An Update from Emily Drabinski, Interim Chief Librarian

Dear Graduate Center community,

On behalf of the Mina Rees Library, welcome–and welcome back!–for the Fall 2021 semester. As CUNY moves toward a safe return to in-person learning, the library will again open its doors to Graduate Center students, faculty, and staff. Given the challenges that remain, I want to take a moment to share what you can expect from us in the coming weeks and months.

We continue to be guided by a commitment to the safety of all of us. When you return you’ll find distancing measures in place at staffed service points, ready access to hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes, masks for those who forget them, and information about scheduling vaccine appointments. Library staff will be counting library occupancy in hourly intervals so that we can respond with data if public health conditions change. We encourage everyone to follow the norms we now know protect us, including vaccination, masking, and distancing. We keep us safe.

The last eighteen months have given us all ample practice in conducting research remotely. We will continue to offer online workshops and one-on-one research consultations, reference services via chat, and robust electronic collections including course reserves, books, and journal databases. Our interlibrary loan team remains one of the best in the business; we will continue to provide access to digital materials and will resume borrowing print books and other physical information resources as well.

We also know that the space of the library is crucial for our community and welcome you to take advantage of our quiet midtown oasis. Reservations to access the space are not required at this time. Bring your own device and connect to our Wifi, take advantage of our scanners, and make use of the desktop computers, printers, and other tools provided by our partners in Information Technology. You may browse our stacks and check out books, and we hope you’ll also return any materials you may have had at home during this extended campus closure.

Fall hours begin August 25th with the first day of classes: 10am to 6pm, Monday through Friday. In person reference will be offered daily from noon to 5pm. As always, we encourage you to connect with your department liaison for more information about resources and services as well as expert assistance in shaping and exploring your research questions.

Like all of you, we have become perhaps too familiar with changing course quickly in response to public health. Please stay in touch with us for service updates by subscribing to our blog. We will also update the library’s website to reflect the most current information. Feel free to contact us via live 24/7 chat or by email if you have questions (

We look forward to keeping each other safe as we teach and learn together, building new knowledge about the world as only the Graduate Center community can do. See you on campus and online!

Emily Drabinski

Interim Chief Librarian | Mina Rees Library, The Graduate Center

About the Author

Elvis Bakaitis is currently the Head of Reference at the Mina Rees Library. They're also proud to serve on the University LGBTQ Council, and as a board member of CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies.