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Abell Library's Blog

Library Information - Hours, policies, and more

by Barbara Cornelius on 2021-01-04T16:55:00-06:00 | Comments

JanTerm Hours for 2021

Abell Library's hours during JanTerm:

  • JanTerm starts Monday, Jan 4
    • Monday - Thursday: 8am-6pm
    • Friday: 8am-5pm
    • Saturday & Sunday: CLOSED
  • Regular hours begin Wednesday, February 3rd

The Extended Study Room is available 24/7 for AC ID holders. Please contact us at 903-813-2236 or if you have any questions. Happy holidays!

Abell Library Information and Policies (updated for Spring 2021)

Regular Spring hours start February 3rd.

Abell Library staff have made changes to operations for the 2020-2021 academic year, in the interest of safety for everyone. If you have any questions about these changes, please contact Library Director/College Librarian Barbara Cornelius at, or by phone at 903-813-2536.

On this page

Building Access and Hours

Only currently affiliated faculty, staff, non-remote students, and college-preapproved vendors may enter the library building. Remote students will not be permitted to use the library building, including the Extended Study Room.

Regular hours for Spring 2021:

  • Monday - Thursday: 7:45am - 9:00pm
  • Friday: 7:45 - 6:00pm
  • Saturday: CLOSED
  • Sunday: 12pm - 8:00pm

Abell Library’s seating capacity has been reduced by removing some seating in most patron areas and classrooms. This ensures the library complies with Austin College’s (and those of other authorities as applicable) building occupancy policies.

The Group Study Rooms, Honors Study Rooms, Abell 116, and Abell 208 (except for scheduled classes) are closed to general access. There is no computer lab open outside of classes scheduled in the library this semester. PCs for student use are located in the Extended Study Room, however.

Special Collections and Archives’ Reading Room is closed, and research assistance is available by remote appointment only. 

The Extended Study Room is open 24/7 as usual. 

Group study is not permitted. Do not move chairs, tables, or other library furniture. Leave tables and chairs where they have been placed to achieve 6 feet of social distance. 

If all seating is full, please do not sit on the floor. If you are unable to find a seat, ask for help at the Circulation Desk.

Face Masks & Social Distancing

Students, faculty, and staff must wear face masks at all times when in the building. No one will be allowed to enter or remain in the building without a properly worn face mask (covering nose and mouth). Non-compliance will result in your being asked to leave the building. Bandanas, gaiters, or masks with valves are not permitted.

Library staff may remove masks only while working alone in their own offices.

All Abell Library patrons must maintain a 6-ft radius of social distance. This includes while seated at or on library furniture, study tables, and PCs; when entering or leaving classrooms; in stairwells and the elevator; while visiting the Circulation/Information Desk; in the Extended Study Room at all times; and at the main entrance and exit.

Food & Drinks

No eating is permitted in Abell Library. This policy is for everyone’s safety – masks must be worn at all times. This will also help support our housekeeping staff, who will be following strict COVID-19 cleaning guidelines. 

The “No Food” policy applies to all patron areas of the building, INCLUDING THE EXTENDED STUDY ROOM during and outside of the library’s regular hours. Anyone violating the policy will be warned once and may be asked to leave. Repeat violations may result in loss of library access privileges (except to attend a scheduled class).

Drinks with covers are permitted, as long as you remove your mask only while taking a drink from the container. You may not leave your mask off. 

Access to Physical Materials

In addition to the usual access to the circulating collection, Abell Library is offering contactless in-building pick-up for library materials and campus mail delivery to campus mailboxes. We are unable to deliver materials directly to offices.

You may visit the stacks during our regular hours – check-out is contactless at the Circulation Desk.

For contactless pick-up, first find the Austin College-owned title you want in the library catalog. Click on the title, then click on the “Place Hold” button. You will be directed to log in to your library account to place the hold. First time users - click "set/reset password" and follow the instructions emailed to you. Library staff will pull the requested item, check it out to you, and then notify you when it is available to be picked up from the Extended Study Room.  You will need to swipe into the Extended Study Room with your AC ID.

If you are a remote student and wish to inquire about borrowing physical materials, please contact for assistance.

Access to Electronic Materials

The library owns and licenses thousands of ebooks, journal articles, and other digital material that you can access from anywhere. All you need to do is start your search on the library homepage. If you are off-campus, you will eventually be asked for your ID and password (the same you use to log in to the campus network) to proceed.

Not sure where to start? Browse the Abell Library catalog; our list of “Databases A-Z”; or see our Libguides subject-based research guides. As always, Librarians are available to help you – contact Andrew Smith for further information (, x2470) 

Printers and Computers

Students can use public printers in Abell Library – two in the Extended Study Room (available 24/7), one next to the Circulation Desk, and one located outside of Abell 208 on the second floor.

There are a few PCs located on the first floor; one Epson document scanner; and several PCs in the Extended Study Room. Please visit the Circulation Desk for assistance.

Book Returns

Research suggests that most library books be quarantined for 3-5 days after return, depending on their paper composition. Following the recommendations applying to most types of circulating library books, Abell Library will adhere to a 3-day quarantine period.  Books may be returned at any time in the Book Depository next to the Extended Study Room entrance. Please return DVDs and CDs directly to the Circulation Desk or in the slot located inside the Extended Study Room.

Course Reserves (for students)

Because of the required quarantine period for library books, in general Abell Library is not offering print reserves this fall. Instead, we will offer access to e-books and digital materials. Courses with reserve materials will have a webpage with links to the readings. Please talk with your professors and check your syllabi for more information.

Course Reserves (for faculty)

Due to COVID-19, Abell Library has established a 72-hour quarantine period for all recently handled and returned items. This quarantine period aligns with the latest best practices and data (REALM Project, 2020). It also makes most short-term (2-hour, 4-hour, etc.,) loans of physical materials for course reserves impractical. Therefore, we have made a few changes to our reserves policies, to help your students have access to materials you wish to place on reserve.

To request that items be placed on reserve, use our Course Reserves Form. You may also send requests or questions to


We will offer e-book reserves this fall in place of physical copies, unless you wish to provide multiple print copies (enough to meet the demand for your class).

  • If the library already owns the title as an e-book: we will add a link to it on a course reserves page created for your course.
  • If the library does not own the title as an e-book: we will try to buy it as an e-book. If successful, we will then add it to a course reserves page for your course.
  • If the library is unable to buy an e-book, we will notify you about options.
    • We can scan or try to get copyright compliant PDFs of selected chapters you request which you can post in Moodle.
    • You may contact Librarians for help locating alternative, digital materials for your course. Call or email: Andrew Smith (x2470, or Barbara Cornelius (x2536,
    • If there are required titles that we aren’t able to provide to your students, encourage your students to take advantage of our Interlibrary Loan services. 

We might be unable to purchase some materials because of costs, licensing, or other restrictions. E-books or copyright-compliant PDFs published by large, commercial textbook companies will be the most difficult for us to get. Many publishers don’t allow libraries to buy their e-textbooks, because they prefer to sell or rent directly to students as this is more profitable for them.

DVDs and Films

We will place DVDs on reserve for your courses; they are easily cleaned with an alcohol-based sanitizer after each return, so a quarantine period isn’t required. However, we strongly encourage you to offer your students a streaming option whenever possible. Abell Library does not currently subscribe to streaming video platforms such as Kanopy or Films on Demand, but you have a few other options for showing video to your students.

  • Sharing your computer screen while you play a DVD in a Zoom-based class might be considered fair use under copyright law. San Diego State University Library offers a list of criteria to help faculty decide if their use is acceptable. (This will not work for services like Netflix or Hulu.) 
  • If your film is not available as a DVD, check the JustWatch website to determine where you and your students can stream, rent, or purchase films for a fee.
  • Talk with the library about alternatives. Contact Barbara Cornelius at, or call 903-813-2236. 

Course Reserves Help

Please direct questions about course reserves to

Information and Library Resources Instruction

All instruction sessions will be offered remotely during the Fall semester. Video and other asynchronous content has been created for faculty to utilize in FYS and other courses. Contact Andrew Smith (, x2470) and/or visit the library instruction webpage to learn more and to schedule a class session.

Research Support

The Research Help Desk located in Abell Library will not be staffed during the Fall semester. Instead, please email and a Librarian will reply. You can also search library FAQs or submit a question, or schedule a virtual appointment via Zoom. Our new chat service will also be available on a limited schedule via a widget on the library’s home page.












































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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