Library Services – Spring 2023


Welcome back to your Brown University Library!

Grass and accessible entrance to John Hay Library

Health and Safety

Operations are founded on the most up-to-date, reliable safety protocols to ensure a healthy environment for our patrons and staff. Please follow all Healthy Brown steps to keep yourself and our community well. If you aren’t feeling well, please make use of the Library’s robust slate of digital resources

Masking is optional in all Library spaces unless requested by class instructor or meeting host. Wearing masks is strongly recommended for all Brown community members when indoors with large numbers of people, regardless of vaccination status, including on the Brown University shuttle. For information on when masking may be required, see “Return to Campus: Health Precautions and Resources,” a message to returning students from Koren Bakkegard, Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students, and Vanessa Britto, Associate Vice President for Campus Life and Executive Director for Health & Wellness.

Locations, Hours, and Access

Visit Library Hours for the full, updated list of locations and hours.

A Carnegie Library, the John Hay Library is open to the public Monday through Friday.  Please note that reservations are required for the Gildor Family Special Collections Reading Room. Email [email protected] to make a reservation. You must also request materials through Aeon one week (5 full business days) in advance of your reservation. See Visiting the John Hay Library for more information.

Alumni and Other Visitors

Individuals who are not current Brown ID holders or current RISD students but who are affiliated with Brown University and would like to enter a University physical location, including all Library facilities, are considered visitors. Please visit Library Visitor Guidelines for complete information before heading to a library location.

The John Hay Library is open to the public. See Visiting the John Hay Library for complete information.

Obtaining a Library Card

Visitors who anticipate using the Rockefeller, Sciences, or Orwig Libraries on an ongoing basis must obtain a Brown University Library card. Alumni can use their alumni card to access the libraries.

Library Support


Patrons can schedule in-person (and online) consultation appointments with a Library expert by contacting the relevant expert directly. Not sure who to contact? Email [email protected]u for general inquiries and [email protected] for Special Collections inquiries.


Please continue to request materials online through BruKnow. Requested materials will be held at the service desks. Patrons will be notified when the item is available and where it should be picked up. The Library is providing document delivery through the ILLiad system. 


Self-checkout of circulating materials is available at the Rockefeller Library and Sciences Library!

Graduate and Medical Student Carrels

Study carrels are available to graduate and medical students. Interested persons should inquire at the Rockefeller Library service desk.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Rooms

Graduate TAs may also access a limited number of small study/collaboration rooms to conduct online sections. Registration is required through 25Live

Library Tutorials

Guides and videos with information about how to use the Library, conduct various aspects of research, and more are available online.


Your Brown University Library is committed to providing all patrons with the best possible academic library experience. Throughout your engagement with Library collections, physical spaces, patron services, instruction, and web-based tools and content, you should be welcomed, valued, and respected, and be provided with equal opportunities to pursue scholarship in a spirit of free and open inquiry.

We encourage your feedback about any aspect of Library services, resources, and facilities. Feedback can be made through this anonymous form, which has an option for inputting your contact information, or you can email [email protected]

This Is Your Library

You belong here.

Library Stats Quest Week – Spring 2023

students in Willis Reading Room, John Hay Library

Please tell your Brown University Library about your on-site experience during the week of April 3-9, 2023 — Library Stats Quest Week!

Did you know that nearly 20,000 users visit the libraries in-person every week? 

We want to know if the experiences you’re having are meeting your needs. After each visit this week to a library location — Rockefeller, Sciences, Orwig Music, and John Hay Library — please take a few seconds to answer a very brief survey about your experience. Your input will help us better understand why you use the Library and how we can improve our services. 

We’ll also be taking a closer look at how people are using the spaces within the libraries. Library staff will do periodic headcounts in various types of spaces throughout the week. 

We strive to make every visit for every patron one in which you feel welcome, respected, and supported. This is your Library. You belong here. Your feedback is essential.

Thank you!

Zhuqing Li Appointed Head of Library Exploration and Research for East Asia

Dr. Zhuqing Li

The Library is thrilled to announce the appointment of Zhuqing Li as the Head of Library Exploration and Research for East Asia in the Center for Library Exploration and Research (CLEAR). She reports to the Director of Library Exploration and Research.

