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The Thompson Library Blog

COVID-19 Library Hours & Services

by Liz Svoboda on 2020-03-12T09:52:00-04:00 in Current Events, Library Information | Comments

The Library reopened to current UM-Flint students, faculty, and staff on August 23, 2020. For more information about our reopening, please see our Reopening Guide.

May 7, 2020 - August 23, 2020 Library Closed

The Thompson Library will be temporarily closed until further notice. We are working with the rest of campus to create reopening plans guided by public health principles.

Online resources still available:
Librarians available electronically:

Text: (810) 407 - 5434

April 24, 2020 - Library Closure Extended with Michigan Executive Order No. 2020-50

On April 24, 2020, Governor Whitmer rescinded E.O. 2020-42 and replaced it with E.O. 2020-59, which extends the stay home advisory through May 15, 2020.

Our librarians and staff remain reachable through virtual methods, and our online resources remain available for our campus community to use. Please see our COVID-19 FAQ entries for additional information.

An update about borrowed materials:

  • The circulation staff urges all students, faculty, and staff who have borrowed materials through the library, including interlibrary loan items, to keep their materials until the library reopens.
    • All borrowed interlibrary loan items have been renewed through September 7, 2020.
    • All items borrowed from UM libraries, that were not overdue prior to closure, have been renewed until December 17, 2020.
  • All billing processes have been suspended and no holds on library or student accounts will be placed until the library reopens.
  • If you are unable to keep materials, we have reopened the blue drop box outside the library's front doors to collect returns. It will be checked on a weekly basis. Please take all necessary precautions if you decide to return your items.
  • The Interlibrary Loan office in Ann Arbor continues to process requests for e-materials, but will not fulfill requests for physical materials.


  • While the library is closed, physical course reserve materials are inaccessible.
  • Some textbooks might be available in our ebook collections, which you can search through the ebook tab on our homepage search box.
  • If your books are not available through the library or you are having issues getting textbooks delivered, try buying or renting e-textbooks:
    • Some introductory classes are using OpenStax books.
    • E-textbooks might be available through the UM-Flint bookstore
    • RedShelf (must create a free account before you rent or buy books)
    • VitalSource (must create a free account before you rent or buy books)

April 9, 2020 - Library Closure Extended with Michigan Executive Order No. 2020-42

On April 9, 2020, Governor Whitmer rescinded E.O. 2020-21 and replaced it with E.O. 2020-42, which extends the stay home advisory through April 30, 2020.

Our librarians and staff remain reachable through virtual methods. Please see our COVID-19 FAQ entries for additional information.

March 23, 2020 - Library Closure Extended with Michigan Executive Orders No. 2020-20 & 2020-21

On March 22, 2020, Governor Whitmer rescinded E.O. 2020-09 and replaced it with E.O. 2020-20, which extended the library closure through April 13, 2020. Additionally E.O. 2020-21, advises all non-essential workers to remain home. 

Our librarians and staff remain reachable through virtual methods (chat, email, text, and video) and our online resources are always available through our website.

March 16, 2020 - Library Closed in Compliance with Michigan Executive Order No. 2020-09

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff:
In compliance with the Governor's executive order of earlier today and with the concurrence of UM senior leadership, the Thompson Library will close at 3pm today and will remain closed to all users through March 30.  Reference librarians will be available for virtual reference and research questions (e.g., phone, email, chat) per hours to be posted presently on our webpage and social media.  
Stay tuned to our homepage for updates. We wish you all good health and success during the remainder of this semester!
Robert Houbeck
Director, Thompson Library
Additional Information about borrowed items:

Please keep all items borrowed from the UM-Flint and UM-Ann Arbor.

  • We cannot allow patrons to pick up items they have requested through Get This or Interlibrary Loan during the closure. All processing of physical requests have ceased and will resume (pending further instructions) on March 31, 2020.
  • Please renew materials online or contact the circulation department via email ( We have a video tutorial posted on our YouTube channel.
  • Billing will be suspended until the end of the semester. Any fines automatically accrued will be waived.
  • Drop boxes in the White Building, French Hall, and outside the library's main entrance have been locked.
  • As noted below any interlibrary loan materials have been renewed until May 4, 2020, unless their due date is further into the future.
  • All Browsing Collection books in good borrowing standing have been renewed until April 30, 2020.

