OhioLINK borrowing services were suspended in mid-March as participating institutions closed their campuses and directed staff to work remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to announce that OhioLINK borrowing resumes services on Monday, August 10. However, the service will operate differently under COVID-19 protocols.
Since the suspension of borrowing services, a working group of 7 representatives from OhioLINK institutions and OhioLINK staff have been planning for the resumption of OhioLINK borrowing services. Katy Mathuews, Head of Collection Assessment & Access, serves on this group. Planning activities included logistic conversations with the courier who operates the delivery service and gathering data about the ability of member institutions to sustain print borrowing services. This group also developed recommendations for quarantine processes informed by the REALM Project, a cooperative study by OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle to determine how long the virus might live on commonly found library, museum and archival materials.
Based on the OhioLINK group’s recommendations, certain protocols for the safe handling of library materials will be employed. These changes will impact the service times for OhioLINK borrowing. Important information for users includes:
- Library staff and courier drivers will wear face coverings and gloves while handling materials.
- Materials will be quarantined for 4 days upon arrival at the Libraries in addition to possible quarantine periods at lending institutions. This means that it will take 1-2 weeks to fulfill a request.
- Library staff will automatically check out materials to patrons and make items available for no-contact pick-up. For more information see the libraries’ Borrowing & Self-Pickup FAQs
- We will be returning any materials to the lending libraries requested prior to the March closing; if these items are still required, please re-request.
- Due to limited building access at many sites, Pick-Up-Anywhere service will be available only at some locations. Users should call ahead to ensure Pick-Up-Anywhere is available if they choose to pick up materials at a library that is not their home library.
- The sustainability of OhioLINK borrowing services is primarily based on the number of member institutions able to staff the service. This service will suspend again if institutions begin to close services or if the courier is unable to operate for any reason.
The Libraries have been automatically renewing all items currently checked-out and we will continue to do so until further notice. If you wish, you are welcome to return any OhioLINK or Ohio University items to a local OhioLINK library if they are accepting returns. Please contact your local OhioLINK library to be sure they are currently accepting items before doing so.
If you have questions about OhioLINK borrowing, please email email@example.com.