Friday, August 7, 2020

UNL Libraries Reopens August 17

The University Libraries will reopen campus locations (Love Library, Architecture, CYT@Food, Engineering and Music) starting on August 17. All library locations, except Math and Geology libraries, will reopen with limited hours which will expand when in-person classes begin on August 24. To check the hours of operation of all library locations including the Adele Hall Learning Commons, visit:

The Libraries has put a number of safety measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by managing the density of library locations and adhering to social distancing protocols.  

In order to manage the density of library spaces, all locations will be open only to UNL students, faculty and staff with current NCards. Community users and non-UNL researchers can access the UNL Libraries by appointment only, for example if they have a need to access the Archives & Special Collections, to use subscription electronic resources on site, to use government documents, or to consult with a Libraries faculty or staff member. 

The reading rooms for the Library Depository Retrieval Facility (LDRF) and the Archives & Special Collections will be open by appointment only to all users. 

Other safety measures include:  

·       An average of 56% reduction in seating to manage density and promote proper social distancing

·       Plexiglass barriers and floor signs at ASKus service points

·       Prioritizing online collection access

·       Limiting access to physical materials

·       Continuing item/book/article delivery (you request, we retrieve)

·       Quarantining all materials for at least four days between uses

The Libraries will continue to offer HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) for the fall semester, as it provides access to almost half of our collections to users regardless of their location, an important consideration for providing equitable access to the students and faculty not returning to campus this semester. Maintaining ETAS requires the Libraries to restrict access to the physical collections of anything in our collections that is represented in HathiTrust. This means that book stacks in Love Library and all other library locations will be closed, and no in-library use or stacks browsing will be allowed.

The Libraries will continue to offer our robust digitize-on-demand services, primarily for journal articles, book chapters, or other excerpts needed for classroom use or research purposes. Use our document delivery forms to request any materials not available for immediate online access. We will pull the item for you and either deliver a chapter/journal article electronically or deliver the book to the nearest open campus library for you to pick up. 

There are many other ways Libraries faculty and staff can help users including:

·       Zoom- and phone-based research consultations and advanced research support

·       Teaching partnerships and collaborations for building students' research and information skills 

·       Research help through ASKus via phone, email, and chat-based  

As Claire Stewart, dean of libraries, explains the goal of the reopening plan is to provide the broadest possible access to expertise, collections, and spaces while prioritizing the safety of faculty, staff, and students.

“We understand some of the measures put into place may be difficult, especially limiting direct access to materials on our shelves, but limiting that access minimizes the risk of transmission. More importantly, it allows us to provide more equitable access, keeping the HathiTrust ETAS open for all users whether they are on campus or located in western Nebraska,” said Stewart.

Read the full proposal about the Libraries plan. 


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons reopens July 6

Starting on July 6, the Adele Hall Learning Commons will open to current UNL faculty, staff, and students from 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Access to the Learning Commons building is by NCard access through the north doors (located on the North Plaza) and south doors (located under the Link). In observance of the Face Covering policy, all UNL faculty, staff, and students will be required to wear a facial covering at all times inside the building. 

The Libraries will begin offering the option to request, pick-up, and drop off of materials from the UNL Libraries collection. This includes books, journals, and media equipment.
How it works: search for the item in the Libraries online catalog and send a request using the Delivery/ILL form ( Once the item is available, you will receive an email with a link to schedule a time to pick up the item in the Adele Hall Learning Commons.

Media Services will also accept requests to pick up and drop-off media equipment in the Learning Commons starting on July 6. Students and faculty may schedule an appointment with Miranda McCown at

Seating and computer stations in the Learning Commons have been modified to meet state and local social distancing measures. Study room capacity has been adjusted. The four-person rooms now only seat one, and the 10-person rooms now seat 3. Study rooms are first come, first serve through the summer. 

Dunkin Donuts will continue to be closed at this time. All other library locations will remain closed to users at this time. The Law Library will remain closed to in-person visits by patrons. People in need of legal materials are encouraged to contact the law library faculty by emailing

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Expanded Resources during Remote Summer Classes

During the COVID-19 outbreak publishers and database vendors across the nation temporarily opened up their resources to libraries to support the sudden pivot to remote teaching and learning at Nebraska and other universities. Casey Hoeve, associate professor, and head of content & collections for the UNL Libraries gathered the resources together by subject within a libguide called “Expanded Resource Access for Remote Research & Study During COVID-19.

Now that the academic semester has come to a close and summer term begins, publishers are beginning to discontinue the access to many of these resources. Be sure to book mark the libguide for continued access to the additional online resources that are open. Expanded access to HathiTrust Digital Library and Internet Archive will remain.

“Publishers understood that students and faculty couldn’t go into their libraries, so this was a temporary way to open up access to collections that replaced what students couldn’t physically reach,” explained Hoeve, “We appreciated the ability to offer our students and faculty at UNL these expanded online resources during a tough situation.”

If you have feedback on any of the resources, please contact Casey Hoeve, or your liaison librarian.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Message from UNL Libraries about systemic racism, violence, and the role of libraries

The following is a statement from the Dean and senior administrative team of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries to its employees.  

