Library Coronavirus Response: March 13 Updates

The Graduate Center’s Mina Rees Library continues to adjust policies and services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Updates appear first on the @cunyGClibrary Twitter account and then here on the library blog. (Information on the library website and research guides will likely lag. A page with all the most current information is in the works.)

Below are the updates for March 13. (See our March 10 update for information about library accounts and increased book renewal limits CUNY-wide.)

Library Hours: Beginning Monday, March 16, GC library hours will be Monday-Friday 10am-9pm, and Saturday & Sunday noon-6pm.

Circulation Desk Hours: Beginning Monday, March 16, in the interest of everyone’s health, the circulation desk will have significantly reduced hours: Monday-Friday noon-5pm only. Check-outs of GC items, CUNY items, and interlibrary loan items will be possible only when the circulation desk is open. We are developing check-in and check-out procedures that require zero face-to-face interaction. You can reach Circulation at or (212) 817-7083.

Overdue Fines Suspended: Beginning this weekend, all CUNY libraries will suspend regular overdue fines as well as overdue fines for recalled materials. However, recalled items cannot be renewed, which will cause them to become overdue eventually. Overdue fines for reserve materials will remain unchanged.

Interlibrary Loan: The ILL Office continues to process borrowing requests for copies of articles and book chapters. Loans (physical books, CDs, etc.) that have already been received by the library can be picked up when the circulation desk is open (starting March 16, that’s Monday-Friday, noon to 5pm). Also, to minimize the need for trips to campus, ILL staff will attempt to renew any ILL books becoming due. We will have more information next week on whether we can continue to process requests for physical loans. You can reach the ILL Office at or (212) 817-7049.

Virtual Reference Only: We have suspended in-person reference help, but robust reference services are still available.

  • For 24/7 chat reference, go to the library website and click “24/7 Chat” (the first link under SERVICES). GC librarians will be on the lookout for your questions much of the time, and even if you don’t reach one of us, you’ll always get a qualified librarian.
  • For email reference, submit your question using this form, write, or email your subject librarian.
  • For a more extensive consultation, fill out the research appointment request form, and a librarian will get in touch about scheduling a phone call or video conference.
  • Prefer to call? You can call (212) 817-7077 and leave a voicemail, and one of our librarians will return your call.

Online Workshops: Information sessions about the deposit of dissertations, theses, and capstone projects will be held as webinars, as will upcoming workshops about open access and book publication contracts. Other workshops will either go online or be canceled. Over the coming week, we will make sure that all information on our Events Calendar is up to date.

Library plans and policies may change as new COVID-19 facts and recommendations emerge. We will keep you updated, and do our utter best to meet your information needs while ensuring safety during this unprecedented crisis.

About the Author

Jill Cirasella is the Scholarly Communication Librarian and University Liaison at the CUNY Graduate Center.