University Libraries Fall 2020 FAQ

The University Libraries has shared its reopening plan for fall 2020. You can see the full plan here. We’ll be monitoring the situation closely and will update our plan as conditions allow.

This page lists some of our most frequently asked questions. If your question isn’t answered here, please contact us at, or via the Libraries’ contact us page or the Health Sciences Library’s ask us page.

What are you doing to protect library users and staff?

The most important thing we can all do is adhere to Carolina’s community standards. All visitors and employees must wear a mask in library buildings and maintain 6 feet of physical distancing. Please follow directional and other signage in library buildings.

We have launched a contactless pickup service for materials and have implemented a 72-hour quarantine for returned materials. We have also increased the quantity of materials available online.

We’ve reconfigured furniture to maintain physical distancing; are increasing cleaning of high-touch surfaces; and are taking steps such as removing computing stations, printers and scanners to minimize crowding and the number of surfaces that must be cleaned. Study tables are available by reservation.

You can see more in the full re-entry plan.


Which buildings will be open?

Designated areas in Davis Library and the Health Sciences Library will open for use August 3. Limiting the number of open floors will help housekeeping staff focus on cleaning and sanitizing these areas regularly throughout the day.

Davis Library – floors 1 and 2

  • Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. (closing at 5 pm. August 3 – 6)
  • Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (closing at 5 p.m. August 7)
  • Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (will begin August 10)

Health Sciences Library – floors 1 and 2, plus lower level

  • Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Kathrine R. Everett Law Library

  • Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.
  • Access will be restricted to Carolina Law students, faculty and staff.

To make sure you’ll have a place to work, reserve a seat before you arrive. You may reserve up to two one-hour blocks per day. Once you sign up, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a code you will use to check in upon arrival.

Branch libraries, the Undergraduate Library and Wilson Library will not be open to the public at this time.

Campus libraries that are not administered by the University Librarian, including the Park Library and the School of Government Library, will make independent operating decisions.

I was planning to research in Wilson Special Collections Library. What should I do?

Wilson Library is expanding its capacity to digitize and deliver materials electronically. Learn more about Wilson Library’s changes for Fall 2020. You can also contact Wilson Library via email at, or by chat or phone via the Wilson contact page.

I want to check out materials from one of the other libraries or from a closed floor of Davis or the Health Sciences Library. What should I do?

Books and materials from other campus libraries, including videos from the Media Resources Center, will be available through the library pickup service.

Be on the lookout for a pickup service for 3D print jobs at the Kenan Science Library through remote requests.

Why will the upper floors and carrels be closed?

Limiting the number of libraries and floors that will be open at the beginning of the semester will help housekeeping staff focus on cleaning and sanitizing those areas regularly throughout the day. We’re also mindful of the impact on the staff of the library. Under normal operating conditions, the number of people that they interact and share the building with is huge and poses a real risk both to them and to students congregating in the library. We want everyone to stay healthy so that we can continue serving the Carolina community!

We will be monitoring the situation very closely and look forward to opening additional floors and locations just as soon as we believe conditions permit us to do so safely.

Where can I study if the Library is full?

The Student Union may have available spaces in the West Lounge (near Alpine Bagel), Underground Lounge (near Wendy’s), Class of 2000 Lounge (Top floor, south side of the building), Aquarium Lounge (Top floor facing the Pit). The Union will also have some smaller rooms (with a capacity of 1) for students to conduct private Zoom meetings. Those rooms will be available by reservation, and can be reserved by contacting Event Services at The Union also expects to have additional outdoor seating capacity that may be usable as the weather permits.

Can I eat and drink in library buildings?

Because masks are required in library spaces, we ask you to eat snacks and meals outdoors or in designated dining areas on campus. You may bring in a beverage, so long as you remove your mask only while drinking.


I have library materials checked out. When should I return them?

We have extended the due dates for materials due on or after August 31 to be due November 30. This is for items checked out before we closed in March and does not include Interlibrary Loan materials borrowed from other libraries, or items borrowed though the library pickup service starting July 13. We hope this extension will allow sufficient time to complete arrangements for returning or mailing back materials.

To view items checked out to you, including due dates, please visit the My Library site and log in with your ONYEN and password (for UNC-Chapel Hill affiliates) or with your last name, card number and My Library PIN (for non-UNC-Chapel Hill borrowers). For questions about your account or about returning or renewing materials, please contact

How should I return the items I’ve borrowed?

If you’re on campus, use the book drops near the exit of Davis Library and either entrance of the Health Sciences Library. If you’re not local, please contact us about mailing items to the library by calling 919-962-1053 and leaving a message, or by emailing

How do I use the pickup service?

Using the Library’s contactless pickup service is easy:

  • Step 1: Find the item in the online catalog and use the “Request” button to ask us to retrieve it for you.
  • Step 2: When your request is ready, you will receive an email from the Library. Follow the instructions to select a pickup time and location.

See the pickup service FAQ for full information.

Should I clean or disinfect the library materials I check out?

We are quarantining all returned library materials for 72 hours for the safety of our users and staff. Please do not attempt to disinfect library materials because they can be easily damaged. (And definitely don’t microwave them!)

How do I use special collections materials?

Wilson Special Collections Library is expanding its capacity to digitize and deliver materials electronically. Learn more about Wilson Library’s changes for Fall 2020. Contact Wilson Library via email at, or by chat or phone.

How can faculty members submit reserves requests?

We would be happy to help you find electronic reserve items for class use. PDFs, documents, e-books, streaming video and online articles can be placed on reserve and accessed online. You can add materials directly or we can scan them on your behalf. Students and faculty can access e-reserves from the “Course Reserves” tab of the class’s Sakai page. E-reserves can also be accessed by clicking on “Access course reserves” on the main library web page.

For more on managing reserves, visit the reserves page on our website.

I have a borrower’s card that I wasn’t able to use while the Library was closed. Can the expiration be extended?

We would be happy to help with this! Please contact us by calling 919-962-1053 and leaving a message, or by emailing


Why have you removed printers and computers?

We have removed public computing stations, printers, and scanners until further notice in order to reduce density, crowding and high-touch surfaces.

Where can I print?

The locations of CCI printers are listed here. For more information on CCI printers, see this FAQ from campus ITS.

How do I get help with my research?

We are eager and ready to help with your research questions. You can schedule a Zoom consultation, talk with us by phone, chat online, or email us. Links to all those options can be found under “Get Help” on Remote Services for Students.

Law Library Virtual Reference for all users will remain open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

If you have questions that aren’t answered here …

… please send us an email at Or contact us via the Libraries’ contact us page or the Health Sciences Library’s ask us page.