Zhuqing previously served as the Library’s Faculty Curator for East Asian Collections on a part-time basis along with her appointment as Visiting Associate Professor of East Asian Studies. As Faculty Curator, she established a stellar record of achievement in teaching and scholarly project development, bringing students and collections together to develop new and exciting scholarly projects that combine traditional and digital methods. Zhuqing led a collaborative, global team of scholars and Brown undergraduates to create Depicting Glory: Rare Objects from the Late Qing to the Republic of China, a digital project that presents a group of rare Chinese objects drawn from across the Brown University Library. 

In her new role, Zhuqing will expand CLEAR’s footprint to include student research-driven experiences rooted in the Library’s East Asian collections and increase scholarly and public engagement centered on East Asian materials.  In addition, she will continue to teach as Visiting Associate Professor of East Asian Studies.

Zhuqing Li

A linguist specializing in Chinese historical linguistics and dialectology, Zhuqing received her Ph.D. in East Asian Language and Literature from the University of Washington and taught at Boston College for 13 years before coming to Brown. Her research has focused on the study of the Chinese language, the historical experiences of Chinese returnees, and the linguistic aspects of Chinese-English translation.

Zhuqing is the author of five books, most recently including Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China’s Civil War (W. W. Norton & Company, 2022), the remarkable true story of two sisters (Zhuqing’s aunts) who were inseparable as children and whose lives are irrevocably disrupted when the “bamboo curtain” drops overnight between Communist mainland China and Nationalist Taiwan. Her other books are Reinventing China: Experience of Contemporary Returnees from the West (Bridge 21, 2016), Minnan-English Dictionary (Dunwoody Press, 2008), The Structure of Fuzhou Dialect (Dunwoody Press, 2002), and Fuzhou-English Dictionary (Dunwoody Press, 1998), as well as numerous academic articles.

Brown’s East Asian Collection

The East Asian Collection, located on the third floor of the Rockefeller Library in the traditionally styled Gardner Room, holds nearly 200,000 volumes of East Asian language print books in addition to print serials, audio-video materials, and electronic resources. The collection was developed from an initial gift of approximately 30,000 volumes donated to Brown in 1961 by the noted sinologist Charles Sidney Gardner. Dr. Li Wang, Curator of the East Asian Collection, and Toshiyuki Minami, Senior Library Specialist, offer students and researchers support in their use of the collection and will continue to collaborate with Zhuqing.

We’re in this Together: Notes on Solidarity and Collaboration

Clockwise from top left: Meredith Gadsby, Gina Perez, Julio Reyes, Warren Harding, Shelley Lee

This moderated conversation brings together faculty and scholars situated in Africana, Latinx, and Asian American Studies to discuss solidarity as a practice in support of diversity and inclusion in higher education.

Tuesday, April 11 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library

Registration required – register here

Meredith Gadsby (Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Comparative American Studies, Oberlin College), Gina Perez (Professor and Chair of Comparative American Studies, Oberlin College), Julio Reyes ‘12 (Director, U-FLI Center), and Shelley Lee (Professor of American Studies, Brown) draw on their years of intellectual and programmatic collaboration to reflect upon the challenges and possibilities of solidarity and allyship in teaching and writing, campus leadership and engagement, and community building and bridging. This conversation, moderated by Warren Harding (Diversity in Digital Publishing Postdoctoral Research Associate, Brown University), aims to provide useful insights and models for faculty and staff of color at Brown (and beyond) working in distinct but related fields who wish to work toward more inclusive communities and productive allyship.

Welcome will be delivered by Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian, followed by introductory remarks by Kenvi Phillips, Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Sponsored by Brown University Library’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programming; Brown Undocumented, First-Generation College, and Low-Income Student Center (U-FLI Center); Division of Campus Life; Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA); and Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender (SDC).

Tarika Sankar Joins Library as Digital Humanities Librarian

Tarika Sankar

We are delighted to announce that Tarika Sankar will be joining the Brown University Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) team as the Digital Humanities Librarian. Her first day is May 15, 2023. She joins us from the University of Miami’s English Department, where she will shortly receive her Ph.D. with a graduate certificate in the Digital Humanities and a graduate concentration in Caribbean Studies. Her hobbies include running, playing with her kitten, and trying boba tea spots. When asked what she’s most excited about in joining CDS, she wrote:

I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can about CDS projects, staff, and everything the Brown Library’s CDS does!

Tarika brings to Brown a wealth of experience in digital humanities, critical race theory, and Caribbean literature. As the Digital Humanities Librarian, she will work in project development, leading a selection of our projects (i.e., managing the intake process, development process, and preservation of the final product), creating digital humanities instructional materials, teaching digital humanities methods to scholars of all levels across the campus (i.e., faculty, graduate students, undergrads, fellow staff, and the public), and working to develop new, sustainable research projects, instructional materials, and curricular offerings in digital methods in the humanities.

As Digital Humanities Librarian, she will also take on a new role in the Library to research and recommend purchases for new books, journals, and/or databases specifically for digital humanities work (such as text and data mining resources). This work includes continuously looking for ways to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into digital humanities practice and projects. Welcome, Tarika!

Brown University Library Supports Nelson Memo through Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation Letter

three students look at laptops

An open letter from the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation (IPLC), consisting of the directors from thirteen libraries including the Brown University Library, was sent to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in support of the Nelson Memo, which aims to expand equitable access to federally-funded publications and data. The letter also communicates the directors’ concerns about potential journal expense increases for libraries and other stakeholders.

Read the letter


The Congressionally-established (OSTP) and its Senate-confirmed Director provide advice to the U.S. President and the Executive Office of the President and Executive branch on all matters related to science and technology. In August of 2022, current OSTP Director Dr. Alondra Nelson released an important memorandum to the directors of federal agencies funding scientific research and development, now referred to as the “Nelson Memo.” 

More agencies to require free access

The memo outlines significant updates to policies that provide public access to federally-funded publications and data to be made by 2025. One of the major directives within the memo that impacts faculty is the expansion of the OSTP’s former public access directive to cover more federal agencies, including those with $100 million or more or $100 million or less in scientific research and development expenditures. These agencies will now be required to develop plans for grantees to make the published results of federally-funded research freely available to the public and manage and share the digital data resulting from that research.

Eliminating 12-month embargo

Another of the memo’s groundbreaking advances that will impact faculty is that final peer-reviewed manuscripts will be required to be made immediately available, ending the historical practice of permitting a 12-month embargo. The 12-month embargo, required by many publishers, delayed the public’s access to the final peer-reviewed manuscripts, allowing their journals one year of being the sole venue to disseminate the article to their subscribers.

Faculty impact

In general, libraries, including the Brown University Library, are very much in support of the public’s free, equitable, and immediate access to federally-funded research. We want to emphasize that the Nelson Memo does not require that faculty publish in an open access journal, and it does not require faculty to publish in a journal that requires authors to pay a fee or article processing charge (APC) for immediate access. It is expected that faculty compliance will be facilitated via deposit of final peer-reviewed manuscripts in agencies’ specific public access repositories, such as NIH’s PMC, NSF-PAR, or DOE PAGES, among others. 

Concerns about cost

Over the years the increase in the annual costs to the University’s budget for paying for subscriptions to scholarly journals has severely outpaced inflation; today roughly half of the Library’s collection budget is dedicated to the acquisition of journal databases and other resources to support STEM. Thus, there are serious concerns shared by libraries about how publishers might respond and adapt their business models in advance of losing this 12-month embargo, potentially impacting the cost of already expensive subscriptions and limiting and bundling of titles within packages made available to institutions. Libraries also have significant concerns about some publishers’ APC-based publication models and worry that the industry might take advantage of these changes promoted by the Nelson Memo to promote its expansion.

Food & Feedback Forums

Tell us what you think!

students working at a library table

The Brown University Library is hosting two Food & Feedback Forum sessions. Enjoy pizza and snacks and give us your feedback on the Library’s physical spaces.

  • Monday, March 6 at 7 to 8 p.m. in the Rockefeller Library, Digital Scholarship Lab (Room 137)
  • Wednesday, March 8 at 2 to 3 p.m. in the Sciences Library, Friedman Center (Level A)

During recent Library surveys, students commented on a variety of aspects concerning the Library’s spaces. We’d love to hear more — come and share your views in depth. Tell us what works, what doesn’t work, and what could be improved about library spaces.

This is your Library. We’d love to hear from you!

Brown University Library Celebrates National Public Health Week 2023

A view of 121South Main Street. Photo by Ken Zirkel.

In keeping with the theme of National Public Health Week 2023, Centering and Celebrating Cultures in Health, below are some relevant projects, initiatives, and resources from the Brown University Library.

Subscription resources available via the Library

A search for “public health” as subject retrieves these results in BruKnow, the Library catalog. You may use the filters on the left side to refine results by format, library, language, and more. Sign in with your Brown credentials to access or request any of the results.

Key academic research databases, books, journals, and other resources for Public Health can be found here:

Freely-available online resources for reliable health information

KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues, as well as the U.S. role in global health policy. KFF develops and runs its own policy analysis, journalism and communications programs, sometimes in partnership with major news organizations. KFF serves as a nonpartisan source of facts, analysis and journalism for policymakers, the media, the health policy community and the public.

