Announcement | John Hay Library unveils transformative vision for special collections at Brown

Six dynamic and interconnected areas of focus build on current collection strengths and forge a path for building distinctive collections that support expansive and imaginative inquiry with a commitment to community engagement, environmental sustainability, and social justice.

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] After a year-long process of critical self-study and reflection led by Amanda Strauss, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections, the John Hay Library is launching a new collection policy, designed to guide highly strategic collecting at the Hay. The policy development process involved staff members at the Hay as well as consultations with a wide array of stakeholders at Brown and in key external communities.

When Ms. Strauss joined the Library in 2019, she was charged with creating a focused plan for the Hay, in alignment with Library and University goals and priorities, that would inspire faculty and students and transform the Hay into a center of academic excellence and a prominent destination for scholarly research. A serious commitment to representing diverse perspectives, experiences, and methods would be a fundamental part of that plan — necessary work for a world-class institution that facilitates free and open inquiry. According to Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian, “Under Ms. Strauss’s leadership, the John Hay Library is reaching new heights in advancing education, research, and public knowledge while also becoming a far more inclusive institution that speaks to a much broader range of human experience. This kind of scholarly vision and intellectual organization is what distinguishes outstanding special collections research libraries at world-class universities like Brown.”   

The policy consists of six areas of focus for collecting as well as three research themes in the sciences that are purposefully interconnected to create a holistic basis for research, education, and public engagement that encourages the kind of expansive and imaginative inquiry for which Brown University is renowned. They also establish a profound and more cohesive intellectual context for a remarkable set of existing collections, allow for strategic and sustainable collecting, and create a path for reparative and community-based collecting.

  • Global Lavender Voices celebrates the lived experiences, contributions, accomplishments, and culture of LGBTQIA+ communities, both in the United States and internationally.
  • Ideology & Power provides coherence and promotes public access to more than 200 years of original material that documents the evolution of political, social, and religious ideologies and that sheds light on the complex ways in which ideology influences social and political power structures.
  • Military & Society traces the social, political, economic, and cultural influence of world militaries during war and peace. 
  • Performance & Entertainment documents the history and creative process of performing arts and provides a window into public life and popular entertainment in the Americas through plays, dance, film, music, photography, and pornography. 
  • Popular Literature aims to reflect the imaginative worlds of North American authors and readers from the 18th through the 21st centuries. The Hay holds preeminent research collections in weird fiction, science fiction, and fantasy.
  • The University & Beyond augments the robust and growing collections of Brown’s institutional records and student life by tracing the unique and enduring global imprint of the University’s programs, faculty, and alumni.

Overlapping with these six areas of collecting focus are three prioritized research themes in the sciences: Climate Change, Collections as Data, and Health and History. The new policy recognizes the importance of using primary sources in scientific research and has already been strengthening its collections in STEM-related areas. According to Dr. Megan Ranney, who interpreted an item related to gun violence for the Hay’s exhibition Collecting with Distinction: Faculty Insights into Recent Acquisitions, “As both a scientist and scholar, I know how important it is to capture memorabilia of public health and medical debates in real time. I’m thankful for the foresight of Ms. Strauss and the John Hay Library in capturing so many documents, images, and other original materials. Future generations of students and researchers will be able to use our collections to understand our mindset behind many of our biggest societal struggles, such as gun violence. We are lucky to have this vision.” 

The Hay is already well known for supporting both humanistic and scientific inquiry through its renowned collections in the history of medicine and alcoholism and addiction, and in the history of mathematics and the “exact sciences” starting in 1180 B.C. Climate change is a theme that is present across a range of Hay materials that will be given new visibility and intentional development going forward. 

“A Representation of the Great Storm at Providence, Sept. 23rd 1815,” 1816.

Ms. Strauss emphasizes the importance of including special collections in teaching and research at Brown: “The Hay is a vital resource for the transformative, creative, intellectually independent work that is a hallmark of Brown. Our collections, though rare and unique, are meant to be actively used, and their use has never been more important than in this critical point in our nation’s history. The resources we steward are essential for scholarship that builds new knowledge in service of a more just and equitable society.”

The collection policy also provides a geographic framework for present and future collecting. Currently, Western Europe, North America, and Latin America are robustly represented. The collections also contain important material from East Asia, South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Postcolonial Anglophone and Lusophone Africa. Going forward, collecting will focus on transnational movements and material created within the Global South or its diaspora. Growth of collections in these areas will occur in close partnership with the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Department of Africana Studies, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 

Professor Tony Bogues, Asa Messer Professor of Humanities and Critical Theory and Professor of Africana Studies, has been collaborating with the Hay in support of his work as the Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. He explains the critical role the Hay has been playing in the CSSJ’s The Global Curatorial Project to collect oral histories and memories of formerly enslaved peoples: “We are at a critical juncture in the archival and collections world as the issue of repair — and therefore restitution of objects — spark debate about how to collect with equity and respect for the histories and voices of populations who were, and in some instances remain, dominated by forms of historical injustice. The Hay is a remarkable partner in this work. Its expert staff has been partnering with us and our colleagues in places like Senegal in debates and discussions about collections and how to think anew about stewardship as a plural effort in archives.”

