COVID-19 Library Resources

Cayan Library: Remote Delivery of Services

Updated April 2, 2020

The Cayan Library building is closed until further notice. However, we are still working to get you the materials you need, whether you've always been a distance student or you're new to distance learning.

Whether you need a free e-book of your textbook, resources to help perfect your citations, or you just have a quick question for the virtual reference desk, we're here to help!


Getting Print-Only Materials

Despite the library's closure, you still have several options to get access to print materials:

  • You can now request sections of course reserve books to be scanned and sent to your email.
  • VitalSource and Redshelf are both ebook providers for textbooks, and both are helping students get e-textbook access for free due to COVID-19. You'll need to create an account to use both services. These free ebooks are available until May 25.
  • Other print books held by the library can be found with a Library Catalog search, and requested by clicking the Request link or by emailing
    • Selected chapters can be scanned and emailed directly to you, or
    • if you need a whole print book, we can arrange to ship it to your home address.
  • Interlibrary loan requests for print books will no longer be fulfilled, but article requests will still be fulfilled electronically as normal.
  • Do you need an accessible PDF of scanned material? Let us know by phone, email, or chat. We're happy to help.

Getting Electronic Materials and Online Resources

The library's electronic materials remain available as always, including:

Having trouble getting access to articles or ebooks while off campus? Check our guide for off campus users, or reach out to your librarians by phone, email, or chat.

Getting Help from Library Staff

There are plenty of ways to get help when you need it!

  • Your librarians are now available at the virtual reference desk Monday through Friday! Check our schedule and drop in on Blackboard Collaborate to get help with your textbooks, research papers, citations, and more.
  • During library hours, one-on-one assistance is always available via email ( and telephone (315-792-7251). We're available Sunday through Friday -- check our current operating hours here. 
    • You can still email us if we are closed! A librarian will respond within one business day.
    • While the building is closed, we will be responding to phone questions largely via email. You can help us do that by giving your full name and your SITNet ID when you call.
  • You can chat with a reference librarian 24/7 using the chat widget here.
  • Research and citation help appointments can be booked via Tutortrac and will be held over Blackboard Collaborate. Your librarian will send you a link to a Collaborate meeting before your appointment.
    • If you haven't used Collaborate before, you can find a Student Collaborate Ultra video tutorial here.
  • Can't find a time that's convenient for you but you still need an individual appointment? Send an email to and we'll do our best to accommodate your schedule.

This page will be updated frequently with new information.
You can also find up to date information about SUNY Poly's response to COVID-19 here, which has links to information from SUNY Poly as well as from the Centers for Disease Control and New York State Health Department.

Most importantly: don't panic! Wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, stay home as much as you can, and take care of each other. We are all in this together.

Unfortunately, the library building is closed until further notice -- but library staff is available to help you virtually via chat, email, or appointment during our operating hours:

  • Sunday 11AM - 11PM
  • Monday-Thursday 8AM - 11PM
  • Friday 8AM - 8PM

You can also chat with a reference librarian 24/7.

You can find our full list of Spring 2020 Course Reserve textbooks here.

Some of our textbooks are newly available in ebook through Redshelf and Vitalsource; look to the left of this panel for instructions on how to sign up for these services.

We've also added a Request a PDF! link to the course reserves spreadsheet, so you can ask a librarian to scan pages, problems, or chapters with one click! We will email you a PDF.

If you borrowed your books from Cayan Library, you can renew online. Sign in to your online library card via the link in the top right corner of the SUNY Poly discovery service homepage. Under the LOANS tab in your library card you'll find links to renew each book.

If you borrowed your books from another SUNY library via Resource Sharing, SUNY libraries are increasing their loan periods to 16 weeks and allowing up to 3 renewals at this time.

If you borrowed your books from a non-SUNY library via Interlibrary Loan, many libraries are extending loan periods; you can request a renewal online by logging into ILLiad, or contact with renewal requests.

We will not be pursuing late fees or fines for overdue books - we'd rather you stay home and stay healthy! If you do wish to return a book, the book drop in the Cayan Library lobby is always open, or you can contact for a free shipping label to return your book by mail.

You bet! You can check out some of our online resources like our Citation Guide and Research Help, but you can also contact us directly to ask questions via chat, email, or appointment.

Databases and articles owned by the library will ask you to authenticate to access them off campus, which is usually automatic when you click an article link or open a database. Not working? Try signing into your library card in the library discovery service and then searching for your article, or use this direct link to sign in with your SITNet ID and password.

Still not working? Let us know via the library chat box at the bottom of this FAQ panel, or email us for assistance.

Research instruction class sessions are still available upon faculty request, and will be held via Blackboard Collaborate. Faculty interested in library instruction are welcome to email to request a session.

Faculty are welcome to request scanned materials from the library catalog or reserve shelf for class readings and materials, as well -- requests for course materials already on reserve can be made via the Spring 2020 Course Reserve spreadsheet or directly to

Your friendly neighborhood librarians! All your library staff members respond to questions at -- reach out any time.

Rebecca Hewitt
Rebecca Hewitt
Interim Library Director | Research, Instruction, and Outreach

Sam Nesbitt
Public Services Librarian

Allison Fiegl
Allison Fiegl
Library Services and Resources Supervisor



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