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Frequently Asked Questions

Next semester, will libraries have better hours, more collaboration spaces, and dining options?

Yes! The Central and Divinity Libraries expanded their building hours this fall. Assuming corona numbers stay low, the libraries will be able to expand even further building access to students in spring semester. In the spring, you will see more open hours at the Central and Divinity libraries and the Peabody library. The live chat service we launched last March, where you can instantly chat with a librarian, is also expanding this fall. You will see extended chat hours during our upcoming exam period.

In spring semester, we will have more evening and weekend hours where you can quickly connect to a librarian. The libraries collaborative study spaces can be reserved. That is true now and will continue in the spring. Many of our libraries also have quiet, but not silent, study spaces where small groups (of course maintaining social distance) can meet quietly. The libraries are taking part in the university’s pilot project to expand dining options. Before the Thanksgiving break, the Central Library Community Room will become a place for socially distanced dining. Watch for more specifics on the libraries’ and university homepages.

What other resources, besides offering books and quiet spaces, do the libraries offer?

We can help you be a better more efficient researcher. We provide access to premium materials, data, and content not available on the open web. We provide access to rare books, manuscripts and historical photographs in our Special Collections and University Archives as well as fine art through the University Art Gallery. We offer many co-curricular enrichment opportunities such as workshops, panel scholar discussions and symposia. Workshop topics include primary sources, data handling, research productivity, proper citation and citation management. We lend more than just books; we also lend laptops, other equipment, and teaching resources. We provide individual digital subscriptions to two major newspapers, Wall Street Journal and NYTimes. Our library subject experts offer consultations and answer thousands of research questions; librarians and their course specific research guides are video tutorials are embedded in BrightSpace for just-in-time research support. We are continuing to expand our electronic resources to make our premium content accessible wherever you are, be that Nashville or across the world. 

What types of things can the librarians help me with?

Our personal librarian program connects students with their subject librarian when students declare their major. Personal librarians provide support specific to your area of study. Librarians are available for one-on-one research consultations, to help you think through research questions, and connect you with targeted data, information, and resources. We offer tutorials and personalized assistance throughout the research assignment process from planning to completion. Librarians can make the difference in your time at Vanderbilt. We are here to help you succeed during your time as a student and build your life-long toolkit for after you graduate. 

Can you tell me more about the Buchanan Library Fellows program and how to get involved?

The Buchanan Library Fellowship program began in 2012 and was endowed in 2017 by Dr. Richard and Poppy Buchanan. Dr. Buchanan had been a library student worker during his Vanderbilt schooling and he felt the experience contributed to his life long after his formal education. The couple funded the program to connect students with library resources and to provide opportunities for learning skills that would support their work at Vanderbilt and might inspire them to think about new career paths. Fellows attend seminars with librarians and faculty, create projects and present on their findings over the course of a semester. They earn $1,000 as fellows and become part of a network of Buchanan Library Fellows. For more information, contact Celia Walker.

Are the libraries open?

Library services and resources never closed! But yes, now the physical buildings are open again. Check for opening hours. We have signage and reconfigurations in place for social distancing and to keep you safe.

Will students have access to libraries to study?

The libraries recognize how valuable it is for our students to have a place of refuge for deep thought and focus. Some of our library spaces are being used as classrooms, while others are set up to serve as study spaces according to the university's social distancing protocols. Management, Law and Eskind libraries have limited physical access to the students and faculty of those schools, but librarians can provide the entire VU community with resources and services from any library on campus.

Do alumni have access to the libraries?

Vanderbilt Libraries deeply value our alumni users and we will continue to offer alumni access to collections and item pick up for alums through our online catalog. As part of our comprehensive efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 at Vanderbilt, however, we must limit the presence of all but current students, faculty, and staff in the libraries for the fall 2020 semester. Let us know how we can continue to help you remotely and thank you for your understanding.

Is it possible to check out a book from the libraries?

You bet! Download the checkout@VandyLibraries app and use our contactless check out via your mobile device.

Check for e-versions of texts via the library's online catalog. We've been adding many e-resources to keep everyone safe.

If you need a physical item but would prefer to pick it up, you can choose that option from our catalog. Pickups are by appointment outside the 21st Avenue entrance to the Central/Divinity Libraries, outside the Blair School of Music, and at the front desk of the Eskind Biomedical Library. Please allow up to 3 business days for fulfillment of physical item requests.

How do I access library databases from home?

Go to the libraries home page and sign in with your VUNet ID. Then click on the Databases A-Z page to find databases by name or subject.

It's always wise to sign in to the Libraries' website to take full advantage of all the resources available to you as a VU Community member.

I want to add library resources to my Brightspace course, can you help me?

For assistance with the Course Reading List tool in Brightspace, please consult the Course Reading List Tool. You can also add a subject librarian to your course to provide point-of-need research support for students. More information here.

How do I return my interlibrary loan items?

You may return interlibrary loan materials at the library service desk, by dropping it in one of the book drops outside of the libraries, or by mailing it to the libraries at: Vanderbilt Libraries, 419 21st Ave S, Nashville TN 37203.

When are the libraries open?

Each library's' hours are different and may change during exams and breaks, so please check the library homepage for hours and updates. Access is limited to Vanderbilt University students, faculty, and staff, and university affiliates with a Commodore Card. Some libraries are serving as classroom space, so always check before you go.

May I schedule a one-on-one consultation with a librarian?

Yes, we hope you will! To schedule a one-on-one meeting, contact your subject librarian. Librarians are also keeping weekly office hours, posted to their directory listing. Feel free to drop in on your subject librarian at these times. You can also ask your question anytime via Live Chat or Ask A Librarian .

May I check out a laptop?

The libraries continue to circulate laptops from our service desks. View Laptop Availability.

Can I request a purchase for the libraries?

We continue to accept requests for acquisitions through the Purchase Request Form. (Please note that the form requires a VUnet ID and password.) If you are requesting course reserves, please use the library Reserves Form.

How do I reserve a study room in the Library?

Great question! Go to the EMS room reservation system. There is also a link to the reservation system from the Libraries’ homepage.