Through its renewed focus on the Global South, the Hay could unintentionally replicate structures of colonialism and racism. To ensure ethical, intentional, and equitable collecting, five guiding principles for collecting were defined within the policy. These principles emphasize community engagement and shared authority and stewardship of material; as such, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is articulated first among the guiding principles. Recognizing systemic, structural, and institutional racism, the Hay is applying an anti-racist framework to its collecting, and building a system of continual evaluation of new and existing collections, modes of collecting, and the impact of collections on our community. This framework is consistent with the Library’s commitment to becoming actively anti-racist.

The Hay endeavors, through its collections and services, to ensure that the diverse array of students, scholars, and visitors who visit its physical and virtual spaces feel welcome. This importance is underscored by the fact that the Hay is open to the public (under normal operating conditions) and is situated amidst the vibrant and diverse Providence community.

In conjunction with Brown’s Sustainability Initiative, the Hay is committed to Sustainable Collecting and Stewardship. The Hay will assess the current and future environmental and fiscal impacts of acquiring, preserving, and providing research access to rare, unique, and fragile material in all physical formats. 

Through Community-Engaged Collecting, the Hay will build and sustain mutually beneficial relationships with diverse communities locally at Brown, within Rhode Island and New England, and nationally and globally. As part of the relationship, community members may advise and guide collecting policies, practices, and access principles to determine whether their historical material remains within their community or under what terms collaborative stewardship of donated materials would operate. 

The Hay is attuned to and respectful of its Local Contexts, seeking to be an active member of the Rhode Island research community and to build collections, especially those related to Rhode Island and regional history, that complement — but do not compete — with peer repositories. 

The Hay recognizes the value of Institutional Collaboration with academic centers and departments within the University and strategic partnerships with external repositories and organizations. These partnerships provide intellectual guidance for collection development as well as theoretical, cultural, and other valuable insights that will improve the reputation and relevance of the Library and its collections.

Barazoku, Japan’s first commercially circulated gay magazine.

Following a collecting pause during the development of the policy, the Hay is now actively, strategically collecting. The recent acquisition of José Rivera’s papers extends its holdings of contemporary, major LatinX playwrights. The collection of Japanese LGBTQIA+ magazines, such as Barazoku (薔薇族) and Fūzoku kitan (風俗奇譚), is one of the largest of its kind in the US, including many rare issues not found in other stateside repositories. The Jewelnel Davis Collection of mystery novels by Black women writers strengthens and enriches the popular literature at the Hay. 

Weird Tales magazine cover. Jan. 1942.

The scholarly work being done at the Hay broadens understanding of the materials we hold in critical ways. For example, The Racial Imaginaries of H. P. Lovecraft, an online exhibit created by the 2020 Brown University Library Exhibitions Proctor, Alberto Alcaraz Escarcega, Political Science Ph.D., examines the interconnectedness of Lovecraft’s work and his problematic beliefs about race. Lovecraft, whose papers are held by the Hay and fully digitized, is considered to be the founder of weird fiction. He remains an influential literary figure whose body of work continues to be revisited, referenced, and revered; understanding the full context of his writing is necessary in a contemporary landscape.

The Hay’s new collection policy provides the underpinning that will elevate the Hay as a destination research library whose collections, fellowships, exhibitions, and programming will attract a global cohort of researchers, and ensure that the Hay realizes its full potential as a vital campus resource for active, interdisciplinary research and exploration. This framework does not set limits on collecting so much as it empowers the Hay to maximize the scholarly and reputational value of its acquisitions and to fulfill its mission to support free and open inquiry, experimentation, and creativity in a welcoming environment with equitable access to collections, exhibitions, and programming to a global community of students, scholars, and the public.

Media and other inquiries, please contact Jennifer_Braga@brown.edu.

Announcement | Free Web Hosting Service for Digital Scholarship

Digital Scholarship at Brown

The Library is offering a new web hosting service to support digital scholarship: Digital Scholarship at Brown. This service is available to Brown students, faculty, and staff who want to experiment with digital scholarly platforms, develop a research project, and/or share your work. Digital Scholarship at Brown complements Brown’s existing web offerings such as Brown Blogs, Canvas, and Google Sites.

How to Use Digital Scholarship at Brown

This service allows you to manage your digital research and digital presence — including digital projects for theses and dissertations, storytelling, group collaboration, and public scholarship. Through Digital Scholarship at Brown, you can manage a Brown subdomain of your own onto which you can easily install applications like WordPress, Omeka, or mySQL along with specialized plugins, as well as access the command line directly (with some restrictions) so you can run software and develop stand-alone web sites. 

When you leave Brown, you may continue to own and manage your site by transferring your Digital Scholarship at Brown domain to a personal Reclaim Hosting domain, or to another hosting service. 

