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You’ll see some changes at Shields Library this fall. Among other things, face coverings and physical distancing will be required. (Photo courtesy of Kristin Burns/UC Davis Library)

Shields Library to Reopen Thu., Sept. 24

Virtual services, online access to materials will continue.

Welcome back, Aggies! Wherever you’ll be this fall, the UC Davis Library is here to support you. For those here in Davis, Shields Library will reopen on Thursday, September 24; read on to learn about the changes we’ve put in place to protect your health and safety. For those on the Sacramento health campus, Blaisdell Medical Library remains accessible with a UC Davis Health badge. And for those students and faculty who will be studying, teaching or conducting research from afar, we have you covered, too.

Also, be sure to visit our Coronavirus: Library Resources and Services page for more tips, tools, and some important things to know before you go.

Reopening with care

Six months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the campus to shift to remote operations last spring, Shields Library is preparing to reopen its doors. Doing so safely will require all of us to do our part.

Before you stop by, there are a number of changes to be aware of:

Library rules during COVID-19 reopening

Face coverings: In keeping with the campus requirement to wear face coverings, they will be required at all times in the library. Don’t leave home without yours! Aggie Public Health Ambassadors will also be onsite to offer helpful tips on wearing face coverings correctly.

  • Daily symptom survey: Campus requires anyone entering a university-managed building to take the daily symptom survey in advance. To reduce wait times to enter, please have your “approved” result ready to show at the door.
  • Campus ID required: UC Davis students, faculty and staff will be required to swipe their AggieCard or employee ID at the door. This both helps us monitor building occupancy (now limited to 750) and facilitates contact tracing, should it become necessary. 
  • Building hours and occupancy limited: You’ll notice a new digital sign at the entrance that displays our open hours (a bit shorter than usual), the current building occupancy and a real-time count of how many more people may enter. To help you plan your visit, this information will also be available on the library website.
  • Food and drink will not be allowed, except for water in closed containers.
  • To support physical distancing, study space will offer:

    • Quiet, individual study only. Group study rooms are closed. The 24-Hour Study Room will also remain closed.
    • Redesigned seating: We have reduced seating to one (or, for some of our largest tables, two) per table to ensure that students can be at least six feet apart from one another.
    • Individual faculty and graduate student carrels, which can still be reserved, based on availability.

    More online than ever before

    In addition to valued online resources like free access to, the library team has been busy throughout the summer acquiring more ebooks, video streaming services and other electronic resources to ensure that you can access as much research and course material as possible from the comfort and safety of home. 

    • Books are being offered through a hybrid model designed to offer the most expansive access possible to the greatest number of library users. See the next section for details.
    • Course materials: With more digital resources than ever, linking to course materials from Canvas creates a seamless online experience for instructors and for students.
    • Music and film: In addition to the Naxos Music Library (primarily classical and jazz) and documentary films via Kanopy and Docuseek2, the library now offers streaming access to feature films through Swank Motion Pictures, a new option to convert library-owned DVDs to streaming format in Canvas, and a host of new sources for streaming music.
    • Library support: And it isn’t just library materials you can find online! Library experts are available for virtual research consultations and to meet with classes via Zoom.

    Looking for books?

    Fast facts about use of digital and shipping access to books during summer 2020

    Through the University of California’s partnership with the HathiTrust Digital Library, we have been able to offer online access to nearly half of the books in our collection, plus millions of additional books owned by other UC libraries, during the pandemic. HathiTrust has agreed to continue this emergency access, allowing us to maximize online access to library material even as we reopen for limited hours, and to serve members of the campus community who plan to continue to work or study remotely.

    To get the books you need:

    • Links in the library catalog lead to the digital version of books in HathiTrust.
    • Books not available online through HathiTrust can be shipped to your off-campus address, requested for pickup at our new self-service hold shelf, or checked out at the Shields Library Circulation Desk. 
    • Or just come in and browse! All books are available for use while in the library. Please just be sure to place any book you use but don’t plan to check out back on the specially marked shelves throughout the stacks, or in the dropbox by the exit, so it can be quarantined before being reshelved.

    In an abundance of caution, all books will be quarantined for seven days after use. Due dates have also been extended indefinitely, though if you are done with a book, we encourage you to return it to make it available for others to use. Materials can be returned at Shields, Blaisdell Medical Library or any of our remote book drops — or email us to request a postage-paid label to mail items back at no cost to you.

    Despite the unprecedented circumstances of this year, the library looks forward to continuing to support all UC Davis faculty, students, researchers, clinicians and staff in their teaching, learning, research and clinical practice — whether on-campus or off.




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