2020/2021: Library Access, Services, and Instruction

Information about how the library can support faculty, students, and staff in virtual, hybrid, and in-person environments.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

All in-building users must follow W&L's Statement of Community Expectations.

While in Leyburn and Telford, masks must be worn at ALL times in ALL spaces including restrooms, locked studies, and study rooms ​except for quick snacks ​or sips of beverages.

Full meals should not be eaten in Leyburn or Telford.

All restrooms in Leyburn and Telford are limited to single user capacity. All elevators are limited to 2 person capacity. 

Returned materials will undergo a 7 day quarantine period before becoming available for checkout based on the latest research from the REALM Project.

Washington and Lee University Library

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Special Collections: Hours of Operation

Starting August 17, 2020, Special Collections' Boatwright Reading Room will be open and limited to W&L students, faculty, and staff:

Monday - Friday

9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

In-person users must comply with outlined protocols for room capacity, social distancing, and use of facial coverings.

Special Collections: Capacity

Due to distancing protocols in response to Covid -19, the Boatwright Reading Room is limited in occupancy to 8 people.

Of the 8 person limit, only 6 seats are available for researchers.  2 additional spaces are reserved for Special Collections staff or faculty members.

Overflow arrangements will be explored on a case by case basis.

Groups up to 5 students will be permitted, when accompanied by their professor for group presentation (6 total).

Special Collections may be able to expand instructional capacity, if meeting outside the Boatwright Reading Room. Contact Tom Camden, to discuss options.

Special Collections: Information for W&L Researchers

While formal appointments for all in-person visits are not necessary at this point, Special Collections asks that all researchers planning an in-person visit (group or individual) contact staff members Lisa McCown or Seth Goodhart in advance of arrival. Advanced notice permits department staff to:

  • engage in the reference interview;
  • physically access resources for the researcher in advance of visit;
  • determine whether a formal appointment may be necessary with a particular Special Collections staff member;
  • assess the necessity of an in-person visit or if digitized content will meet the information need.

*Special Collections will do its best to serve walk-ins depending on occupancy at the moment of arrival.*

Special Collections: Information for Faculty

Faculty interested in the following are required to contact Head of Special Collections Tom Camden:

  • incorporating Special Collections/Archives resources within class readings or assignments;
  • visiting Special Collections with students;
  • hosting Special Collections staff in your classroom to share Special Collections resources.

Special Collections: Access to Rare Books & Manuscripts

Special Collections and Archives resources will be available, as normal, for access by individuals in the Boatwright Reading Room and, if deemed necessary, in determined overflow seating areas. Research materials requiring ongoing access by individuals or groups will be compiled, labeled, and temporarily carted or shelved for easy continued access for the period of usage.

Quarantine practices for recently “handled” research materials will follow up to date informed best practices policy.

*Special Collections continues to explore best practices for sharing research materials by multiple individuals. Digitization of materials, if viable considering volume/time, and preservation of resource, may be best option in these situations and will be determined on a case by case basis.

Digitization Requests of Special Collections Resources

Special Collections has the ability to digitize papers and documents, some books, photography (including slides and negatives, but not motion picture), and digitally reformat some audio and some video content (including reel to reel audio, cassette tapes, VHS and DVD).

For Faculty

With the potential for high demand this term, lead time for scanning requests should be 10 – 14 days in advance of the need for the digitized content. That said, reasonable (in relation to volume and physical size of material/s) last minute requests may be honored if time permits. Decisions on last minute requests will be determined on a case by case basis. Oversize content may not be as easily scanned as items 11”x18” and smaller. Preservation concerns for requested archival materials may also inhibit normal turn-around times or may deem particular materials unworthy of scanning in-house.  Contact Seth Goodhart or Byron Faidley with requests, questions, or concerns.

For Students/Researchers

See above content, but know that in the case of a last minute student need, if we are able to create a scan of an item or reasonable compilation of materials in the moment on-demand for access outside of Spec. Coll. hours of operation, we will do our best to accommodate the need. These decisions are made on a case by case basis. Otherwise, the suggested 10 – 14 day lead time in advance of the need is recommended for reformatting materials for research.

Content in guide is subject to change.