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CONNECTIONS: The VDOT Library E-Newsletter

In-Person Access and Other Changes at the Library

by Ken Winter on 2021-07-23T15:25:28-04:00 in VDOT Library, Research | Comments

Need to get in? Text the word 'help' to: 434-363-4736

                                               Need to get in to the library? Text the word "help" and we'll arrange to get you in there!

At VTRC and in district offices statewide VDOT employees are starting to add more "in person" days to their schedules...and that is true for staff at the VDOT Research Library too! 


With so much changing, we thought we'd update our patrons to let you know how we're serving you:


'In-Person' Access: As a safety precaution the library has been mostly closed to in-person access since March 2020, in large part because library staff were 100% remote that year.  That is changing. Along with the rest of VDOT we have started returning to "in person" work so you may see library staffers in the building the next time you are in yourself.  


Because we pivoted to make our collections and services even more virtual, a lot of staff time (when we are in the building) is being spent doing back-room activities like: pulling items, checkouts, returns, reshelving, scanning and lots of shipping to VDOT employees across the state.


The library remains closed to most drop-in visits (unless your timing is just right) but if you are in the building and really need to get in but notice the door is locked, please be advised library staff may still be in the building. Even if not, we can still coordinate a response.  Please text the word "help" to 434-363-4736.


You will receive instructions instantly and your request will flow into a system that notifies all library staff working at the time...regardless of where we are. The entire process may take a few minutes so keep your phone handy for follow-up instructions from a librarian!


Other library adaptations: 

Online Checkouts: By now you probably know you can check out, renew and place a hold on print materials from any connected device using your Virtual Library Card.  We created a series of brief video tutorials on the library's YouTube channel to show how it works.  While you are there we hope you'll subscribe to be notified as new video tutorials come out.


Holds/Returns: If you placed a hold or checked out an item online, we will put it in your VTRC mailbox (if you work there), or ship it to any address you specified at checkout. We will even ship locally to VTRC employees who can't come in.  Believe it or not we've been shipping to VDOT patrons across the state, in nearby states, and around the country!  As for returns of print items, they can be dropped at the VTRC front desk or placed in the library's "in box."


Interlibrary Loans & Document Delivery: Demand for these services barely wavered during the pandemic and we've been borrowing items from libraries around the country (and internationally), most of which are up and running for loans. In many cases we can send you digital copies items you request (articles, standards, other smaller works) if the lending library has scans of them.  In other cases, we'll receive shipped copies and put them in your in box (VTRC) or re-ship them to you at the address you specify.

Database Access: Subscription database use (as measured by downloads) hit new highs during the pandemic. Due to recent IT changes you may be getting prompted to enter your library card credentials to access subscriptions even when you are on the VDOT network. This is new and we are working to eliminate this requirement, but in the meantime we've set authentication so you should only be asked for credentials once in a day. After that "remembered" and by any other subscription database you visit. 

Don't have a virtual library card yet? Sign up for one today!


What does the "new normal" look like? We can't say for sure, but we can assure you we are open for business and we can't wait to see you in person again soon. In the meantime, we'll continue to beef up our virtual presence and we encourage you to connect with us when you have a need. 


We want the library's Web site to be your one-stop shop for all things research, regardless of where you happen to be working at the time. It's features include live chat during business hours and lots of helpful research guides online request forms and FAQs


Ken Winter
(434) 962-8979
VDOT Research Library


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