On-Site Services during COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis

Last updated: April 8, 2020 at 9:45am


All Library Facilities are closed during the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis


For information on the library's extensive online services visit:  https://library.gmu.edu/covid-19-updates.



Library Facilities and On-site Services During COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis


As George Mason University has shifted to online instruction and learning for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, the University Libraries’ faculty and staff are working diligently to support students and faculty with provision of library research materials and associated services, to the degree feasible, through digital means (distance access, online learning and scanning of learning and research materials); please see:  




While the pandemic situation remains fluid, and subject to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and Commonwealth of Virginia/university decisions, it is essential that we take all safety precautions for both library staff and library users, including social distancing and handling of library materials and equipment, for as long we are able to maintain library on-site access on our campuses.



For the daily schedule of the university’s libraries, see:  https://library.gmu.edu/library-hours

Please note that library access is now limited to Mason students, faculty and staff only.   

The CDC and the Commonwealth of Virginia are currently recommending avoiding being out in public, maintaining six (6) feet of distance between individuals, and limiting gatherings to no more than ten (10) people. Accordingly, the Libraries are adjusting furniture, equipment, and service placements. Access to computer workstations is limited. Also, in some cases, access to specialized services is available by appointment only.  For example, at present access to US Government Documents is online only.


If you absolutely need to visit/be in any of the university’s libraries (for example to pick up materials), please be considerate of staff and other patrons and do not come to the Library if you are ill or if you may have been exposed to someone who is.




Group study rooms in all of the libraries are not available for use. The reservation system for group study rooms has been suspended. 




Instructional spaces in all of the libraries are not available for use by faculty, students or staff.  




Limited staffing will be available only at each of the libraries’ main service points. Physical service placements have been modified to preserve social distancing and to safeguard the health of both library staff and users. 


At Fenwick Library, no walk-in service will be available at:  the Special Collections Research Center, the Digital Scholarship Center, and the Student Productions at Research Commons (SP@RC). 




We know students require access to course materials, and library staff are working hard to deliver those electronically through E-Reserves at https://library.gmu.edu/reserves.  Textbooks (TextSelect service) will be scanned in part or in whole upon request and sent to students. Other learning materials requested by faculty for courses will be scanned and posted in the course’s Blackboard site. Faculty and students are encouraged to contact ereserve@gmu.edu for any questions about the Reserves process or access issues.

A number of publishers are temporarily loosening restrictions on subsets of content which we are tracking here: https://infoguides.gmu.edu/covid19-econtent.




Subject to staff availability, we will scan journal articles, book chapters, microforms, etc., from the Libraries’ collection and send them electronically to students and faculty as requested.  Please log-in to ILLiad (https://gmu.illiad.oclc.org/illiad/VGM/illiad.dll#) to place any requests for physical items, chapters, articles, and scans. This scanning service will also cover sections of materials currently held on course reserve. (For multimedia materials, see: https://infoguides.gmu.edu/media )    




In Fenwick Library, library users are encouraged to check out books through use of the Self-Checkout stations (1st floor, Atrium area). At Mercer and Arlington Campus libraries other limited staff-mediated processes have been established.




Almost all of our inter-institutional partners have drastically limited their library operations/services, or have suspended their operations altogether (including the Washington Research Library Consortium inter-university delivery of books – CLS). Therefore, until further notice, we are not able to process and fulfill interlibrary loan requests for physical materials. Per borrowers’ direction, staff will request additional renewals from the lending institutions.  Faculty, students and staff are encouraged to contact the ILL/Document Delivery department at illloan@gmu.edu with questions or concerns.





Due dates for borrowed library materials have been extended to the end of the Spring Semester (May 31, 2020).


All overdue fines (as of March 23, 2020) are suspended, including those for interlibrary loan materials. 


Accounts questions should be directed to the Fenwick Library Information Desk at fencirc@gmu.edu or 703-993-2240. Due to limited service hours, email contact is recommended.


For those unable to travel to campus prior to their items' due dates, items can be returned using the following mailing address:


Access Services

Fenwick Library

4400 University Drive, MSN 2FL

Fairfax, VA 22030


We appreciate the support and patience of the Mason students, faculty  and staff as we work together to cope with the current health situation. We ask that library users be aware that there is a potential for delay in any requested delivery. We are committed to continuing to serve our university community, but emphasize that our primary concern is the well-being of members of our academic community and to that end we are deploying all available expertise and resources.