COVID-19 Information

Julia Grandury, senior, in class with "thinking about religion."

This page contains all relevant information related to Washington University Libraries’ current operations and response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Unless otherwise noted, the changes listed below are in effect from March 12, 2020, until further notice. We will continue to update these details as necessary.

The University Libraries are committed to adhering to the guidelines set out by the university including masks, physical distancing, self-screening, and other health and safety measures. Please visit the University’s COVID-19 Response website for additional details.

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Library Announcements

Buildings and Access

All Danforth Campus locations remain closed with the exception of John M. Olin Library, which is offering limited services to faculty, students, and staff by appointment and as outlined below. See our Hours page for additional information.

  • Access to all Olin Library spaces and services will be via card swipe only. The Olin south entrance will be closed and not swipe accessible to the campus community.
  • Access to printers, the Bookeye scanner, study seating (by reservation), restrooms, and vending services will operate out of the Whispers Café. Additionally, there are no computers attached to the printers; students can release a print job sent via their own device. Further direction is available on-site.
  • The Julian Edison Department of Special Collections will be open on a limited basis to researchers by appointment and will offer virtual instruction.
  • Patrons can make an appointment to utilize the microfilm scanner in Olin Library to view film or fiche borrowed on Interlibrary Loan or housed in Olin.
  • See the websites for the Bernard Becker Medical Library and Law Library for the latest hours and operations information.

Curbside Pickup

While University Libraries’ physical spaces remain closed we are providing access to physical collection materials at John M. Olin Library via a curbside pickup-style service. See our Curbside Pickup page for full details.

Remote Resources

Visit our Remote Resources and Guidance page for details about how to access services and additional digital content available during this time.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and MOBIUS

  • Patrons can request physical materials (to be distributed via curbside pickup) through Interlibrary Loan and MOBIUS.
  • We will supply PDFs from the Libraries’ electronic and print collections. We will also obtain PDFs of articles and book chapters from other libraries, although these may be slow to arrive or have a higher cancellation rate.
  • ILL is only available to current WashU students, faculty, and staff.
  • Becker Medical Library and the Law Library operate separate ILL services.

Materials and Services

Handling Books and Materials

We will quarantine returned library materials for 72 hours in the interest of user and staff safety


  • Returns & fines: The Libraries will discontinue quarantine for returned material starting 1 June in alignment with the updated University health protocols and safety guidelines. Fines and fees incurred due to the COVID closure during spring and summer 2020 will be waived. Other fines or fees may apply on overdue materials checked out during the fall 2020 semester or after; for more information on fines, see Billing Fines & Replacement Charges. Please contact for assistance with your library account.
  • Book drops: External book drops at the John M. Olin Library and Distributed Libraries (Art, Music, and Business) are open. We also recommend that patrons utilize our drive-up return bins at Throop Drive, the South 40 on Shepley Drive, or the West Campus Library at 7425 Forsyth Blvd. Download a map of these drive-up book drop locations.
  • Returning books by mail: If you will not be returning to campus, please ship WashU, MOBIUS, and Interlibrary Loan materials to:

    Washington University in St. Louis
    One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1061
    Atten: Olin Library Circulation
    St. Louis, MO 63130
    ph: (314) 935-5420

Instruction and Consultations

COVID-19 Resources

Contact Us

  • Reach out with questions and concerns via our 24/7 chat service
  • Contact our Help Desk at (314) 935-5420
  • Visit our Ask Us page for additional contact options and details