The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Resources for Remote Learning and Instruction

Library staff are available to help you Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. via Ask Us, Chat, and email. Here are essential services and resources to support remote learning and instruction. 

Borrowing Library Materials

Getting books and other library materials from the Five Colleges Libraries 

While the Libraries may be closed, you can still get items you need through the Libraries’ contactless pickup service.  With your UMass Amherst NetID and password, you can request many items from the Libraries’ collections and the Four College Libraries through Discovery search.  We will retrieve the item for you and notify you when your books, DVDs, or other items are ready for you to pickupSome library items do not circulate and some items may not be available.  We will notify you if your request cannot be filled.   Please note: by virtue of our membership in HathiTrust, we are providing temporary online full-text access to library-owned print volumes for which HathiTrust stewards a scanned copy.  Search results and records indicate the title may be available in HathiTrust with a link to the online text and the availability indicates it is in HathiTrust. While this temporary access is available, we cannot loan print copies of those items. See details about how to access the online version via HathiTrust.] 

Library materials through US Postal Service
If you’d prefer us to mail materials from the Libraries collections to you, submit a request for the item(s) you want via the  Library Express  service. Be sure to select your “delivery” preference and make sure the mailing address in your account is accurate when making your request.   Contact with any questions 

Borrowing from other libraries 
Interlibrary Loan can request materials not available through the UMass Amherst library collections from other libraries. This service is free and available to UMass Amherst faculty, staff, and students. Here’s what we can provide: 

  • PDF articles, e-book options, and chapter scans whenever possible. 
  • Assist in finding or purchasing e-books if available.    

Physical items, such as DVDs and print books, may be difficult to supply due to the closure of other libraries.  Any physical items we are able to borrow will be available through contactless pickup.  For that reason, some requests may be delayed due to the closure of other libraries. 


Refer to our up-to-date copyright guide as you shift your course from in-person to online. Scholarly Communication  and  Digital Scholarship Services  experts are available to assist remotely with questions about copyright, open access, electronic theses and dissertations, digital scholarship and research data management. 

Course Research and Materials 

Check here  or  Ask Us! or email:  for assistance in accessing online resources.

Digital Media Lab consultations

DML staff are available to consult with faculty, students, and staff via Zoom to answer questions about equipment, VR/AR/, Unity, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Creative Suite, Audacity, and more. Please fill out our consultation form to schedule a session.  

Librarian consultations
  • Librarians and archivists are available to meet with faculty, students, and staff for one-on-one research support via email or online (e.g., Zoom).  If you are not sure who to contact, please fill out our consultation form and we'll find the expert for you!  

Library course instruction 
  • Librarians and archivists are available to meet with classes via Zoom to help students create a plan for their course projects, find materials, and evaluate information for relevance.   

Library equipment

While we are unable to lend laptops during the fall 2020 semester, the Digital Media Lab (DML) is lending selective multimedia equipment.  Please visit the DML equipment page for details regarding the reservation of equipment and scheduling a pickup time via contactless pickup.  

Online Help

Last minute citation help? Need help with research? Ask Us! You can send email or chat with us Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.  

Renew Materials

You can renew your books online via theonline renewal form.  Recalls of most Five College materials are suspended for the Fall 2020 semester. 


Information for Faculty

  • Libraries' Statement on Textbooks
  • Please submit requests for digital course materials by adding the UMass Libraries Course Materials tool to your Moodle or Blackboard page. Instructions for adding the tool can be found here.
  • We will do our best to purchase unlimited user versions of eBooks through our vendors; however, we cannot license eBooks though Amazon, Kobo, Redshelf, or VitalSource, so our options may be limited.
  • If no digital version exists, we can scan and digitize one chapter or 10 percent of a work for integration via Blackboard or Moodle. Please contact your subject specialist librarian to discuss alternative options, including open access course materials, which are free to students and can be modified to fit your needs.
  •  We will process requests in the order request was received.
  • Contact if you have questions.

Information for Students

Students: you can find online course materials requested by your instructor for your class through your course’s Blackboard and/or Moodle page. 

Return Materials 

You can return your materials the following ways: 

  • Mail items back to us at no cost by requesting a return mailing label. (Log in to your campus G Suite account first in order to access request form)  We recommend using a trackable method.
  • Mail items back at your own expense.
  • Drop off at any of the following locations:
    • Book drop box at the front entrance of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.
    • Drive up book drop at the Robsham Visitor's Center.
    • Book drop box at north entrance to Lederle Graduate Research Center Lowrise (by parking lot).
    • For the UMass Amherst Mt. Ida campus: at the Campus Security building between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. until further notice.
  • No overdue fees/fines will accrue for UMass borrowed materials until further notice.
  • Equipment:  Please return equipment to the service desk in the Du Bois Library vestibule Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  Please do notreturn equipment in any book drop or you will be liable for any damage..
Special Collections and University Archives 
  • SCUA’s reading room will be open by appointment, Tuesday through Friday, 10-4pm starting August 24th. Visit SCUA’s appointment page to book. 
  • For research support and questions, contact SCUA directly or email 
  • SCUA has a variety of resources for integrating primary source research and our collections into remote teaching. View SCUA’s teaching and learning page for more information. 
  • Information about the rest of SCUA’s online services can be found on their  website.