March 16, 2020 - Interlibrary Loan

From the UM-Ann Arbor Interlibrary Loan Office:

"For the health and safety of our staff and patrons, Document Delivery has moved to electronic only services for the near-future. We will reassess the situation regularly in order to continue providing the best possible service. Please email us at with any questions. 

In specific, that means: no book loan requests will fulfilled with physical items and departmental delivery is suspended for the near-term.

We have renewed all interlibrary loan material to May 4th, 2020 on your behalf."

March 13, 2020 - Writing Center

The Writing Center will be moving all tutoring appointments to e-tutoring.

"Due to spread of Covid 19 and the moving of classes to alternative formats, all Writing Center appointments will be via our e-tutoring system. If you have an existing face-to-face appointment, it will be changed to an e-tutoring appointment.

If you would like to make an appointment and have not before, please visit our website for instructions, including brief how-to videos:

In order to be tutored during your appointment time, you will need to have uploaded your paper by your scheduled appointment time or your appointment may be canceled if the tutor has many additional appointments to tutor. However, given the situation, we may not be able to get your paper back by the end of your appointment, but it will be completed by the end of the day.

To upload a paper, there is a “Browse file” option at the bottom of your appointment screen to upload your paper. However, please only upload a Word document. It can be difficult or impossible for some tutor’s computers to provide comments on a PDF. Also, we are sorry, but our system will not accept PowerPoints.

This protocol will remain in effect until further notice We hope to continue providing services as best we can during this process and appreciate your patience and understanding. All questions can be emailed to Vicky Dawson, the Writing Center coordinator, at or Jacob Blumner, the Writing Center director, at"

March 12, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

As Chancellor Dutta noted in his Wednesday, March 11 message to campus announcing that classes are being moved to an online-only mode beginning next Monday, “[a]t this point, other university operations will continue as normal” -- that includes the Library.  In step with the larger University, we reaffirm our commitment to student success and so share our operation plans for the immediate future: 

  • We encourage those students, faculty, and staff who are able to access Library resources and services from home to do so. 
    • Most of our resources are available online from off campus. If you have trouble accessing our resources off campus, please do not hesitate to reach out to a librarian for troubleshooting or check our FAQs related to access issues.
    • For research or study consultations our librarians are available remotely via chat, email, phone, and text:
  • We are not planning to reduce our hours of operation or close the library building at this time.  We will maintain regular hours and services.
    • Some individuals of the campus community, especially students, are without adequate off campus internet connections, or are in need of the physical resources of the library, including course reserves, anatomical models, and study rooms and spaces, or are continuing to reside in campus housing facilities, so we will make every effort to remain open and maintain regular hours and services.
    • We will take some additional precautions against germs including more frequent wipe-down procedures for circulating materials, such as our anatomical models or reserve books, and additional disinfectant on frequently used library surfaces.

Stay tuned to our homepage for updates. We wish you all good health and success during the remainder of this semester!

Thompson Library Librarians and Staff

Additional Suggestions and Procedure for Circulating Books and Media:

  • Please keep and renew any items you have borrowed from the library. You can renew items by calling the circulation desk at (810) 762-4300 or renewing online, but we will not be billing for any lost materials until the end of the semester.
  • The following message is from the UM-AA Interlibrary Loan Office: "To help limit the spread of COVID-19, if you are symptomatic and feel you must return your ILL item, please place it in a plastic bag so we can isolate it per CDC guidelines. However, renewing your material is your best option. Please contact us if your renewal is denied about other options." (3/12/20)

For more information about remote resources offered by the University, please see ITS's Remote Resource Guide.

For more information on how COVID-19 is affecting University of Michigan-Flint operations, please see this information page.

For more information on how COVID-19 is affecting overall University of Michigan operations, please see the Vice President for Communication's website.

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