How to Apply

If you are interested in the Digital Scholarship at Brown service, please look over the guidelines for use. Does your project that fits the guidelines? Fill out the application and click Create to get started!

Questions? Email cds_info@brown.edu.

This is your domain. This is your Library.

Spring 2021 Library Spaces and Operations

Featured

Library staff working in the Rockefeller Library while observing health guidelines.

Welcome back!

Welcome back to your Brown University Library! We hope you enjoyed a safe, restful, and rejuvenating Winter Break.

From January 4 – 26, 2021, distant circulation will be available at the Rockefeller Library. Following the Quiet Period, seats for individual study will be available by reservation starting on January 27 at the Rock, SciLi, and John Hay Library. Reservations can be made up to one week in advance, beginning January 20.

During the Spring 2021 term, the Library will work to meet critical student and faculty needs in the same manner in which we operated during the Fall 2020 term. We are:

  • Opening space for individual student work on a reservation basis
  • Providing enhanced digital access to materials for courses and scholarship
  • Circulating physical materials on a pickup basis
  • Supporting education and research through remote consultation with the Library’s experts

These services are described in more detail below.  We will continue to adapt as circumstances change, and provide updates to the campus community accordingly.

Safety Is Everyone’s Priority

Operations are founded on the most up-to-date, reliable safety protocols to ensure a healthy environment for our patrons and staff. It is up to all of us to keep each other healthy and safe.

When you come to the Library, please:

  • Wear a mask over your mouth and nose at all times
  • Maintain social distance
  • Sit in your reserved seat only
  • Sanitize your study space when you arrive and before you leave 

Please follow all other Healthy Brown steps to keep yourself and our community well. If you aren’t feeling well, please make use of our robust slate of digital resources.

We extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to everyone for following these steps!

What You Need to Know

This list highlights important information, with links to additional details.

WHAT SPACES WILL BE OPEN?

  • Select study spaces in the Rockefeller Library, Sciences Library, and John Hay Library are open on a reserved seating basis.
  • Orwig Music Library will be closed to users until further notice. Orwig materials will continue to be available by request.
  • The cafés in the Rock and SciLi are closed for health and safety reasons. You may bring a personal water bottle. We ask that no food is brought into the libraries unless medically necessary.

WHEN WILL THE LIBRARY BE OPEN?

  • Library spaces open to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students on Wednesday, January 27
  • Hours vary by location. See Library Study Spaces below for details.

How do I reserve a seat?

  • To enter a library, students are asked to first make a reservation for a seat using LibCal.
  • Reservations can be made for two hour time slots with a half hour in between for self “Clean in / Clean out” with provided sanitizing wipes. Four hour reservations can be made in the Absolute Quiet Room and Foyer on Level A of the Rock.
  • Four-hour time slots can be reserved for designated areas at the Rock. 
  • Watch the LibCal video tutorial below.
  • Reservations can be made up to one week in advance.
  • Graduate and medical students may reserve carrels on a monthly basis. Alternating sides of each carrel will be used on different days of the week. To apply, fill out the Library Carrel Request for Graduate Students form.
  • To maximize the availability of limited library seating for students, we ask that faculty and staff continue making use of online services and pickup circulation and leave seats and carrels available for the students.

HOW WILL I GET LIBRARY MATERIALS?

  • Requests for materials will continue to be made through Josiah, the online catalog, for general collections, and through Aeon for special collections materials.
  • All requested materials will be retrieved by staff for contactless pickup
  • For everyone’s safety, we ask that patrons do not enter the stacks. 
  • If materials are available digitally, they will be delivered to you via email.

Contactless Pickup

Based on current research, the Library will no longer be quarantining materials (with the exception of returned materials).

Materials requested for pickup will be placed in bags on carts for contactless pickup in bins arranged by last name in the Rockefeller Library lobby. You will be notified by email when the materials are available, usually within 24 hours. You may retrieve this material any time the Rock is open – no reservation required.

Please do not clean or disinfect library materials. It could damage the item(s) and is not necessary given the precautions Library staff are taking.

HOW DO I GET HELP?

  • Library staff are standing by online to help students and faculty. Please use the Ask a Librarian service for questions and to get research support. You can also email rock@brown.edu (general) and hay@brown.edu (special collections) with questions.
  • Staff onsite will be primarily engaged in helping to keep our study spaces safe and healthy. They will not be providing in-person Library services.

HOW CAN I LET YOU KNOW WHAT I THINK?

Library Study Spaces

ROCKEFELLER LIBRARY

Hours:

  • Monday – Thursday 12:30 – 10 p.m.
  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12:30 – 5 p.m.

