UW Tacoma Library FAQ’s for Fall 2020

Text reads: student faws for fall 2020. UW Tacoma Library Logo. Image of Snoqualmie BuildingWe recognize that this is a challenging time for everyone, and that you may be juggling school, work, and family obligations. We will do what we can under the circumstances to support your learning and growth.

This FAQ provides answers to common questions about the UW Tacoma Library to help students through the Fall quarter. We recognize that lack of access to SNO and TLB is a challenge, but please know that UW Tacoma Library is here to support you with a wide range of services to help you succeed, whether you are on campus or off.

Please note: the University of Washington Tacoma has a list of resources for students during COVID-19.

Will UW Tacoma Library spaces physically be open in the Fall?

  • The short answer: We don’t know right now. The UW Libraries, including UW Tacoma Library, is in Phase 2, and during Phase 2, no Libraries buildings are open to the public. Together with UW partners, we are assessing how and where some Libraries spaces might be able to open up for individual study in Phase 3. Moving between phases depends on a significant change/shift in the public health situation. When we know more about the timing of Phase 3 and changes to our reopening plans, we will share updates here and on social media. We anticipate that study spaces in the Library will remain unavailable during Fall Quarter.
  • This chart outlines the types of services planned for each Phase.
  • We need your help – Students’ commitment and willingness to protect each other will be essential to the Libraries’ ability to open and maintain study areas.
  • Reservable individual study space are available on campus.  Students can reserve individual study spaces in the five buildings slated to be open during Fall Quarter: Cherry Parks/McDonald Smith, William Phillip Hall, Science, Tacoma Paper and Station, and Dougan.

Remote Help – Anytime, Anywhere!

Snoqualmie and Tioga Library Buildings -- one brick, one modern
(Photo courtesy Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman)

Wanting a little bit of help with research? There are ways to get research help remotely that meet your scheduling needs and preferences!

  • Email us, or chat with a librarian: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Phone Calls or Zoom Consultations: If you’d rather work with your subject librarian directly, you can see if they are available for consultations via phone, email, or web conference.
  • Drop-in Help: No appointment is necessary! We will be eagerly awaiting your visit to our Zoom Room to help with library-related questions. We can share our screen with you to demonstrate how to find and use resources. This service is limited to current Students, Faculty, and Staff. NetID required, camera optional. Download a small file prior to joining the Zoom Room OR click the “join from your browser” link at the bottom of the linked page to avoid the download.
  • E-Tutoring and Citation Help: Our colleagues in the Teaching and Learning Center are also here for you

Faculty, please check out our Online Teaching Support guide for additional support.

Remote Library Materials – Anytime, Anywhere!

Woodblock print of a book being read with the word "read" below it. Colors are red, black and white.
(Photo courtesy Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman)

UW Tacoma Library provides a wide range of e-resources–online journal articles, databases, and e-books can all be accessed from off-campus (and just about anywhere in the world!) including temporary access to over 1 million additional electronic books and resources through our HathiTrust partnership. All you need is an internet connection and your UW NetID.

The general recommendation for connecting to library e-resources is to start from links on library webpages and guides.  The links are built so that they automatically trigger UW authentication (logging in with your UW netID), so the various vendor platforms recognize that a user is affiliated with the University of Washington.

  • UW Libraries Search: Use the filters on the left hand side of the screen to focus on ebooks, streaming audio or video, and other online resources.
  • Start Your Research: There are also lots of databases that provide digital articles, video, and more! Once in the database, use the filters on the left hand side of the screen to focus on ebooks, streaming audio or video, and other online resources.
  • Research Guides: The research guides give you online resources by topic and subject area, as well as librarian tips.
  • Off-Campus Access: If you are not on campus, use Husky OnNet or log in via the Libraries website to access library databases and other resources! Be sure to configure Husky OnNet to work with library resources.


  • Cragle Lot Wifi: UW WiFi is available for cars parked in the angle parking stalls in front of the Mattress Factory (MAT) and the parking stalls on the north side of the Cragle Parking Lot for students to stay in their cars to study (i.e. far end of the Cragle Lot; the south side may not have WiFi signals. If you remain in your car, you do not have to pay for parking.
  • Students, faculty, and staff can use WiFi on UW campus or via any campus that uses Eduroam, a secure, encrypted WiFi network that is the preferred WiFi connection method for UW students, faculty and staff.  If you are near UW or any other university/college campus that uses this network, you should be able to connect.
  • We know access to stable and strong WiFi is essential for daily tasks and remote learning. There are options for public drive-in WiFi locations across Washington State.

Computers, Calculators and Laptops

Stay tuned for check-out information.

New Student? Graduating Student? Details Here!

Renewing and Returning Library Materials

Library worker bringing in books from book drop
(Image courtesy Marcia Monroe).
  • Select book drops are now open for returns. Because of recommended quarantine periods, materials may take up to two weeks to be removed from patron accounts after they are returned.
  • The UW Libraries will be extending due dates. The UW Library is committed to the health and safety of our users and recognizes that current events may impact your ability to return items on time. If you have items checked out, please continue to renew them if possible using the Your Library Account link below. If fines are accrued, please visit the Library appeals form and FAQ

Other Services

  • Interlibrary Loan: Interlibrary Loan continues to fill requests for electronic books, articles and book chapters. Any requests that cannot be filled with electronic resources will be requested from other libraries. Requests may take longer than normal. Some requests may be cancelled if another library is unable to fulfill the request.
  • Streaming Video:
    • Students: Please check out the streaming videos we have available!
    • Faculty: The UW Libraries has a growing number of streaming titles, but it can sometimes be difficult to find them and/or know which links are the best to use for your class. To help you identify videos, our staff will search the UW Libraries collections to identify whether titles are available to be streamed and then send you links, as available, that can be used in Canvas.
  • Need a book we don’t yet have? Fill out our request form and we will do our best under the circumstances.

E-Book Best Practices

UW Libraries owns a significant number of ebooks, but many are limited to one to three users at a time given vendor contracts. Click here to learn more about being a good citizen and making those books available to your fellow students once you are done with it!

Thank you, everyone. We are all in this together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *