University Libraries COVID-19 Updates

Working in tandem with central university offices, the Libraries are taking steps to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19 and minimize disruption as much as possible during this time. Given the unpredictable nature of the current situation, we appreciate your flexibility as we try our best to respond to the needs of our community and minimize risk to our users and employees. Please visit the university’s Coronavirus Information page for the latest on the university’s response.

For the fall 2020 hybrid semester, the Libraries introduced new protocols that were developed in accordance with guidance from the CDC, Allegheny County Health Department, and the Carnegie Mellon University Community Health and Well-Being Unit with the goals of supporting a high-quality student experience and maintaining excellence across the university's education and research missions. 

The majority of the guidance applies to our Pittsburgh campus. Additional guidance is available for our Qatar library.
Call, e-mail, or use the chat function during business hours for on-the-spot remote assistance from Libraries personnel or to provide feedback and suggestions on services and library operations. 

Visiting the Libraries

Visitors to library locations will find the following protocols in place this fall:

  • Access to the Libraries' facilities is restricted to current CMU students, staff, and faculty members. 
  • A significant amount of seating has been removed to ensure a minimum of six feet of distance between seats. This will limit the amount of visitors we can accommodate at any given time. 
  • All visitors who intend to study in Hunt and Sorrells Libraries must reserve their seat ahead of their visit. The Mellon Library space will be operated by the Mellon Institute for the Fall semester and will be accessible for those who already have clearance to enter the Institute. 
  • The second and fourth floors of Hunt Library will be closed to the public and all Hunt Library stacks will be closed.
  • In partnership with Facilities Management Services, the Libraries will deploy regular cleaning and sanitization of high-traffic areas.
  • All events, instruction, and general reference consultations will continue to take place online.
  • Research and reference assistance from librarians and subject specialists will be fully online/remote, via e-mail or Zoom. Contact any individual to set up an appointment.
Borrowing Materials
  • The Hunt Library stacks will be closed and items will be retrieved by employees. The Sorrells Library stacks will remain open for requests, browsing and self-checkout. The Mellon Library stacks will remain open for requests and, for Mellon affiliates, browsing and self-checkout.
  • Course reserves will be digital-only; no print course reserves will be available. 
  • Multimedia equipment and circulating technology such as chargers and cameras will not be available until further notice.
  • Due dates for all items currently on loan have been extended to September 30, 2020. No fines will be charged during this time. 
  • All returned materials will be quarantined for 96 hours before they re-enter circulation, and due dates will be extended if the library needs to close for a COVID-positive case or the campus moves to fully online instruction. 
Reserve Your Seat

All visitors who intend to study in Hunt and Sorrells Libraries must reserve their seat ahead of their visit using our online reservation system. Reservations can be made in two-hour blocks. Reservations will be accepted beginning August 24. 

Group study rooms can be reserved through the same system for a single user at a time, but groups of any size are not permitted in any library location. Group study work should be conducted via Zoom. 

At this time, seat reservations are restricted to students only. Please contact us with any questions.

Fall Semester Hours

Revised fall semester hours begin August 31: 

  • Hunt Library: Monday through Thursday, 7:45 a.m. - 10:15 pm.; Friday, 7:45 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Sorrells Library: Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
  • Mellon Institute Library: The Mellon Institute Library will not be staffed and on-site library services will not be available for the Fall semester. The facility, printer, and self-checkout machine will be accessible to Mellon affiliates during Mellon Institute hours of operation.  

We encourage all visitors to review these guidelines and our FAQ in advance of their visits and we look forward to welcoming members of the CMU community back to our libraries.

Updates on Library Resources and Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Frequently Asked Questions