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Remote Learning & Library Services

For Fall '20

About this guide

This guide contains information about Vassar College Libraries resources and services that are available while library buildings are closed, and/or for those who are working and researching away from campus. 

For the most current information about the availability of library services, including details about what to expect for the fall semester, please visit 

Faculty: Required Reading Requests for Fall '20

In order to equitably meet the needs of students learning both on- and off-campus, library course reserves will be a digital-only collection this year. Upon faculty request, library staff locate, identify and purchase course materials available electronically to the fullest extent possible through purchasing e-books, scanning, and purchasing digital site licenses (DSL). The forms for reserves requests are below. For more information about submitting requests, copyright and fair use considerations, and other recommendations and caveats, please see our Course Reserves guide.

Instructions for faculty

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. 

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. 

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. 

Checking out materials - circulation and interlibrary loan

Status of circulation and interlibrary loan/Connect NY services (July 2020):

  • Books may be returned to the book drop outside the Main Library, on the side of the building closest to Chicago Hall.
  • Late fees and recalls are suspended.
  • Faculty may request books from Vassar's collection by emailing with titles and call numbers.
    • Books will be retrieved on Thursdays and placed in bags labeled with your name. The bags will be left on carts just inside the entrance on the north side of the Main Library, near Chicago Hall. Faculty have access to swipe in and pick up these materials. 
  • Interlibrary loan requests for physical materials, including borrowing through Connect NY, are suspended.
  • Digital interlibrary loan (for 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 ILLiad 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 ILLiad 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.

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.