Offers high-quality, relevant health and wellness information that is trusted, easy to understand, and free of advertising, in both English and Spanish. It is a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which is the world’s largest medical library and a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


EthnoMed is Harborview Medical Center’s ethnic medicine website containing medical and cultural information about immigrant and refugee groups. Information is specific to groups in the Seattle area, but much of the cultural and health information is of interest and applicable in other geographic areas.

More freely-available online resources can be found here:

Center for Digital Scholarship projects

Learn more about the Twitter projects on Black Maternal Health and My Body My Choice that the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) staff have collaborated on with faculty. Information about other CDS projects can be viewed on the CDS website.

Special Collections

Request access to special collections materials at the John Hay Library on Alcohol and Addiction Studies, ACT UP Rhode Island, and more! Find information about many special collections holdings and researching and accessing special collections.

Opening of the Racial Justice Resource Center

Opening of the Brown University Library Racial Justice Resource Center

The Brown University Library invites the Brown community to the opening of the Racial Justice Resource Center on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. The RJRC is located in the southeast corner of the second floor of the Rockefeller Library, near the graduate student study rooms.

Open House from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Stop by to tour the center and enjoy some locally crafted snacks.

Speaking Program from 2 – 2:30 p.m.


Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian


  • President Christina H. Paxson
  • Interim Provost Lawrence E. Larson
  • Warren Harding, Diversity in Digital Publishing Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Kenvi Phillips, Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Racial Justice Resource Center

The Racial Justice Resource Center serves as a hub for the study of racism and racial justice in the United States and globally. Located on the second floor of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, the Center is a space for members of the Brown community to create new possibilities for advancing research, instruction, learning, and community around ideas of racial justice. Brown community members are invited to make use of the space and its resources for deeper understanding of the crisis of structural racism, bias, and violence against people of color. 

The Center identifies scholarship, events, research, and conversations that are occurring across the Brown University community and throughout academia addressing racial justice. The resources available within the Center explore race-based oppression, discrimination, policy, and the activism and efforts to confront them across disciplines. We offer this space for the Brown community to deepen knowledge and engage in the work of cultivating an environment in which every person is treated with dignity and respect.


Questions about the center? Email [email protected].

Dr. Khanh Vo Joins Library as Digital Humanities Specialist

Dr. Khanh Vo

The Library is delighted to announce that Dr. Khanh Vo will be joining the team in the Center for Digital Scholarship as the Digital Humanities Specialist. She comes to Brown from the University of Toronto’s Jackman Humanities Institute and Critical Digital Humanities Initiative, where she has served as the 2022-23 Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow. She completed her doctorate in American Studies in 2021 at William and Mary. Khanh brings to Brown a wealth of experience in digital humanities, academic teaching, and museums and libraries. When we asked her what excites her about joining CDS, she shared, 

“I’m really looking forward to working with students and faculty on their Digital Humanities projects and ideas. It is always exciting to learn about new topics and approaches to research”

In her free time, Khanh enjoys working with her hands by crafting, modeling, and crocheting. She collects (non)recyclable materials (from broken equipment to ramen containers) and recrafts them into 3D models, mostly to give as gifts. Her current projects are a Harry Potter themed tapestry blanket, a Skyrim Breezehome book end, and a miniature replica of Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle. 

As the Digital Humanities Specialist, she will work in project development, leading a selection of our projects (i.e., managing the intake process, development process, and preservation of the final product), creating digital humanities instructional materials, teaching digital humanities methods to scholars of all levels across the campus (i.e., faculty, graduate students, undergrads, fellow staff, and the public), and working to develop new, sustainable research projects, instructional materials, and curricular offerings in digital methods in the humanities. This work includes continuously looking for ways to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into digital humanities practice and projects. Welcome, Khan!

Graduate Students: Interdisciplinary Fellowship Opportunities at the Library!

Brown University Library is hosting four Interdisciplinary Opportunities Fellows for students in the humanities and social sciences who will be entering their 5th or 6th year of doctoral study in 2023-2024.

Fellowships are available in these areas at the Library:

Interdisciplinary Opportunities Fellows will draw on their own interests and areas of expertise to conduct research, contribute to Library programs, and engage with students, faculty, and staff to support Library initiatives. Fellows will be provided with office space in the Library.  

Applications are due by Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

See the Graduate School website for contact information about the different opportunities, and instructions on how to apply.