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Changes to Library Services in Response to COVID-19

Information on accessing library services and collection for Spring 2021.

A message to the campus community

Continuing in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, you will notice changes to library services intended to promote the safety and health of our community, including students and staff working in the building, and student, faculty, and staff researchers who require our resources.

The library staff have implemented a phased re-opening plan, designed to be incremental and dynamic to the conditions on campus and in the community.

In the current phase of our plan, the library is open to students, faculty, and staff only, for limited access to library services as well as access to other offices in the library.

The library is naturally designed as a gathering place for the campus community, and contains a large number of shared spaces and surfaces, making physical distancing and sanitization challenging. The changes in place intend to reduce these challenges while continuing to provide access to essential resources and services.

The library staff looks forward to the time when we can return to our full levels of service. As the year continues, the staff will assess whether our experience allows us to incrementally increase access as conditions allow, or if we are required to return to a more restrictive phase of access.

Building access policies and hours

Building Access Policies:

Everyone is required to follow campus policies requiring face coverings, and maintaining physical distancing of at least 6 feet at all times. 

  • In COVID-19 Alert Level 1 Green, Main Floor seating and rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Tables and rooms continue to be available for individual use only, to comply with physical distancing guidelines.

  • In COVID-19 Alert Level 1 Green, collections located on the Main Floor (Reference, Leisure Reading, DVDs, Periodicals) are open for browsing. We encourage library users to wash hands before and after using collections.

  • Library materials shelved on the Upper and Lower Floors are available for check-out only by placing a hold request through the library catalog, or by contacting the Circulation Desk.

  • Computer labs are arranged to promote social distancing.

  • Study tables and rooms on the Lower Floor are available by reservation, for individual use only. Visit our Study Space Booking page for more information. 

  • Faculty carrels are not be available for check-out.

  • No food or drink is permitted in shared spaces.

Library Hours

Spring Semester:

Monday - Thursday: 7:30am - 9:00pm

Friday: 7:30am - 5pm

Saturday: Noon - 5pm

Sunday: Noon - 9pm


Break Hours:

Friday, March 5: Closed

Friday, April 2: Closed

Monday, April 6: 8am - 5pm

Tuesday, April 7: 8am - 9pm

Access to print materials

You may request titles shelved on the Upper and Lower Floors for pickup or electronic delivery.

You may request print books by clicking the "Place Hold" button displayed in the library's online catalog, or by sending a list of titles to Once your items are pulled, you will receive a Hold Shelf notice to pick up your items at the Circulation Desk.

To request delivery of an electronic copy of a book chapter, use the "Place Hold" button in the online catalog, and select the "Online Delivery" option from the "Pick Up Options" menu. Include the chapter or page range requested in the comment field at the bottom of the form.

If you require access to a scanned article from a print journal owned by Preus Library, please fill out a blank ILL request form as if you were requesting an interlibrary loan, or contact ILL staff can scan and deliver this material to you electronically.

Upon return, library materials will be quarantined for 96 hours, according to the recommendations of the OCLC REALM project.

Online resources

Research databases and e-books can all be accessed from on- and off-campus. All links to library resources found on the library websitecatalog, and research guides will ask you to log in with your Norse Key if coming from off-campus. If you have problems getting to a resource, contact Ryan Gjerde,

Research Help and Instruction

Meet with a Librarian

Librarians are available to provide you online research help in a variety of ways:
  • Chat: Real-time chat boxes are available on the library home page, in research guides, and in some library databases.
  • Email: You can always email any librarian directly with your questions.
  • By appointment: Use the button below to set up a virtual meeting with a librarian at a time that is convenient for you.



Don’t forget--general research help can be found in the Research Guides created by your librarians for courses and subjects, as well as on the Library Help page, which has tutorials on using the catalog, finding books, and searching some of our most-used databases.

Library Instruction

Library instruction will be provided virtually via synchronous and asynchronous methods. Faculty, please contact your subject liaison to arrange an activity with your class.

Interlibrary Loan

ILL requests for books and articles may be submitted via the "Request item through Interlibrary Loan" links in catalog records or by filling out a blank request form on your ILLiad account. Once ILLs have arrived and are ready for check-out, you will receive an email notification to pick up the item from the library Circulation Desk. Off-campus delivery is not available. 

Note: Not all libraries in the United States are offering complete interlibrary loan services during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are requesting an uncommon item that is not held by many libraries, please be aware that there may be significant delays and difficulties locating an available copy for you.

If you have any questions about interlibrary loan services during this time, please email Emily Mineart at


Archives Reference & Research

The Archives continues to provide reference and research assistance virtually. Individuals are welcome to email or call (563) 387-1805 during business hours with questions or to schedule a virtual reference appointment. 

The Reading Room is closed to the public and drop-in visitors. The archivist will make reasonable accommodations to provide scans of archival documents as needed, providing the originals are stable enough for reproduction. Faculty, staff, and administrators needing to access physical files in the course of their work may make an appointment to visit the Reading Room, or have select files sent to them by email or campus mail. 

If you have any questions about archival services during this time, please contact Hayley Jackson at


Help the Archives document the COVID-19 pandemic at Luther College

The COVID-19 pandemic is an historical moment that will be of great interest to future historians and researchers. To preserve this history, the Luther College Archives is collecting material documenting how COVID-19 has affected our campus community. We invite faculty, staff, and students to submit material reflecting their experience to be preserved in the Archives. We will accept a variety of submissions, including (but not limited to) photos, documents, audio and video recordings, and journal entries.

For guidelines and information on how to submit, visit:

Adding materials to the collection

During the 2020 - 2021 academic year, the library will prioritize the acquisition of materials in direct support of the curriculum, and materials available in digital formats. The library supports the identification and creation of open access and open educational resources.

Faculty, contact your subject liaison to begin the conversation on acquisition of new resources.

Contact us

Have additional questions? Please reach out to us!

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