To: Members of the University Community
From: Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost, and Brenda L. Johnson, Library Director and University Librarian
Subject: Updated Schedule for Expanded Summer Library Services
Date: June 30, 2021
As a follow-up to our June 8 message about expanded Library services, we write to share a final decision on the date when HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS) will be discontinued so that full bookstacks access and other Library services can be restored.
Based on feedback and the results of a pilot program, as well as the state and city’s movement into Phase 5, we have decided to conclude ETAS, a program that provides temporary special access during the pandemic to digitized books in the Library’s collections that are still under copyright, on August 1, and resume access to the Regenstein and Crerar bookstacks beginning August 2.
This decision is the result of careful consideration of a variety of feedback from Library users and the terms set by HathiTrust for use of the ETAS program, which require that bookstacks be closed. As a transitional step in the return to normal services, a HathiTrust-approved pilot program that began June 14 is currently providing faculty, OAAs, and graduate students with a limited number of appointments to browse the Regenstein, Crerar, and Eckhart Library bookstacks. The pilot has also provided valuable data that has informed the decision about when to switch from the provision of ETAS to full access to the bookstacks for UChicago faculty, students and staff.
Specific factors that affected the final decision on the end date for ETAS and the opening of the stacks include:
  • A number of instructors of summer courses sought the continued use of ETAS through the end of July (past our initial planned end date of July 18).
  • The limited number of appointments to access the bookstacks that we are able to provide while ETAS is in place has been sufficient to fill requests from our faculty and graduate students during the initial weeks of the bookstacks pilot.
  • After our preliminary plan was released on June 8, Illinois and Chicago moved rapidly to Phase 5, with full reopening on June 11, and the University has provided updated guidance for Phase 5 transition. The ongoing increase of in-person activities at the University necessitates the discontinuation of HathiTrust’s pandemic-related ETAS program as of August 1, providing a transition period in the coming month for those who have been using the temporary service.
After consulting with the deans, we have concluded that the updated summer schedule outlined below best serves the University of Chicago community.
  • Bookstacks Access: A limited number of appointments to browse the Regenstein, Crerar, and Eckhart bookstacks are available to faculty, OAAs, and graduate students.

    • Use self-checkout kiosks or the Checkout UChicago app in Regenstein to check out books. Please note: Print materials that are accessible online via the HathiTrust ETAS program cannot be checked out.

  • Quarter loans: Books have been automatically renewed until October 1. Borrowers are encouraged to return items earlier if they are done using them.

See the Library Status Dashboard [expired link removed] for a detailed listing of current Library services.
Beginning July 7
  • Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center: Reading room hours will expand for University students, faculty, OAAs, and staff.
Beginning July 19
  • Faculty studies will reopen.

  • Paging & Pickup: Borrowers will be able to pick up books without a reservation.

Beginning August 2
  • Open browsing and checkouts: Bookstacks in Regenstein and Crerar will be open to all UChicago faculty, OAAs, students and staff. No appointments will be necessary. Books and other materials may be checked out at Regenstein using the self-checkout machines or Checkout UChicago app.

  • HathiTrust ETAS has ended. Please note: the Library’s ongoing commitment to providing electronic resources continues. Even after ETAS access ends, the Library will have links in its catalog to over 3 million electronic titles, including books, journals, databases and other media.

  • Entry to study and work without reservations: Faculty, OAAs, students, and staff will be able to enter Regenstein, Mansueto, and Crerar and use study seats and the dedicated Zoom floor without reservations.

  • Locker rental and access to lockers will resume.

Ongoing services through Summer Quarter
We look forward to August 2, when we can welcome UChicago faculty, students, and staff back into the bookstacks and our Library buildings without reservations.