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Library Services & Instructional Continuity During Fall 2020

Library Status

Welcome and welcome back to a most unusual semester!

Library Access

Access to the library is limited to a small number of seats at a time, and only students with reservations will be permitted to enter. We will continue to offer reference services by email and chat. 

Semester-Long Reservations

All semester-long reservations have been assigned.

Emergency Use Reservations

We have set aside some spaces for emergency use. These “last minute” study reservations will be available for signup each week.

  • This type of reservation will entitle its holder to a one time reserved study block (e.g., Monday, September 14 from 9am to 2pm, or Friday, September 18 from 3pm to 8pm).
  • There are two time blocks per day on weekdays (9am to 2pm and 3pm to 8pm), and one block per day on weekends (9am to 5pm).
  • The link to sign up for these spaces is below.
  • These seats must be reserved no later than noon the day before they will be used (and by noon on Thursday for weekend reservations).
Daily "Drive By" Library Appointments
  • These appointments will be for one hour on a specific day and are designed to allow students to visit the library to access or scan materials or to perform other research-related tasks (e.g., you could sign up for Monday, September 14 from 10am to 11am).
  • The link to sign up for these spaces is below.
  • Like the last minute study blocks, these appointments must be reserved no later than noon the day before they will be used (and by noon on Thursday for weekend reservations).

All three of these reservation processes will operate through the LibCal system, available here

Checking Out General Collection Materials

Students who need to check out a book from the general collection may do so through the hold feature in the catalog or by emailing our circulation desk.  These books will be available for pick up in the Yuma Street entrance where the printers are (there is also a book drop there to return library books). Please do not return a library laptop or charger to the book return; contact circulation to make arrangements to return those items.

Please review the below Fall 2020 Operating Policies before visiting the law library. 

Fall 2020 Operating Policies

Fall 2020 Hours
Saturday & Sunday: 

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Close at 5:00 p.m. - All library users must exit for deep cleaning

Monday to Friday:

9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. - All library users must exit for cleaning

3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

8:00 p.m. - All library users must exit for deep cleaning

September 7, 2020 (Labor Day):  CLOSED
Library Access Policies

● Access to the library will be limited to about 50 students and library staff at any time, per D.C. Government regulations. To enter the library during their designated reservation time, all students must show their reservation and their WCL ID to the access controller at the library entrance.  When the shift ends, students MUST exit the library to allow for cleaning.

● The policies for library use will be strictly enforced.  Use of the library is a privilege which will be revoked in the event of deliberate failure to observe any of the health, safety and use policies listed here.

● Only WCL students, faculty, and staff may use the library.  There will be no exceptions for guests of students or anyone else.

● When a student makes a reservation for a library shift, they will sign up for a specific seat in the library. Seating includes study rooms (1 student per room), table seating, and casual seating spaced throughout the library, observing proper social distancing conventions. Each seat will have a QR code, and each student must “sign in” to the QR code so that the library has a record of the time and place each student has used the library.  This information will only be used for the purpose of contact tracing in the event of report of a WCL student contracting COVID19.

● Upon entry to the library, students should go directly to their seats and “sign in” as above.

● Students must exit at the end of their shift. There will be no exceptions to this policy.  Failure to exit at the end of a shift will result in being barred from using the library.

● All library users must wear masks at all times and observe proper social distancing rules, per AU policy.

● Any library user who has a fever or experiences any symptom of COVID-19 may not use the library.

● Eating and drinking in the library are discouraged because doing so requires removal of masks.  If students must eat or drink, we ask that they observe proper social distancing and remove their masks only for the purpose of eating or drinking.

● Convenience centers in the library will be limited for use to one person at a time. 

● If a student wishes to take home a book from the general collection, they must bring it to the circulation desk to be properly checked out.  If students are browsing the library stacks, and touch any book(s), students should bring it/them to the circulation desk for sterilization and reshelving. 

● There will be no in-person reference assistance.  Research assistance is available by email to, chat, and phone at 202-274-4352. Students may also email individual librarians for assistance. 

These policies are subject to change at any time as appropriate and as circumstances require.

Library Services


For help accessing electronic resources, using the library catalog, or conducting research, contact the Pence Law Library reference librarians: / 202-274-4352 (leave a message and we'll call you back). Or chat with us during reference hours.

Reference Hours Fall 2020:

  • Monday through Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Other times by appointments; contact

We can also schedule Zoom meetings for in-depth research questions. 

Borrowing/Returning Materials

For help with your library account, contact

Interlibrary Loan

For questions related to interlibrary loan, contact