Library Updates

Your Health & Safety in the Library

Limited capacity

The Courtright Memorial Library is currently open to Otterbein community members only. All Otterbein users must comply with the University Health Assessment policy and the Cardinal Community Responsibilities, including wearing masks at all times while in the building. Like most other Ohio businesses, we will be limiting our building capacity. Library staff will be counting the number of people in the building to ensure we don’t go overcapacity.

Seating changes, Limited seating

In order to encourage social distancing, we have partnered with Otterbein’s Environmental Health & Safety Officer (EHS) and ITS on campus to limit our desktop computer terminals and tabletop seating.

We ask that you not move/remove X’s on tables or signs that limit seating and that you only sit in seats that indicate they are available. The seats available are six feet apart, per the Cardinal Community Responsibilities.

Changes to Staff Interactions

Library staff will be limiting our direct face-to-face contact with patrons but that doesn’t mean we won’t be available to help you.

Our Reference/Research Help services will be completely virtual during Summer 2021. Services include virtual office hours, research consultations, chat, text, or email. Library staff will respond in that same format or set up an immediate Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate session to discuss your research needs. You can always Ask a Librarian for help.

Self-Check Out

At the self-checkout station, patrons will be able to scan their own Cardinal Card and items with a staff member ensuring the transaction go through, all from at least 6 feet away from other people.

How to Reach Us

Reference/Research Help

Text a Librarian: 614-259-7404
Chat us from the library’s website

Circulation/Your Library Account
Call 614-823-1215 ext. 4

Course Reserves


Due to recent Ohio library recommendations and information from the CDC, the library will cease quarantining library materials, including course reserves, starting May 3, 2021. We will also be reimplementing our 2-hour loan period for items in our Course Reserve collection. Please continue to follow current public health standards and recommendations when engaging with library materials.

To increase opportunities for access to our Course Reserve collection for those in Otterbein’s online or hybrid courses this summer, library staff will be accepting requests to digitize specific chapters or sections of textbooks in our Course Reserve collection (see more information in the Copyright During a Pandemic section below). Please note that due to the creative nature of these works we are unable to digitize novels and popular press. See the Course Reserve webpage for full information on this temporary process.

At this point in time, we anticipate the digitization of the course reserves program ceasing prior to the start of Fall 2021.

Alternatives to Course Reserves: Library & OER Options


Check with the Library 

The Courtright Memorial Library, in partnership with several state-wide consortia, provides digital access to thousands of items. If you’re searching for new content or want to make sure your students can access the content you’ve already selected, start with the library catalog. You can also reach out to your liaison librarian or the Technical Services Coordinator. You’ll find both our physical and digital resources, which can be used on and off-campus! 

If you still can’t find it 

Submit the request for your item via our Acquisition Request Form, and include your course info and any other needs. Our Technical Services Coordinator begins by looking for academically licensed digital content (from eBooks to streaming video) across our approved vendors and resource partners. If there aren’t digital versions available, we will buy a print copy and work with our circulation staff to follow our revised course reserves process. 

OER content is your friend 

Particularly during the pandemic, using materials that are open-access makes the course content readily available. If you want to use open-access materials and you aren’t sure where to start, please reach out to your liaison librarian or look at the Open Access LibGuide. 

Other Digital Options 

Many companies offer digital options related to the rental or purchase of textbooks. While these may not be the best, most cost-effective option, given complexities in licensing, they may sometimes be the only option for the selected textbooks. · 

Otterbein Bookstore 

Can I Scan and Share with My Students? 

If you own a copy of the textbook and have access to either a working scanner or if you can take photos with a phone by downloading a scanning app, you can scan pages of the personal textbook copy and share them with your class via Blackboard (which has login protection to source content). Just remember to take them down at the end of the term! · Using Google Drive · Using Evernote 

Accessibility Considerations 

Remember when sharing PDFs or other documentation, they should be run through Adobe or Word accessibility checking tools to ensure they are usable by everyone. For more information, you can see the Accessibility Libguide. 


Free Textbooks (Open Source Materials) 

Once you have your syllabus, you can check to see if the materials are available free at one of the below frequently used sites: 

  • Open Textbook Library via the University of Minnesota All of these textbooks are under a Creative Commons license and are free to use and download. Many are peer-reviewed by professors who have used these books in their classes.
  • OpenStax via Rice University Freely licensed textbooks available to read online or download in multiple formats, including some classroom resources as well. 
  • Directory of Open Access Books This directory includes peer-reviewed books published under open access licenses by academic publishers 

Electronic Textbook Providers 

Many companies offer digital options related to the rental or purchase of textbooks. While these may not be the best, most cost-effective option, given complexities in licensing, they may sometimes be the only option for the selected textbooks. Many titles come with rentals for 90-180 days as well as purchase options. · 

Please see the Library’s full Schedule of Operations for additional information.

Contact the Library

138 West Main Street.
Westerville, OH 43081

Comments, Suggestions?

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