COVID-19 Update: NWC Library Reopening FAQ

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NWC Library

Library Reference Desk

Please Note: This FAQ is based on current information and subject to change depending on emerging information and circumstances. We will update this FAQ as plans are developed and implemented.
  1. REMINDER: Where should I return my library books?
    There are three locations where you may return books: 1) book drop slot in the main circulation desk, main level of the Learning Commons library in Hewitt Hall; 2) book drop box in the main entrance to the Quarter Deck, Connolly Hall, just outside the double-glass doors; and 3) a metal book return bin located in the P2 parking garage, curbside pickup area. Email us at with questions.
  2. How do I gain access to the library to study, print documents, or use computers?
    As we expand our beta testing of access to the library commons, the requirement to demonstrate a "need" has become more relaxed. If you feel access to the library would benefit your ability to prepare for class, then simply express your desire along with a brief justification to your seminar moderators. Your moderators will work through the Dean of Students for access approval. Once you are approved (space dependent), Dean of Students will provide you access information. The Library has prepared study spaces on level L1 (mid -level) of the Library Commons to accommodate 30-40 students. “Quiet” study spaces include 11 study tables (bring your own devices and use WIFI printers) and 21 computer workstations with access to networked printing. If you have questions, please email Ms. Wendy Kieron-Sanchez.
  3. How do I gain access to SIPRNet and Classified Library services?
    Starting October 1st, the Classified Library begins limited operations. Follow the above procedures for obtaining permission to access reserved study spaces and SIPRNet workstations. The Classified Library’s hours of operation will be Thursday and Friday, 1230-1630.

    In addition to following the health and safety measures outlined in Memoranda 20-2 and 20-6, adhere to Classified Library’s protocols, which include:
    • Xs on the floor outside the entrance marking social distancing for individuals waiting in line to enter.
    • Cleaning supplies are available on top of the cellphone lockboxes just outside the entrance door. Clean lockbox before and after use.
    • Stay behind acrylic shielding at the main help desk.
    • All patrons entering this area must be wearing masks and maintain safe distancing with staff and each other when using computers.
    • There is only one ingress/egress so caution must be exercised to avoid close contact when people are entering and leaving at the same time. A sign on the inside of the entrance door reminds those exiting to "knock first before exiting" to warn patrons who may be waiting outside to step back and make way for patrons existing the library.

    If you have questions, please email
  4. How do I obtain a Library ID card?
    This fall you may use your Learner ID from your Blackboard account as a form of library ID. Your learner ID preceded by your first and last initial will function as your identification when you place a book title in the catalog on hold, and when you request an Interlibrary Loan (ILL). For those of you who have been part of the NWC community prior to COVID-19, continue to use your key tag number as library ID. Please login to your Blackboard account and look under "My NWC" to find your learner ID.
  5. When and how will library services be re-started?
    Our virtual, online library services have been operational throughout the pandemic. You can access millions of electronic books and journal articles from the Library’s homepage.
  6. When will the physical library reopen?
    Limited Library services opened in the Learning Commons when the College entered Phase II of its COVID-19 reopening plan. These include reserved study spaces and access to computers and printers in the Library Learning Commons and Classified Library. (See 1 and 2 above.)
  7. How can I check out books?
    On Monday, August 17th, we started offering no-contact, curbside, book pickup services by appointment, M-W-F between 1300-1530 hours. Details on how to place requests can be found at
  8. How can I access current print periodicals?
    Patrons may request specific journals (not newspapers) via email sent to Include the journal or magazine title, volume and issue number, and date. Staff and patrons will follow the same pickup procedures as followed for the no-contact curbside book pickup services (see number 6).
  9. When I pick up my books, should I clean or disinfect it?
    No! Please do not clean or disinfect library materials. It may damage the materials, and it is not necessary given the precautions our staff are taking. Materials requested for pick up are placed in paper bags and quarantined, untouched, for a minimum of 72 hours. The 72-hour quarantine is based on scientific research on how long Coronavirus survives on different surface materials.
  10. How can I contact the reference librarians in real-time?
    LibChat is Live! Beginning on Monday, August 10th, the reference librarians are available for quick chat sessions. Look for the Chat is online link on our Ask a Librarian page or from the Library’s homepage, click on the yellow search button next to the Google-like search box to find the LibChat button in the top, right-hand corner of the page.
  11. I had books on the hold shelf when the library buildings closed. Can I pick them up?
    If you have hold items that you still wish to check out, please email with the titles and someone will schedule a contactless pickup.
  12. When will I be able to request books from Interlibrary Loan (ILL) again?
    ILL is slowly resuming services as our partner libraries begin lending print materials beyond their home institutions. We continue to accept and fill ILL requests for scanned articles and book chapters, based on availability. We are accepting requests for print books through ILL but caution patrons that fulfilling those requests may not be possible.
  13. I currently have Interlibrary Loan (ILL) books checked out and they are overdue. What should I do?
    If you currently have ILL items in your possession, the current policy is you may either hold onto them without risk of being fined, or you may return them using the book drop at the main circulation desk, in the Quarter Deck vestibule outside the double-glass doors, or in the metal book return bin located in the P2 curbside pickup area. If you need assistance, email us at, and we will find a way to help.
  14. What precautions are you taking to protect library users and staff and minimize risk of infection?
    The safety of library staff and patrons is our highest priority. Library staff will follow all DoD, DON, state, and Naval War College health and safety guidelines, including social distancing, wearing masks, frequent hand washing, sanitizing and disinfecting of workspaces and machinery, and self-monitoring for symptoms. In addition, we will be quarantining collection materials for 72 hours between hand-offs to mitigate the spread of the virus through book and other collection surfaces.
  15. May we recall books that are checked out?
    Currently, we are not recalling books because so many library users are away from campus and unable to return items to campus. If you need a book that is currently checked out, please submit a purchase request, and we will try to obtain an electronic copy for you.
  16. I left the area. How can I return materials I have checked out?
    Please package (using bubble wrap if possible) and ship the materials to this address:
    Naval War College
    Library Returns
    686 Cushing Road
    Newport, Rhode Island 02841-1207

    We recommend using Media Mail shipping as a cost-effective way to send educational materials.
  17. For questions not answered here, email

    Last modified: 18 November 2020

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