Spaces with reserved seating available in 2 hour blocks:

  • Sorensen Family Reading Room (Level 1: Rooms 130, 130 A and B, 132)
  • Finn Reading Room (Level 1: Room 134)
  • Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio (Level 1: Room 155)
  • Window Seating (Level 1: Room 141A)
  • Landing Lounge (Level A: Room AS3)
  • Absolute Quiet Room Anteroom, between the AQR and restrooms (Level A: Room A17)
  • Table Seating adjacent to the Oversize Art Collection (Level A: Room A41)
  • Wernig Graduate Study Center (Level 2: Rooms 218 and 220) — Graduate and Medical students only
  • Corner Window Study Area (Level 2: Room 224)

Spaces with reserved seating available in 4 hour blocks:

  • Absolute Quiet Room
  • Lower Foyer (Level A: Rooms A07, A08)

Carrels:

Levels 3 and 4

SCIENCES LIBRARY

Hours:

  • Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.

Spaces with reserved seating available:

  • Friedman Study Center (Level A: Rooms A01, A01A and B, A04, A05, A08, A09, A18, A21, A24)
  • Mezzanine Level (Room 201)

Please note that upper Library floors will be closed to users until further notice.

JOHN HAY LIBRARY

The John Hay Library opens to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students January 27.  Visits by appointment through LibCal only.

  • Study in the Willis Reading Room (first floor) for a 2 hour block: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  
  • Research in the Gildor Family Special Collections Reading Room (first floor) for a 1 to 3 hour block: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • Closed Saturday and Sunday

For study in the Special Collections Reading Room, please make a LibCal reservation and Aeon request. Reserve materials through Aeon one week (5 full business days) in advance of your appointment. Brown faculty may conduct research in the Special Collections Reading Room.

ORWIG MUSIC LIBRARY

Orwig Music Library is currently closed. Orwig materials are available by request through Josiah.

Reservations

STUDY SPACE SEATING

The web-based LibCal reservation system will be available for reservations starting on January 20 for all students to reserve a seat for January 27. Reservations can be made up to one week in advance. 

Please make a reservation before going to a library. 

Please make only one reservation per day to allow for equitable access to the limited number of de-densified seats. Seat reservations are for two-hour blocks of time with a half hour in between.

Carrel reservations will be made on a monthly basis, using alternate sides of each carrel on different days of the week to ensure safe distancing.

Once you place a reservation, you will receive a confirmation email. When you go to the library for your confirmed time, please bring a printout of the confirmation or be able to show it on an electronic device. Queue up outside, maintaining six feet of space with others in line. A security staff member will check your reservation confirmation before you will be allowed to enter the building. 

We ask that patrons bring only a personal water bottle into Library buildings.

GRADUATE AND MEDICAL STUDENT CARRELS

Graduate and medical students can make a reservation for a carrel using the Library Carrel Request for Graduate Students form. Reservations are for one month at a time. Carrel use will be on an alternating schedule to ensure safe distancing between carrels.

CLEAN IN / CLEAN OUT

We ask that all patrons clean your designated area when you arrive and before you leave, using provided disinfectant wipes.

FACULTY, VISITING SCHOLARS, AND STAFF USE OF LIBRARY SPACE

We ask that faculty and staff allow students only to reserve seating and carrels in the libraries. We will continue to provide digital delivery and distant circulation of materials for faculty and visiting scholars.

Faculty members with individual Faculty Studies will receive a Faculty Study Card via email. Please print the card, queue at the Rock, show the guard the card, and proceed to your study. You will need to bring the printout of this card with you each time you go to the Rock to access your study.

GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANT ROOMS

Graduate TA’s may also access a limited number of small study/collaboration rooms to conduct your online sections. Registration is required through 25Live. Please follow all safety protocols including Clean in / Clean out.

CLASSES IN LIBRARY SPACES

At this time, the only classes scheduled to be held in Library spaces will be on floors of the Sciences Library that are managed by other campus units. Students will be asked to identify themselves as members of the class upon entry to the building.

Library Materials and Services Requesting Library Materials

REMOTE ASSISTANCE

An array of research support is available to you.

While staff will not be available for in-person library assistance, Library experts are standing by online to help students and faculty. Staff onsite will be primarily engaged in helping to keep our study spaces safe and healthy. Please use the Ask a Librarian service for questions and to get research support. You can also email rock@brown.edu (general) and hay@brown.edu (special collections) with questions. 

Library Video Tutorials

There are a number of videos on the Library’s YouTube channel that provide information about how to use the Library, conduct various aspects of research, and more.

This Is Your Library

We look forward to welcoming you in person, without restriction, when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are committed to providing the same standard of support and collaboration that is essential to the academic success of the Brown University community. We are doing all we can to make resources, materials, and expertise available to you. Please do not hesitate to make a connection with your Library. We are eager to support you and to be an integral part of your academic experience at Brown. You belong here. This is your Library.

Announcement | Pickup Materials without a Reservation

Rockefeller Library facade

The Library is pleased to announce an expansion of circulation services. Materials requested will be available for pickup any time the Library is open. It is no longer necessary to make a reservation for pickup. (Reservations to study in the Library are still required.)

Requesting Physical Materials

Current Brown faculty/instructors and students may request up to ten (10) items per week from our collections, including physical books. Materials held at the Rockefeller Library, the Library Annex, the Sciences Library, and Orwig Music Library should be requested directly through Josiah, the Library’s online catalog and picked up in the Rockefeller Library lobby. Library staff will retrieve the items and email the requestor with instructions for pickup when the items are ready. Pickup for ALL items will take place in front of the Rockefeller Library. 

If you reserve space in a library, please continue to make use of Josiah (and Aeon for special collections) to request materials. Please do not enter the stacks.

Contactless Pickup — Available without Reservation during Open Hours

Materials requested for pickup will be placed in bags on carts and quarantined, untouched, for a minimum of 72 hours. The most current research tells us that 72 hours (three days) of quarantine is safe for circulating library materials.

You will be notified with the date the material will be available. Once available, the requested materials will be pre-checked out to you and placed in bins arranged by last name in the Rockefeller Library lobby. You may retrieve this material any time the Library is open — no reservation required. 

Please do not clean or disinfect library materials. It would likely damage the item(s) and is not necessary given the precautions Library staff are taking.

More Information

Announcement | Library Spaces Open for Fall 2020

Your Brown University Library is thrilled to invite you back into the libraries for Fall 2020! 

John Hay is doing his part for a Healthy Brown.

The Library is working to meet critical student and faculty needs in the following ways:

  • Opening space for individual student work on a reservation basis
  • Providing enhanced digital access to materials for courses and scholarship
  • Circulating physical materials on a pickup basis
  • Supporting education and research through remote consultation with the Library’s experts

These services are described in more detail below.  We will continue to adapt as circumstances change, and provide updates to the campus community accordingly.

Library Town Hall

The Library University-Wide Town Hall meeting from September 17, 2020 was recorded and can be found on the Library’s YouTube channel and below:

Safety Is Everyone’s Priority

Our opening plan is based on the most up-to-date, reliable safety protocols to ensure a healthy environment for our patrons and staff. It is up to all of us to keep each other healthy and safe, and we feel confident that members of the Brown community will gladly share in this responsibility so that the Library can operate safely and continue providing the services that students and faculty most need. 

When you come to the Library, please

  • Wear a mask over your mouth and nose at all times
  • Maintain social distance
  • Sit in your reserved seat only
  • Sanitize your study space when you arrive and before you leave 

Please follow all other Healthy Brown steps to keep yourself and our community well. If you aren’t feeling well, please make use of our robust slate of digital resources.

We extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to everyone for following these steps!

What You Need to Know

This list highlights the most important information you need to know, with links to additional details.

What spaces will be open?

  • Select study spaces in the Rockefeller Library, Sciences Library, and John Hay Library are open on a reserved seating basis.
  • Orwig Music Library will be closed to users until further notice. Orwig materials will continue to be available by request.
  • The cafés in the Rock and SciLi will be closed until further notice. You may bring a personal water bottle. We ask that no food is brought into the libraries unless medically necessary.

When will the Library be open?

  • Library spaces opened to graduate and medical students on Wednesday, September 16
  • Undergraduates are welcome in Library spaces as of Monday, October 5.
  • Hours vary by library

How do I reserve a seat?

How will I get Library materials?

  • Requests for materials will continue to be made through Josiah, the online catalog, for general collections, and through Aeon for special collections materials.
  • All requested materials will be retrieved by staff for contactless pickup. More information.
  • For everyone’s safety, we ask that patrons do not enter the stacks.

How do I get help?

  • Library staff are standing by online to help students and faculty. Please use the Ask a Librarian service for questions and to get research support. You can also email rock@brown.edu (general) and hay@brown.edu (special collections) with questions.
  • Staff onsite will be primarily engaged in helping to keep our study spaces safe and healthy. They will not be providing in-person Library services.

How can I let you know what I think?

Library Study Spaces

Rockefeller Library

Hours:

  • Monday – Thursday 12:30 – 10 p.m.
  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12:30 – 5 p.m.

Spaces with reserved seating available:

  • Sorensen Family Reading Room (Level 1: Rooms 130, 130 A and B, 132)
  • Finn Reading Room (Level 1: Room 134)
  • Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio (Level 1: Room 155)
  • Window Seating (Level 1: Room 141A)
  • Absolute Quiet Room and Foyer (Level A: Rooms A17, A07, A08)
  • Landing Lounge (Level A: Room AS3)
  • Table Seating adjacent to the Oversize Art Collection (Level A: Room A41)
  • Wernig Graduate Study Center (Level 2: Rooms 218 and 220) — Graduate and Medical students only
  • Corner Window Study Area (Level 2: Room 224)

Carrels:

Levels 3 and 4

Sciences Library

Hours:

  • Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.

Spaces with reserved seating available:

  • Friedman Study Center (Level A: Rooms A01, A01A and B, A04, A05, A08, A09, A18, A21, A24)
  • Mezzanine Level (Room 201)

Please note that upper Library floors will be closed to users until further notice.

