Skip to main content

Burns Library Services

:

Access

Reference & Instruction Services at Burns Library

COVID-19 & construction access to Burns Library

We are all responsible for the health and safety of our community and ourselves. Following the protocols outlined below demonstrates care and respect for others, and helps to protect you as well. Our mission is to provide service to others. Caring is the foundation of service, and service is expressed in deeds even more than words.

Per Boston College guidelines, anyone who is not fully vaccinated must wear a mask while researching in Burns Library. We strongly encourage you to be fully vaccinated before visiting Burns Library for research. We will not ask for researcher vaccination status, so if you feel safer wearing a mask while doing research in Burns Library, feel free to do so.

On-going construction work will impact entrance to the building and availability of some materials. During construction, all researchers must make an appointment to research in Burns Library. We are in a temporary reading room with limited seating availability. After making an appointment, please check your email for confirmation that we have an appointment available, updates from the reference staff on access instructions to the building, and whether any of the material you requested is temporarily unavailable due to the construction work.

All services are contingent upon staffing being available

Reading Room Hours

Due to on-going construction work, we have moved into a temporary reading room with limited the number of research seats available. Appointments will be required for all researchers. We can currently only support 4 research appointments per appointment slot.

During summer hours, the reading room will be available for research on the following days/times:

  • Tuesday: 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (AM appointment slot) and 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (PM appointment slot)
  • Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (AM appointment slot) and 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (PM appointment slot)
  • Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (AM appointment slot) and 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (PM appointment slot)

Boston College ID holders

During the summer session, BC affiliates will be required to make appointments at least 24 hours in advance. Please check our hours for details.

If the materials you are interested in using are stored offsite (anything with the message "Advance notice needed; Contact Burns Library" in the library catalog), we require at least 3 business days notice before your appointment.

While classes are in session, BC ID holders aren’t required to make appointments, but are encouraged to do so as space is limited. BC dropins (i.e. appointment not made) will be accommodated if tables are available.

Per Boston College guidelines, anyone who is not fully vaccinated must wear a mask while researching in Burns Library. We strongly encourage you to be fully vaccinated before visiting Burns Library for research. We will not ask for researcher vaccination status, so if you feel safer wearing a mask while doing research in Burns Library, feel free to do so

Guest Researchers

Researchers unaffiliated with Boston College (i.e. without a current BCID) are required to make research appointments with at least 24 hours notice, and space is limited. You will not be granted access without an appointment. Do not travel to the library if you have not had your appointment confirmed via email from us.

Per Boston College guidelines, anyone who is not fully vaccinated must wear a mask while researching in Burns Library. We strongly encourage you to be fully vaccinated before visiting Burns Library for research. We will not ask for researcher vaccination status, so if you feel safer wearing a mask while doing research in Burns Library, feel free to do so

If the materials you are interested in using are stored offsite (anything with the message "Advance notice needed; Contact Burns Library" in the library catalog), we require at least 3 business days notice before your appointment.

How to make an appointmennt

Searching the library catalog (search tutorial) will let you limit your results to only Burns Library holdings.

As you identify what you would like to see, click the blue "Schedule Visit to Burns Library" link.

Appointments and requests for materials are completed through the Burns Library online request management system. When prompted to sign-in, use the “login or register” boxes to open or create your account.

Once you've reviewed our registration policies and completed the registration form, you'll return to the request form.

To complete the request form:

  • For published material: Review item information and add details on the specific volume or copy you wish to see (if needed)
  • For archival material:  Review collection information and add the boxes you want to see in the Box field.
    • Materials are viewed at a box level, so you only need to list each box once.
    • Refer to the finding aid in order to identify the boxes you would like to see in the reading room (found at the end of the catalog record under Links). For digital material, enter the Digital Content number from the finding aid in place of box number.
  • In the Special Requests field, indicate if you would like a morning appointment, an afternoon appointment, or would like both. If needed, include any questions or accommodations needed for your visit.
  • Schedule the date you would like to visit the reading room at the end of the request form, and press submit.

You may place requests for as many materials as you’d like, but will be restricted to using 1 box or up to 3 volumes at a time. Please indicate your priority requests in the Special Requests field. Staff will email you to confirm your appointment date/time and materials.

The reading room staff will have the materials ready for your visit. You'll simply need to show a school or government-issued ID and take a photograph to finish your registration process. 

No public computers are available. Please plan on bringing your own laptop or tablet. 

If we do not have sufficient staffing or any available appointments on the day you requested, Burns Library may notify you that an appointment has been cancelled.

The day of your visit

Due to construction, all researchers must enter the building through the South Bapst Library entrance (the far side of the building, closer to the gold eagle statue).

Per Boston College guidelines, anyone who is not fully vaccinated must wear a mask while researching in Burns Library. We strongly encourage you to be fully vaccinated before visiting Burns Library for research. We will not ask for researcher vaccination status, so if you feel safer wearing a mask while doing research in Burns Library, feel free to do soc

Please wash your hands thoroughly after arriving.

Food/eating is not currently allowed in Burns Library. Please bring your own water supply and store it in your assigned locker. Eating and drinking is permitted in Bapst Library if you wish to take a break during your research visit.

Researchers may bring only silenced cell phones, digital cameras, wallets, pencils, and laptops or tablets without cases into the reading room. Power cords and headphones for electronic equipment are permitted.

During your visit

Common Areas: 

Researchers may bring only silenced cell phones, digital cameras, wallets, pencils, and laptops or tablets without cases into the reading room. Power cords and headphones for electronic equipment are permitted.

Burns Library restrooms are on Level 1 (down two flights of stairs); please speak to staff if you need an accessible restroom. 

No eating is currently allowed, and please observe social distancing.

Reading Room: 

We will not be ask for researcher vaccination status, so if you feel safer wearing a mask while doing research in Burns Library, feel free to do so.

If this is your first visit to Burns Library, staff will need to take a photograph of you to complete your Burns Library Account. You will not be asked to remove your mask for this photograph.

All researchers will be asked to show a photo ID.

Social distancing will be practiced as much as possible in the Reading Room. You will be assigned a seat that is distanced from the staff and other researchers.

Materials have not been disinfected or quarantined. Hand sanitizer is not allowed in the Reading Room. If you have used hand sanitizer, please thoroughly wash/rinse your hands so damaging residue is not  transferred to the materials. Researchers will not wear gloves in the Reading Room unless working with photographs, metal, plaster, or vellum.

While in the reading room, you will have access to one box or up to 3 volumes on your table at one time.  Let staff know when you are finished, and they will remove the box/book(s) and set up any additional material you have requested. 

No materials will be retrieved within 30 minutes of closing.

Staff will gather collection materials 10 minutes before closing.