UC San Diego Library Coronavirus Updates and Resources

For the safety and well-being of our community, Geisel Library and the Biomedical Library Building are closed to the campus community and public until further notice, effective Monday, March 16 at 7 a.m. Please view a list of available remote services online and stay tuned as we will continue to communicate about digital resources available on our website/this webpage and our social media channels. Thank you for your understanding and support during this time.

UC San Diego and Library staff are actively monitoring the local and global developments surrounding the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease. As a part of our ongoing commitment to keep the UC San Diego community informed on Library-related developments, we plan to share updates on this page (lib.ucsd.edu/covid-19) and on the Library’s social media channels. Please check back regularly for the latest information on this rapidly evolving situation. For campuswide information, please visit the UC San Diego coronavirus website.

Spring Quarter Changes to Academic Services

While Geisel Library and the Biomedical Library Building are currently closed, our staff has worked diligently to adjust and enhance digital services that support the university’s move to online instruction in Spring Quarter and provide our community with the resources they need during the closure. Please visit our Library Services page for more details. 

Online Access to Resources: UC San Diego students, faculty, and staff may access most of the Library’s digital resources through the search tool on our homepage. Users not in a UC San Diego IP range will need to use VPN service to connect from off campus and access Library resources. Access to primary source materials including photographs, documents, videos, and audio recordings covering hundreds of topics is available through the Library’s Digital Collections

Steps we are taking to improve online access:

  • Augmenting our investment in electronic resources for immediate purchase/access for students and faculty through the Library catalog
  • Shifting reserves to e-only model

Research Consultations: Users can get real-time online research assistance through our 24/7 online chat service, ask questions via email, or schedule a consultation with a subject specialist. Please note that the 24/7 chat service is staffed by a national network of librarians, while email is staffed exclusively by UC San Diego librarians and Library staff.

Steps we are taking to enhance these offerings:

  • Adding coordinating services to ensure that the chat/email paths on our website are handled expediently
  • Utilizing technology such as Zoom and Slack to enhance our ability to deliver remote services and increase efficiency

Facilitated Access to Resources: Articles and most book chapter requests can be submitted to Interlibrary Loan. Requests for physical materials will be placed on hold and processed when the Library reopens.

  • Scanning, paging, and checkout services for physical items are not currently available, as the Library is exercising a limited staffing model in response to executive orders to practice social distancing.
  • Special Collections & Archives will be working remotely during this period to provide support for remote research and teaching. If you have questions, please contact spcoll@ucsd.edu.  

Advanced Instruction and Research: Each quarter the Library conducts a number of instruction sessions and course-affiliated research projects. Where appropriate, the Library will move these activities online or work to deliver them in a way that aligns with the overarching campus plan. 

Steps we are taking in response to the current situation: 

  • Librarians are transitioning to an online-only instruction model and leveraging our internal instructional design team to support large-scale online support for writing programs. 
  • Researching how we can move the many technical and research workshops we offer online.
  • Librarians are working remotely and available for in-depth virtual consultations and research assistance.

Borrowing Information: To return Library books, you can use the drive-up book returns at the Geisel Library turn-around or entrance, both of which will continue to be serviced during our closure. Please do not return items to the book returns outside the Biomedical Library Building as they are not currently being serviced. Please feel free to keep your tech lending item(s) for now—due dates have been extended to June 20. To avoid damage to tech equipment, we kindly ask that you do not return tech lending items via the book returns. Email LibraryBorrowing@ucsd.edu with questions.

Recent COVID-19 Updates

Update, March 23, 2020: In response to Governor Newsom’s stay at home order, UC San Diego has moved to a fully-online staffing model. While we recognize the challenge this poses for many, the policy has been established in an effort to protect our students, faculty, and staff from the threat of contracting the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The order states that this mandate is in force “until further notice.” 

To comply with campus directives and this new statewide order, the Library has also adjusted its staffing model. Our on-site staff has been decreased and will be kept to a minimum during the stay at home order. However, this will have minimal effect on our remote resources available. We stand ready to support courses through electronic reserves, online instruction, and remote research consultations and we will make every effort to fulfill requests for digital access to content through borrowing and purchasing efforts. 

Over the coming weeks and throughout the Spring Quarter we will regularly evaluate and adjust our services to best align with your needs and campus safety protocols. Our main goal is to continue to ensure our community’s ability to access information they need to thrive academically.  

To view a full list of services the Library is offering at this time, please visit this webpage. To view UC San Diego’s most recent updates in response to COVID-19, please visit their website

Update, March 18, 2020: As UC San Diego implements measures to support telecommuting and to protect the safety and well-being of our staff, the Library is shifting all user-facing services online and has worked to minimize the staff on-site.

The Library’s full suite of digital services includes ‘scan-on-demand’ access to special collections and physical collections. We are also adding extra electronic resources and moving our instruction online in preparation for Spring Quarter. We urge you to visit our remote resources page to discover ways in which the Library can assist you during this time.

Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes to our hard-working and dedicated staff. Library leadership is working diligently to support each employee individually by defining appropriate telecommute plans and accommodating staff needs.

This new staffing model and plan will be in effect until at least March 30, 2020. We will continue to update our operational continuity plan in real time as new information is shared and new directives come from campus.

We encourage you to check this page regularly for future updates on this rapidly-evolving situation. For campuswide information, please visit the UC San Diego coronavirus website.

Update, March 16, 2020:  For the safety and well-being of our community, Geisel Library and the Biomedical Library Building are closed to the campus community and public until further notice. The decision to close follows recommendations given by the university as well as local, state, and federal health agencies to cancel or postpone gatherings larger than 250 to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our patrons and this closure is a direct reflection of that commitment. In addition to closing, the Library has also canceled all events, building tours, and outreach activities; however, we will continue to provide digital services to the UC San Diego community during this time.

The Library’s primary operational goal is to support learning and research activities at UC San Diego. As such, the Library has compiled a list of online resources available to the campus community to help support the move to online instruction for Spring Quarter and virtually assist those who might need to access materials remotely.

Library leadership will continue to follow guidance from the university, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), California Department of Public Health, and San Diego County Public Health Services Department. Additional updates will be shared on the Library’s website and social media channels as new information comes to light.

To stay up to date on the latest information distributed by UC San Diego, visit coronavirus.ucsd.edu.

Update, March 11, 2020:  Library staff have been closely monitoring the rapidly-evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and we want to assure you that the health and safety of our patrons is our top priority. Given Monday’s campuswide announcement, we wanted to inform you of how this will affect the Library with respect to our operations, events, and services.

Operations & Services

In an effort to maintain educational continuity and provide students with a safe place to study during this time, both libraries (Geisel Library and the Biomedical Library Building) will remain open with no interruptions to normal operating hours. We will continue to deliver all of our services and are providing additional support as UC San Diego moves instruction online for Spring Quarter. Throughout the process, we will remain nimble and continue to adjust our efforts to align with the needs of UC San Diego students, faculty, and staff.

In addition, the Library is working with campus Custodial Services to ensure high-touch and service desk spaces are cleaned on a daily basis and we are working to sustain staff and student access to cleaning supplies for use within our buildings.


Following the recommended guidelines put forth by campus for gatherings and events, we will be canceling all Library-hosted or -sponsored events through May 10. Library leadership will evaluate plans for events scheduled after May 10 based on further notices distributed and direction given by campus. We understand that the cancellation of our events may come as a disappointment to many, as it is for us, and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this might cause.

As a part of our ongoing commitment to keep the UC San Diego community informed on Library-related developments, we plan to share updates via our website and social media channels. For campuswide information, please visit the UC San Diego coronavirus website.

Contact Us

Questions about borrowing: LibraryBorrowing@ucsd.edu

All other questions: ucsdlibrary@ucsd.edu