Building is open: The Gordon Library building is currently open for general use by the WPI community. Posted occupancy limits (currently at 450 maximum), if any, follow state guidance. For detailed hours of service please check our hours page.
Visitors: Visitors are now allowed to visit the Gordon Library. Please note that if you are an outside visitor, you must wear a mask at all times. Eating is not currently permitted in the library.
All virtual services open: Library staff are providing virtual research and project support via email, chat, and video conferencing. Our instant web chat service is available when the library is open. In person (by appointment and drop-ins) research support is also available.
Curbside service: Faculty, students and staff who need to borrow print books from the library, or who are picking up books received through interlibrary loan, and who prefer not to enter the library, can do so through our no-contact curbside service. Books can be requested for curbside pick-up through the library’s online catalog. You will receive a confirmation email when your items are ready, and you can contact us at 508-831-5410 to schedule your pick-up.
Home delivery: For faculty and students unable to visit the campus in person during this time, we will, wherever possible, continue to offer delivery of library materials to home addresses. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need this service.
For special access requests: Faculty are encouraged to contact us to discuss your need for access to the library or archives that can’t be met by our curbside, virtual, or home delivery services.
Archives & Special Collections:
We continue to welcome the WPI community to enjoy and study our unique historical archives, rare books, works of art, and records documenting WPI’s culture and history. Currently, access to the archives is available 1 - 5 pm M - Th or by-appointment. Appointments allow our team to prepare materials for your use and coordinate to ensure we have staff available to support your interests and needs. We would be glad to meet with you remotely before your visit to find out what you need to consult and to plan your work in the archives. Subject to staff constraints and other collection policies, we will continue to digitize materials from the archives for WPI students, faculty, and staff, to support your remote research and study.
Computers, printers, & other technology:
We have high-end computers available both in the Multimedia Lab and in the Info Commons opposite the Library Café.
The ITS Service Desk continues their program of lending laptops; check with them for more information. Printers are available on all floors of the library and scanners, including a face-up book scanner, are also available in several locations.
Due to the difficulty of sanitizing headphones between uses, we will not be lending headphones at the Information Desk. We will however continue to lend scientific calculators, and we will sanitize them between uses to protect you.
We are resuming the library’s print course reserves program for textbooks and other materials in the fall.
The library will also work with faculty to purchase or license an accessible digital version of preferred books when possible, subject to budget and other constraints. If no digital version can be acquired, the library can also work with faculty to identify high-quality alternative licensed or open access digital resources. Students looking for digital course materials can find them in their Canvas course or are welcome to ask for help from our staff.
Our commitment to helping students de-stress continued this year, shared through our social media and digital news. We look forward to bringing back a full program of in-person mindfulness sessions,cookies, crafts, visiting animals, and other relaxing activities this fall. Meanwhile, everyone in the WPI community can join our twice-weekly virtual mindfulness sessions (they’ve been continuing without interruption since March 2019!). Short, sweet, and always welcoming, they happen every Wednesday at 12:15pm and every Thursday at 2:15pm. The library’s Reflection Space on the 1st floor is open.
In August 2020, Gordon Library launched Digital WPI (digital.wpi.edu), a new platform for sharing student projects and research - from GPS posters, to IQPs, to MQPs, to graduate theses and dissertations. The new platform makes it easier than ever to find works by Project Center, advisor, author, and key themes. The new platform also features a complete digital collection of Charles Dickens’s novels in their original serial form; over 3000 historic images of WPI, and selected faculty research articles.
Eating & drinking policies:
All library users (with exceptions as determined by WPI) must wear face masks continuously while in the library. For now, the library’s usual food-friendly policies are temporarily suspended. Library users are asked to eat meals and substantial snacks (sandwiches, salads, home-cooked meals), and all other food outside the library. Additional outdoor seating in areas near the library will be available. The Library Café on the entrance level is currently closed and will remain closed in the fall. Hot and cold covered drinks will remain welcome in the main library (but please replace your mask!). Water fountains will be operational.
Our instruction librarians are supporting social distancing on campus. They are preparing high-quality instruction resources and experiences for your courses and can deliver both in-person and virtual instruction (synchronously or asynchronously).
Interlibrary loan services (ILL) are available for print books as well as desktop delivery of digital articles, book chapters, and other items not owned or licensed by WPI. Delivery of print materials may be delayed by other libraries’ quarantine practices. We will notify you when your item is ready for you to pick up. Curbside delivery will also be available weekdays, if you prefer not to enter the library. If you’re unable to come to campus to pick up your items, please let us know when you submit your ILL requests, so that we can work with you to arrange an alternative delivery option.
