When visiting any of our physical library locations strict adherence to preventive measures is required, including the wearing of face coverings and maintaining 6 feet of distance from others in the library at all times. Here's what you need to know to have a safe and successful visit.

We continue to provide support online for GVSU students, faculty, and staff through our online services.


Safe and Successful Visits to the University Libraries

Welcome back, Lakers! We've missed you. Here's what you need to know to make your visit safe and successful.

Before You Visit

How Busy is the Library?

We have a real-time occupancy service for the Mary Idema Pew Library and the Steelcase Library right here and on the homepage—check to see how busy the library is before you visit.

You can also visit the Current Occupancy page if you want to see how busy the libraries were in the past 24 hours. This can help you plan ahead if you want times with fewer people in the building.

Wear a Mask

Wear a Mask to Protect Yourself and Others

GVSU's Face Covering Policy requires that masks be worn indoors on the GVSU campus. Masks must be worn at all times when inside the library - even if you are sitting alone at a work table or alone in a study room!

If you are unable to wear a mask for medical reasons should get in touch with Disability Support Resources (DSR).

Seating for Social Distancing

Seating capacity in the Mary Idema Pew and Steelcase Libraries has been reduced to allow for social distancing. Because the furniture is spaced to accommodate social distancing, please refrain from moving furniture during your visit.

Community Members, Visitors, and Alumni

If you are not a current GVSU student, faculty, or staff member, the University Libraries is still available. Please observe the following when visiting:

  • All visitors must complete the GVSU COVID-19 Self Assessment for Visitors before visiting the Libraries. Please get in touch with the library if you have questions about completing the self-assessment.
  • When arriving at the Libraries, community members must stop at the service desk and show the green “passed” confirmation on their smartphones or personal devices. Guest computer logins are only available for visitors who complete and pass the self-assessment.
  • Community members must wear a mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times when in the Libraries.

High-risk populations

We offer most of our services at a distance, such as mailing materials to your home, online resources and services, and virtual help. If you are high-risk and need to come to the library in person, the first hour each library location is open is the best time to visit.

Study Rooms have lower capacity

Group study rooms are open, limited to physically distanced groups of two.

Knowledge Market Online

The Knowledge Market has virtual appointments for writing, research, and speech help. You can also browse the Resource Market, a self-service hub of information to help you with your assignments.

Knowledge market online

Computers and Laptops

Some public computers are available on the atrium and floors 1-4 of the Mary Idema Pew Library, but capacity is limited to promote social distancing. Laptops are not available for loan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Computer Labs

The Lab 002 in the Mary Idema Pew Library is currently closed. The Mary Idema Pew Lab 001 and DEV 127A are open with fewer computers to accommodate social distancing.

Course Reserve, Skeletons, and Study Aids

Items with short check out times are not available at the University Libraries, due to the inability to sanitize the items quickly between loans. This includes physical course reserve materials, skeletons, portable whiteboards, headphones, phone chargers, whiteboard markers, and other study aids like stress relief items.

Bring Your Own Whiteboard Markers

The University Libraries are not able to provide whiteboard markers or erasers at this time. If you wish to use whiteboards, please bring your own markers and erasers.

Whiteboard Markers

Study Space Downtown

Need a place to study downtown? Even if Steelcase Library is not open, the collaborative space in Building A outside the library is open late. Check the facilities website for the hours of DeVos Building A.

Frey Foundation Learning Center at CHS

CHS 490 is open for use, but is not be staffed by the library. Room 290 is closed. Frey is also not a pickup location for book holds or Document Delivery items.

GV Brew Is Closed

GV Brew, the café in the Mary Idema Pew Library, is closed. The Lobby Shop in Kirkhof will remain open.

Focus on Wellness

Campus Recreation can help you focus on wellness - it's especially important right now!

Returned Book Quarantine

Returned books may be quarantined for 4 days before they are checked in, so they may still show as checked out for 4 days after you return them (you will not be charged late fines for these days). This quarantine is less labor intensive and less damaging to materials than sanitizing each item individually, with equally effective results.

If you need a book that is showing as checked out, reach out to us via our virtual services, and we can see if it's been returned and in quarantine.

Books can be returned without coming into the library at the book drop outside the South entrance to Mary Idema Pew Library on the Allendale campus or to the book drop in the parking lot outside DeVos Building B/C downtown.

Special Collections and University Archives By Appointment Only

The Special Collections and University Archives in Seidman House is available to the GVSU community by appointment only. All researchers are encouraged to send reference questions to rupinskl@gvsu.edu

Other Study Space on Campus

If the library is too busy, or you need a quiet place to work or attend a synchronous online class, there is a list of lightly-scheduled classrooms and meeting rooms that are available (if not reserved) for student use as socially-distanced study space or a place to attend a synchronous online class.

Please note: Masks are required in study rooms, even if you are the only person there in accordance with the GVSU Face Covering Policy.

How We Are Keeping You and Our Staff Safe

Increasing Virtual Services

We're available virtually to answer your questions! Email us at library@gvsu.edu, text us at (616) 818-0218, or chat with us online. You can also book virtual appointments with a librarian or visit the Knowledge Market online. You can get help with our self-service help or the Knowledge Market's Resource Market. We're here for you with our online services!

Library Online Services

Returning Books

We are quarantining some returned materials for 96 hours (4 days) before checking them in. This means that items may remain on your account for 4 days after you return them, but no late fines will be charged for this time. Quarantining books for 4 days is the most effective and efficient way of ensuring that library materials are safe to loan, according to a recent scientific study. This means that all short-term loan items, like study aids and course reserves, are not available.

Social Distancing

We are reducing the number of staff on site at each library, and have also reduced the total number of seats in each library to accommodate social distancing. Library faculty and staff who are not on site are working remotely to continue to provide the services, collections, and support you need to succeed!

Virtual Tours

We encourage virtual tours of the Mary Idema Pew Library. You can also watch the ASRS from home! (It only moves when a book is requested.)


Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitizing

Our custodial staff cleans throughout the day. Staff focus on frequent cleaning of touch points throughout the day. Restrooms are cleaned and sanitized twice per day.  Crews wipe down common areas, including tables and furnishings, and also sweep, mop and vacuum. Disinfection equipment and procedures are used following appropriate guidelines. 

Visit the Lakers Together website for more information on GVSU's enhanced Cleaning and Sanitization Plan.