Archive for August, 2020

Library Access and Services Fall 2020 FAQ

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

What precautions are you taking to protect library users and staff and minimize risk of infection?

We have many COVID-19 protocols in place to protect you. To name a few:

  • Everyone; patrons, staff, faculty, etc., are required to wear masks at all times while in public areas.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of the facilities, especially public areas several times per day.
  • Books are held at least 24 hours before circulating again after returned. Per CDC guidelines paper and cardboard (e.g. books) only retain the virus for a maximum of 24 hours.
  • We will be cleaning any non-paper/cardboard items that are returned before reshelving or circulating them again.
  • We are limiting where people can sit or stand in the library to allow 6 feet of social distance between each patron at all times and have lowered our occupancy rate accordingly.

We have many more protocols in place to protect our patrons and staff, but these are some of the most important. Feel free to contact us if you still have more questions or concerns.

How can I return my books, games, DVDs, or audiobooks?

You may return books to any drop box or circulation desk at any Duke Library. More delicate items such as games, DVDs, CDs, or any other media or electronic item should be returned to a circulation desk or to the Fuqua indoor drop box next to the Ford Library entrance. Please note access to the Fuqua building is limited to Fuqua students or Fuqua staff and faculty members. (See our webpage for a list of open hours.)

Can I get physical books and materials from the library?

Yes, but currently the Fuqua School of Business building is limited to Fuqua students or Fuqua staff/faculty members. (See our webpage for a list of open hours.) 

Hold requests may be placed via the Duke Libraries website on most items as of August 24, 2020 and they can be delivered to and picked up from most library locations as of September 7, 2020. 

Other restrictions may apply to certain locations. If you are able to select a location when using the request button, you can usually also access that library or make arrangements to pick up items there.

How can I request purchase of an e-book?

Please email us at

Why don’t I have online access to my course textbook(s)?

Not all publishers allow libraries to buy the e-version of their books. We have to check each title on one-by-one basis. As soon as someone asks us for a title we can check with our vendors to see if there is a multi-user, library e-copy we can purchase. You can request us to check here:

How do I request an article?

Follow the steps under “Interlibrary Loan” on the Renew Request Borrow page on our web site.

How can I request a print item or a DVD or audiobook?
Holds may be placed on books, audiobooks, or DVDs starting on August 24th, 2020. Deliveries to and pickups from most campus locations will be allowed per that individual library’s access rules starting on September 7th, 2020.

I have a reference question. How do I contact a librarian for help?

You may contact us via email at or you can use our chat service from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday.

How do I request a book chapter? When you click on request on the Duke Libraries website you will see two options, “Library Takeout Service” and “Scan and Deliver”.

scanning service image

The Scan and Deliver option is to request chapters to be scanned from a particular book. To make the request it will take you to a page of your Interlibrary Loan account after you login. Even though the item is owned by Duke, we are using the interlibrary loan software to track and fulfill these types of requests.

Why don’t you have any of my textbooks on reserve? 

Due to COVID protocols for prevention of virus transmission via books we need to quarantine all returned items for at least 24-48 hours. Plus high use collections present a higher risk of transmission. This means we can no longer circulate shorter loan period items, especially ones that can’t be disinfected efficiently.

Why can’t I borrow electronics like phone and laptop chargers, kindles, or board games now? 

Electronics or items with lots of pieces present a higher risk of COVID transmission and are difficult to disinfect without damage or a lot of effort. Plus high use collections and ones that circulate often in a short time period present a much higher risk of transmission of the virus. This means we can no longer circulate these high risk items, especially ones that can’t be disinfected efficiently. 

What are your hours?

Right now the building is only open to Fuqua School of Business members; Fuqua students or Fuqua staff/faculty. Our Fuqua-only hours are posted here:

For any questions not included in this FAQ, please contact us at