Library teaching and learning is online for the Autumn Quarter

Dear University of Chicago Faculty:   

The University of Chicago Library’s staff is pleased to work with you as you prepare for Autumn Quarter in a hybrid teaching and learning environment.  Here is some important information for consideration.   

Course reserves   

To provide safer and more equitable access to course materials for students both on and off campus, the Library cannot offer traditional physical reserve services for the upcoming quarter.   

The Library will make every effort to provide electronic access to course reserve materials. We will continue to purchase electronic copies whenever possible and are exploring other methods of providing access to materials online.   

We ask that you submit your requests for reserves material as soon as is practical and limit requests to only critical or required materials. If you have any questions about fall reserves, please contact

Brenda L. Johnson
Brenda L. Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian (Photo by John Zich, 2015)

Library instruction   

During Autumn Quarter, our librarians will offer research instruction through workshops and customized programs for courses. In alignment with campus COVID-19 Autumn planning, the Library will be providing our instruction remotely, transitioning our usual in-person sessions and orientation programs to online learning. While this is a significant change, our librarians have developed innovative ways to support instructors and faculty, including:    

  • An online Library orientation via Canvas   
  • Library modules and research guides that can be added to any Canvas courses   
  • Live or asynchronous programs for students led by librarians   
  • Flipped classroom instruction for active learning   

Librarians are also able to consult with instructors as they plan their courses for the fall, providing approaches to library research assignments in an online environment. Please keep in consideration that visiting print collections with classes in the library will most likely be unavailable for assignments. Our librarians can offer suggestions for digital collections and recommend ways to provide access to books and materials not currently available online. Learn more about the Library’s Teaching & Learning Services. Librarians will also be holding workshops this summer for instructors in collaboration with Academic Technology Solutions and the Chicago Center for Teaching. For more information or answers to specific questions, please reach out to your subject specialist or Rebecca Starkey at for more information.    

Special Collections   

The Special Collections Research Center will continue to support research and learning on campus. Faculty members and instructors can request digital scans (pdfs or high resolution) of materials for courses using the Special Collections Web Form. Classes will be conducted remotely, presented synchronously or recorded for posting in Canvas, following the guidelines listed above in the "Library Instruction" section. Faculty members are encouraged to submit a Class Request Form to schedule a consultation with Special Collections staff this summer to begin planning for Autumn Quarter.  

Digital scholarship for teaching   

The Center for Digital Scholarship will continue to support remote instruction and consultations related to scholarly communications, digital collections and projects, and data management and rescue. Faculty, staff, and students may request Omeka tutorials and class or individual sites for creating digital scholarship/digital humanities projects and subject-based digital exhibitions, digital object curation, or to illustrate subject competency in a capstone project.   

Those interested in textual data mining projects should browse our list of proprietary collections available on the Library’s website and in our LibGuides. (Please note that these collections are restricted to CNetID holders). The Library subscribes to several robust data collections including ICSPR and Social Explorer. Both feature reusable teaching content modules.  

Knowledge@UChicago remains a resource for scholars looking to support or engage with open access work. Find dissertations, theses, and even datasets. As of July 31, new collections are available that engage contemporary issues of race, healthcare, housing and food security, and police violence. Contact us at to find out more about how to deposit your own research so that your work is accessible to and reproducible by other scholars.     


Brenda L. Johnson | The University of Chicago Library 
Library Director and University Librarian