COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

General Information and Hours

The Mason campuses, including all Libraries’ locations, are closed until further notice. You may find out more at the following links:

The Mason campuses, including the Libraries’ locations, are currently closed and not accessible to retrieve physical items. Please see the “Circulation and Returns” and the “Access to Electronic Resources” sections below for additional information about accessing resources.

Circulation and Returns

The Libraries are currently closed, and access to physical items is unavailable. Additionally, as our branch locations are closed, inter-campus delivery is also suspended.

The item(s) you are looking for may be available online. Try these:

Update: Scanning of materials in our physical collection will be suspended until further notice as of noon, Saturday, April 4. Check out our many e-resources highlighted in the question above.

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 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. Check out our Media guide for multimedia materials.

Update: Scanning of materials in our physical collection will be suspended until further notice as of noon, Saturday, April 4.

Library staff are working hard to deliver course materials electronically through E-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.

Fenwick Library is currently closed, and access to physical items is unavailable. Visit our U.S. Government InfoGuide for more resources for finding items available electronically or to request research assistance.

Right now, please hold on to them! We are not able to accept any item returns while all Libraries facilities are closed.

If you are unable to visit us in person when we re-open, items can be mailed to the following address:

Access Services
Fenwick Library
4400 University Drive, MSN 2FL
Fairfax, VA 22030

Please note: mailed materials will be processed in the library system after library services resume. The library cannot guarantee immediate removal of items from user accounts.

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). Until further notice, we are not able to process and fulfill interlibrary loan requests for physical materials. 

However, Interlibrary Loan is able to request articles, chapters, and section scans at this time. Please fill out the Interlibrary Loan request form. Materials will be delivered to patrons’ ILLiad accounts.

Faculty, students and staff are encouraged to contact the ILL/Document Delivery department at illloan@gmu.edu with questions or concerns.

We have requested extended due dates for all ILL books currently checked out, and the ILL team is verifying items’ status. Check your ILLiad account for your loan(s) status.

As of March 23, 2020, all overdue fines are suspended for interlibrary loan materials.

Faculty, students and staff are encouraged to contact the ILL/Document Delivery department at illloan@gmu.edu with questions or concerns.

Due Dates and Fines

All due dates have been extended through September 30, 2020. As of March 23, 2020, all overdue fines are suspended, including those for WRLC/CLS and interlibrary loan materials.

Questions about your library account, including any preexisting fines or fees, should be directed to fencirc@gmu.edu.

Electronic Resources and Technology

You can access your library account and other resources with your Mason NetID and password. For more information, visit our Off-Campus Access Guide.

Explore the Libraries A-Z Database List to find journals, newspapers, books, music, media and more. Also, try:

Send a question to our Virtual Reference desk if you can’t find what you are looking for.

The Libraries does not have a laptop lending program at this time.

Faculty and Instruction

Yes, applications are currently being accepted, and the deadline has been extended to Monday, June 1, 2020. Visit the Fenwick Fellow application page for full details.

Find OERs from a number of sources using the Mason OER Metafinder tool. For additional information on OERs, check out the Libraries' OER overview.

We have a robust website with on-demand video and static tutorials ready for you to embed or use in your Blackboard courses. If you don't find what you are looking for or would like to request a new tutorial, send an e-mail to delib@gmu.edu.

Yes! We have a variety of modules on different research concepts and for different levels of study ready to go. Many of our subject librarians are also trained in using Blackboard and can work within your course to create new material. You can find your subject librarian and their contact information on our Subject Librarians page.

Yes, if the librarian you are working with has not contacted you yet, please email them directly.

For the most part, yes! Certain exceptions apply, especially with the use of media (films/TV shows/etc.). Please see additional information at our Copyright Guide for Online Classes.

Records Management

The University Records Management (URM) program is able to provide access to stored records via emailed requests on a case by case basis. URM will not be arranging box transfers to or from the Records Management Center, nor will they be able to provide boxes. Questions can be emailed to recmgt@gmu.edu.

Reference Services and Research Consultations

We’re at your fingertips via our Virtual Reference desk. Our extended Virtual Reference hours now include Saturdays and Sundays, and Subject Librarians are available for online appointments.

DiSC is available to assist Mason community members virtually. Visit Virtual DiSC to find out more about online consultations, software access, and more.

Special Collections Research Center is able to assist Mason community members with reference support via email at speccoll@gmu.edu.

SP@RC is available to assist Mason community members through virtual consultations and online workshops. Though in-class poster design workshops are no longer tenable, SP@RC can provide and support a research poster design Blackboard module to be embedded in your course. Poster printing is suspended until further notice. To schedule a consultation or request a Blackboard module, please email sparc@gmu.edu

University Dissertation & Thesis Services

Yes. UDTS has suspended in-person appointments, but Coordinator Sally Evans is teleworking at this time and can be reached via email: udts@gmu.edu.

Yes. Please email UDTS Coordinator Sally Evans at udts@gmu.edu to set up a virtual/online appointment, via Skype or otherwise. Her Skype ID is Gmu Udts.

Yes; they’re proceeding as usual. When your document is ready for the Format Review, please email it to UDTS Coordinator Sally Evans at udts@gmu.edu. She will respond with any changes you may need to make.

The Format Review deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, August 7, 2020. In order to be eligible to graduate in the Summer 2020 Semester, you must receive an email from UDTS Coordinator Sally Evans on or by that date stating that your formatting is correct, and your Format Review is over.

The Final Submission deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, August 14, 2020. In order to be eligible to graduate in the Summer 2020 Semester, you must turn in your Final Submission materials to UDTS Coordinator Sally Evans on or by that date.

UDTS will accept digital/electronic signatures as long as they look like actual signatures, as opposed to a box stating something to the effect of "I certify that I agree" or something similar.

The sign-scan-send (s-s-s) method will also work, with this caveat: Signature Sheets can almost always withstand 1 round of s-s-s without issue. The second round may be fine, but after that, the chances that the Signature Sheet will warp and/or become "dirty" increase dramatically. Please use your judgment, and please be aware that UDTS will not accept a messy/unreadable signed Signature Sheet. S-s-s is usually fine for Embargo Request Forms, as only 2 people (at the most) will sign them. But, again, please use your judgment. If you have any questions, please contact UDTS Coordinator Sally Evans at udts@gmu.edu.

Workshops and Events

All events hosted by the Libraries - or scheduled to be held in one of the Libraries’ locations - are canceled until further notice.

Most Libraries’ workshops are canceled, while others are being offered virtually. Check out our workshop calendar to see what's available.