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FAQ Library Resources during COVID-19

During this time, we hope that you and your loved ones stay safe, and we look forward to being able to connect with many of you in person again! Because these are extraordinary times in uncharted territory, we appreciate your patience and understanding as well navigate these changes together.

Are the libraries open?
Effective Friday, March 20th at 5pm, both Linderman and Fairchild-Martindale Libraries will be closed indefinitely to align with federal state, local, and Lehigh health authorities in protecting the health of our students, faculty, and staff.  LTS monitors the situation daily to determine the best and safest course of action for reopening the library buildings.

Am I still able to check out books?
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide access to our physical book collection. We do however have a robust ebook collection that spans university disciplines and programs. Check our library catalog to see if the title you need is available as an ebook (search by title, then choose “eBook” from the right hand side “Format” filter). If we do not have what you need, submit a request for digital access via this Electronic Resource Request Form, and library staff will do our best to obtain the material you need in digital form.

What do I do about the library books I had due this semester? And will I receive fines for later materials?
There will be NO fines accruing during this period. Any books due this semester should have been extended a due date in Fall. You can check all revised due dates by logging into your library account.  If you still have Spring due dates, please contact

If you are returning to campus there is a library book drop at the Lehigh University Mail Center at Campus Square. Hours are 10am - 2pm, Monday - Friday.

If you are a graduating senior or otherwise do not expect to return to campus, please email to discuss returning books by mail (we are able to provide a mailing slip for their return) or other alternative options. 

Is Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) or PALCI/EZ Borrow still available?
At this time, due to the closing of many of our partner libraries, PALCI borrowing is no longer operating. ILLiad will be available for digital material only.

Will there still be access to print reserves?
Print reserves are no longer available. If you would like the library to look for a digital version of your course text, make a request via the Electronic Resource Request Form. You can also contact your research librarian to find open access or digital alternatives if a digitized textbook is not available for us to acquire, or consult our guide on open educational resources.

Additionally, for broader instructional guidance, LTS has created a help page with a series of resources to help faculty and students transition teaching and learning to an online environment.

What can I access now that the library is closed?
The library maintains an extensive collection of digital content that is available to you from anywhere in the world:

  • Search in any of our databases for journal articles, streaming video, data and statistics, visual media, and many other types of content.
  • Look for a specific journal in our journals directory, or enjoy a digital reading experience through the Browzine app or desktop program.
  • Access any of our digitized Special Collections content here, or email Special Collections staff for specialized help.
  • The library has licensed a variety of new content to support the transition to online learning. Additionally, various library vendors have made their materials freely accessible temporarily. A list of these resources is available here.

How can I access digital resources from off-campus? Do I need the VPN?
Any content accessed through’s web pages will pass through a login page. After you enter your Lehigh credentials, you will have access.

If you primarily discover materials outside of the library website (e.g. google scholar) or if you are currently not in the United States, you will need to connect to the covid19 vpn. Instructions are available here.  (NOTE: This VPN replaces the former “Library Access” VPN that was in use until March 2020.)

How can I get help?
Librarians and Help Desk consultants will be available via chat, email, Zoom, and phone [610-758-HELP]. You can also submit a help ticket and an LTS staff person will be in touch within 24 hours.

Where can I find the most reliable information about COVID-19?
Lehigh shares new information regularly on the Updates on Novel Coronavirus page. We know there is an overwhelming amount of news about the coronavirus that can be difficult to sort through and evaluate. This guide consolidates a number of governmental and scholarly sources into one place. Please note that Lehighs’ libraries are not qualified to provide medical advice, and that we urge you to contact health authorities and your physician with any questions related to your health and well-being.

How will I know when the library is open again?
For now, you can monitor the LTS Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for updates. We expect campus communications will also announce the libraries’ opening.

If you have additional questions, CHAT with us, or email your research librarian. Lehigh Libraries is here to support you during this time as much as we can.