Classes will continue through remote delivery of instruction remainder of Spring 2020 semester. Many employees are working remotely; as a result, some services may be modified or limited. Updates at mtsu.edu/coronavirus
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MTSU library gives new meaning to ‘distance learni...

MTSU library gives new meaning to ‘distance learning’ during COVID-19 outbreak

MTSU students will still have remote access — and restricted physical access for pickups — to the James E. Walker Library as the university continues to adapt to changes necessitated by the COVID-19 outbreak.

While the physical facilities remain closed to the public, literally thousands of resources will be available online as students continue their studies while practicing the “social distancing” recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Molly Burnette, a user service assistant in the James E. Walker Library, pulls books off the shelves as part of the “Pull and Hold” service provided by the library during the COVID-19 outbreak. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Molly Burnette, a user service assistant in the James E. Walker Library, pulls books off the shelves as part of the “Pull and Hold” service provided by the library during the COVID-19 outbreak. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

“The Makerspace and Special Collections are the only two areas that we have in the library that are completely inaccessible to students right now,” said Jason Martin, interim library dean.

Dr. Jason Martin, associate dean of James E. Walker Library

Dr. Jason Martin

Makerspace facilitates active-learning experience with soldering kits, 3-D printers, vinyl cutters and other technology to facilitate students’ creativity and innovation. The Special Collections area houses very old and very rare books.

Among the special services being implemented under these unique circumstances is “Pull and Hold,” which will enable students to continue to check out books via the library’s website at https://library.mtsu.edu/home.

The books will be available for pickup on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m. in the vestibule of the library just beyond the first set of doors.

Paul Burt, a circulation assistant in the James E. Walker Library, prepares books in the library vestibule to be checked out as part of the library’s “Pull and Hold” service during the COVID-19 outbreak. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Paul Burt, a circulation assistant in the James E. Walker Library, prepares books in the library vestibule to be checked out as part of the library’s “Pull and Hold” service during the COVID-19 outbreak. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

Also available through the library’s search engine are e-books, thousands of articles from magazines, newspapers and academic journals, and audio and video resources.

“We have this database called Kanopy that has a lot of really great educational videos (and) documentaries, but they also have a lot of art house movies and first-run movies on there, as well,” Martin said.

Martin said library patrons need not be worried that the website will be overloaded with all the additional usage. He said the library is accustomed to tens of thousands of mouse-clicks, especially at final exam time.

Martin said he encouraged as many of the library’s 63 employees as possible to work from home, but he left final decisions up to the coordination between supervisors and their subordinates. Some are working from home; others are dividing their time between home and the library.

“I really give all the credit to the library faculty and staff who really worked very hard to make sure that the great service that we offer … continues even as the physical building was going to be closed,” Martin said.

For more information, contact the library by email or chat through its website or call 615-898-2817.

Get updated information anytime about MTSU’s COVID-19 response at https://www.mtsu.edu/coronavirus/.

— Gina Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)


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