Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

The URI Libraries in the Spring 2021 Semester

Guide to available services in at the URI Libraries during Coronavirus precautions

Library Services in Spring 2021

Here is a basic primer to library services on all three campuses, focusing on alterations in services in reaction to COVID-19. As always, we will do our best to support URI students, faculty, and staff during this challenging time. Please contact us if you experience any difficulties as you work or research.

Have suggestions or comments on services during the crisis? We want to hear from you!

All branches of the Libraries will be open to URI students, faculty, and staff, starting Monday 8/31. Unfortunately, the general public, including alumni, will not be able to use the collections during the Spring semester.

Are the University Libraries Open?

All URI Libraries branches are open to URI students, faculty and staff, although some services may be altered. (see below for details). Should you have additional questions regarding the use of the library, please visit the libraries' website for contact information, changes to hours of operation, and resources available.

The current hours of operation of the three branches and specific services can be found on the Library Hours Page.


Individual offices and resources may not be open. See the complete Hours page for more details.

Distinctive Collections, Makerspace, and AI Lab available by appointment only.

Digital Collections are completely accessible.

Library COVID-related Behavior Expectations

Due to the pandemic, we must insist that all visitors to the Library branches follow the expectations laid out in the Student Handbook. While we strive to be welcoming spaces, for the safety at all, violations will not be tolerated. The expectations include:

  • You must wear a mask covering your mouth and nose at all times
  • If you are staying, you must use the seats available. Sitting on ledges, tables, the floor, etc is not allowed
  • Do not move the tables and chairs. They are set up for maximum occupancy within social distancing guidelines
  • You must maintain 6' distance, even from people you habitually interact with, except for brief conversations
  • Food is not allowed in the library spaces
  • Drinks in closable containers are allowed, and masks may be removed briefly to drink
  • Follow the signs for traffic flow within the spaces
  • Immediately comply with any directives from University staff, faculty, and Library-employed students

Service Availability

URI Libraries Services Currently Available

  • Stacks are fully open
  • Seating is reduced to approximately 30% of normal. Please use the chairs available.
  • Group Study rooms are closed.
  • The 24 hour room will be available only during library hours.
  • Reserves will be entirely electronic; physical reserves will not be available
  • Many items will be unavailable: whiteboards, calculators, equipment chargers, etc.
  • Reference Services are online only (see Box 1 below)
  • Instructional Services are online only (see Box 4 below)
  • ILL at all branches -- ongoing
  • Ebook purchasing  and cataloging -- ongoing
  • Scanning material -- limited access on request


1. Research Help

Research help is available (click here to start chat):

  • Sunday -- 3-7pm
  • Monday - Thursday -- 9am-7pm.
  • Friday -Saturday 11am-3pm

After Friday 5/7, hours are Monday - Thursday -- 11am-3pm.

You can still email us at Please allow 1 business day for an email response.

2. Finding Articles, Journals, and Magazines

Almost all of the Libraries’ holdings of journals and magazines published since 2000 - and many before that date - can be accessed online using the search tools in the Articles & Databases link on the Libraries' website, and using the URI Libraries Search to look for specific periodicals or articles.

If you use Google Scholar, see the instructions for connecting Google Scholar to the URI Libraries.

3. Access from Off-Campus

If you are studying off-campus, and you connect to resources via the Libraries home page, you will automatically be connected to materials via our proxy server, which authenticates you as a URI student, faculty, or staff member. See for more information. 

If a paywalled online information resource is set up to work with URI's proxy server, you can add before the URL to gain access, for example

4. Information Literacy Instruction for Online Classes

If your class could benefit from a librarian-led information literacy session, we can deliver sessions remotely. Contact Prof. Mary MacDonald, Information Literacy Librarian, at for more information.

Group Study Room -- replacement options

We know that students value the group study rooms as a place to interact with fellow students. Out of concern for student safety, we obviously cannot allow you to use the rooms at this time. However, there are online alternatives. Your campus Gmail accounts have Meet as an option -- video conferencing software for small groups. Additionally, the University offers access to Microsoft 365 which includes Zoom, Webex, and Microsoft Teams, both of which help with distance collaboration for small and larger groups.

The Library does not directly support these tools, so, if you have questions about their use, please contact the IT Service Desk at (401) 874-HELP,, or meet with them online during their regular business hours via their website, linked below.

Need help?

Click on the black arrow to open the chat in a new window.

If we're not online, please email us at Please allow 1 business day for a response.

Contact Us

We will be adding to this page frequently as the situation changes, and as we develop better systems for providing you access to the materials you need for your research and studies. If you have suggestions, feel free to email us directly at

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.