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Library Resources During COVID-19

Questions regarding student access to libraries, checking books out, library hours, laptop checkout, and so on are answered on the library's general Frequently Asked Questions page. More specific questions and answers about finding books and about using the Divinity Library are below.


The library has a book I need, but it's in print and I'm not cleared to come to campus. What do I do?

You have several options:

We have e-books.

Some items you’ll find through the library catalog. See an FAQ on identifying these e-book resources. Other e-books are temporarily available; look in the "View Online" section of the catalog record where you might see links to such items:

Temporarily accessible ebooks


We have e-book "substitutes" for some of our print items.

Some items you’ll find in the HathiTrust Digital Library, as part of their Emergency Temporary Access Service.

Links to HathiTrust are appearing in the library catalog; look for them in the brief description of the item in a results list or a detailed record.

Click on those links -- labeled "Full Text Available at HathiTrust - physical copy temporarily not requestable" -- to access the full text of the book.

HathiTrust link as it appears on a catalog record

You'll be prompted to log in with your VUnetID and password. Once you do, look for a "Temporary access" link at the bottom of the resulting record:

Temporary Access link in HathiTrust record

Click on the "Temporary access" link, and you'll be taken to another page.

On that page, you'll see options to check the item out or search inside the item.  Check the item out using the "Check Out" button:

Checkout link in HathTrust record

You'll now be able to view the item.  You'll need to read it on screen; no download is possible.  The checkout period is limited to an hour, but unless someone else requests the item, you can continue to use it.


If you want to start your search in HathiTrust instead of using the library catalog, follow these instructions:

  1. Browse to HathiTrust.
  2. Click on the yellow “LOG IN” button on the right side of the resulting page.

    Log in to HathTrust

  3. Find Vanderbilt in the partner institution popup and click “Continue.”
  4. Log in with your VUnetID and password.
  5. Search for the book(s) you’re interested in.  You may want to toggle to “Catalog” under the search field and change the resulting dropdown that follows the search box to “Title”, “Author,” of whatever is appropriate in your situation.  Do the search.
  6. If you get a result with a “Temporary Access” link, you’re in luck.  Click on it.
  7. On the resulting page, check the book out.  You’ll need to read it on the screen; no download is possible.

 NOTE: Temporary access titles are things we own in print; if we don’t own it in print, we probably don’t have access to an e-book through HathiTrust.


We're scanning and delivering journal articles, book chapters, etc.

If you need journal articles, book chapters, or any other part of printed publications from the university libraries, and you prefer not to visit the libraries in person, simply request that the item be scanned and delivered to you.

  • If you log into the library catalog, you'll see links labeled "Request chapter/article scan" links in the "Get It" section of catalog records.  Click on those links to request scans. 
  • If you're using a library database and see a find it@VU button next to the item you're interested in, click it.  You'll be taken to a catalog record; log in if you aren't, and you'll see the "Request chapter/article scan" link there.


We have a print material pick-up service (for items that are not available electronically).

For details, read a news item about how to use the service. So if you're able to come to campus to pick up an item, this might be an option.


The library doesn't seem to have the item I need. What do I do?

  • Interlibrary Loan has been doing a stellar job of getting electronic copies of articles and book chapters. They're also getting print materials as they can.
  • Purchase Request Form : If an e-book is available, we're able to buy it for teaching and research needs. Use our purchase request form to let us know what you need.


I have items checked out. How do I return them?

Book drops are open and are being regularly checked. Some have been stuffed to overflowing, so if there's no room for your items when you stop by the library, you may want to try again later. (And we apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.)

The library is open to Vanderbilt University students, faculty, staff, and university affiliates with a Commodore Card during these hours. You're welcome to drop items off at the library service desk.

Note: An update about library loans was sent on April 27, 2020, to folks who have items checked out.  Please refer to that e-mail for further details, including fines and fees and shipping items back to the library for those graduating or not coming back to campus

Further questions?  Please let us know.


Can I get to my Divinity Library locker?

Lockers are accessible to Divinity and GDR students cleared to be on campus. If you would like a locker or have questions about them, please contact Keegan Osinski.


I have other questions about library resources. Where can I get answers?