Curbside service: Faculty, students and staff who need to borrow print books from the library, or who are picking up books received through interlibrary loan, can do so through our no-contact curbside service. Books owned by WPI can also be requested for curbside pick-up through the library’s online catalog. You will receive a confirmation email when your items are ready, and you can contact us at 508-831-5410 to schedule your pick-up during library open hours. If you’re unable to come to campus to pick up your items, please let us know when you submit your ILL requests, so that we can work with you to arrange an alternative delivery option.
Print books & journals:
The library’s print book and journal collections on all four floors are accessible if you want to retrieve materials yourself. We ask you to place all print materials (including games and videos) that you’ve consulted, but don’t plan to borrow, on adjacent book carts or designated shelves after use, for reshelving by library staff.
If you’d rather not retrieve books or journals yourself, you can look up the item in our online catalog (WPI Library Search) and submit an online request for the item, and our staff will retrieve it for you, and send you an email when the item is ready. You will be able to pick it up at the front information desk, just inside the main entrance; or request our curbside service, and we will hand it to you outside the library’s main entrance. Requests will be done as quickly as staffing allows but may take up to 48 hours to fulfill. Curbside delivery will be available weekdays. You will receive a confirmation email when your items are ready, and you can contact us at 508-831-5410 to schedule your pick-up during library open hours. If you’re unable to come to campus to pick up your items, please let us know when you submit your requests, so that we can work with you to arrange an alternative delivery option.
Project Team Meetings (Faculty & Advisors):
The Library’s Gordon Conference Room is available for faculty and advisors who need to reserve a space for in-person project team meetings with students. Capacity with social distancing is 8. The room can be reserved by faculty or advisors to meet with their student teams for up to three hours.
Research and team consults:
Our research and project team support librarians are working to align with social distancing guidelines and to support students who are attending classes remotely. All consultations can be easily scheduled online and can be conducted using Zoom or held in-person. Virtual consultations can take place wherever you are; or, if you need a place to meet with us online, you can reserve a Phone Booth (1-person) or a Tech Suite (2 people, including a computer and large monitor).
Restrooms and water fountains:
All library restrooms are currently open. There are at least 3 restrooms on each floor, including at least one accessible and/or gender-neutral restroom on each floor. Visitors are asked to be considerate of others by leaving the restroom clean and exiting as soon as you’re done, so the restroom is available for others. Hand dryers will not be available for use in the restrooms at this time.
Water dispensers throughout the building are available to fill your personal cups or bottles with filtered water, as are Drinking fountains.
All visitors and staff in the library are asked to obseve state and WPI guidelines for social distancing and are required to wear face-masks (with exceptions determined by WPI).
We are following updated Massachusetts guidelines for occupancy and social distancing in libraries and other common gathering spaces. To help students know if current seating capacity and whether there are study seats available, current occupancy will be counted and displayed at the entrance of the library and on our website.
Where else can you study on campus? Check our campus study web page to find study spaces all over the WPI campus.
The Gordon Library has 10 Tech Suites located throughout the library that are available for current WPI students for GROUP use only, Tech Suites can be reserved for up to 3 hours at a time and with a limit of two advance reservations per week.
Our two “phone booths” (small individual rooms on the 2nd floor) are available for interviews or solo study. The Express Tech Suites on the main floor are available for an hour at a time and cannot be reserved in advanced
Library services continue to change as university, state, and national guidelines change. We’ll update you with important changes, sharing updates on the library website, on library Twitter and Instagram accounts, and through other regular campus communication channels when appropriate.
Visitors are now allowed to visit the Gordon Library.
Please note that if you are an outside visitor, you must wear a mask at all times. Eating is not currently permitted in the library.
This means that walk-in access and direct borrowing for students and faculty at other Worcester-area universities and colleges and ARC institutions is now available.
Your ideas and questions:
Thank you for your patience and support as we work together to keep the Gordon Library a safe, welcoming, and healthy environment for everyone at WPI. Questions or ideas? Let us know! We want to hear your ideas for improving the library.
Sleep is important! It keeps our minds sharp, keeps us physically healthy, helps reduce stress and anxiety, and promotes emotional wellness. If you want to take a nap while you’re working in the library, we understand. If you haven’t tried our rocking chairs in the Reflection Space, you may find them a good substitute when you need to close your eyes and take a break.