John Hay Library

  • Study space: Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Special Collections: Wednesday and Thursday 1 – 4 p.m.
  • Closed Saturday and Sunday

Spaces with reserved seating available:

  • Willis Reading Room (first floor) – Opens September 16
  • Gildor Family Special Collections Reading Room (first floor) – Opens September 23 to graduate and medical students; opens October 7 to undergraduate students
    • By appointment through LibCal only
    • Reserve materials through Aeon one week (5 full business days) in advance of your appointment

Orwig Music Library

Orwig Music Library is currently closed. Orwig materials are available by request through Josiah.

Reservations

study space Seating

The web-based LibCal reservation system is available now for seating starting on September 16 for graduate and medical students and October 5 for undergraduates. 

Please make a reservation before going to a library. 

Watch the video tutorial on YouTube explaining how to use the LibCal reservation system.

Please make only one reservation per day to allow for equitable access to the limited number of de-densified seats. Seat reservations are for two-hour blocks of time with a half hour in between.

Carrel reservations will be made on a monthly basis, using alternate sides of each carrel on different days of the week to ensure safe distancing.

Once you place a reservation, you will receive a confirmation email. When you go to the library for your confirmed time, please bring a printout of the confirmation or be able to show it on an electronic device. Queue up outside, maintaining six feet of space with others in line. A security staff member will check your reservation confirmation before you will be allowed to enter the building. 

We ask that patrons bring only a personal water bottle into Library buildings.

graduate and medical student Carrels

Graduate and medical students can make a reservation for a carrel using the Library Carrel Request for Graduate Students form. Reservations are for one month at a time. Carrel use will be on an alternating schedule to ensure safe distancing between carrels.

Clean In / Clean Out

We ask that all patrons clean your designated area when you arrive and before you leave, using provided disinfectant wipes.

Faculty, visiting scholar, and staff use of library space

We ask that faculty and staff allow students only to reserve seating and carrels in the libraries. We will continue to provide digital delivery and distant circulation of materials for faculty and visiting scholars.

Faculty members with individual Faculty Studies will receive a Faculty Study Card via email. Please print the card, queue at the Rock, show the guard the card, and proceed to your study. You will need to bring the printout of this card with you each time you go to the Rock to access your study.

Graduate Teaching Assistant rooms

Graduate TA’s may also access a limited number of small study/collaboration rooms to conduct your online sections. Registration is required through 25Live. Please follow all safety protocols including Clean in / Clean out.

Classes in Library Spaces

At this time, the only classes scheduled to be held in Library spaces will be on floors of the Sciences Library that are managed by other campus units. Students will be asked to identify themselves as members of the class upon entry to the building.

Library Materials and Services Requesting Library Materials

Requests for materials will continue to be made through Josiah, the online catalog, for general collections, and through Aeon for special collections materials.

Contactless Pickup and Digital Delivery

All requested materials will be retrieved by staff for contactless pickup. For everyone’s safety, we ask that patrons do not enter the stacks. If materials are available digitally, they will be delivered to you via email.

Remote Assistance

While staff will not be available for in-person library assistance, Library experts are standing by online to help students and faculty. Staff onsite will be primarily engaged in helping to keep our study spaces safe and healthy. Please use the Ask a Librarian service for questions and to get research support. You can also email rock@brown.edu (general) and hay@brown.edu (special collections) with questions. This news page has detailed information about Library services during the pandemic.

Library Video Tutorials

There are a number of videos on the Library’s YouTube channel that provide information about how to use the Library, conduct various aspects of research, and more.

This Is Your Library

You belong here. While these are extraordinary times, we know the Brown community is also extraordinary. We will rise to the challenges of this pandemic, work together, support each other, and succeed with each other. We are grateful to the many students and faculty who have let us know how important the Library is to your academic work and experience at Brown. We are proud of our staff members who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic to support Brown’s academic mission and who will be both onsite and at home, ready to help you and collaborate with you on your research journey — this semester, in 2021, and beyond. We are here for you. This is your Library.

Announcement | Library Services for Fall 2020

stack of books

Library Services during Fall 2020

The Library is thrilled to welcome students into our large study spaces for independent work during the Fall 2020 semester. Staff onsite will be primarily engaged in helping to keep our study spaces safe and healthy. They will not be providing in-person library services.

We are continuing to provide a robust slate of online services, detailed below. If you have any questions, you can email rock@brown.edu (general) or hay@brown.edu (special collections). You can also chat with a Library expert through the Ask a Librarian service. Many other services, resources, and updates can be found at library.brown.edu and here on our news blog.

Requesting Physical Materials

The Library is pleased to announce an expansion of circulation services. Materials requested will be available for pickup any time the Library is open. It is no longer necessary to make a reservation for pickup. (Reservations to study in the Library are still required.)

