Healey Library’s Support for Teaching, Learning, and Research Continuity

Fall 2020 Planning: Curbside Book Pickup? 

Healey Library is knee-deep in planning to ensure that essential services are available to faculty, students, and researchers for the fall semester. We are aware that the services of most concern to our campus community are: access to Healey Library’s own books and DVDs (interlibrary loans are not yet available through most of our partner libraries), course reserves, library instruction and consultations, the status of borrowing from other libraries (through both interlibrary loan and consortial borrowing), and access to archival materials. The library is rapidly solidifying its plans for all of these, and we will communicate the details the minute they are finalized and approved.

A big part of our planning involves getting books from Healey Library’s own collections into the hands of our users. Our preferred option at this point is a curbside pickup service for Healey Library books and DVDs. As you can imagine, there are a lot of logistics associated with setting up a service like this, and we are working with campus administration to figure out those details. 

Questions, concerns, comments, or access issues?

Email Library.Circulation@umb.edu

Quick Navigation


Although the Healey Library building is closed, Healey Library staff members are hard at work behind the scenes to provide library services with as little disruption as possible to you. In other words, although the building may be closed, we’ve still got you covered!  

Below is the current status of library resources and services. Please note that due to the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, these services may be adjusted at some point in the future; refer to this page for the most up-to-date information and FAQs. Announcements will also be released via various library channels:

General Library Support

Please direct any questions to Library.Circulation@umb.edu for a response within 1 business day, Monday-Friday. 

All library departments are monitoring their departmental voicemail remotely and responding to emails regularly throughout the day during normal business hours, Monday-Friday.


Can I visit other Boston-area libraries to use their collections?

Each library sets their own visitor policies, many of which have changed dramatically during the global pandemic. We recommend contacting the library to confirm their visitor policies before making a trip to that library.

Is the library building open?

The Healey Library building is closed until further notice. Thus, at this time, physical library materials, laptops, and computer labs are not available to library users. However, most library resources (articles, e-books, databases, streaming video) are available online, and library services continue remotely as detailed below! Library staff are providing support for all Healey Library departments remotely during library operating hours Monday-Friday. At this time, no library services are offered on Saturday or Sundays; patrons may contact Ask a Librarian 24/7 chat for assistance during these times.

Will I be charged library fines if I cannot return library materials I have checked out during this period?

Healey Library is waiving all overdue fines until the campus reopens. Please hold onto any Library materials you currently have checked out, including laptops and interlibrary loan items, to return at a later date.

What are the hours for library support?

Library staff will provide support via email, telephone, and other remote platforms during the Library’s regularly scheduled hours of operation, Monday-Friday. Library support is currently unavailable on Saturdays and Sundays. Please use the 24/7 live chat for assistance during these times.

How can I contact the library with questions?

Any questions about library support and services can be directed to Library.Circulation@umb.edu and staff, working remotely across all library departments, will answer as soon as possible (within one business day). For assistance with library research questions, please use any of the channels available through Ask a Librarian, including a 24/7 live chat.

How can students access textbooks that are physically on reserve in the library building?

Since the Healey Library building is closed, its physical collections are unavailable, including textbooks and other physical materials on reserve. Faculty are strongly encouraged to scan course reading materials themselves as needed to upload to their course Blackboard pages, or find substitutes for books and materials on reserve. See the Course Reserves section below for more information and a review of different options available to faculty and students.

Which Healey Library services are not available at this time?

Because the Healey Library building is closed until further notice, the Library cannot currently provide access to any of the following resources: library laptops or computer labs in the Healey Library building; physical interlibrary loan borrowing (i.e. books); physical library checkouts, including course reserves; books from the main stacks; the Archives Research Room; or physical archival or special collections.

I’m a UMass Boston student/faculty/staff, and I need access to a laptop. What are my options?

If you are a faculty or staff member, please ask your direct supervisor.

If you are a student:

  • Students who need a loaner Chromebook should go to this link and sign up to get one: https://umbchromebookloans.as.me/schedule.php
  • Students who need a loaner laptop should contact their area’s dean, who will send the request to the Provost’s office.  If approved, the student will be sent a link to sign up to get a loaner laptop. The student should include a brief justification for why a laptop is required for the student.

Are there other library and information resources available to UMass Boston faculty, staff, and students during this time?

Yes! See the Free Resources section below for additional suggestions for research and leisure content that the UMass Boston community can access at no cost.

Support by Department

Services Status
Departmental contact
Response Time (Estimate)


All services normal Library.Cataloging@umb.edu 1 business day


The library building is closed

No access to physical course reserves material, library books, or library laptops

Books can be renewed online through UMBrella

Fines will be waived until campus re-opens

All library departments are providing remote support during the Library’s regular hours of operation, Monday-Friday

Library.Circulation@umb.edu 1 business day

Office of the Dean of Libraries

All services normal Library.Admin@umb.edu 1 business day

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Electronic article and chapter scan requests are being processed as usual

Physical interlibrary loan book borrowing is currently unavailable.

If you currently have interlibrary loan books checked out, please hold onto them until the Library building re-opens.

You will not be responsible for any overdue fines that may accrue during this time.

