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Duke's libraries offer study space and resources, but with new safety restrictions

<p>Although many Duke libraries are open this semester, Perkins will be limited to students who have a class in the Link or graduate students who have jobs in the library, said Duke Libraries' director of communications.</p>

Although many Duke libraries are open this semester, Perkins will be limited to students who have a class in the Link or graduate students who have jobs in the library, said Duke Libraries' director of communications.

Studying in your dorm room can be distracting, but have no fear: Duke’s libraries are here and ready to help students by providing study spaces and academic resources.

The Perkins, Bostock, Rubenstein, Lilly and Biddle Libraries are all open this semester, with adjusted hours of operation to account for cleaning. Perkins, however, will be limited to students who have a class in the Link or graduate students who have jobs in the library, said Aaron Welborn, director of communications at Duke Libraries. 

The libraries are open Monday through Friday and closed on weekends. The Perkins, Rubenstein and Bostock Libraries are open from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., while the Lilly Library is open from 2 to 11 p.m. and the Biddle Music Library is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Only Duke faculty, staff and students can access the library buildings for study spaces, ePrint printers and other services with card access. Most services will be based on reservation. Upon arrival, a person must check in, present their Duke ID and SymMon pass, and abide by the Duke Compact at all times.

Due to limited seating, access to study spaces are by reservation only through an online system that can be found on the ​Duke University Libraries website​. Users of the study spaces will be expected to check in and check out upon arrival and departure.

Additionally, Duke Libraries is working to expand the available study spaces for students. For example, Welborn said that they will soon add reservable seats around Von der Heyden Pavilion. 

Stacks are closed to non-library personnel this semester. Faculty, students and staff can use the Library Takeout Service to obtain books and materials by requesting items directly from the library’s catalog.

Materials requested for takeout will undergo a quarantine period of a minimum of 48 hours before pickup as a precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19. Students should not clean or disinfect any of the materials, as this could damage them.

The libraries have also “scaled up digitization because it is safer and students can receive more free scans of materials than they could in the past,” Welborn said. Similar to many other services this semester, users must request a digitization. The anticipated turnaround time for scans is around two to three days, and five to seven for books. 

If there are materials students want that Duke libraries do not have, the Triangle Research Libraries Network recently resumed their borrowing service, according to Welborn. Students also utilize the numerous online resources, including e-books, e-journals, streaming videos and movies.

As important as these safety precautions are, Welborns said that he knows students and staff prefer to be in the library together. 

“We look forward to welcoming students back in the way they want to be in the library and that we like them to be in the library,” he said.

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