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***Updates on Services in the Learning Commons during Covid-19***: Reopening Plans

Updates and changes to library services will be noted here.

Reopening Plans

The Learning Commons reopened on July 13. Learning Commons staff have returned to work on campus Monday through Thursday from 9:30am - 2:30pm. Access to the Learning Commons outside of these hours may be arranged by appointment.

Access to the CTS building is only available to CTS students, faculty and staff. Entrance to the building is through key card entry (i.e. with a valid CTS ID card).

There will be some changes in how services are provided, so please consult the instructions below on how to access various services.

Future updates and changes to services will be noted here.


Research Help

Research help is available through the following:

  1. LiveChat - Reach out to library staff in real-time using the red LiveChat widget on the Learning Commons website and on this page. Library staff are available during the following hours: Monday-Friday from 10:00am to 5:00 pm. You can still submit your questions after-hours via the LiveChat widget.
  2. Email - Send your research request via email to [email protected].
  3. A 1:1 reference consultation can be arranged by appointment via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. You can schedule a Zoom or Microsoft Teams session with the librarian using the Calendly app.  A link to the appointment will be automatically emailed to you.
  4. Call the Learning Commons during our office hours at 773-896-2450.

Writing Help

The Language and Writing Center is available to help you with preparing and writing your assignments. Use the link below to schedule your appointment.

Update on Services

Curbside Service

The Learning Commons will be offering curbside service to the CTS community starting July 13th. Students will be able to borrow physical books in the Learning Commons, however, we are asking that you do not handle books. In keeping with safety precautions, only library staff will be retrieving the books you need and checking them out to you. For your safety, library staff will be wearing gloves when handling any books.

Circulating material in the Main Stacks

  1. Circulating material in the Learning Commons can be checked-out through a new curbside service.
  2. Please email your book requests to [email protected]. Library staff will pull the books off the shelf for you as we receive your request. 
  3. You will receive an email when your materials have been checked-out to you and ready for pick-up.
  4. Books will be placed in a sealed paper bag with your name on a table on the first floor by the South Reception desk.  This contactless system will allow you to pick-up your reading materials while minimizing risk to exposure. 
  5. When picking-up your books, please wear a mask and be mindful to keep six-feet from any other patron waiting in line.

Reference and other non-circulating material

  1. Requests for non-circulating material can be made via email at [email protected].
  2. Print materials will be scanned and emailed. Copyright restrictions on scanned materials will still apply.

All course texts will be placed on the reserve shelf. Where available, a copy in ebook format will be purchased as well.

Please consult our course reserve reading list to see if your course text is available as an ebook. The list is updated each semester.

Physical books will not be available for checkout. Instead, you can request scans via email for course reserve readings. Copyright restrictions will still apply where applicable.

The Learning Commons has a robust collection of online databases and ebook and ejournal subscriptions. You can find online materials by using our discovery search tool. For more information about how to use this tool and how to find online materials, please consult our Getting Started Guide.

To search individual databases, please consult our A-Z Database list. For help using individual databases, please refer to our Navigating Databases guide for help with searching the following: EBSCO Discovery Service, JSTOR, Project Muse, Atla, Oxford and Chicago Manual of Style.

Borrowing physical materials

Interlibrary loans of physical materials are slowly being reinstated as library staff return to work on campus. Keep in mind that you may not be able to borrow books from other libraries for course readings, so please plan accordingly.

Borrowing digital materials

We continue to place ILL requests for digital materials such as scanned articles and book chapters. These requests are usually processed in a timely manner.

How to place an ILL request

Please use this form for any ILL request.

Borrowing materials from the University of Chicago

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions currently in place, the University of Chicago Library is not extending access or borrowing privileges to non-U of C students at this time. The Library is still in the process of determining what Library services can be offered this fall and as the quarter progresses things may change. A temporarily hold has been placed on library fines so there is no need to worry about any items already checked out. Requests for materials from the University of Chicago Library can still be made via interlibrary loan. If you wish to return anything the book drop in the outer lobby of Regenstein is open during building hours.

Updates on services will be posted here.


The Learning Commons reopened to students on July 13th, and will be sanitized daily. Students are required to maintain social distance, and only one student may be seated at a table. Students are encouraged to wipe down their study areas both before and after use with the supplied germicidal wipes. Students in common spaces in the Learning Commons must wear a mask at all times.


Group Study Rooms

Study rooms will remain closed.  

Virtual Study Rooms [in planning phase, details forthcoming]

Students wishing to study together or simply meet-up can do so through our virtual study room beginning DATE. The virtual study room will be available from TIME to TIME, Monday through Friday. If needed, the Learning Commons can set-up a virtual breakout room for private group study or meetings.


All book returns must be placed in the book drop outside of the Learning Commons. Please do not bring your books to the circulation desk. The book drop is located outside of the Learning Commons, to the left before you enter the main entrance. Returned books will be placed in quarantine for 72 hours before they are checked-in and returned to the shelves.


Library staff have been placing automatic renewals for all books during our closure. No fines will be applied for late books during this time. With the reopening of the Learning Commons, patrons can renew their own books by clicking on the CHECK MY ACCOUNT button on the Learning Commons homepage and logging into their library account.

If you are unable to log into your account, you can call or email the Learning Commons and request that your books be renewed for you.