Library.ILL@umb.edu 1 business day

Library Business Office

All services normal Library.Business@umb.edu 1 business day

Library Reserves

While the Healey Library building is closed, physical reserves borrowing is not available

Please refer to the Course Reserves section below for more information, resources, and suggestions

Library.Reserves@umb.edu 1 business day

Library Systems and Discovery Services

All services normal Library.Systems@umb.edu 1 business day

Reference, Research, and Instructional Support

All reference and instruction services normal but delivered remotely:

Ask a Librarian

24/7 live chat

Virtual library instruction session

Virtual research consultation

Credo Instruct: Self-paced, fully online information literacy lessons and assessments



1 business day

University Archives and Special Collections

Virtual University Archives and Special Collections support

The Archives Research Room is closed

UASC cannot accommodate any on-site research visits or on-site Archival Research Instruction sessions at this time

If you have an appointment to visit the Research Room or have an Instruction Session scheduled, a member of the UASC team will be in touch soon with more information

Many of UASC’s finding aids and collections are available online through Open Archives

Library.Archives@umb.edu 1 business day

Course Reserves and Copyright

Since the Healey Library building is closed, its physical collections are unavailable, including textbooks and other physical materials on reserve. 

What does this mean for faculty?

Faculty are strongly encouraged to scan course reading materials themselves as needed to upload to their course Blackboard pages, or find substitutes for books and materials on reserve. See the bullet points below for options.

What about copyright?

With the strong support of higher education copyright specialists who note that “Fair Use is made for just these kinds of contingencies,” Healey Library encourages faculty to prioritize the needs of their students over copyright concerns when providing access to course reading material during this time of educational disruption. 

How do I scan materials for my students?

If you don’t have a scanner at home, many mobile phone apps are available to create PDF scans with your smartphone! These include TurboScan and Scannable (for iPhone–linked to Evernote). To create accessible PDF scans from your phone (PDFs that can be read by assistive technology software and devices), use Microsoft Office Lens (free for Android and iOS) or Voice Dream Scanner ($5.99 for Android and iOS). If your scans need cleaning up, this can be done with Adobe Acrobat DC, a software that is available free to UMass faculty and staff. 

After creating a PDF, upload it to your course page in Blackboard, including the following disclaimer: “This scan is being provided as part of UMass Boston’s effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is for your personal use only, and is only intended for use during the time when University public health measures prevent access to your personal copy or a copy on physical reserve at the library. Please discard this copy once you have access to your personal copy or to the physical copy at the library, and do not share it.”

What other options do faculty have to replace physical reserves?

    • E-book and streaming video purchases

      Faculty may contact Library.Reserves@umb.edu to discuss the possibility of the library purchasing e-book copies of course reading material, or licensing streaming videos, where feasible.

    • Free e-textbooks

      Some e-book vendors are offering free and/or open e-textbooks to students. VitalSource is offering some of its e-textbooks at no cost to students and faculty through May 25, 2020. Users can click on the “Bookshelf” link in the top-right corner, create an account using their UMass Boston email address, browse available free textbooks, and add selected titles to their online bookshelves. (Be sure not to search or access via the “Store” link to avoid charges.)

      • Users should log in, access their Bookshelf, then click on “Explore” to search titles that are available for free.
      • Users are limited to 7 free VitalSource titles. Once a title is borrowed, it cannot be returned and replaced, so students and faculty should search for all of their needed titles before deciding which ones to check out.
      • Heavily circulated course reserves titles available at no cost in VitalSource include:
        • Biological Science (Freeman)
        • Calculus: Early Transcendentals (Stewart)
        • Concepts of Genetics (Klug)
        • Intermediate Algebra (Miller)
        • Managerial Decision Modeling (Balakrishnan)
        • Olds’ Maternal-Newborn Nursing and Women’s Health Across the Lifespan (Davidson)
        • Physical Examination and Health Assessment (Jarvis)
        • Physics: Principles with Applications (Giancoli)
        • Single-Variable Calculus (Stewart)

VitalSource offers many additional free textbooks that may be supplementary or complementary for faculty teaching needs – check them out!

Academic Integrity

UMass Boston Academic Honesty web pages

Please review UMass Boston’s Academic Honesty web pages for policies, information, resources, and support for both faculty and students.

Healey Library Academic Integrity guide with quizzes

This guide and accompanying assessments for students provide detailed information from the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Academic Honesty section of the Code of Student Conduct (Appendix B, pages 38-41), along with ways to learn about the critical importance of academic integrity and for students to ensure that they are maintaining academic integrity in their studies at UMass Boston. The guide includes self-paced learning modules, videos, and assessments for students to test their knowledge.

Free Resources

Boston Public Library 

Any student or resident in the state of Massachusetts can register for a Boston Public Library eCard and access the BPL’s extensive electronic resources remotely. These include both academic research resources as well as leisure reading and entertainment materials for all audiences (including teens and kids)!

Free E-Textbooks

Please explore the free e-textbook offerings available through VitalSource–selected titles are free to UMass Boston faculty and students through May 25, 2020–for potential supplemental course materials. (See Course Reserves section above–users are limited to 7 free titles.)

More to Come – stay tuned!

Many content providers are opening up their resources during this period of widespread remote learning. Healey Library staff are busily exploring these options and will provide updates via this webpage. If you receive any tips from content publishers, please feel free to send them to library.admin@umb.edu for further exploration!

Updates from UMass Boston's Healey Library

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