Tomlinson Library COVID-19 Updates and Resources

We have reopened!

CMU's Tomlinson Library has reopened, with best-practices in place, in compliance with national and local guidelines.

Remember: When the Library is closed, or if you prefer to work remotely, there are still many ways we can provide you with expert help and services! 

Always check the Library website for the latest info about our hours and services.

Get Online Help 24/7

Last-minute citation question? Want help with research? Need to reach us from off-campus? Ask us! You can email us, or chat with a librarian 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from the convenience of your home! This service is staffed by CMU's Librarians but at peak service times or off-hours you may be chatting with a librarian from another academic library.

Librarian Consultations

Our librarians are available for virtual consultations via phone, email, or online (e.g. Zoom).

In-person consultations are also an option (mask required). Get on-the-fly help at the Research Help Desk, or schedule an appointment with one of our librarians. 

Online Materials and Tools

CMU's Librarians have even been creating How-to Videos to help guide you through using eBooks, locating streaming media content, and using our databases! These videos, and other resources, can be found on our Library Tools to Get You Through guide

  • Articles & Research: A-Z Databases - We have hundreds of databases that provide access to digital articles, video, and more!
  • CMU Library OneSearch - Use the filters on the left-hand side of the screen to focus on ebooks, streaming audio or video, and other online resources.
  • Course Reserves - CMU Library staff are happy to assist you transitioning your course to online-only for the time being. We can work with you to make sure that required book, book chapter, and other readings are available for students to access electronically from wherever they are. Needs? Questions? Just email our Reserves staff at  
  • Off-Campus Access - If you are not on campus, you can still access our databases and other electronic resources! 
  • Research Guides - Subject and by Course

Print & Media Materials

Even though we have reopened, we will continue offering our curbside pick-up and material scanning options! 
  • Access to Our Collection: We are open! This means you're welcome to come in (mask required), locate the item(s) you need, and visit Checkout + Reserves to check your item(s) out. We look forward to seeing you -- and your fancy mask!
  • Curbside Pick-up: 
  • Request Material as Scanned PDFs:
    • No matter where you are: You can email or chat with us about your needs. If the print item is in our collection, we can scan chapters or sections as needed. See this page for details and instructions.
    • If we don't have the book, we can talk you through requesting chapters be scanned from other libraries.   
  • Questions? Concerns? Please email us at 

Prospector Loans

  • Loans through Prospector and other libraries are suspended as of March 17, 2020.
    • We are working with other libraries and the courier service to get these services up-and-running safely and soon. We'll keep you posted!
  • If you need assistance finding alternate materials, please consult with our librarians through Ask a Librarian! Email or chat 24/7, or stop by and visit (mask required). 

Interlibrary Loan

This service is available for current CMU students, faculty and staff only.
  • Articles: We can electronically deliver journal articles from the CMU Library collection and from other libraries directly to you at no charge.
  • Book chapters: This service is also great for book chapters! 
  • Physical items (books, DVDs, etc.): We are working with libraries and courier services to get this option running again. 
  • Interlibrary loan and resource sharing

Renew Books Online

Students who checked out items this semester have had any due dates updated to the end of the semester, May 14, 2020. You can also see your checked-out items online - just log into Your Library Account. You will see your active loans displayed on the Loans section. Look for the title you need to renew and click renew. You can also renew all your active loans by selecting Renew All.

Returning Materials

Books and media, including Prospector and other Interlibrary Loan materials, may be returned to CMU Library or the book return adjacent to the Library's 24-hour space. 

  • If an item is due and the borrower does not want to come to campus to return it (due to illness or other extenuating circumstances), they should keep it until they are able to safely return it. If they are charged late fees, they can appeal the fine after it is returned. We understand that this is a special situation, and special considerations will be made. 
  • Please do not return equipment (laptops, calculators, headphones, etc.) via the book returns. If the library is closed due to unforeseen circumstances when your equipment items are due, please return them to a service desk the next time we are open and we will amend any fines.
  • Questions or concerns about accessing or returning materials? Please email ( or contact us by virtual chat through the Library homepage.

Contact Us

Have other remote needs? New ideas for how the Libraries can help you from off-campus? Reach out to us at

Library Hours: Tomlinson Library offers assistance to patrons virtually through chat, email, Zoom, and Teams. Summer Research Help hours: 

  • 8:00 am - 9:00 pm Mondays through Thursdays
  • 8:00 am - 5:00 pm on Fridays (closed Saturdays)
  • 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm on Sundays 

See the Library Virtual Hours page for additional details.

Any changes to operations will be announced on this alert page and on the Library Hours page as campus decisions are made. 

  • Curbside Pick-up: Tomlinson Library offers curbside pick-up of print and media items from our collection. See this page for details and instructions.
  • Research Consultations: You can still meet with a Research Help librarian! This can be done online via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, over the phone, and via chat! You can also come into the Library (mask required) to discuss your research assistance needs. 
  • Special Collections staff are available by appointment only. Please see this page for contact information.
  • Study Rooms: Our study rooms can now be reserved using the camera on your phone and QR codes at all the rooms and around the Library. Scan the QR code with your camera to see what rooms are available and reserve your spot!
  • Library Classrooms (L-212; L-231) & Conference Room (L-331): Our Library classrooms can now be reserved again, but we will use 50% capacity in the rooms (each seats 17 at 50% capacity).

Gifts: Tomlinson Library asks donors to refrain from delivering gifts during this time.


For up-to-date information on CMU policies and procedures regarding coronavirus, visit CMU Updates regarding COVID-19.