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Changes to Library Services in Response to COVID-19

Information on accessing library services and the collection for the 2021-2022 school year.

A message to the campus community

Greetings from the staff of Preus Library!

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 all, with most library services and levels of access restored. As of November 5, 2021, the campus entered COVID-19 Alert Level 1 Green. At Level 1 Green, face masks are required in classrooms, laboratories, and studios, as well as during individual appointments with students in enclosed, personal faculty and staff offices. The CDC encourages individuals to wear face masks in all indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status, if the community level is HIGH, as indicated by the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels by County Map.

Students in quarantine may check out physical items by placing a hold in our catalog, and designating a person to pick up the item on their behalf. See the section below on Access to print materials for more information.

Building access policies and hours

Building Access Policies:

Everyone is required to follow campus policies outlined on the Being Community website. 

  • In COVID-19 Alert Levels 0 & 1, seating and study rooms on all floors are available on a first come, first served basis. 

  • In COVID-19 Alert Levels 0 & 1, collections on all floors are open for browsing. We encourage library users to wash hands before and after using collections.

Library Hours


Regular Hours

Monday - Thursday: 7:30 am - midnight

Friday: 7:30 am - 9 pm

Saturday: 9 am - 9 pm

Sunday: Noon - midnight

View the library's full schedule for Finals hours.

Access to print materials

Collections on all floors are open for browsing. Please wash your hands before and after using library materials.

You may also request print books by clicking the "Place Hold" button displayed in the library's online catalog, or by sending a list of titles to Retrieval may take up to one business day. Library users may choose to pick up materials at the library Circulation Desk, or have them delivered to their SPO (students) or office (faculty/staff).  A Hold Shelf notice will be sent by email once items are available.

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.

Students in Quarantine:
To check out physical materials, use the "Place Hold" button in the online catalog. In the "comments" field at the bottom of the request form, list the person who will pick up the item for you. You, as the requester, will receive an email when the item is available at the Circulation Desk.

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 research help in a variety of ways:
  • Email: You can always email any librarian directly with your questions.
  • Chat: Real-time chat boxes are available on the library home page, in research guides, and in some library databases.
  • By Appointment: Schedule an appointment with a subject expert, or at a time convenient to you.
  • Drop-in: Sunday through Friday afternoons from 1-5 pm, librarians are available to answer drop-in questions. Stop at the Circulation Desk to ask for the reference librarian on duty.



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 is available in-person and 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 ILL 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. Individuals are welcome to email or call (563) 387-1805 during business hours with questions or to schedule a reference appointment, virtually or on-site. 

The Reading Room is closed to drop-in visitors. Please contact the archivist to schedule an appointment for your visit. 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

For the 2021 - 2022 academic year, the library will continue to 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!

Content © Luther College Preus Library, 700 College Drive, Decorah, IA 52101 (563) 387-1166 Creative Commons License
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