Current Brown faculty/instructors and students may request up to ten (10) items per week from our collections, including physical books. Materials held at the Rockefeller Library, the Library Annex, the Sciences Library, and Orwig Music Library should be requested directly through Josiah, the Library’s online catalog and picked up in the Rockefeller Library lobby. Library staff will retrieve the items and email the requestor with instructions for pickup when the items are ready. Pickup for ALL items will take place in front of the Rockefeller Library. 

If you reserve space in a library, please continue to make use of Josiah (and Aeon for special collection) to request materials. Please do not enter the stacks.

Contactless Pickup — Available without Reservation during Open Hours

Materials requested for pickup will be placed in bags on carts and quarantined, untouched, for a minimum of 72 hours. The most current research tells us that 72 hours (three days) of quarantine is safe for circulating library materials.

You will be notified with the date the material will be available. Once available, the requested materials will be pre-checked out to you and placed in bins arranged by last name in the Rockefeller Library lobby. You may retrieve this material any time the Library is open — no reservation required. 

Please do not clean or disinfect library materials. It would likely damage the item(s) and is not necessary given the precautions Library staff are taking.

Requesting Special Collections

The John Hay Library will digitize special collections material for research and teaching needs. Requests from current Brown faculty and graduate students will be prioritized. Other requests will be fulfilled as time allows. This service is limited to members of the Brown community. To make a request, email hay@brown.edu or fill out the request form

Brown University graduate and undergraduate students and faculty: the Special Collections Reading Room opened on an appointment-only basis on September 23, 2020, Wednesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments must be made at least one week (5 business days) in advance so that staff can adequately prepare materials.

Requesting Course Reserves and Course Packs

Faculty members should continue to use Online Course Reserves Access (OCRA) to request materials for course reserves and course packs. Once received, the Library will make the reserves available to students through the course site in Canvas. 

If you are using a course pack from a previous semester, the Library will make the content available in Canvas and/or OCRA. Email rock@brown.edu to initiate this process. 

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) for physical materials will not resume until a later phase, and (by agreement with our Ivy-plus partners) no earlier than September 1. We will continue to accept and fill ILL requests for articles and book chapters that are available electronically, which will be sent to patrons via email. We will also continue searching for electronic versions of requested books. 

Requests for Digital Material

Contact us at the following email addresses to request items, ask research questions, and connect with a Library expert:

Expanded Access to Digital Content and Services

As a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, many of the Library’s content providers have expanded Brown’s access to digital content in order to support online research, learning, and teaching. In addition to the 2 million+ digital books and journals available through the Library’s subscriptions, we are excited to share many additional resources from our partners.

How Long Will Requests Take?

All requests may take up to seven days. Quarantine protocols for handling physical materials will make requests for rush or expedited delivery less feasible for the time being.

Faculty and Student Support

We are providing online services, including research consultations and instruction. Subject librarians can be reached by email and on chat, which is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Not sure who to ask? Email most questions to rock@brown.edu and email questions about special collections to hay@brown.edu.

Additional resources:

Returning Physical Material

Please return physical materials to the Rockefeller Library, through the book return drop located to the left of the front doors.

You can keep the items in your possession until you are able to return to campus. This includes items obtained through Borrow Direct, easyBorrow, and ILLiad. Fines and late fees will be waived.

Safe Staffing

To protect the safety of staff and patrons, we are operating at minimum staffing levels with modified workflows to allow for social distancing and quarantine of materials. We will add staff and increase service levels as public health guidance allows.

Questions?

Email rock@brown.edu with questions. If you have a question about special collections, email hay@brown.edu.

Announcement | Library Welcomes Biology and Medicine & Alpert Medical School Students and Faculty

photo of front of Alpert Medical School

Welcome, from the Brown University Library! We offer a variety of services to Brown students and faculty in the sciences that can help with teaching and research.

We can assist you with:

  • Planning and conducting research (such as literature review services, finding funding, using LabArchives Electronic Lab Notebooks, and writing data management plans)
  • Publishing and sharing research (organizing citations, ensuring compliance with journals and funders’ public access policies, and measuring researcher and publication impact)
  • Teaching information literacy, advanced searching, and digital curation skills
  • Providing orientation to library resources and services for your departments, divisions, and students.

For the most comprehensive information about the Brown University Library hours and resources, start at https://library.brown.edu/. Focused resource and service guides are at:

Brown librarians have been working remotely through the pandemic, continuing to provide research consultations and instruction. For upcoming Library workshops, see the Library calendar. To find out more information, or schedule a consultation, please contact us at HealthSciLibrarians@brown.edu.   

We look forward to working with you!

Announcement | PubMed Redesign

PubMed users will notice some major changes this week. As of May 18, the biomedical literature database is now defaulting to the new, redesigned interface. As always, the best way to see Brown University’s full text options is with the Library’s custom link.

