Scanning of physical materials suspended as of noon, April 4

Following Governor Northam’s Stay at Home order (Executive Order Fifty-Five) and subsequent communication to the Mason community by Drs. David Farris and Lisa Park (on 3/31/2020), and ever more heightened concern for the health and safety of library faculty and staff, the University Libraries is preparing to suspend those tasks which would require the on-site presence of library faculty and staff; among these, scanning of materials from our physical collections.

For continuity of instruction purposes, we request that faculty and students submit any remaining scanning requests by noon, Saturday, April 4  via ILLiad. Scanning of physical items will only be provided for Fenwick Library holdings. Items from our branch library locations on the Arlington and SciTech campuses, as well as any items in the collections of our Washington Research Library Consortium partners, are currently unavailable.

To serve the needs of both faculty and students, the Libraries has ramped up a “triage team” approach, where all requests received requiring staff inter-mediation will be reviewed by a team of specialists who will exhaust all available resources. While some traditional methods of fulfilling requests are not available to us at this time, we continue to explore and employ all possible options to provide needed access. We have also allocated additional financial resources to expand our options and ensure continuous operations and access during this most difficult time.

Per the university’s emergency plan and the Libraries’ continuity of operations plan, we will maintain network access to electronic resources and facilitate related service requests. 

The Libraries’ extended Virtual Reference hours, virtual research consultations, and other virtual activities will not cease. For more information, please see our FAQs.

We appreciate that this is a unique situation and will continue to support your academic/research needs to the best of our ability as you conclude the spring semester. We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as needed.

Thank you for your understanding and we hope you continue to stay safe and healthy.

Patriots Helping Patriots – Student Emergency Assistance

Mason’s fourth annual Giving Day is Thursday, April 2. Past year’s giving days have been times of events and celebration, of supporting many different projects, academic programs, and research endeavors throughout the Mason community.

However, this year is different. In recognition of and response to the current climate and difficult circumstances many find themselves in right now, this year’s giving day focuses on providing assistance to students who find themselves in need at this time. You can read more about “Patriots Helping Patriots” and the numbers of students’ needs in this special story on the university’s giving site.

In that story, you’ll read how over 600 Mason students applied for over $1 million in emergency aid in just two weeks after the fund went live. Donations to this fund will help students with basic things like paying rent and utility bills, buying groceries, arranging for childcare, or purchasing technology needed to complete courses in a virtual learning environment.

If you would like to support a student in need, please consider a gift to the Student Emergency Assistance Fund.

If you are a student in need, please apply to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Student Emergency Assistance Fund.

National Emergency Library

The Internet Archive has suspended waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in its lending library by creating a National Emergency Library. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later. For more information, see the Internet Archive’s announcement.

When you use the Mason OER Metafinder search tool, you will now have the option to include this expansive resource in your search parameters.

Mason Libraries Celebrates Engineers Week

In honor of National Engineers Week (February 16-22), Mason Engineering is hosting a number of events for students, alumni, and the local community, with the theme of “Patriots for Progress.” In conjunction, Mason Libraries is hosting an exhibition – Crunching Numbers + Gathering Data, highlighting items from the Sidney O. Dewberry Collection of Surveying & Engineering Technology.

Sidney Dewberry, co-founder of Dewberry (a nationwide firm of planning, design, and construction professionals) and generous philanthropist to George Mason University and other causes, is also a collector of antique surveying and engineering tools.

A number of these antique tools will be on display on the second floor of Fenwick Library, from February 6 through February 24, in honor of National Engineers Week. Included in the exhibit are a set of graduated railroad drafting curves, a Curta hand-crank mechanical calculator, a Buff & Berger water current meter, and other unique tools.

Items from Mr. Dewberry’s collection have been exhibited in the Library of Congress, the Library of Virginia, Mt. Vernon, and at National Society of Professional Surveyor’s conferences.

National Engineers Week, started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers, is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers.