerably, so students should use our VPN to access content.)
  • Work with your Library Liaison to find alternative content that would serve your learning goals.
  • Choose brief clips that are more likely to be considered Fair Use, and work with Academic Technology to deliver those clips to your students. As usual, PEPS will require documentation of your Fair Use analysis before they can reproduce multimedia works.
  • Seek permission from the copyright holder, bearing in mind that this can take some time. As usual, PEPS will require documentation of permission before they can reproduce multimedia works.

For more information, see Carleton's Copyright Guidance on transitioning to online learning.

How do I return my interlibrary loan materials?

During the hours the library is open please return your ILL books at the circulation desk. If the library is closed, please return via the book drop. You may also request a renewal through your interlibrary loan account.  If you are unable to renew via your interlibrary account, please contact Brenda Hellen,

Do I have to use the VPN to access library resources remotely?

No, it is not necessary. If you are off campus, links to library resources from the library's website will prompt you to log into the library's proxy server. If you'd like to get started right now, this link will prompt you to log in and then take you to the library's main page. If you are using the VPN, the library's website and access to library resources will function as they do when you are on campus. In rare instances a resource only works with the VPN, so you may have to use it. Please ask a librarian if you are having access issues.

How do I connect Google Scholar to library’s resources?

Click on the three lines on the left side of your screen on and choose Settings. Then click on Library Links and search for Carleton College and choose Carleton College - Full Text. Instructions can be found here: This will show full text options from the library's databases when you search in Google Scholar.

Where can I find scientific research on COVID-19?

This research guide has helpful links:

How do I return library materials if I am off campus?

If you are off campus and have questions about how to return items, please email

Can I still work with Archives or Special Collections?

Carleton Special Collections and Archives staff are available to assist with the use of our collections. Visits to Special Collections and Archives are by appointment only. Please contact for more information regarding access to archival resources, and for more information regarding access to Carleton's special collections.

When are my library materials due?

Materials checked out this winter term: The due dates for library materials checked out this winter term will be the same as during past terms.  See the common loan periods.

How do I find the full text of an article?

Start by searching for the title in Catalyst to see if online access is available. If so you will see "Online Access" in green and options for where to find the full text. If it is not available, there should be a link to submit an interlibrary loan request for the article. You may also try searching Google Scholar to find the full text of articles, when you are off campus, you may have to change your settings to show links to Carleton's resources.

We have further information on these research guides:

Can I still have library instruction in my course?

Yes, please reach out to your Reference & Instruction liaison librarian directly. We can offer a variety of online options to support your course: research guides, synchronous or asynchronous instruction, a discussion within your Moodle discussion board, and more. We are offering research appointments via Zoom or Google Hangouts Meet.

How do I make an appointment with a Reference Librarian, Archivist, or Special Collections Librarian?

Please click on a librarians' name on this page. If you do not know who your librarian is, scroll down to see which librarian works with your department or specialty. The default for appointments is virtual during the pandemic, we have a variety of options: Zoom, Google Meet, email, chat, or phone.

How do I access library resources if I am off campus?

Almost all of our electronic resources are accessible off campus. Please use the library’s website to access databases, journal articles, and ebooks and you will be asked to log in. If you are connected to Carleton’s VPN, you may use the library’s online resources as you do on campus. More information can be found on the library webpage about off campus access. Carleton students, faculty, and staff off campus may request journal articles and book chapters from our collection or other libraries through their Interlibrary Loan account and we will deliver them electronically. Please note: Requests for items we do not own may be delayed due to library closures throughout the country. Don't hesitate to contact us if we can help.

Where can I find information on the citation managers Zotero and EndNote?

You may be able to find the answers you need in our Zotero guide or EndNote guide. If these do not have what you need, please chat with a librarian, email or make an appointment with the librarian for your department.

How do I suggest an electronic book to be added to the Library’s collections?

Suggest an addition to our collections using the methods on this page: