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Remote Learning & Library Services

About this guide

This guide contains information about Vassar College Libraries resources and services that are available while the college is closed and classes have moved online. This guide is a work in progress and we will update it as necessary.

Although library buildings are closed, staff and librarians are still available to support teaching, learning, and research needs. Faculty, please continue to use the request form below for e-books. 

Faculty: Request materials for your courses

Use this form to request ebooks or streaming video (if available) for your courses. 

Questions about copyright and Fair Use? Please see the Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research.

Access to e-resources and digital collections

  • Connecting from Off-Campus: If you're off campus, you can access Vassar's databases and online resources through the proxy server. 
  • Databases list: Search by database name, subject area, database type (news, journal articles, etc.), or keyword. 
    • Vassar students, faculty, and staff have access to 600+ online databases, including JSTOR, Web of Science, Historical Abstracts, and many others that contain articles, primary sources, streaming video or audio, and more.
  • How to find ebooks: Students, faculty, and staff also have access to a vast collection of ebooks across all subject areas. 
  • Search for journals and digital news sources (includes access to New York Times and Washington Post)
  • Digital Library: Access digitized materials selected from Vassar's Archives & Special Collections. 
  • Ask a librarian: If you need help finding relevant ebooks or searching in databases, contact us.
  • If you encounter any problems with online resources, contact for troubleshooting assistance. 

Research help

  • Vassar's librarians are available by email and Zoom. 
  • Email your subject librarian or
  • Schedule a Zoom (online) meeting with a librarian using the Ask a Librarian form.
  • Looking for databases and other resources in your subject area? Check out our research guides.
  • Need help citing your sources? Read Going to the Source to learn about why and when to cite. Then use the list of citation style guides to help you determine how to cite specific sources.
  • Need help managing your sources? Use Zotero to save and manage citations/bibliographies, or Hypothesis to add annotations to articles or other online content. 

Checking out materials - circulation and interlibrary loan

  • Please hold on to books that are currently checked out. All books are now due in September. We will share instructions for returning books when the Library reopens. 
  • Late fees and recalls are suspended.
  • All due dates for Vassar materials have been set to September 2020.
  • Do not return books to the library's book drops during this time. The book drops are unattended while we are closed. 
  • Interlibrary loan requests for physical materials, including borrowing through ConnectNY, are suspended.
  • Digital interlibrary loan (articles and book chapters) is still available. Login to ILLiad to request digital copies of articles or book chapters. 
    • If you're new to requesting articles: view instructions for setting up an account.
    • Your user name is the same as your Vassar user name (do not include but the password is not your network password. 
    • If you have an account and do not recall your password, click "Forgot password?" to reset. 
  • If you need help identifying alternative sources that are available electronically, just Ask a Librarian.

Faculty: Request materials for your courses

  • The Libraries will make every attempt to accommodate requests for e-book surrogates for required texts and scans of chapters and other printed material required for your courses. We will also make video available in streaming format on your Moodle site. Please use the form for requests, instead of email, in order to ensure that your request is handled as quickly as possible. 
  • Do you have questions or concerns about copyright/Fair Use of materials in your online courses? A group of copyright experts and librarians have issued a public statement on Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Learning. It is intended to provide guidance for U.S. colleges and universities in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and the rapid shift to online learning. 
  • Please note that scanning and digitization of physical materials must cease after Friday, March 20, due to the Governor's stay-at-home order. We will continue to order e-books. 
  • If we are able, the library will continue to process new acquisitions requests, but our first priority will be to fulfill e-book and scanning requests for Spring 2020 courses.

Faculty: Request library instruction for your courses

  • Vassar's librarians can "visit" your classes synchronously by Zoom or through the creation of online content (pre-recorded videos, research guides). Contact your subject librarian or email
  • Please encourage your students to contact a librarian by email or schedule a Zoom appointment to discuss their research. 
  • If you have already scheduled library instruction or Special Collections visits for the second half of the semester, contact your librarian to discuss the available options. 

Federal Depository Library Program

The Federal Depository physical collection is also closed, consistent with Main Library hours, but researchers may continue to access online documents. Please see our guide for more information about government documents.

Archives & Special Collections

The Archives & Special Collections Library is closed to in-person research during this period. We will respond to research requests by email: Contact Ron Patkus to arrange Zoom instruction for courses.