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Abell Library's Blog

Library Services and Resources During Remote Classes

by Andrew Smith on 2020-04-23T12:24:00-05:00 in Multidisciplinary | Comments

Update, May 14th, 2020: The Spring semester has ended, and the library hours will change to appointment only for a period if time. We will update the home page with new hours and information about making appointments. 


Is Abell Library open?

From May 15th through May 31st, the library will be closed weekdays to all patrons except by appointment, and closed on the weekends.

  • Monday - Friday: by appointment only, 9:00am - 4:00pm
  • Saturday, & Sunday: CLOSED

The Extended Study Room remains open, with AC ID card access. Be advised that food is not permitted,

Although hours have been curtailed, Abell Library will continue to support Austin College’s students, faculty, and staff with a range of services.


Are information resources available?

Yes; the library’s digital collections, including e-books, e-journals, and databases are available as usual. For off-campus access, see the library's home page. For instructions, refer to our Remote Access page.

Instructors are encouraged to replace physical resources with digital resources where possible, using materials that are available in the library’s full-text databases or that are freely available online. Library resources can be linked directly from Moodle.

A number of publishers have opened up e-book and journal article collections, and other digital materials. Two vendors offering a wide range of e-textbooks include:

  • RedShelf Responds - scroll down to the “Access Free eBooks” button, search for your book by ISBN or title. After you register for a free RedShelf account, you can check out materials until 5/25/2020. Users may borrow up to 7 titles at a time.
  • VitalSource Bookshelf - start your search at the top of the page, by typing in your book’s ISBN or title. You’ll also need to register for a free account in order to check out materials. Users may borrow up to 7 titles at a time.

For help locating electronic materials, contact


Can I get Research Help?

Yes. The Research Help Desk is closed to in-person visits; however, virtual help is readily available. See the Research Help page for more information.

LIVE CHAT is available on our website to assist students and others instantly at the point of need. As of Monday, 5/18, chat help is available during the daytime only (Mon-Fri, 10am-noon, 2-4pm CST). Look for the "Chat Now” tab on the right side of the library's website. Chat times may change depending on staffing, but help is always available via email, by appointment (using Library Chat or Zoom), or via the Chat Now tab during offline hours. If the chat service is offline, your question will be forwarded via email and we will reply as soon as we are able.


What about Library Instruction?

Remote instruction is available. Contact Andrew Smith via email, chat, or Zoom (by appointment) for consultation on integrating digital sources into remote courses, to schedule an instruction session with remote classes, and to plan library assignments designed for remote learners. Librarians may also be offering virtual office hours via Zoom.


Are Circulation and Reserves available?

Yes; during open hours, you may check out materials at the Circulation Desk. Capacity to process holds, recalls, and reserves may be limited depending on conditions at the College and the availability of library staff. If you are off-campus and have any materials checked out, please keep them until further notice. Due dates are extended and no fines will be assessed. Contact the Circulation Desk with any questions: or (903) 813-2236.


What about Interlibrary Loan?

Limited; Interlibrary Loan is accepting requests for articles and book chapters that can be fulfilled electronically, but because many of our partner libraries have closed, we cannot fill requests for books or other returnable items.

Contact us to help you locate electronic versions of books you wish to borrow. One good source for ebooks is the newly launched National Emergency Library, a project of Internet Archive, offering unrestricted borrowing of the more than 1.4 million scanned titles in its collections (register for a free account on their website).

Patrons who currently have ILL books and other returnable materials should contact the Interlibrary Loan office for renewals and other information: or (903) 813-2236.


Are Special Collections and Archives available? 

Limited; Special Collections’ Reading Room and in-person services are closed. For assistance or additional information, contact Justin Banks: or (903) 813-2557.


Can I use a computer, make copies/scans, or print?

Yes; although the computer lab is closed, PCs, printers, and a copier/scanner are located in the Extended Study Room.

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