As COVID-19 continues to affect daily life and normal operations at The University of Tulsa, campus departments are doing their part to accommodate student learning, faculty instruction and scholarly research. The McFarlin Library staff have pitched in with their own innovative solutions. The most direct way to access library resources, such as remote research help and virtual instructional services, is to visit https://utulsa.libguides.com/COVID-19/libraryservices.
“While the physical building is not accessible, the services and resources are still available,” said Adrian Alexander, R.M. and Ida McFarlin Dean of the Library. “Our people are working remotely and virtually. A lot of what we regularly do involves providing access to electronic databases and other resources we link to in the Cloud, and we are maintaining that posture.”
McFarlin Library’s temporary closure includes all computer labs and the physical space of Special Collections, but the staff continues to supply copies and distance reference services as normal.
McFarlin’s 26-person staff understands how critical a time this in the semester for students completing final papers, reports and other year-end projects; library employees are answering questions via email, phone and text.
“We always encourage students to reach out to us. We’re doing everything we can to help people navigate our services and content. We will work to find a solution for every request,” said April Schweikhard, director of library public services.
Many scholars already are in the practice of accessing McFarlin remotely for scanned copies of vital digital research materials or online content, but for those students and researchers who still need physical resources, the library is offering a limited checkout option. TU students, faculty, and staff can request materials from the physical collection to pick up at designated dates and times. Pickup is currently available on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Requests must be submitted by midnight the night before.
“We’re adapting as we go along, but we’re in communication with libraries across the country to share information, learn best practices and take recommendations from one another,” Alexander explained.
Access to databases, e-journals and e-books, and research guides is readily available. Interlibrary loan requests for physical books and documents are prohibited temporarily, but staff members are still fulfilling interlibrary loan submissions for electronic materials, including journal articles.
Alexander, Schweikhard and Director of Bibliographic Services, Elizabeth Szkirpan, have led the charge to mobilize McFarlin’s staff remotely and provide quality customer service to all students, faculty and researchers. “The work goes on,” Alexander said, “and everyone has done a great job of meeting the challenge.”
Have library questions? Contact a McFarlin librarian by calling 918-631-2871, texting 224-357-6350 (22helpme50) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.