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Music Library: "open"


As with many other university libraries, the NIU Music Library has had to change how we do things in order to keep ourselves and our patrons safe.  It has required us to redefine the term "open".  Without student workers, and with only 2 full-time staffers, managing the library during times when there is no pandemic would be a challenge.  When you add in the pandemic, safety becomes an issue, and more responsibilities are placed upon the staff.  We need to make sure our materials are kept safe so that patrons can use them, we need to be able to make sure anyone in the Music Library is following social distancing and PPE current practices, and we need to clean any surfaces touched by us or the patrons.  Allowing full access to our library is not a feasible option at this time. Therefore, we have decided that patrons will not be given access to roam freely throughout the Music Library unless a specific request has been approved by our Music Librarian, and then it will be very limited.  Any item that is used will then need to be quarantined for 96 hours before another person can use it safely. 

That being said, we will be going old school and will have closed stacks. Did you know that libraries weren't always open for browsing?  It wasn't until the early 1900s, at the Cleveland Public Library, when patrons were first allowed full access to stack browsing (sorry, library nerd here). For the fall of 2020, at least, Kate and Sarah will pull items that are requested from the stacks, while wearing the appropriate PPE, to keep the risk of virus transfer low.  

Below you will find detailed information on our services and how you can access our materials. 

Circulating Physical Items

 All physical items will be quarantined for
96 hours after use. 


 We ask that you do not clean the items in any way
as this may damage them. 

Fall 2020

  • Items must be requested online -
    • all requests can be made via Huskie Search
    • Please plan for a one-week turn-around
    • Note that all IShare and all WorldCat libraries are not open, and requests may take longer to be filled
  • Item pick up
    • choose location
      • Music Library 
        • Mondays & Tuesdays 9am-1pm 
        • Thursdays & Fridays 12pm-4pm
        • Items will be held for 3 weeks then returned to stacks
      • Founders Memorial Library Lockers
        • M-F 6 am-10 pm 
        • Items will be held for 48 hours

Access to items that don't circulate

Use of noncirculating items
(reference, reserve, Msets, etc.)
through the end of December 2020

  • Request in writing via email must be made to the Music Librarian
  • Patron will receive a response within 48 hours
  • The Music Librarian will make a decision on the possibility of the request
  • Digitization will take priority, if possible
    • Patron should expect at least a week's processing time
  • If permitted in the library a time frame will be agreed upon
  • Patrons will be assigned a work area and items will be brought to them
  • Patron will be required to wipe down surfaces after use

Virtual Services

Research and Reference Assistance

  • Virtual until at least end of Fall 2020 semester
    • Schedule a Teams chat with Sarah or Kate
    • email questions to and Sarah or Kate will reply within 48 hours
    • email questions to Sarah ( or Kate (
    • quick catalog questions, reference questions, or just a nice chat call the circ desk/Kate at 753-1426
    • Sarah may be reached at 753-9839