New interface changes include:

  • Ability to cite references quickly in your preferred citation style format (AMA, APA, NLM, or MLA)
  • Option to share references via social media or a permalink
  • Responsive design for use on any device — mobile, desktop, or tablet — with the same features and functionality. On your mobile device, bookmark (or add to your home screen) this URL: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?myncbishare=brownu
  • Citations are initially sorted by the Best Match algorithm, but display preferences such as sort order and items per page can be adjusted using the “Display options” button.  

Most features remain – including clinical queries, the advanced search, MeSH database, search details (on the Advanced page now), and your MyNCBI account. Additionally, you’ll be able to export citations to citation management tools (e.g., EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley) through the “Cite” feature or by sending a batch of citations to your Citation Manager.  

Looking for the legacy interface? For a short time you’ll still be able to use it, at https://pmlegacy.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Please contact HealthSciLibrarians@Brown.edu for questions or instruction requests. 

The National Library of Medicine has created a page with links to PubMed tutorials and handouts. Take some time to explore the interface, and provide feedback to NLM at https://support.nlm.nih.gov/support/create-case/?category=plabs

Announcement | Summer Proctorships for Graduate Students

students viewing special collections

There are several Graduate School 2020 Summer Proctorships available at the Library!

The application can be found in UFunds. Once on the UFunds page, click on Graduate School COVID-19 Fund, then select “Graduate School 2020 Summer Proctorship Positions.”

Descriptions of the opportunities are available on the Graduate School websiteThe application deadline is May 13.

The proctorships available at the Library are:

Recipients of Summer Proctorship positions will participate in project-based, internship-style experiences. The goal is to offer graduate students whose research and study have been impacted by COVID-19 new professional and career development opportunities to enhance their experience and skills.

Eligibility: These proctorships are intended for PhD students whose total summer support would otherwise fall below the equivalent of three months of the standard academic-year stipend amount ($8,758.68). The time commitment expected is approximately 100 hours over Summer 2020. 

More information

A Message from the University Library to Graduate Programs and Students | Access to Scholarly Resources during Campus Closure

Dear Department Chairs, Directors of Graduate Studies, and Graduate Students,

Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family
University Librarian

At the Brown University Library, we are well aware that the COVID-19 public health crisis is having an impact on graduate students’ ability to study for qualifying exams and carry out thesis and dissertation research. At Brown, as is the case at universities across the country, we know that suspending all onsite activity at the Library is contributing to these challenges.  

I am writing to let you know about the work we have been doing to strengthen how the Library supports graduate students under these circumstances, and to ensure that you are aware of the resources that are available to help you move forward with your scholarship.

Individual Research Help

You can connect directly with a Library expert in your area who can support your research, answer questions, provide you with digital content, and offer reliable scholarly guidance during this time of stress and uncertainty. 

Increased Digital Access

Significantly expanded access to digital content is being made available during the COVID-19 pandemic. More digital scholarly content continues to be made freely accessible, and we are regularly updating our list as this happens.

The Library offers several ways to access digital content:

  1. Through our existing systems
  • Search Josiah, the online catalog, for books, articles, and other materials that Brown owns or subscribes to in electronic formats.
  • Request items through Interlibrary Loan. Requests are continuing to be filled for articles available electronically.
  • Many items from our physical collection are now available electronically via HathiTrust. We have added a link to the HathiTrust version to the records in Josiah. You will need to login with your Brown University web credentials to access the content.
  1. By contacting a librarian

You can request items by emailing rock@brown.edu (general) and hay@brown.edu (special collections).

  •  Library experts can help you locate materials available at Brown and elsewhere.
  • If you are looking for a book that exists in electronic format to which Brown does not currently have access, we will purchase that item if it is possible to do so.  
  • Special collections librarians will seek to identify primary source material in digital format through other libraries and archives that can contribute to students’ research. They can also offer individualized consultations regarding research methods and organizing your digital research files. Special collections is working on other creative solutions to provide digital access to its collections and to connect students with digital content at other institutions. The more we know about student research needs, the better we can deploy to find solutions.

Access to Physical Materials

We recognize that electronically available materials, however abundant, cannot address all scholarly needs and that digital content can also pose accessibility challenges. At this time, most university libraries have discontinued physical circulation and loans. For the health and safety of our staff, we are unable to provide physical access to Library materials until the University authorizes onsite activities to resume.  

As the University announced recently, President Paxson has charged a Healthy Fall 2020 Task Force with charting a path to the safe reopening of the campus. As the principles, process, and timeline for reopening emerge, the Library will be able to provide more information on how and when we can resume physical access to general and special collections materials. Like you, we are looking forward to that day.  

***

As researchers and scholarly experts ourselves, and as dedicated partners for you and your academic programs, we keenly appreciate the challenges you are facing in moving forward with your graduate studies. The Brown University Library is committed to doing whatever is possible under the circumstances to help you. To that end, we will continue to explore new ways to provide more of the content you need. In the meantime, keep telling us what you need and we’ll do our very best!

With best wishes for your safety and wellbeing,

Joe

Joseph S. Meisel
Joukowsky Family University Librarian