Dear colleagues,

We are sad and angry about George Floyd's death last week at the hands of a member of the Minneapolis Police Department. Our communities, outraged at this unconscionable act of brutality, have responded, expressing their anguish in numerous ways, including many forms of peaceful protest. Sadly, as you know, there have also been significant outbreaks of violence. 

In Lincoln, over the last week, swastikas have been painted in Wilderness Park, in a place of retreat and refuge for many during pandemic restrictions, reminding us of the virulent presence of supremacist thinking, actions, and systems.  During a 2018 rally, UNL faculty, students, and staff gathered to support "Hate Will Never Win" in our community and we must remember to continue to uphold that commitment now. With events like these, which have happened too often and all across the country, we are reminded how much work there is left to do to dismantle the systemic injustices of our society. This obligation falls heaviest on those of us who have not lived the experience that Indigenous peoples, communities of color, and religious and ethnic minoritized communities have. This is and will be hard, challenging work, but it is critical that we engage in it. 

We believe that libraries, and all of the people who work in them, are an essential part of the solution to creating a more just and equitable society. Although we are not without flaws, and must grapple with our own failings and examples of systemic racism, at its best our profession rests on bedrock principles of inclusion and information justice. These principles must guide us now. 

We are engaged in a strategic planning process that gives us an important opportunity to reflect and to direct our energy and our financial resources, in whatever ways that we can, to create lasting change.  We will be looking for opportunities to accelerate and amplify this work, and we invite our entire organization to bring your ideas and your energy to it. We also challenge all of us individually and collectively to examine all of our information work through a lens of equity and justice, asking ourselves: 

  • How does this activity contribute to equity and justice? 
  • Where does this activity stand in the way or present barriers to equity and justice? 
  • How do we carry this work forward, not only following major events, but every person, every day, persistently? 
Individually, we can each also ask similar questions:  

  • How can I contribute to equity and justice? 
  • How can I have a conversation about these issues to hear others' perspectives?  
  • What can I do to help?  
It will take the effort of every one of us to make real and lasting change, and we are deeply committed to our collective work towards this important goal.

UNL Libraries Dean's Cabinet:

  • Liz Lorang, Interim Associate Dean
  • Charlene Maxey-Harris, Interim Associate Dean and Interim Chair, Discovery & Resource Management
  • Deb Pearson, Interim Chair of Access Services and Head, Libraries Facilities and Planning
  • Kay Richter, Business Officer and Chief Operating Officer
  • Claire Stewart, Dean of Libraries
  • Kay Walter, Chair, Digital Initiatives and Special Collections

Friday, April 24, 2020

Willa Cather Students learn through hands-on experiences

By Caitlin Steiner
Notable author and UNL alum Willa Cather, well-known for classic novels like My Antonia and Death Comes for the Archbishop, lives on past her stories as several students study her work and improve their education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Both undergraduate and graduate students alike work with the Complete Letters of Willa Cather as they complete their studies, a project supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitally edit and publish all of the writer’s letters.  
Gayle Rocz
Senior English and Dance student, Gayle Rocz, works as a UCARE student with the project. “I like reading Cather’s letters,” said Rocz. “They are really funny sometimes because she has a very unique personality and it's been cool getting to know her through her letters. It’s a different way of getting to know an author as opposed to reading her published works.” 
The students’ main job is to work on encoding Willa Cather’s letters in TEI XML, a technology that preserves all kinds of information about each letter along with its words, such as when and where the letter was written and all of the people, places, and works referenced in each document. 
Simone Droge
Senior English and History major, Simone Droge is another UCARE student working on the project. “One of my favorite moments was getting to actually see an original Cather letter for the first time,” Droge said. “I had been working with the letters for a few months at that point, but you suddenly realize the importance because she was this highly esteemed author, and the fact that we get to be doing this work is really special.”
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln aims to help students succeed in their studies. Through their work, students are able to gain hands-on experience to enhance their futures. 
Freshman English major, Shea Cortez, works as a FYRE research assistant on the project. “I want to go into literature and translation, so I really think that working with the Cather archive is a good foundation for the literature side of things,” said Cortez. “I have been able to have insight of Cather as more than just a writer as well as her writing style through her novels and letters.”
The students all expressed getting to know Willa Cather’s personality better through her letters. In reading her personal letters as opposed to just her published works, Cather comes alive as a real person and not just an esteemed author. 
Hannah Kanninen
Second-year English master’s student Hannah Kanninen works in the Archives. “I found one [letter] where she just learned about the Titanic,” said Kanninen. “She was in New Mexico and she actually knew someone who was on it and didn’t make it. It's that sort of thing that makes those events real for you.”  

The team works together on the project and has enjoyed getting to know one another while doing so. 
Paul Grosskopf
Second-year English Ph.D. student Paul Grosskopf works for the English Department with the letters. “The people I work with are great. It's a relatively small team and we work together a lot throughout the week,” said Grosskopf. “Getting to do this collaborative work and feel like you are a part of a team working on a bigger team is very cool.” 
“The work the students do is fundamental to the project’s success,” says Professor Andrew Jewell of UNL Libraries and one of the editors of the Complete Letters, “and I’m honored that they give so much of their time and talent to the project. We are building something together that will be a central resource for understanding Willa Cather for many years to come, and it is right that students at her alma mater are key contributors to that resource.”