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Off-Campus Access: Library Operations Spring Term 2020

Guide to off-campus access for current Caltech students, faculty, and staff.

Message from the University Librarian

Updated April 15, 2020


Dear Caltech Community,


Supporting the research and teaching mission of the Institute is the top priority of the Caltech Library.  We are working to develop new services and expand current ones to meet your needs in a fully online environment for Spring Term 2020.  Below we have detailed our current services, and we encourage you to review our offerings and use them to benefit your work this spring. Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have additional needs or concerns, but please also understand that our services are dependent on external partners, including other libraries, many of which are in great flux just as we are.


All Caltech Library locations are currently closed. This means no access to our study spaces and no access to our print collections. Campus delivery services are suspended until the campus reopens. We are not lending any computer equipment.  Loan periods on currently checked-out items will be extended through June 12th. Please do not return library materials during this time. We will provide information on returning library materials for graduating seniors very soon.


To support online instruction for the Spring 2020 term, we are making an effort to ensure all required textbooks are available online through our new Digital Reserves service. Any textbooks requested via Adopt-a-Text will automatically be included. Your Divisional librarians are already in contact with instructors to mediate this service. The Library will provide digitization services as needed, and we may ask that you prioritize portions of textbooks for digitization as we are trying to provide timely service for all Caltech classes. No on-site physical Course Reserves will be available. For information on electronic resources, including textbooks, currently available for teaching, please see our updated Off-Campus Access Guide.


Our DocuServe services are currently available. DocuServe will continue to request materials-- primarily journal articles and electronic book chapters-- in digital formats only. No on-site scanning of print books, journals, or any other materials will be possible during the Safer-at-Home order. Members of the Caltech community may still request items other than journal articles and electronic book chapters, and those requests will be referred to our Subject Librarians for digital purchase if available.  ‚ÄčPlease be aware that our ILL service relies on other libraries. If these libraries are not providing lending services, our ability to provide you with interlibrary loan, even digital materials, will also be affected.


All of the Caltech Library’s numerous online services are still fully available, including reference and research consultations (email:,, hold requests (but not recalls), ILL requests, and access to all electronic resources (Library Guides, electronic books and journals, databases, etc.). As previously mentioned, all document delivery, ILL, and hold requests will be fulfilled in digital form wherever possible.


We are offering our instructional program for Spring 2020, and our currently scheduled classes are listed here. All instruction, including carpentry workshops on programming and data skills, is available online this term. To request an instruction session for your class, please email


Most acquisitions, cataloging and repository services are continuing normally.  To request items for our collection, please use our request form.  For information about our Caltech repository services, please visit Caltech Research Online.


Wishing you well,

Kara Whatley, University Librarian

Caltech Library Services