Library (copy)

The Orange Coast College Library is offering students new ways to access textbooks and resources while the campus is closed due to COVID-19.

The Orange Coast College Library has made necessary changes during this pandemic by transitioning many resources into online formats.

Because students aren’t allowed on the physical campus, some adjustments have been made by the librarians. Students are able to make 15 minute to 45 minute appointments with a librarian to help research, gain access to most textbooks online for free and check out books. 

According to Erin Gratz, a librarian at OCC, these services have never been offered. Publishers and textbook companies have had to adjust as well.

“Because of the coronavirus, many publishers and online textbook rental companies have made the online textbooks freely available for the semester,” Gratz said.

Many students rely on the library to have access to required textbooks for their classes and when the library closed students were unable to get access to the physical textbooks for the first time.

While online textbooks have been made available for free from websites like RedShelf and VitalSource, OCC librarian Lori Cassidy said this service wouldn’t last forever.

“This is temporary and will not last beyond the COVID closures,” Cassidy said.

According to librarians, some textbooks are not available through these sources. For books that aren’t available, students are able to request to have up to 10 chapters scanned altogether. However, only two chapters per book are being permitted. Once the chapters are scanned they can be emailed to the student.

Librarians said that not many students have asked for help getting their textbooks but that the service had only been launched since Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, students are now able to check out up to five books that will be to mailed their house with no return date. 

Any books that were checked out before the closure of the library are not due until further notice. Any fees students have incurred have all also been waived, librarians said.

With news coming out every day in regards to COVID-19, officials say the library acted very quickly to help out students adjust.

“Luckily, some of the services we implemented online were already being considered, so we were able to just move on them more quickly,” Cassidy said.

However, Cassidy said that services such as the textbook scanning had to be started from scratch.

While not all of these services will be available after the reopening of the library, librarians said they hope to keep one-on-one research appointments. Officials said that the scanning of textbooks and free textbooks through the publishers are unfortunately not sustainable due to copyright laws.

“We are still here and still functioning as a library,” Cassidy said. “If you aren’t sure about something, ask us.”

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